Chocolate Cappuccino Mousses

Ever since our daughter Catherine decided that the plural of chocolate mousse should really be mice, the name has stuck.  In our family everyone loves chocolate mice.  I make them in small glasses and if they’re not for a special occasion I put them in the fridge in a flat dish with a shower cap over the top.  Over a few days they quietly disappear.

I usually make them with dark or white chocolate, but decided to create one with a cappuccino flavour.  Nigella Lawson makes a chocolate mousse using marshmallows instead of eggs, so I used her recipe to develop one with a coffee layer on top of a dark chocolate layer.  The 250g packet of marshmallows I bought had both pink and white, so I divided them in half.  There were uneven quantities, so I had to put a few pink ones in with the white ones.  I think using mainly white ones for the coffee layer you end up with a nicer colour.

Chocolate Layer:
125g pink or white marshmallows
½ cup boiling water
75g unsalted butter
250g dark chocolate, broken into squares
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup (250ml) cream, lightly whipped
Coffee Layer:
125g white marshmallows
½ cup boiling water
2 Tbs instant coffee powder
75g unsalted butter
250g white chocolate, broken into squares
1 cup (250ml) cream, lightly whipped
To serve: whipped cream and grated or piped chocolate

Place all ingredients for chocolate layer, except the cream, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat gently, stirring until melted.  You don’t want the mixture to get too hot, so once the mixture is hot but not boiling, turn the heat off and let everything continue to melt in the residual heat.  By the time the marshmallows and chocolate has all melted the mixture should be fairly cool and beginning to thicken.  If not, wait until it is then thoroughly fold the lightly whipped cream into the mixture and divide between about 10 half-cup glasses.  They should be about two thirds full.

Dissolve coffee in the boiling water, then place all ingredients for the coffee layer, except the cream, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat gently.  Again turn off the heat before the mixture boils and let the ingredients melt in the residual heat.  When mixture is fairly cool and thickening, thoroughly fold the lightly whipped cream into the mixture, then divide between the glasses.

Refrigerate several hours.  Serve decorated with some extra cream, whipped, or grated chocolate.  In the photo they are decorated with piped melted chocolate in the shape of a treble clef, as they were for a musical evening.

Serves about 10 or 12, depending on the size of the glass

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