Tag Archives: chocolate

Pregnant Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is our tradition around here for New Year’s.  The only issue for New Year’s 2019 was that I had just found out about baby #2’s existence & my mousse recipe has raw eggs. This does not bother me one bit on a ‘normal’ day, but I do eat more carefully for my little ones. Inspired by my last pregnancy when I made pregnant tiramisu, I knew I could find a way to make this dessert pregnant-friendly, too. Turns out it was pretty easy!

The basic ingredients for my mousse are chocolate, butter, and a basic (French) meringue – just egg whites & sugar whipped together. Thanks to the Great British Bake Off, I have learned there are actually 3 types of meringues: French, Swiss, and Italian. French meringue is the only one where if you don’t bake it the eggs stay raw. Therefore I figured if I used one of the other types of meringue to make my mousse, the results should be similar to the original recipe while being pregnancy safe. I was right!

Mrs. Dessert Monster - Pregnant Chocolate Mousse

I chose to use an Italian meringue to make my New Year’s treat. The results were pretty close to my original! The consistency and flavor are about the same – maybe a touch sweeter. I enjoyed it so much that I made it again when my cousin & her family came to visit us for a few days in the spring. It’s one of her favorite desserts.

This was my first experience with Italian meringue. I was initially concerned that I didn’t do it properly because there was a good bit of sugar crusted in the sauce pan, but the meringue did fluff up nicely and was plenty sweet enough. I should probably invest in a candy thermometer instead of using my all purpose food thermometer. I should also mention that’s the only thing about Italian meringue – you really do need a thermometer to tell you when the sugar mixture is at the correct temperature. I haven’t played with it enough to know of any ‘hacks’ that will let you know when it’s ready without one. To be honest, getting burned is one of my biggest fears so I don’t think I’ll be playing around too much with molten sugar!

Mrs. Dessert Monster - Pregnant Chocolate Mousse

I am really happy with how this recipe turned out, and will consider making this one when I make mousse to share from now on!

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Baby #2 is just a few weeks away from coming out! Cupcake is so looking forward to finally holding her baby brother.

Pregnant Chocolate Mousse

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (one bag)
  • 1/2 lb butter (one stick)
  1. Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan. Heat over high heat until sugar syrup reaches 240°F on an instant read or candy thermometer. Brush down sides of sauce pan as necessary with a pastry brush dipped in water to minimize crusting.
  2. Combine egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Set mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly drizzle hot sugar syrup into mixer bowl while it’s running. Increase speed to high and whip until meringue forms stiff peaks. Add vanilla while mixer is whipping.
  4. Melt chocolate chips & butter in a hot water bath.
  5. Gently fold melted chocolate mixture into meringue until smooth & uniform in color. Let it set in the fridge overnight either in individual servings or one large container. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit.

 

Nursing Mommy’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake

Cupcake is 2+ months old & growing like a weed! It’s very satisfying to look at her double chin & chunky legs & know that I did that.

Thankfully breastfeeding is going very well with little intervention from me, but every now & then I’ll drink some Mother’s Milk tea or malta to ‘help’ my supply. I haven’t actually had any supply issues, but eating yummy galactagogues can’t hurt.

What’s a galactagogue, you ask?

Milk

Do galactagogues really work? It’s debatable. I am not a doctor or a lactation expert, so please consult a professional if you are having any issues breastfeeding. The list of foods classified as galactagogues is long & includes lots of healthy & delicious foods. A lot of very common foods are on it, so there’s a good chance any breastfeeding mom is already consuming at least some.

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I’ve also been drinking this shake from time to time. It’s a nice treat between meals. This shake has ground flax seed & puffed wheat, two of the aforementioned galactagogues. Ground flax is not just good for lactation – it’s full of omega 3 & fiber. I’ve been putting it into all sorts of things from drinks to baked goods & even pizza. The shake also has peanut butter for protein & a packet of chocolate Carnation Breakfast Essentials. I’ve made similar shake recipes with cocoa powder instead, but the Carnation stuff is much tastier & full of vitamins. Now, this isn’t exactly a health food. I called it a shake instead of a smoothie for a reason! I used sweetened puffed wheat & regular Carnation stuff, but you can use unsweetened puffed wheat & no-sugar-added Carnation to cut down on the sugar.

