Chocolate Mousse with Roasted Hazelnuts

Well it’s Valentine's day and I just had to make this chocolate mousse. I haven’t made chocolate mousse in a long time but I don’t recall making it like this so I thought I’d give it a try. 

I used a 72% dark chocolate and it could use a bit more than 2 tablespoons sugar, I would say 3-4, but if you use the 60% cacao the recipe below should be fine. 

Wish you all a LOVEly day :)

Chocolate Mousse with Roasted Hazelnuts

  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream, divided
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided (see note above)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (60-72% cacao), chopped
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Chocolate shavings
  • Roasted Hazelnuts (Recipe Below)

Beat 1/2 cup cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form; cover and chill.

Combine egg yolks, espresso, salt, and 2 Tbsp. sugar in a large metal bowl. Set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water). Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is lighter in color and almost doubled in volume and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 160 degrees, about 1 minute.

Remove bowl from pan. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until room temperature.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg white in another medium bowl on medium speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually beat in remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar. Increase speed to high and beat until firm peaks form.

Fold egg whites into chocolate in 2 additions; fold whipped cream into mixture just to blend.

Divide mousse among six teacups or 4-oz. ramekins. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Mousse can be made 1 day ahead; cover and keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Before serving, whisk remaining 1/4 cup cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form; dollop over mousse. Top with chocolate shavings and crushed roasted hazelnuts.

 

Roasted Hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350°. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and wrap hazelnuts in a towel, allow to sit for 10 minutes or so, then rub and shake off loose skins. To crush I generally place them in a ziplock bag and crush them with a meat pounder.

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Creme Fraiche

Focus. Focus. That’s what I keep telling myself lately. This past week has been rough. I guess I’m settling in to this new world of chaos and alternative facts. Just focus on good things. Roasted cauliflower is one of those good things. I’ve never been a big fan of cauliflower until recently. A couple restaurants we’ve gone to have served it fire-roasted or fried, with different types of sauce and it’s just unbelievably good. The small pieces that get nearly burnt taste something like popcorn. I got the idea for lemon creme fraiche from Firehouse restaurant, and liked it enough to share it with you.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Creme Fraiche

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 4 oz creme fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 400°. Cut the cauliflower into small florets and arrange a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over the florets, sprinkle some salt and toss until coated. Bake for 25 minutes or until just browned. The smaller the pieces the quicker they brown so it’s always good to check in on it around 20 minutes or so. Mix the creme fraiche, lemon juice and lemon zest together in small dish for dipping.

Salmon Chowder

It’s been cold. I mean freezing cold for over a week now with snow and sleet and all the things you might expect, or not expect for Portland. Winters here just aren’t normally like this. We’ve had three snowfalls so far this winter with more on the way in a couple days. Granted we don’t get a lot as it generally warms up and the rain washes it away, but nevertheless there have been quite a few “stocking up” trips to the store this year. The one thing that I do appreciate in cold weather is soup, or chowder, or stew. It can be the perfect meal. 

I made this Salmon Chowder over the weekend and it was just as good as the last time I made it. This recipe includes smoked bacon, but if you don’t want to use bacon I would switch out the fresh salmon and use smoked salmon. The smoky flavors in this chowder are what really bring the flavors together. Another plus about this recipe is that it’s a one-pot-cooking dish. Our dishwasher decided stop working last week and once that happens you start thinking about every pot, pan, and dish you’re about to use. We have a new one arriving later this week and I can’t wait. 

One more thing I want to mention here is that Salmon is a good choice for winter chowders. If you live in the north without much sun, like Portland, you are most likely not getting much, if any, Vitamin D. Salmon is one of the best ways to get it in the way of food. You will want to get wild salmon as it has higher content of Vitamin D than farmed salmon, which only has 25% of the Vitamin D you would find in wild salmon. Even with that I take Vitamin D3 supplements everyday. I’m not one to promote specific vitamins or anything like that in this space, but I would recommend getting your vitamin D levels checked the next time you have a visit to the doctor. Most people are deficient because even during the summer months you can be deficient if you are using sunscreen. Ah, summer, sunshine, seems so far away right now as the ice slowly drips off the trees. Until then enjoy some soups and stay warm :)

Salmon Chowder

  • 3 slices thick smoked bacon, chopped in 1/2" pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 pound skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives for garnish

Brown bacon in a deep, heavy-bottomed sauce pot over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cook onion and celery in the bacon fat in the same pot until onion is translucent. Add potatoes and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; do not brown. Add carrots and broth and bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add milk, half-and-half, salmon, parsley, dill and pepper. Simmer over low heat 5 to 8 minutes or until fish is cooked through and liquid is steaming, but not boiling. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with crispy bacon pieces and chives or parsley.

Adapted from Whole Foods recipe