Last year on my birthday, I wrote a long poignant blog post about the meaning of life. About being grateful for the little things. About surrounding yourself with good, positive people. About enjoying a cup of coffee on a chilly fall morning or a beautiful Texas sunset.
I wrote that despite what I thought life was supposed to be like in your teens, 20’s or 30’s (because I have spent a good amount of my days, day dreaming as to what the next year of my life should be like); that I finally realized life is unpredictable and about living in the moment. And being happy. Truly, truly happy.
Today as I reflect on the past year and dream about the future, “living life to the fullest,” “living in the moment” and “chasing dreams”… well, couldn’t radiate with me more. You see right before my birthday six years ago, I took a leap of faith, quit my steady office job, to fully pursue my passion and continue to develop my career in food (I worked in the food and beverage industry for five years before dedicating my life for two years to said office job).
This year, I am taking a leap again, to dive deeper into my passions. I’m not quite sure what this means, other than hopefully to be less stressed, be more in control of my own destiny and ultimately be more happy.
My passion for cooking/food is steadfast and unwavering. I am excited to continue to learn and grow in this field, and I hope that I will continue to love cooking and yearn to learn as much as I can. My goal is to take on new challenges, continue to do what I love and hopefully explore more passions that are not food related.
I have no idea what the next year of my life will entail, except that I am ready to take on new, unexpected challenges, hope to love and laugh more and seize every day!
While most, myself included, think cake is the unspoken birthday treat, I am changing that up this year as well! This Chocolate Mousse Pie is absolutely divine and such a decadent dessert, that if you are a self proclaimed chocolate lover, like myself, then this is hands down the only dessert for you!
One Year Ago: Applesauce Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze
Two Years Ago: Cheddar Herb Biscuits
Three Years Ago: One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes (Eggless)
Four Years Ago: Pilgrim Hat Cupcakes
Five Years Ago: Leftover Turkey (or chicken) Creamy Enchiladas
Six Years Ago: Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Mousse Pie
Prep Time: 30-40 minutes Wait Time: 6-8 hours Serves: 8-10
Chocolate Cookie Crust:
2 cups chocolate animal crackers or 2 sleeves chocolate graham crackers
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 ounces semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (1-ounce) piece semi-sweet chocolate, for garnish
Chocolate Cookie Crust: Place cookies in food processor and blend until fine cookie crumbs are formed. Add melted butter, and pulse food processor 3-4 additional times. Spray a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with baking spray and press the cookie crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Place pie plate in freezer to chill for 10-15 minutes.
Chocolate Mousse: Place chocolate in a large glass bowl. Place ¼ cup heavy cream in a separate small glass bowl. Microwave cream for 30-60 seconds, or until simmering but not boiling. Pour simmering cream over chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk warm cream and chocolate until a smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Place the egg whites in a clean and dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Mix on high for 3-4 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Egg whites should be shiny and firm, not dry. Transfer egg whites to a medium bowl and set aside. (Alternatively, you can whip the whites in a large bowl, with a hand held mixer with the whisk attachment.)
Clean and dry the whisk attachment and mixer bowl. Place the remaining 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream in the bowl and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1-2 minutes.
Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Gently fold egg whites into the chocolate-cream mixture, folding just until there are no longer any white streaks of whipped cream or egg white (do not overmix).
Pour chocolate mousse into the prepared pie crust and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate uncovered until set, at least 2-3 hours.
Whipped Cream: Chill a large metal or glass bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Once bowl is chilled, add heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla to bowl. Using a large hand held whisk or an electric mixer, whip cream until it begins to thicken. Continue to whip cream until soft peaks begin to form. Use caution and do not over mix.
Once chocolate mousse has chilled for 2-3 hours, pour whipped cream over chocolate mousse and spread into a smooth even layer. Chill pie for an additional 2-3 hours before serving.
To garnish, hold the remaining piece of chocolate with a paper towel in one hand and use a vegetable peeler to shave the desired amount over the top of the pie.
Adapted from Chow.com