At the beginning of the month when I logged onto the Daring Baker’s forum I was so excited to see what the next challenge would be. Like most people, I love a good challenge.
This month Evelyne from Cheap Ethnic Eatz challenged us with a maple mousse recipe. But that was not all, she required the mousse to be served in an edible container.
I thought, wow… what the heck am I going to do? She recommended bacon cups, but wasn’t sure how I felt about that. So, I did a little digging and found a great idea for chocolate cups. This was my first attempt to make mousse and it wasn’t as difficult as I imagined it was going to be. It was actually quite easy and a fascinating process.
I found the mousse with the chocolate to be a tad too sweet for my taste buds, but my boyfriend gobbled them up. He described them as “unexpected flavor explosions,” which I took as a compliment. I think if I make this mousse again I will serve it in a saltier cup. Something like shortbread, or pretzel cups would also be delicious with the soft mousse.
Maple Mousse and Chocolate Cups
For the Mousse:
1 cup pure maple syrup
4 large egg yolks
1 package (7 grams) unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 package chocolate flavored candy coating, or a bag of chocolate chips
small water balloons
4-5 slices thick cut bacon
3-4 large egg whites
3/4 cup (165 grams) superfine sugar
- In a small saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil, and then remove from the heat.
- Separate the eggs. (Do not throw away the whites!) Whisk the egg yolks.
- While whisking the yolks, pour in a small amount of the hot maple syrup.
- Continue to whisk the yolks while slowly streaming in the remainder of the hot maple syrup. Do this very slowly to temper the yolks, but not scramble them. Set aside the egg yolk mixture.
- Measure 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream into a bowl. Sprinkle the package of gelatin over the cream and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, microwave the heavy cream for 10 seconds. Repeat this 3 more times, or until the gelatin fully dissolves into the cream. Then whisk the cream/gelatin mix into the egg mix.
- Allow to sit for an hour. During the hour, occasionally whisk the contents of the bowl until the mixture is the consistency of unbeaten, raw egg whites. (I was skeptical of this, but after an hour it really does seem like unbeaten egg whites!)
While you are waiting for the mousse, I would recommend making the chocolate cups and candied bacon.
- Blow up 5-10 of the water balloons, and set aside.
- Then, simply melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a double boiler, or in the microwave.
- Dollop a small amount of the melted chocolate onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Dip a balloon in the chocolate, making sure that it is fully covered. Also be sure to allow some of the excess drip off the balloon for a few seconds.
- Place the chocolate covered balloon on the dollop of chocolate.
- Repeat with the remainder of the balloons.
- Once the chocolate has hardened, pop each balloon and remove the rubber from the cups.
Note: I had a hard time removing the balloons from the chocolate. This could have been for several reasons. I either did not inflate the balloons enough, or I didn’t use the right chocolate. I would recommend attempting to grease the balloon (somehow) before dipping in the chocolate, or inflating the balloons to full capacity. If you find your balloons do stick to the chocolate, just carefully peel the rubber from the chocolate cup without destroying it.
To Candy the Bacon:
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place a cooling rack on top. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.
- Evenly spread out the bacon over the cooling rack, and brush both sides with the maple syrup.
- Bake the bacon until crispy, about 20 minutes.
- Allow the bacon to cool down before chopping into small pieces.
This next step is optional, but it does make the mousse look pretty.
- Allow the egg whites to sit at room temperature while you are making all your other items.
- Once ready for the meringue, pre-heat the oven to 300ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- If you do not have superfine sugar, you can pulse your regular granulated sugar in a food processor or blender and that’s all it takes!
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until they thicken up, but are not quite to stiff peaks. This will take a few minutes.
- At this point start slowly adding in the sugar while the egg whites continue to beat in the bowl. Beat until the egg whites form stiff and glossy peaks.
- Pipe the meringue (or dollop little scoops) onto a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the oven, close the door, and immediately turn the temperature down to 250ºF.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Then turn the oven off and allow to cool in the oven for a few hours.
- You can then dip the little cookies in chocolate, or leave as is and use a decoration for the mousse cups.
Finally, now that your mousse mixture has reached the consistency of unbeaten raw egg whites, on high speed whip the remaining 1 1/4 cup heavy cream into fresh whipped cream.
Stir 1/3 of the whipped cream into the maple mixture. Then carefully fold in the remaining whipped cream. Leave the mousse in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
To Serve the Mousse:
Fill each chocolate cup with 1-2 scoops of mousse, or how ever full you desire. Top with candied bacon, and meringue cookie. I made four different variations of the cups.
- The first had only candied bacon as a topping.
- The second had the candied bacon and a meringue cookie.
- The third had chocolate covered candied bacon, and a meringue cookie.
- The fourth had a the candied bacon, and a chocolate covered meringue cookie.