Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mayan Chocolate Mousse

Yummy!  Mousse is a classic French dessert.
     The Mayans of Central America made a potent chocolate drink that had canela and chile peppers in it.  Canela is a Central and South American cinnamon.  Canela has a lighter color than cinnamon and it has a milder flavor. 
     The techniques used to make this mousse are classical.  Some of the techniques take practice, study and hands on instruction.  Therefore, I will not get into detail about the individual techniques of the three major steps that it takes to make a classic mousse.  When combining the ingredients, they all have to be the same cool temperature.
     Mayan Chocolate Creme Anglaise:  Make a two egg yoke standard creme anglaise that is flavored with 1 teaspoon of canela, a splash of brandy and a small pinch of mild chile powder and piloncillo.  Use piloncillo (raw sugar) instead of sugar.  Keep the anglaise warm on the stove top.
     Melt 1 1/2 ounces of dark unsweetened chocolate with a small spoonful of piloncillo and a splash of cream gently in a double boiler over low heat.  (If the water in the double boiler is simmering then it is way too hot.) 
     Fold the melted chocolate into the warm creme anglaise. 
     Refrigerate the Mayan Chocolate Creme Anglaise.
     Whipped Cream:  Whisk 1 cup of cream and white sugar together, till stiff peaks are formed.  Refrigerate the whipped cream.   
     Italian Meringue:  Cook 1/2 cup of white sugar and a little bit of water over medium high heat, till the sugar reaches the soft ball stage. 
     Make an Italian meringue by whisking 2 egg whites till stiff peaks are formed and then slowly adding the hot soft ball stage sugar while whisking.  The Italian meringue should be tight textured and very shiny.  Refrigerate the Italian meringue.
     Mayan Chocolate Mousse Assembly:  When all three ingredients are thoroughly chilled, get a chilled mixing bowl and rubber spatula ready.
     Very gently fold the Mayan Chocolate Creme Anglaise into the whipped cream, one third at a time, till blended. 
     Then fold the Italian meringue into the mixture one third at a time.
     Refrigerate the mousse for at least 8 hours.
     Load the mousse into a star tipped pastry bag and pipe it into a souffle ramekin or champagne glass.
     Garnish the mousse with a dark chocolate disk or cooky crisp.
     Garnish the plate with a light sprinkle of ground canela.
     Making the chocolate disk is simple too.  Just add a little unsalted butter to the chocolate that remains in the pan after making the Mayan Chocolate Creme Anglaise.  Stir the butter into the chocolate and pour it into a round silicone mold.  The chocolate disk should be thin.  Refrigerate the chocolate disk till it turns solid.  The texture of this kind of disk is not brittle but it is more like a stiff chocolate pate.
     The flavor of this Mayan Chocolate Mousse will give people an idea of how complex the flavors of Mayan cooking is.  The flavor is absolutely enjoyable!  Heavenly texture is a good description of a fine mousse.  This is one of the few dark chocolate mousses I have made.  I have made tons of white chocolate mousse though.  This is an uncomplicated presentation of an ancient Mayan flavored dessert.  I really like the flavor of this Mayan Chocolate Mousse!  ...  Shawna  

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