If you find yourself in the Boston area, I highly recommend taking a visit to the Taza Chocolate Factory in nearby Somerville. Whether you take a tour of the factory or just visit the store, you’re sure to learn a lot about Mexican stone ground chocolate and how it differs from the European chocolate you’re used to. Oh, and they are huge fans of samples, which is awesome. You might even get lucky and have my younger sister, Annie, for a tour guide!
Having a younger sister who works at a chocolate factory has some obvious advantages. Family parties always have sweet treats and she always includes some chocolate in birthday gifts. Another thing about Annie is that she got nearly all of the creativity genes in the family and she’s always got some good ideas. Knowing how much I love cooking, she made me vanilla, cinnamon, and chocolate extracts for my birthday using ingredients she got on a recent trip to Costa Rica.
As I’ve mentioned before, my kitchen is not the most conducive to baking, but I had to think up a dessert to try out what I’ve got. The result was this chocolate mousse with a blackberry cream sauce served in puff pastry shells. Enjoy!
Mexican Chocolate Mousse with Blackberry Cream Sauce
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 large egg
- 3 oz Mexican chocolate, chopped – I used a disc of Taza’s Salt & Pepper Chocolate
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 pint blackberries
- 1 tbsp cinnamon extract (or 1 cinnamon stick)
- 1 package Pepperidge Farm puff pastry shells, cooked as instructed on box
Combine the sugar, flour, water, and egg in a small saucepan. Whisk the mixture over low-medium heat until it starts to boil. Once boiling, whisk vigorously for one minute and then remove from heat (did I mention this recipe is a great arm workout?).
Add in the chocolate and vanilla, continue to whisk until the chocolate has melted and everything is well combined. I was pretty surprised at how quickly the chocolate melted down, and I didn’t even chop it all that finely – I only cut the disc into eighths.
Once everything is mixed, stick the saucepan in a slightly larger saucepan that has some ice water in it to cool. Don’t get the water in the mousse!
While the chocolate is cooling, whip up 1/4 cup of the cream until it just starts to form stiff peaks (are your arms killing you yet?). Then fold the cream into the chocolate thoroughly, but don’t over-whip the mousse either. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
This is a good time to preheat the oven on those pastries if you’re planning to serve right away.
In another saucepan, combine the blackberries, the remaining cream, and cinnamon over low heat. Using a potato masher, smash up the berries until they’re almost completely broken up. Continue to stir the mixture until it is the consistency that you like. I enjoy the seeds and the thicker texture, so I do not strain the sauce.
When you’re ready to serve, fill the puff pastry shell with the mousse and top with some of the sauce. This is just the perfect serving size for a sweet little dessert. Mmm, mmm!