There’s something romantic about mousse, dontcha think?
There used to be something romantic about snowstorms too, but now that I’m watching Kenny dig us out from two-plus feet of snow while my children destroy the house, I’m not really that into it. I’d much rather have clean streets and be at work, thank you very much.
The good news is, I’ve got these mocha mousse brownie bites to keep me company as the snow refuses to melt and the winds die down. These are pretty much my idea of a perfect Valentine’s dessert. These rich, fudgy brownie bites are topped with a mocha mousse and drizzled with chocolate. If you think it’s rich, you’re right! That’s how I do.
In the D.C. area, people aren’t used to snow. When I first moved here, I was shocked at how a simple dusting could immobilize the entire region for hours, so you can imagine what this huge snowstorm (dubbed Snowzilla in these here parts) has done for the area.
It all began Friday night, and we have yet to see a single snowplow. Our cul de sac is still dusted with twentysomething inches of fresh powder, untouched by person or machine. I’d like to think we’ll be plowed out at some point, but I really have no clue when. In the meantime, the task falls upon me to keep the three little monsters happy. Lucky Kenny gets to go back to work tomorrow in our basement, since he teleworks.
So, any suggestions? I’m looking for snow day ideas that aren’t crazy messy or difficult. We’ll have our baking time, our yoga/fitness time, our movie time, our snow time. But what else can I do? Help me, please. PLEASE.
In exchange, I will bake you marvelousness if you ever come through DC. Really. It’s the least I can do for keeping everyone sane in the big bad storm aftermath.
These bites of decadence might be helping with that sanity a bit, too. When things get rough, I can hide in the closet with a stack of these and a thermos full of Riesling. That’s a pretty good coping strategy, in case you needed one.
If you’ve never made mousse using cream, it’s the easiest and safest way to go without resorting to Cool Whip. Instead of a mousse packed with raw egg, this requires whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Then the mocha gets mixed in (hellooooo, coffee and chocolate) and once the mousse is chilled, you can pipe it onto the brownie bites. It’s elegant as well as satisfying!
Stay tuned, because if they don’t plow us out by Wednesday’s post, I’ll either need more snow day ideas from you or some serious therapy. In the meantime, the digging begins as Valentine’s Day looms ever nearer. Stay warm, everyone!
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a mini-muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cocoa into the melted butter until it dissolves. Add the sugar and stir again. When the sugar is incorporated, mix in the vanilla and eggs. Add the salt and flour, mixing until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cavity most of the way. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the brownie bites are set. Set aside and cool completely.
- While the brownie bites are baking and cooling, make the mocha mousse. Dissolve the instant coffee in the cold water.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the coffee and the chocolate chips. Heat at 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until everything is melted and smooth. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Do not overdo it!
- Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the heavy cream until a uniform color (no streaks!) appears.
- Chill the mousse for one hour in the refrigerator.
- When the brownie bites are cool and the mousse is chilled, place the mousse into a piping bag with a large star tip. Pipe the mousse quickly into swirls over the brownie bites.
- For garnish, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth in 30-second intervals. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the piped mousse.
- Store the brownie bites chilled and covered loosely.