Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Frozen White Chocolate and Hazelnut Mousse

I was dying to try out this recipe for several reasons, not least of which because it sounded delicious.  But it also gave me a chance to try out the vegan white chocolate bar made by Organica, making this the first time I've eaten white chocolate since 2003.  I was also eager to try the recipe in a sense simply to prove that I could; the recipe I was following called for 6 egg whites whipped up into stiff peaks, a trick which I know is possible using Ener-G eggs, and I wanted to see if I could make a fluffy, frozen vegan mousse.  Be forewarned, the following recipe is a bit complicated, but well worth your effort!

  • 2 Ener-G egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vegan butter
  • 2 ounces finely chopped vegan white chocolate (such as Organica)
  • 1/4 cup Frangelico
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Dash of salt
  • 6 Ener-G eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegan sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 and 1/2 cups whipped Soyatoo whippable topping*
  • 3 tablespoons toasted and chopped hazelnuts**
1. To start, make two Ener-G egg yolks (i.e. 1 tablespoon powder whisked into 2 tablespoons warm water) in a large bowl; set aside.  In a saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons water, the butter, and the white chocolate; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the white chocolate melts.  Gradually pour the white chocolate mixture into the Ener-G egg yolks, stirring constantly with a whisk, then transfer the mixture back into the pan.  Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly - it will be thick by the end.  Remove from heat and stir in the Frangelico; let cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

2. Place the cream of tartar, salt, and 6 Ener-G eggs in a large bowl; beat with a hand mixer for 6 minutes - the mixture will be thick, glossy and white - just like egg whites.

3. Combine 3/4 cup sugar with 2/3 cup water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then continue to cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 238 degrees - it will take about ten minutes.  Slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the beaten Ener-G mixture, and continue to beat with a mixer for another 6 minutes.  Although the hot syrup actually deflated the Ener-G mixture somewhat, it still maintained a fluffy, full texture.

4. Fold one-fourth of the beaten Ener-G mixture into the white chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the remaining Ener-G mixture.  Fold in the whippable topping and the hazelnuts (see notes below on both these ingredients).  Spoon the mousse into a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 8 hours, or up to overnight. 

Note: you'll have even better luck with this recipe if you place the empty container in the freezer ahead of time, so it's already chilled once you spoon in the mousse.

*Vegan whippable soy topping is available from a great company called Soyatoo, and is not to be confused with their soy whip or rice whip, which come in a spray can.  The whippable topping comes in a box, and you beat it with a mixer for about 3 minutes to achieve a thick, creamy product like CoolWhip.  Unlike vegan whipped toppings that you spray out of a can, this stuff will hold its consistency, and is great for topping pies or cakes. 

** Toast the hazelnuts ahead of time, so you don't need to worry about it while assembling the rest of this complicated recipe: Simply place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Don't forget to rub off the skins, since you don't want flecks of brown floating in your pretty white chocolate mousse.

Nutrition Info:
8 servings (about 3/4 cup), Calories 207 

Tasting Notes:
Not only did this recipe work, but I do not exaggerate when I say it just might be the most heavenly dessert I've ever tasted.  The Frangelico/hazelnut notes really came through, the texture was as light and fluffy as sugary air, and, well, I licked up the remains from my bowl with a finger when I was done, which should say it all.  I had a hard time distinguishing the "white chocolate" flavor; whether that is a referendum on Organica's product or simply reflects the fact that too many other yummy things were going on in this dish, I can't say.  But either way - heavenly.


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