Some days on this quest tend to repeat and this is not the first time we have seen mousse on this journey. Back on November 30th, we celebrated National Mousse Day and I made a version of a chocolate mousse with Kahluha that we used to serve at a restaurant I had worked in for years. It was delicious, if I recall – my version and the original too. I remember thinking that day I was a fan of mousse and I was surprised how easy it was to make. Today was Chocolate Mousse Day which is different, although I know of no other type of mousse that deserves celebration. Apparently you can make other flavored mousses (mices?) like strawberry or vanilla, and you can also have it savory. The thought of a savory mousse kind of made me gag, like some kind of chicken foam served in a cup. No thanks. No, chocolate is the mousse for me.
Essentially a mousse is a food that you prepare by incorporating air bubbles or foam into the preparation to give it a light and airy texture. You can do this by folding in whipped egg whites or plain old whipped cream. You have that fluffy texture and you gently add it to your other ingredients so that it stays fluffy. The word “mousse” is actually the French word for “foam,” but other than that tidbit of info, there are no great stories of origin here. It’s believed to have first appeared in the mid-1900’s, but no one really knows for sure.
I was going to make mousse cups again as that was a pretty convenient way to enjoy them. It’s like having pudding cups in your fridge ready to eat, except it’s made with mousse not pudding. But, knowing that I did the mousse cup last time I decided to branch out. Instead I went with a mousse pie. My vision for this was pretty simple – just take an Oreo cookie pie crust and fill it with mousse. Easy peasy. I searched online for a recipe and I found one from the folks at Kraft which even called their creation Simple Chocolate Mousse Pie. Then I went to the store to get the ingredients. I went up the street to the Dollar General for convenience (don’t judge), but they did not carry Oreo pie crusts. However, they did carry Oreos, so I knew I could make my own. I went to work on this early in the afternoon because I knew the mousse would need time to set up in the fridge.
Today was a day that I really used the recipe as a base, but kind of branched out on my own from what I have learned on this quest and apparently I am learning things. To start with, the Oreo pie crust. Not having one from the store was no big deal to me. I just took some actual Oreos and tossed them in a food processor, then added in some melted butter. That made it into a paste like texture which I spread out onto the bottom of a pie plate and then baked it for about 8 minutes. It came out perfect and I could tell it would be so much better than a pre-made version. This one was thicker and had more crunch to it. For the mousse, the recipe told me to melt a chocolate bar in the microwave with some milk, but I melted chocolate chips in a double-boiler along with some cream. When that was ready, I folded in some whipped cream that I had made (naturally the recipe from Kraft wanted me to use Cool Whip). Then, for kicks, I added in a few drops of Kahluha. It folded together nicely and all incorporated into a beautiful chocolatey cream. I plopped that into the pie crust and then put it in the fridge to chill.
I cut into the pie after dinner and it was chilled and ready. The color of this pie was a bit darker than my mousse cup version and I wasn’t exactly sure why, but maybe it was because I had used more chocolate and also because it was made with whipped cream and not eggs. I’m sure a fancy French chef would say that a mousse made without eggs is not a true mousse, but it certainly looked like a mousse and it fit the definition, so I was okay with having used whipped cream. When I cut in, the pie crust was nice and crunchy and slightly hard to cut through. But I managed and the first slice came out in relative tact which is always a good sign. I topped it with some whipped cream (which was starting to lose it’s stiff peaks but was still sweet and tasty). Lola only wanted a small try, so I cut her the tiniest of pieces.
I think Lola regretted having a small piece because it was really tasty. The mousse was nice and chocolatey and there were a few pieces of chocolate that had not fully melted giving you some surprise crunch in the middle of the fluffy bites. It was not as light and airy as the mousse I had made before, but it was still a good light texture and the chocolate was airy throughout. The crust was perfect too. The crunch added a new dimension and the chocolate taste of the Oreo cookie paired nicely with the sweet chocolate of the mousse. When you grind up the Oreos, you keep the creme in the cookie so the sweetness of the Oreo creme was built into the crust. It had a good thickness to it too giving you the right amount of crust. It was so much better than a store bought version. The whipped cream also helped balance out the whole thing giving you extra sweetness but not of the chocolate variety. This was great and we look forward to more bites over the next few days.
So yeah, this day was kind of a repeat but it was a delicious one. Had I known back in November that there was a day devoted to chocolate mousse I may have made a different version back then. However, if we’re talking mousse, there is no better version than chocolate in my opinion. It certainly deserves a day of its own for celebration. At least I changed up the recipe and made something different. I mean a chocolate mousse pie is almost its own thing. Either way, there’s no question that mousse is a delicious way to eat chocolate. Anything that has light and fluffy in the description deserves our attention. I also learned today that I am learning. I am feeling confident in some of the deviations I am taking from the actual recipes. I’m adding in my own flair and so far, I’m getting delicious results. Maybe tomorrow I’ll give making some turkey mousse a try – does anyone know how to foam a gizzard?
Next Up: National Chicken Cordon Bleu Day