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Chocolate Cognac Mousse in Espresso Cups With Maple Chantilly and Bittersweet Chocolate Shavings

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This classic French dessert is all too often overlooked, but I find it to be utterly delectable, especially when the mousse is light, airy and silky-smooth -- all the qualities I tried to highlight when I created this recipe.

Here the mousse is marvelously chocolaty and not-too-sweet (only 1 tablespoon of sugar is added to the whole dessert!), but every spoonful is as luscious as can be.

Served in stylish espresso cups, this mousse makes a stunning dessert. Plus you can prepare it ahead of time -- the finishing touches require only a few minutes of your time before serving.

A classic dessert that deserves a spot in every cook's repertoire!

Chocolate-Cognac Mousse in Espresso Cups with Maple Chantilly and Bittersweet Chocolate Shavings

serves 6
active time: 45 min

For the mousse
7 oz (200 g) semi-sweet chocolate (preferably Callebaut, Valhrona or Scharffen Berger) -- broken in 1″ chunks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 extra large eggs -- at room temperature, separated
1 tablespoon organic sugar
2 tablespoons Cognac (or Brandy)
3/4 cup heavy cream - whipped

For the Chantilly
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

bittersweet chocolate -- for shavings as garnish

Step 1: In a double boiler, over slow simmering hot water, melt the chocolate and butter. Stir until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.

Step 2: While the chocolate is cooling, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachments, whip at medium speed until frothy. Add the sugar and increase to high speed. Continue to whip at high speed until soft peaks form. Set aside.

Step 3: Add the Cognac to the cooled chocolate (the chocolate should be warm to the touch but not hot), and whisk with a wire whisk until just incorporated. Add the egg yolks one at a time and whisk until just incorporated. With a silicone spatula, fold in the whipped cream until well incorporated. Then, very gently, fold in half the egg whites until well incorporated. Finish by folding in the remaining egg whites until just incorporated, being careful not to over-mix. Spoon the mousse in espresso cups and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Cook's note: The chocolate mousse can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Step 4: To make the Chantilly -- Place the heavy cream, maple syrup and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip at medium speed until soft peaks form. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Step 5: Remove the espresso cups from the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving. Spoon a dollop of the Chantilly on top of each mousse. Using a vegetable hand peeler, shave the bittersweet chocolate over the mousses and serve.

Cook's note: When consuming raw eggs it's most important that they be as fresh as possible. I also recommend using organic eggs, instead of commercial eggs.

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Here's another stunning chocolate-Cognac dessert: Chocolate layer-mousse cake with Cognac and bittersweet chocolate curls.