Easy Chocolate Mousse

Other than simmering milk in a saucepan, you only need a blender to make these almost mousse, sort of pudding chocolate desserts.  You’ll need at least a couple of hours for them to set so it does take a little planning but it’s not much work at all.

Very Easy Chocolate Mousse

1 1/2    Cups milk
2          Cups chocolate chips (12 oz pkg)
2          Eggs
1/4      Cup sugar
Pinch of salt.

I used semi-sweet chocolate chips for this batch but I would also try white chocolate, dark, or they now have these Heath bar bits that are great.

Simmer milk in saucepan until bubbles form.  While that’s going on dump the rest of the ingredients in a blender & mix until creamy.  Pour the hot milk on top then blend on a lower speed for about 1 minute.  Pour into custard cups, or as you can see I used margarita glasses, wine glasses, and some glass ice cream cups.  I could say this is because I wanted to show you how pretty it can be in a variety of dishes but the truth is that by my age I don’t think I have 6 dishes that match (maybe the old jelly glasses that just won’t break but I don’t think The Little Mermaid is quite right for this).
 Top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate bits, fruit (raspberry is great) or if you’re ambitious make cute little chocolate leaves.  Refrigerate at least 2 hrs, longer is better.  You’ll get a great chocolate hit from these.

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Chocolate Chip Memories

Niki came back from a business trip to San Francisco and stopped by the house to pick up her car.  Wanting to hear all about her trip, I whipped up a double batch of the most melt in your mouth chocolate chip cookies from a recipe I’ve been using for at least 40 years. Our chocolate chip cookie tradition started years ago with Niki’s first day of school.  I’ve never had a problem getting Niki to talk, but believe me, putting a pile of these warm cookies with a glass of milk in front of a kid is a great way to have a conversation.  Not that I don’t make these often, but I always had a plate ready for her at the end of each first day of school.  She’s long finished with school but I still love to have them ready for her when we have time to sit down and chat. And how cute is the wall art in front of the cookies!  These are individual photos representing letters, created by ABCsisters.  They have some really creative ideas for birthday, housewarming, or wedding gifts and will also do custom designs for you.  You should definitely check out their website at  www.abcsisters.com where you can see some of their ideas.  Of course, my favorite is the one that Niki bought for me: If you’d like to start your own chocolate chip tradition, this is my favorite recipe:

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • 1 Cup plus 2 TBL sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 Cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1 (6 oz.) package semisweet chocolate chips
  • – Sift flour, baking soda and salt into large mixing bowl

– Sift flour, baking soda and salt into large bowl
–  Add sugars, egg, vanilla, and butter.
– With electric mixer on low beat until just smooth & well combined
–  Stir in chocolate chips
–  Drop by teaspoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet.
–  Bake about 10 minutes (will look not quite done, don’t let them brown in the oven)
–  Let sit on cookie sheets for 1 minute, remove to rack or parchment paper

Depending on size, makes about 2 dozen small to medium cookies.

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Chocolate Dessert

You probably have all the ingredients for this easy yummy, chocolaty dessert which is based on Giada’s Chocolate Honey Almond Tart, but if not, you can stop on the way home to get whatever you need.  This is really fast to put together, just allow enough time for the chocolate to harden in the refrigerator (make it tonight for tomorrow).  The basic recipe (I’ll suggest some modifications that I like after):

 CHOCOLATE HONEY ALMOND TART
Courtesy: giada de laurentiis

9          Chocolate graham crackers
2          TBL slivered almonds
4          TBL (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces,
room temperature, plus more for the pan
¾         Cup heavy cream
¼         Cup honey –good local honey makes a huge difference
2          Cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter bottom & sides of a 9” round springform pan.

Place graham crackers and almonds in bowl of food processor.  Process until the mixture forms fine crumbs, 15-20 seconds.  Add the butter and pulse until combined.  Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom of buttered pan.  Bake for 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

In a small saucepan or double boiler, whisk together the heavy cream and honey over low heat until honey has dissolved.  Increase the heat to medium and bring mixture to just below a boil.
Put the chocolate chips in a medium bowl.  Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until smooth.  Pour the chocolate filling over the prepared crust.

Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight.  Loosen the tart from the sides of the pan by running a warm butter knife around the edge.  Remove springform.
My modifications:
If you like those mint Girl Scout cookies, add about 1 teaspoon of mint extract to the heavy cream & honey mixture before pouring over the chocolate chips.
I love raspberries & you can heat a good quality raspberry preserve in a saucepan to liquefy it,  then pour over the chocolate filling.  After it has been refrigerated, add fresh raspberries to the top.  Raspberries might be hard to find this time of year, but I did just notice fresh strawberries at the market this morning that looked good.

Apple Crisp

Here in New England, the days are getting shorter and the mornings are crisp.  Hopefully, despite all the rain we’ve had, the orchards will have a good harvest of apples.  Over the years I’ve searched for an apple crisp recipe that has a topping that is actually crisp!  Just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon and a nice crunchy topping.  ♦
APPLE CRISP
4 Cups    Apples
¼ Cup    Water
¾ Cup    All purpose flour
1Cup      Granulated sugar
1 teas     Cinnamon
½ teas    Salt
½ Cup    Softened butter
Peel, core, & slice apples evenly
Layer apple slices into buttered baking dish (8” or 9” square) then add water
In small bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, & salt
Cut in butter w/pastry cutter or 2 butter knives until mixture is coarse
Sprinkle mixture over top of apples
Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes