In the spirit of the holidays, we’ve decided to publish one of our favorite recipes, Chocolate Frangelico Mousse, from our new cookbook, Cork and Knife.
It’s around this time of year that we load up at the grocery stores on cartloads of high-quality semi-sweet chocolate, cream, Frangelico hazelnut liquor and shelled hazelnuts. And that’s just our normal shopping list, it’s nothing to do with Christmas. But seriously though, this year we really are stocking up, because Cork and Knife was published this summer, and we’ve been overwhelmed with the positive responses to it! We’ve seen your wonderful Instagram posts and stories about recipes you’ve made from the book, and you’ve sent us so many wonderful emails. Thank you so much!
If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, now is the perfect time. Are you searching for a Christmas gift for that special foodie in your life? Is there a family member whose sock drawer is STILL bursting with all the socks you’ve bought them as gifts over the years? Are you looking for an unusual cookbook that combines the best of the food world AND the liquor cabinet? Well, here you go! Click on the book cover below to hurry over to Amazon and order your copy while you still have Christmas mailing days left!
(If you prefer to get your books elsewhere, no problem! Just head over to our cookbook page to find other places you can buy it! Or ask your local bookstore.)
As a holiday treat and a sneak peek at the book, we’re sharing just one of the recipes you’ll find in the book: Chocolate Frangelico Mousse. Think of it as an amuse bouche to get you in the holiday mood.
Okay, now on to the recipe! If you’re one of those people who sneak downstairs in the middle of the night to eat spoonfuls of Nutella straight from the jar, then this recipe is for you. No judgement here, we do it too. Well, this dessert is even better than the jarred stuff. It’s a rich and silky chocolate Frangelico mousse that gets an intense nutty flavor from both the toasted hazelnuts and the Frangelico liqueur. We lighten it with whipped creme fraiche to make it delicate and smooth. We could serve it in a big bowl in the middle of the table, but we’ve found it’s cuter (and more fair!) to serve it in individual mini jars (or bowls) like these Weck tulip jars.
If you can find pre-skinned hazelnuts, snap them up. If, like us, you can only find them skin-on, don’t worry. Once you toast them, if you rub them in a tea towel (or against the mesh of a fine-mesh strainer), they’ll come right off. Set aside a few for your garnish, then process the rest in a food processor or blender until they’re as smooth as possible. The smoother the paste, the smoother the mousse will be, but don’t fret, a little texture is fine too.
Add the chopped chocolate to one bowl, then whisk the eggs together in a separate bowl until no streaks of white remain. Heat the milk, sugar, salt and the nut paste in a saucepan until it begins to steam and is just about to simmer. This will infuse the liquid with the flavor of the toasted hazelnuts. The next step is called ‘tempering’, which is simply adding some of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, while stirring, to bring them closer to each other in temperature, Once combined, add the mix back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, while stirring constantly, until it becomes slightly thickened (it should reach 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer). Then pour it into the bowl with the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mix is silky smooth. Add the mascarpone, Frangelico and vanilla and stir until it’s completely combined. Refrigerate until the mixture is cool but not too hard to stir, about 45 minutes.
Using a beater or stand mixer, whip the crème fraîche until it begins to stiffen and hold a soft peak. Add half the whipped cream to the bowl with the chocolate mixture and fold it in until it’s thoroughly blended. Add the rest of the whipped cream and fold it in until no streaks remain. Spoon the mousse into individual serving dishes and chill it until you’re ready to serve.
We especially love this dessert for parties because you can prepare it a whole day or even two in advance and keep it chilled (and just whip the cream within an hour of serving), because it’s so rich and elegant, and because we love our friends and want to fill them with chocolate goodness.
Serve the chocolate frangelico mousse with chopped hazelnuts, shaved chocolate and little glasses of hazelnut liqueur for an extra bit of fanciness.
Chocolate Frangelico Mousse
- 1 1/4 cup hazelnuts (skinned if you can find them), divided
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (60 to 66%), finely chopped
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup mascarpone , cold (or use cream cheese)
- 1/2 cup Frangelico or other hazelnut liqueur
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
- 1 cup crème fraîche , cold
- ½ cup heavy cream ,cold, plus optional extra to whip for top
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring and checking the nuts a few times, until they are golden brown. Let the nuts cool completely, then, if they still have the skins on, rub the nuts together in a dish towel or pour them into a coarse mesh strainer and rub them against the mesh until as much skin flakes off as much as possible. Set a 1/4 cup of the nuts aside for garnish and put the remaining 1 cup in a blender or food processor and process to the smoothest possible paste you can manage, scraping the container as necessary.
- Add the chopped chocolate to a large heat-proof bowl and set it aside. In a another medium-sized heat-proof bowl, whisk the eggs together until no streaks of white remain.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the milk, sugar, salt and the hazelnut paste and heat it until it begins to steam and is just about to simmer. Using a ladle or a measuring cup, scoop out about a ½ cup of the hot milk and, while whisking the eggs constantly, gradually stream it into the eggs. Then add the warm egg mixture back into the saucepan and, while stirring constantly, cook over low heat until the mixture is slightly thickened (it should reach 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the hot egg mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl with the chocolate and stir until the mixture is smooth. Let it cool on the counter until it’s not steaming hot anymore, about 15 minutes, then add the mascarpone, Frangelico and vanilla and stir until completely combined. Refrigerate until the mixture is cool, about 45 minutes.
- Remove the cooled chocolate mixture and stir it to make sure it’s not too solid. Add the crème fraîche and ½ cup cream to a medium bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) and whip it until it begins to stiffen and hold a soft peak. Add the whipped cream to the bowl with the chocolate mixture and gently fold it in until no streaks remain. Pour the mousse into individual serving cups and chill it for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, whip another ½ cup cream to medium peaks and add a dollop to the top of each serving of mousse. Chop the reserved nuts and sprinkle them over the cream before serving.