This heavenly creamy dark chocolate mousse, garnished with whipped cream and topped with a refreshing coffee granita, is inspired by the famous French cafe liegeois. A simple dessert made spectacular, combining the best of two worlds - Dessert and an after meal coffee.
In France, we have a drink called Cafe liegeois. It consists of coffee, ice cream and whipped cream that usually comes in a tall glass. You eat it with a long spoon and half way through drink directly out of the glass to get to the bottom. It's the perfect solution when you crave cold coffee.
But then, there is chocolate liegeois - the ultimate indulgence for any chocolate addict! It is the same as cafe liegeois but made with a cold cocoa drink.
Do you already see the problem I am heading to? When I am in France, I can't decide which to order!! I want that coffee but I also love my chocolate! Pretty sure, I'm not the only one so, I decided to come up with a solution - our dark chocolate mousse with coffee granita!
Rich dark chocolate, velvety whipped cream with a crunchy coffee granita, a perfectly balanced dessert that is great to make ahead for lunches, BBQ's and garden parties.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS DESSERT
For the coffee granita: we need coffee, kahlua, chicory essence and sugar. The coffee you use will determine how strong the granita will turn out. Similar to making my tiramisu I used a filter coffee as this is the one we drink at home but feel free to use espresso instead.
The kahlua is optional but it adds a nice touch to the granita. You can replace the kahlua with a different coffee liquor or leave it out completely.
The chicory essence is a thick coffee flavoured syrup. It is made from coffee beans, chicory and caramel. Most supermarkets will store this essence.
The basic ingredients we need for the chocolate mousse are: chocolate, cream, egg whites and sugar. Since there are only a few ingredients, using a good quality chocolate is key.
choosing a good chocolate
As we are making a dark chocolate mousse, we want to look for bitter chocolate that has 70% to 80% cocoa. The higher the cocoa content, the less sweet is the chocolate.
Before you melt the chocolate have a little taste. If the chocolate tastes sweet, then you might want to reduce the amount of sugar in the mousse recipe and vice versa.
Further, it's important to note, to make a quality chocolate dessert, you need to buy good quality chocolate. Sure its more expensive as it has a higher fat content due to the amount of cocoa butter, but this is what will give you a velvety smooth, rich, chocolatey flavour!
If you use lower quality chocolate, chances are it might turn into a lump when melted as it contains different types of fats like vegetable or soy oils.
Chocolates that are meant to be melted are mostly sold in the baking section in grocery stores in the form of slabs, chips or morsels. You cannot use your everyday eating chocolate as it will just not melt the same way and give the desired results.
In Australia, the packaging usually indicates if the chocolate is meant for melting or not which is really helpful if you are beginner!
RECIPE FOR COFFEE GRANITA
The coffee granita is the first step for this recipe. It needs to be prepared well in advance. Placed in the freezer, it will set in 4 hours but it all depends on the dish you use for freezing. Also, the power of your freezer, the storage space in your freezer, all play a role an important role and can affect the freezing time.
The amount seen in the picture is a double recipe. I reduced the recipe in half when I realised I had too much granita left over. I think half the amount would have frozen much faster but just to be safe, I stick with 4 hours.
The steps are straight forward:
Combine the coffee with the khalua, chicory essence and sugar. Important is that the coffee is hot when you mix the ingredients. This helps to dissolve the sugar and bind all flavours together.
Now pour the mix into a baking dish and cover with a cling film. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
When the granita has frozen, use a fork to scrape the surface of the granita. The scraped coffee crystalline is the topping for our chocolate mousse.
Recommend doing this right before serving the dessert otherwise can also be done 30 minutes before and stored in the freezer with the rest of the granita. Any longer will cause the granita to freeze again.
Is there a quick way to freeze a granita?
Yes you can. If you are in a rush, use a larger dish or baking tray to freeze the granita in. This can help to freeze the coffee mixture in under an hour. Secondly, keep the dish you will use for the granita, in the freezer beforehand.
The last option is to scrape the frozen edges of the coffee mixture with a fork and mix with the still liquid centre. Freeze again and repeat this process 3-4 times until the entire coffee granita has frozen.
HOW TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
The chocolate mousse needs to set for two hours in the fridge, hence start preparing the mousse when the coffee granita is already in the freezer.
To make the chocolate mousse follow these steps:
Beat the egg whites with the sugar until soft peaks form and set aside in the fridge.
Melt the chocolate together with the cream in a bowl over a pot of light simmering water. When the chocolate has melted, leave the bowl to cool for a few minutes.
Add a small amount of beaten egg white to the bowl and fold under the chocolate. Add the remaining egg whites and combine well.
Fill into glasses, cover with cling wrap and chill for about 2 hours until the mousse has set.
GARNISHING THE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
Use a hand blender or kitchen aid to beat the cream together with vanilla and sugar. Whip until the cream holds well. Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag with a round nozzle attachment.
Pipe a layer of the whipped cream onto the chocolate mousse, going in round circles. Now cover the top of the mousse with spikes of whipped cream.
Add a spoon or two of the coffee granita on top and serve immediately!
If you are looking for an extra crispy element to top the dessert add this crispy sesame tuile, we show you how to make it.
DESSERTS IN A GLASS
If you have been following our blog, you would have explored our dessert section and noticed how much we like using tumbler/glasses to present our desserts.
Not only do they look visually appealing in a glass, they make a good portion size and are easy to prepare ahead when entertaining. Here are some of our most popular glass desserts:
For your next get together, instead of serving the usual after meal coffee, why not give your guests a caffeinated kick, serving this indulgent dessert!
We can't wait for you to try this recipe so do share your experience with us by leaving a comment and star rating below.
Until then leaving you with this thought "when life gives you lemons, trade them for coffee😉"
Dark Chocolate Mousse with Coffee Granita
- hand mixer or kitchen aid
- mixing bowls
- small pot
- piping bag with round nozzle attachment
for the coffee granita
- 200 milliliter freshly brewed coffee
- 1 tablespoon khalua
- 1 tablespoon chicory essence
- 25 gram caster sugar
for the chocolate mousse
- 165 gram dark chocolate
- 60 milliliter whipping cream
- 4 egg whites
- 25 gram sugar
for the whipped cream
- 240 milliliter whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
- 20 gram caster sugar
for the coffee granita
- Combine the still hot coffee with the kahlua, chicory essence and sugar until well combined. Fill a baking dish with the coffee mixture and freeze for 4 hours.
- When the granita has frozen use a fork and scrape the surface of the granita. These coffee crystalline that form are the topping for the chocolate mousse.
for the chocolate mousse
- Beat the egg whites with the sugar until soft peaks form and set aside in the fridge.
- Melt the chocolate together with the cream in a bowl over a pot of light simmering water. When the chocolate has melted leave the bowl to cool for a few minutes.
- Add a small amount of beaten egg white to the bowl and fold under the chocolate. Add the remaining egg whites and combine well being careful not to over beat the mousse.
- Fill into glasses and chill for about 2 hours until the mousse has set.
for the garnish
- Use a hand blender or kitchen aid and beat the cream together with the vanilla and sugar. Whip until the cream holds well. Fill the whipped cream in a piping bag with a round nozzle attachment .
- Pipe a layer of whipped cream onto the chocolate mousse forming circles. Now cover the top of the mousse with spikes of whipped cream.
- Add a spoon or two of coffee granita on top and eat or serve immediately if entertaining guests.