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One packet of the breakfast powder makes 2 servings of this shake, so I either share with my husband or blend everything but the ice together & save half in the fridge to blend later.

Is this shake going to help with breastfeeding? I can’t say for sure, but I can tell you it is tasty & fun!

Nursing Mommy’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake

Makes 2 servings
  • 2 Tb Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tb Flax Seed
  • 1 cup Puffed Wheat
  • 1 packet Chocolate Carnation Breakfast Essentials
  • 1 cup milk
  • ice
  1. Blend all ingredients except ice together for a few minutes.
  2. Add ice, blend until desired consistency.

 


Even though I’m posting more intermittently than ever, I was touched to see this:

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Thank you for all the follows ❤

Game Day Cookie Truffles

Tomorrow is Super Bowl 50!

We are going to a party at a friend’s house & of course we can’t show up empty handed!

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Last year I made these football cupcakes, so I wanted to do something a little different.

Oreo cookie truffles have been all over my newsfeed recently. These are not oreo truffles – but they’re pretty close & SUPER tasty!

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I had a box of chocolate graham crackers, so I decided to use it. The rest is pretty standard for any cookie truffle. Butterfinger is not a main flavor in the finished truffle, but every couple bites you get a nice peanut buttery crunch!

Using the food processor I pulsed the crackers and butterfingers until finely crumbled & poured into my mixer bowl. Then I added room temperature softened cream cheese & vanilla frosting. Using the paddle attachment, I stirred the ingredients until it was the consistency of a stiff dough.

My husband & I then shaped the ‘dough’ into little footballs on parchment paper & let them chill in the fridge. I love parchment paper so much, it’s so useful!

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I melted the chocolate chips & coated the little footballs. If you’re using a microwave, like I did, don’t melt all the chocolate at once & remember to stir often. I coated all the truffles & then put them in the fridge for a few minutes. Once the chocolate was set, I piped on the laces.

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Tada!

These are very rich & delicious! I can’t wait to share with friends tomorrow.

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Go sports!

Game Day Cookie Truffles

Makes about 4 dozen truffles

  • 1 box chocolate graham crackers
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened & at room temperature
  • 2 Butterfinger candies
  • 1/2 cup vanilla frosting, plus more for piping
  • 12oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Use a food processor to finely crumble graham crackers & butterfinger candies (may take several batches depending on food processor capacity). Transfer to mixer bowl.
  2. Add room temperature cream cheese & vanilla frosting. Using paddle attachment, mix on low speed until consistency is like that of a stiff dough. Spoon about a tablespoon worth of dough at at time onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper & shape into footballs. Chill in refrigerator at least 10 minutes.
  3. Melt chocolate chips & coat football truffles. Allow to set in refrigerator before piping laces with vanilla frosting.
In The New House Designs

Chocolate Mousse

This post is long over due!

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I first mentioned my chocolate mousse in my very first recipe post for homemade ice cream, & recently mentioned it again on my blog-aversary. It’s sort of become a New Year’s tradition, which is great because as delicious as this mousse is, it’s not the healthiest thing out there so I really don’t need to be making it more than once a year. This mousse is great on its own, but it’s also super delicious with fruits like strawberries or grapes.

My job had an end of the year pot-luck, so I doubled the below recipe & brought mousse in individual little cups.

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This mousse is very rich & chocolaty. My mom originally got this recipe from an old cookbook of hers. She taught me her ways & I have tweaked the recipe a little. I’ve actually cut the sugar down – which I think lets the semi sweet chocolate ships stand out a little more.

This recipe is pretty simple & has 2 main steps: 1) melt chocolate & butter together using hot water bath, aka double boiler (or baño de Maria in Spanish), 2) make meringue using an electric mixer.

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Hot water baths are this easy!

For Christmas I made cinnamon gingerbread ice cream (recipe here!), which called for 5 egg yolks. Since I knew I wanted to make mousse for the pot luck, I saved the whites so I wouldn’t have to crack a dozen eggs. It was a win-win!

