The flavors of autumn, whipped into a quick and simple chocolate mousse. Caramel-kissed pure maple syrup, orange and almond. An elevated take on classic chocolate mousse. Which takes just 5 minutes to prep.
We had friends over a Tuesday. It's been a while since I've cooked simply for the sheer pleasure of entertaining a tiny couchful of friends. Most of my days are now spent with the studio in mind--what sorts of recipes have clients ordered? what sorts of ingredients look best overhead?when will the light be right for this recipe or that one?--for a girl who started a food blog because she was always cooking something new for dinner, it's odd but I rarely cook dinner anymore.
I suppose these are the perils of turning your passion into a career. An unseen side effect I'm happy to take most days.
So friends were due in a couple of hours. And like a sensitive sea captain of olde, I licked a finger and stuck it in air, testing the weather. Checking the wind. Letting the season decide what we should dinner upon.
Lasagna came to mind. A deliciously simple, spicy lasagna. With fireroasted tomatoes and red pepper harissa sauce. A kale Caesar for the side. Now we just needed dessert. And chocolate mousse felt simple enough to make it on the menu. But far too uninspired to be served traditional-style.
So again, finger into air, where the ever so slight beginnings of autumn chill were whispering. Maple. Almond. Orange. A few simple flavors, but tossed in chocolate, they'll melt your face off.
That night, the friends licked spoons clean. When I declared that I'd eaten far too much to finish my mousse, friend Chris reached across the table without saying a word, grabbed my pot de crème, and promptly licked that one clean as well.
Which I suppose means, the weather did our dessert menu right.
If you're looking for something lovely yet quick for an early autumn treat, this is it. Enjoy it madly.
5-Minute Maple Orange Mousse
4 servings | 5 mins prep
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or bourbon
- zest of 1 orange
- 2/3 cup dark organic chocolate chips, melted
- blueberries (for garnish, optional)
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add maple syrup, almond extract, vanilla, and orange zest. Stir to combine. Add melted chocolate, whisk quickly, until mousse thickens and turns light and fluffy (this step only takes a few seconds, be careful to not overwhip).
Spoon into ramekins or small mugs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to enjoy. (At least 30 minutes of refrigeration recommended, so the mousse has a chance to firm up. But enjoy immediately, if you please.)