Need an elegant, sexy dessert? Mousse Brownie Delight combines the chewy chocolate texture of brownies with the silky decadent taste of chocolate mousse. It is assembled as individual servings so you can make what you need ahead of serving and enjoy the meal with your guest(s).
We paired this dessert with pesto pasta and shrimp from our Pesto we froze last summer. It made an elegant dinner for two to celebrate our anniversary last month. It was a simple quick main dish so I could concentrate on the Brownie Mousse Delight.
Mousse is simple
Mousse is fairly easy to make. It LOOKS like it takes a long time and is very difficult so you can appear to be an accomplished pastry chef. Once the process is learned, there are so many variations. Try changing the flavor of the chips to white chocolate or maybe butterscotch. Add 1/2 teaspoon of flavoring like espresso, mint, raspberry, rum, hazelnut or another of your choice.
There are a few tips that I will share with you but mostly success comes from attention during the process. It takes several hours for mousse to set up properly so everything can be done well ahead of serving time. Before you start, take a look at the ingredients for both the mousse and the ganache so there is enough chocolate and cream on hand. Okay, let’s begin!
Setting Up the Ingredients
Since the timing is so important, I set up all the ingredients before I turn on the stove. I pour the cream into the mixing bowl. It doesn’t matter whether you use a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Make sure the whisk is the beater that you use in the mixer though. That part is important.
The chocolate chips need to be in a large bowl on a counter somewhere near the stove. The bowl needs to be large enough to mix all the ingredients together when we get to that point.
The half and half goes in the saucepan and the saucepan sits on the stove. The idea is that the half and half comes to a boil before you mix the egg yolks in so the burner can be turned on to medium heat at this point but keep an eye on it.
The last items in the setup are the yolks and sugar. Separate the egg yolks from the whites with the yolks in a bowl (like a cereal bowl). There are several ways to separate egg whites from egg yolks but the main idea is to keep the yolks from breaking during the process. I crack eggs into a bowl and pick up the yolks, one by one, and let the whites run out through my fingers.
Sprinkle the sugar over the yolks in the bowl and immediately whisk them together. If you leave the sugar just setting on the yolk it will begin to harden bits of the yolk, almost like cooking them. I save the yolk and sugar step for last in the setup process and do that step while the half and half is coming to a boil just to be safe.
Thickening the Half and Half
As soon as the half and half comes to a full rolling boil, pour about 1/3 of it from the saucepan into the bowl with the egg yolks and sugar mixture in it. While pouring, keep whisking so that the two mixtures can become one mixture without cooking those eggs. Whisk just a couple more times to ensure that all the yolk stuck on the bottom of the bowl got incorporated.
Now, with the pan back on the heat, pour the mixture back into the pan while continuing to whisk in the pan. Don’t forget to scrape out the bowl into the pan as well. Keep stirring. The point of this whole process is to let the egg yolks thicken the half and half without making any lumps.
How to Test for Done
It takes only a minute or two to finish the cooking stage after the egg mixture is stirred back into the saucepan so watch it carefully. When the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon and is thick enough not to run back through a line you draw with your finger it is done. The picture shows the wooden spoon test. If it cooks too long, the mixture will get grainy.
Melting the Chocolate
Pour the sauce right over the chocolate chips, scraping the pan into the bowl as well. It takes a few seconds for the sauce to start melting the chocolate, then stir until the chocolate is completely smooth. If I want to add a flavoring, now is the time! Stir again until the flavoring is incorporated and the chocolate is smooth again.
The Whipped Cream
The chocolate sauce needs to cool off before we mix it with the whipped cream so leave it on the counter while we whip the cream.
Whip the cream on high until soft peaks form. It is important that the cream is cold. It is also important not to whip it too long. When the whipped cream is finished, there will be soft peaks in it where the whisk was lifted out but it will still run off the spatula. The chocolate is what sets up the mousse.
When the cream is finished, check the temperature of the chocolate sauce. I put my finger in it to test because we are looking for about body temperature. If it is too hot it will melt the whipped cream. Too cold and the chocolate will get lumpy.
Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate sauce with a spatula. Keep folding until the mousse is all one color with no cream or chocolate streaks. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. It is now ready to go into the refrigerator to set up for several hours or overnight.
Make the 9×13″ pan of brownies in time for it to cool completely before it is time to assemble the Brownie Mousse Delight.
Ganache is simply a chocolate sauce made from chocolate and melted liquid. It is what we made when we thickened the half and half with the egg yolks and poured it over the chocolate. If we were to leave our ganache to set up and we made it with a proper proportion of liquid to chocolate, it could be the center of chocolate truffles.
For our Mousse Brownie Delight though, we want it the consistency of a sauce. We need to start it about 1/2 hour before we need it for the drizzle. If for some reason the timing isn’t right, we can fix it, so no worries. When the ganache cools off too much, heat it in the microwave for a few seconds and then stir it and see if that helps. If it is still too hot when it is time to use it, we can set it in the fridge and stir it frequently until it is the proper consistency.
Measure the chocolate chips for the ganache into a bowl. Pour the cream for the ganache into a saucepan. Bring the cream to a full rolling boil but don’t let it boil over. Immediately dump the boiling cream over the chocolate. Again, it takes a few seconds for the hot cream to start to melt the chocolate. Stir until the ganache is completely smooth. If you want to add flavoring do that now. That’s it! Easy right?
Mousse Brownie Delight
a 9x13 pan of your favorite brownies
- 2 cups cream heavy
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- 1 cup half and half or 1/2 cup each milk and cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp sugar granulated
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup cream heavy
- Measure the cold, heavy cream into a mixing bowl. Fit mixer with the whisk attachment. Measure half and half into a 1 quart saucepan and begin heating over medium heat. Measure chocolate chips into a large bowl. Separate egg yolks into a small bowl. Sprinkle sugar over egg yolks and immediately whisk together. When the liquid in the saucepan comes to a boil, whisk in about a third of it into the egg yolk mixture and then pour that mixture back into the saucepan. Continue stirring over medium heat until it has thickened slightly.Remove from heat and pour over chocolate chips in the large bowl. Gently stir this mixture until smooth. Leave it to cool off while beating the cream.Beat the cream until it starts to thicken. Check the temperature of the chocolate with your finger. When it feels about body temperature, gently stir in the whipped cream until it is all one color.The mousse needs to set up for several hours or overnight.
- About 1/2 hour before you are ready to assemble, bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate chips in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Ganache thickens as it cools. Check the ganache periodically by stirring until it becomes more like a sauce. You can hurry the process by putting the bowl in the fridge and checking its progress often. If it gets too stiff, microwave the bowl for a few seconds at a time until it becomes the desired consistency.
- Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut the brownies to shape. I usually do circles or hearts but a square or diamond would look nice too. Place each brownie on a serving plate. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop a ball of mousse and deposit one in the center of each brownie. Drizzle the ganache. Refrigerate until serving time.
Assembling Mousse Brownie Delight
Decide on a shape for the brownie base. I used hearts when I made these. In the past, I have used a large circle or square. A simple shape is easier to see. It is also important to keep in mind the size of scoop you want to use for the mousse. It looks better if the mousse takes up most of the brownie space.
So, the brownie shape goes on the plate. A scoop of mousse goes on the brownie. Drizzle the ganache over the mousse and the brownie and let a little bit fling onto the plate. Set each plate uncovered in the refrigerator until serving time. Enjoy your Mousse Brownie Delight and then enjoy looking like a pastry chef.
What did you do to personalize the flavors? Please comment and tell us how it turned out.