In deciding what to make for a Valentine’s Day-themed What’s Cooking Wednesday, I knew chocolate would have to be involved–it has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, you know, even if it technically isn’t.
But peperoncino, or hot pepper, *is* known to get the romance flowing, and if there’s one thing that isn’t difficult for me to find in Calabria, it’s peperoncino–I’ve even written a tribute to the pods that pack a punch here.
So I found this recipe for Mousse di cioccolato e peperoncino and then I found this basic chocolate mousse recipe in English. I went about picking and choosing from the two recipes and came up with what I present here.
It’s *so* good, I’m going to have to make it again for tomorrow night’s dinner. This just may be my new favorite dessert in fact.
If you’ve never had spicy chocolate, let me assure you that you don’t actually taste the hot pepper–it just gives the chocolate an extra zing, something that tickles your tongue after the rich chocolate taste has passed.
And what better gift to yourself for Valentine’s Day than a tickled tongue? And I’ll leave it at that (wink wink).
Chocolate & Peperoncino Mousse
- 1 bar of bittersweet chocolate (100 grams), in pieces
- 1 espresso-sized cup of espresso
- 2 teaspoons of ground peperoncino (or however much you can handle)
- 1 cup cold heavy cream (unsweetened)
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1. Put the chocolate and espresso in the top of a double-boiler, or as I did in a small pot, and heat to melt chocolate. Stir until its smooth and add peperoncino. [Note: both of the above-referenced recipes add butter at this point, but I forgot to do so; I didn’t miss it in the final product, but feel free to use your judgment.]
2. Once the chocolate is melted, set it aside to cool a bit, and now whip the cream and set it aside.
3. Beat the egg whites until foamy and then sprinkle in sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
4. Once the chocolate is room temperature, stir in the egg yolks, and then fold in about 1/3 of the whipped cream and half of the egg whites until just mixed and then add the rest of both the cream and egg whites.
5. Put mixture into serving dishes and let chill in the refrigerator overnight or for about 8 hours (up until 24 hours).
6. Before you serve the mousse, add some whipped cream on top and a sprinkling of peperoncino for an extra kick.
P.S. If you’re more in the mood for a cake this Valentine’s Day, check out last year’s Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cake (also made with coffee) as well as this Nutella Spice Cake, which also has a kick of peperoncino.