Chocolate Lemongrass Mousse

04/14/2015

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last night, Gary and I had an über-delicious Asian-themed meal made by a friend who spent a couple of years in China. (You better believe I will be making his soup, and posting the recipe here soon.) We talked about Ryan’s 5-week trip walking the Great Wall, and what it was like to be a tall blond guy living in China.

I was tasked with dessert, so I stuck with the East-West fusion theme of chocolate + lemongrass. It could have been more lemongrassy for me, so I’m adding that into the recipe. My crop obviously is still less than desired, but my motto is do what you can with what you’ve got.

I amended this recipe from Epicurious.

Ingredients:

4 stalks lemongrass, chopped
2 c chilled heavy cream
4 egg yolks
3 T sugar
1 t vanilla
7 oz good quality dark chocolate

Instructions:

First, take off the course layer of lemongrass on each stalk. Chop into inch-sized pieces. Next, heat 3/4 cup cream in a 1-quart heavy saucepan until hot. (Some recipes say to soak the lemongrass in the cream, and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours.) Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in another bowl until combined well, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 160°F on thermometer. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl which strains the lemongrass, and stir in vanilla.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring frequently. Whisk custard into chocolate until smooth, then cool.

Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk one fourth of cream into chocolate custard to lighten, then fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly.

Spoon mousse into 8 (6-ounce) stemmed glasses or ramekins and chill until ready to serve. Garnish with whipped cream, or mint and grated chocolate, like I did.

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