Can you smell it?? I sure can! Peppermint, chocolate, pumpkin and gingerbread are in the air. It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas!
The Holidays are here and a few of my favorite Fall/Holiday recipes are:
Spiced Pumpkin and Feta Tarts- Le Delicieux
Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal- Family Fresh Cooking
Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies- Confections of a Foodie Bride
Ramekin Pecan Pies- Bev Cooks
Pumpkin Mousse Shooters- Eat Yourself Skinny
Cinnamon Chip Shortbread Cookies- Barbara Bakes
Pumpkin Cake with Butterscotch Filling- Perry's Plate
Egg Nog Cupcakes with Bourbon Carmel- The Baker Chick
Apple-Spice Cupcakes- Epicurean Mom
We loved this peppermint mousse. It's slightly lighter then the average holiday dessert, yet incredibly satisfying!
Peppermint Chocolate Mousse
Recipe Adapted from Alton Brown's Chocolate Mousse
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (good quality)
3 ounces espresso or strong coffee
1 tablespoon dark rum
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon flavorless, granulated gelatin
Chill 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, metal mixing bowl and beaters in refrigerator, up to 20 minutes in advance.
In a double boiler (or a heat proof bowl on top of steaming water) combine chocolate chips, coffee, rum and melted butter. Melt over simmering water, stirring constantly (making sure not to burn chocolate.) Remove from heat when only a few chocolate lumps are visible, stirring occasionally. Cool chocolate to just above body temperature (98.6.) If no thermometer available use your finger, the heat should be barely detected when finger is dipped in the chocolate.
Pour remaning 1/4 cup whipping cream in a small metal measuring cup. Sprinkle gelatin over cream. Let rest for 10 minutes, to allow gelatin to "bloom". Carefully swirl the measuring cup over an open flame (med/low heat on a gas range.) Do not boil the cream mixture. Stir the heated gelatin mixture in the cooled chocolate, add the peppermint and vanilla, set aside.
In the chilled mixing bowl, beat cream to medium peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Stir until well incorporated. Fold in the remaining whipped cream in 2 separate additions. Specks of the whipped cream may streak, but that's ok. Do not overwork the mousse.
Chill mousse in the fridge for about 1 hour. Garnish with whipped cream and crushed candy cane.
If mousse needs to be chilled overnight, chill for one hour and then cover with plastic wrap.