Is this my longest blog title to date? Yes. Did I try to shorten it without losing what I felt were critical pieces of the recipe? Of course. Did I succeed? Nope.
Over the past month, I’ve been making a fair amount of Valentine’s Day themed desserts, searching for the perfect treat to make for Colin and I on the 14th. Turns out we will be out of town this weekend and most definitely not making dinner at home on Sunday. Whoops. Luckily we’ve both been actively involved in the tasting process of everything to date so it doesn’t feel like we are missing out.
Speaking of testing Valentine’s Day desserts, this mason jar butterscotch mousse with chocolate popcorn is definitely my most decadent dessert to date.
Grammatical side note: Mousse is one of those words that no matter how many times I remind myself how to correctly spell it, I still end up writing ‘moose’. In the event that I slip up and my diligent proofreading skills miss it, I want it stated for the record that I made a butterscotch mousse, not moose. That being said, one of my favorite sweets shops that I visit every summer in Maine is Len Libby, famous for having the world’s largest chocolate moose. Maybe that’s why my brain can’t keep chocolate moose and chocolate mousse straight.
I had some extra mason jars lying around (perks of being an overly crafty person), which made for perfect containers to hold this mousse but if you have smaller jars on hand, by all means use them! This recipe was enough for two mason jars so it will likely fill four or five smaller jars. I should also note that since it’s an incredibly rich recipe, it took a few days to finish both jars between two people so splitting it up among more people in more jars is definitely doable!
In addition to being rich, mousse has a soft and smooth texture. My brothers refer to things that are inadequate and weak as being ‘Downy extra soft’ so I always try to avoid using the word ‘soft’ to describe things that I actually enjoy, but there’s no way to get around it with mousse. When it comes to its texture, ‘soft’ truly is the best way to describe it. Of course, just because it's soft doesn't mean we can't add crunch on top. Enter chocolate popcorn!
Chocolate popcorn is salty and crunchy, the perfect compliment to a sweet and soft mousse. If you’ve read ahead you’ve probably noticed that the popcorn recipe makes 10 cups. Obviously I don’t advocate topping two mason jars with 10 cups of popcorn (although if you succeed in doing so please send me photos). I loved the popcorn so much that I wanted loads of extra to snack on separately the next day!
Despite being super decadent, this dessert is incredibly easy to make as long as you have a quick read thermometer. Much like when making ice cream with a custard base, it’s important to cook the egg portion of the mousse to 160 degrees. I should mention that when I was making this a few days ago, I went through 20 egg yolks. Not because it was hard or because I was being a perfectionist, but because I had set my thermometer to celsius rather than fahrenheit. Not my brightest moment. The first few batches quickly turned into scrambled eggs which is most certainly not what one wants in a custard so keep an eye on your custard to make sure it doesn’t get too cooked and you’ll be fine!
- 10 Cups popped plain popcorn
- ¾ Cup granulated sugar
- ¼ Cup cocoa powder
- ¼ Cup light corn syrup
- ⅛ Cup salt
- ½ Cup butter
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla
Popcorn Recipe (Adapted from an AllRecipes.com recipe)
- Line a baking sheet with tin foil and set aside
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup, salt and butter and heat over medium heat until fully melted, swirl mixture around in the pan to help combine
- Once melted, mix in vanilla
- Place popcorn in large metal bowl and pour chocolate over it, mixing to combine
- Transfer popcorn and chocolate to baking sheet and lay flat, making sure that all of the popcorn has been covered
- Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes
- Remove from oven and let cool
- 4 Egg yolks
- 2 ¾ Cups heavy cream, divided
- 4 Ounces semisweet chocolate
- 4 Ounces butterscotch chips
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla
- ⅛ Teaspoon salt
Mousse Recipe (Adapted from an Epicurious recipe)
- Place egg yolks in a metal bowl and set aside
- Heat ¾ cup heavy cream over medium heat until it gets to a rolling boil
- Once cream is boiling, temper into egg yolks and return mixture to oven until it reaches 160 degrees
- Remove from heat, set aside and let cool slightly
- Melt chocolate and butterscotch over a double boiler
- Once melted, mix in vanilla and salt
- Mix chocolate and butterscotch mixture into custard and set aside
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk 1¼ heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form
- Whisk in ¼ of whisked heavy cream into the custard
- Fold in the rest of it until combined
- Fill two mason jars with mousse, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours
- Before serving, whisk remaining heavy cream until stiff peaks form
- Scoop on top of mason jars of mousse and top with a handful of popcorn
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