While the chocolate & butter are melting, the egg whites were getting nice & fluffy & stiff using the kitchenaid. I just turned the mixer speed almost all the way up & let the eggs go for a while until really stiff.

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REALLY stiff!

Then I added the vanilla & slowly added the sugar. Tada, meringue! You can use that recipe by itself to make meringue cookies – just bake them low & slow in the oven. They are so yummy!

By this point the chocolate & butter were all melted & just needed a good stir. Then it was time to fold the chocolaty mixture into the meringue.

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Gently.

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Keep going.

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Almost…

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THERE!

Look at that smooth, chocolaty goodness!

At this point I portioned it out since I was taking it to a potluck, but you you could also set the whole bowl in the fridge to set overnight.

Guys, there’s nothing else like it. This mousse is quite rich. Chocolate lovers will definitely appreciate this dessert.

Since I didn’t get to enjoy this mousse the same night, I saved a little bit of the meringue & made myself a little treat.

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This is one of the best parts of having a gas stove!

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The next day though, I definitely tore into that mousse!

Chocolate Mousse

  • 6 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (one bag)
  • 1/2 lb butter (one stick)
  1. Melt chocolate chips & butter in a hot water bath.
  2. Beat egg whites using electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla & slowly add sugar.
  3. In a large bowl, gently fold melted chocolate mixture into meringue until smooth & uniform in color. Let it set in the fridge overnight.
  4. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit.

I made a pregnancy safe (no raw eggs) version of this mousse – recipe here!

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

A few weekends ago I had the type of Saturday that only comes around once every couple of months. It was a glorious Saturday with absolutely no plans. It was a no-need-for-pants kind of day.

This is not to be confused with the type of Saturday where you are bored & wishing for plans. This was a much needed break from busy lives. My husband & I did things around the house. We watched college football. We had the whole day to ourselves to do whatever we wanted. After a delicious steak dinner, I realized we did not have any dessert. My husband said, “we haven’t left the house all day – do you want to go out for some frozen yogurt?”

I said no.

We hadn’t left the house all day! I was not about to put pants on, especially not after dinner.

So instead, I decided to make some brownies. Then I remembered I had a meeting at church the next day & decided to make a big batch to share.

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I had actually never made brownies from scratch before. I looked up several recipes & tips before arriving at Epicurious’ Best Cocoa Brownies. According to this recipe, these brownies have a soft center & a nice top crust because of butter & granulated sugar. I looked up the differences between cakey & fudgy brownies. This post from Fine Cooking has great explanations. I had no idea there was such a wide variety of brownie techniques, but I think I found my niche with this recipe. I prefer the fudgy kind.

The original Epicurious recipe calls for some fancy & very specific steps.

“Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula.”

Umm, what?

I did no such thing.

I know baking is a science, & I mean no disrespect, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

My brownies still turned out amazing.

I didn’t just throw everything in the bowl, I just kind of used previous baking experience with a little common sense to come up with my own steps. Plus my handy dandy KitchenAid mixer. Also, the Epicurious recipe is for an 8 x 8 pan; I doubled it & used a 13 x 9.

The one instruction I did follow properly was lining the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper, leaving ‘handles’ on two opposite sides. THAT is great advice.

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

The whole thing came out very easily. This is a great idea so you don’t end up cutting the brownies in the pan. I have ruined a few pans by cutting baked goods in them.

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Don’t be like the old me.

These brownies were so amazingly rich & fudgy. Perfect with a glass of milk.

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Walnuts for me, none for my hubby. Compromising can be delicious & fun!

I must make these again.

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

Adapted from Epicurious Best Cocoa Brownies

  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup walnut pieces (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
  2. Melt butter. Add melted butter, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, & salt to a bowl & use lowest setting on electric mixer to combine. Add eggs one at a time.
  3. Add flour. Once fully incorporated, mix on medium-high for 30 seconds. Stir in walnuts if desired.
  4. Spread batter evenly in the lined pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Brownies should be set in the center, but still moist.
  5. Lift brownies out of pan using parchment paper. Once completely cool, cut into squares.
In The New House Designs