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Recipe of the Month: Blender Chocolate Mousse

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We, culturally speaking, are addicted to the “hack.” There is no shortage of blogosphere headlines screaming at you with ways to hack (aka, make easy) pretty much anything that challenges you.

When it comes to nutrition, the hack that gets under my craw the most is the dessert hack movement. I mean, do we really need to hide carrots and beets in our ice cream? Maybe just learn to eat the carrots, right? I’m not saying all sugar-free, dairy-free desserts are BAD, and that you should never eat them, but I am suggesting that many of us lean on these foods more than we perhaps ought to, and  may be teaching ourselves bad habits as a result.

In a recent article on the Harvard University Health Blog, the author reminds us that artificial sweeteners are not necessarily good for you. “The FDA has approved five artificial sweeteners: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. It has also approved one natural low-calorie sweetener, stevia. How the human body and brain respond to these sweeteners is very complex.” If you want to read the article for your self, you can find it here.

I’d like to propose that instead of using these kinds of desserts as a free pass, you train yourself to not crave sweet things by eliminating added sugar from your diet. And then, when you decide to have something sweet, go ahead and have the real thing – the ice cream, the cookie, the piece of cake – but do it mindfully, and eat it in a modest amount.

My husband and I rarely, if ever, eat dessert. We eliminated added sugars from our diets years ago and we simply don’t crave these things anymore. However, every once in a while, we decide to make something for dessert. Which leads me to this month’s recipe: chocolate mousse, made in the blender. Yep, you read that right. IN THE BLENDER.

And guess what? Because we don’t typically eat this kind of thing, a VERY small amount goes a long way.

I can’t take credit for this one – thank The New York Times Magazine.  However, I found I needed to adjust a few things, so read through what I did below.

If you really, really want to, you can use a sugar free chocolate in this recipe, but I can’t vouch for the results.

Blender Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

* 1 ½ cups heavy cream
* ½ cup granulated sugar
* 12 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped – I used Guittard chocolate chips
* 4 large eggs, at room temperature
* ¼ cup strong (brewed) espresso (or very strongly brewed coffee)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Step 1: Whip your cream.
In a large bowl, or in a stand mixer on medium speed, whip the heavy cream to glossy, medium peaks, about 5 minutes. Set aside in the fridge.

 

 

 

Step 2: Warm up your sugar.
In a small saucepan over gentle heat, melt the sugar with 1/4 cup water until dissolved. As soon as the syrup begins to boil, turn off the heat.

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Get your blender ready.
While your sugar is dissolving and getting hot, put your chocolate and eggs in the blender. Blend on medium-high speed while slowly pouring in the hot sugar syrup, which will melt the chocolate and cook the eggs. If the mixture is not melting the chocolate, add the hot espresso. If that doesn’t do the trick, pour it back in the pot where you dissolved the sugar, and warm it over low heat until all the chocolate is melted, then return it to the blender.

 

 

Step 4: Make it smooth.
Keep that blender running until the mixture is extremely smooth. If you haven’t added the espresso, you can do it now, along with the vanilla and salt.

 

 

 

Step 5: Make it creamy
Fold 1 cup of the chocolate mixture into the chilled whipped cream until smooth, then add the rest of the chocolate to the cream and fold until there are no streaks. Let chill until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Then, serve yourself a modest amount, and enjoy!

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