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Layered Chocolate Mousse and Brandied Cherry Parfait

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I’ve elected to give a recipe for chocolate mousse.

Long ago, when I was much younger and more handsome, I participated in a cooking competition for young chefs. The recipe was used as a component for a spiced pear and chocolate cake. Although I did not win, it was a showstopper for the judges.

To give credit, this recipe was attributed to Gordon Ramsey, who is one of my step-son’s heroes. Nonetheless, it is both very quick and very good.

Layer the mousse with brandied cherries, and either crushed biscotti, cookies or crumbled cake pieces for a delicious parfait.

Because the chocolate is the focal point of this recipe, I would suggest a high quality chocolate between 60-70% cocoa solids, depending on your preference.

Layered Chocolate Mousse and Brandied Cherry Parfait

8 brandied cherries with syrup, such as griottes or even home-made

4 ea Hazelnut biscotti, crushed

1 recipe chocolate mousse, listed below

Chocolate shavings, for garnish

Martini, Rocks, or other glassware in which to build the parfait

Spoon 2 brandied cherries in the bottom of each glass, spoon some chocolate mousse over top, apply a layer of crushed biscotti, repeat for a second layer. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

Dark Chocolate Mousse:

4 oz dark chocolate, Ghiradelli or other high quality brand, chopped into small pieces

10 oz heavy whipping cream, divided

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 egg white

½ tsp almond extract


Small sauce pot

1 large bowl of ice with a little cold water

Rubber spatula

Wire whip or a hand mixer with whip attachment

In a small saucepot, heat 5 fluid ounces of heavy cream until it begins to boil

Turn the burner off, and add the broken chocolate to the hot heavy cream. Stir the mixture until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

Transfer the mix to a smaller bowl, and set this bowl in the ice. Add the remaining cream, and almond extract.

Beat the chocolate mixture with the wire whip to soft peaks.

Remove the smaller bowl from the ice water and set it aside. Dump the ice water from the larger bowl, and wipe it dry. We will use it to make make the meringue

Separate the egg white into the large, dry bowl. Whisk with a whip or hand mixer until stiff peaks. Spoon in the sugar, a tablespoon or so at a time, continuing to whisk, until the mixture becomes a satiny meringue.

Set down the whip/mixer and grab a rubber spatula. Add about ⅓ of the meringue to the whipped chocolate ganache, and fold it until well incorporated. Next Add the remaining meringue, and gently fold the mixture into itself. The goal is to get a uniform mixture without beating all of the air out of it.

When the mousse is refrigerated it will set firm. You can build your either parfait before or after the mousse sets. The texture will be slightly looser if you build it after

Executive Chef

Peter Daugherty

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