White Chocolate Mousse in an Almond Cookie Shell
This lovely mousse is served in a crunchy almond cookie shell. The mousse is flavored with white chocolate and rum. The pale colors of the mousse, shell, and crème fraiche are accented by raspberry puree designs.
- Almond Cookie Shell
- Egg Whites - 3
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Flour - 2 tablespoons
- Almonds - 1/2 cup, sliced and toasted
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Egg Whites - 8
- Egg Yolks - 6
- White Rum - 1 tablespoon
- White Chocolate - 1 pound, melted
- Crème Fraîche - 1 cup
- Raspberry Puree - 1 cup
- Strawberries - 6 large, sliced vertically to the stems, leaving stems attached
- Mint sprigs - 6
To make the almond shells: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a sheet pan. Put the egg whites in a bowl and beat briefly to blend. Add the sugar and flour, then whisk together. Stir the almonds into the mixture. Drop by tablespoonfuls on the prepared sheet pan, leaving plenty of room for the cookies to spread. Spread the mounds into circles. Bake 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven. Quickly lift each cookie in turn with a spatula and drape over an inverted small bowl or glass to form a cup shape; remove when cooled and set. If the cookies cool too much before they are shaped, place the pan back in the oven briefly to warm them. Set the finished cups aside to cool completely.
To prepare the mousse: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the sugar and water together to 240 F (soft ball stage). In the bowl of a mixer, beat the egg whites on medium until they are foamy, then beat on high until stiff. Slowly pour in the sugar-water mixture with the mixer funning on high until a stiff meringue is formed (this is called Italian meringue). Place the egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl and put the bowl over a pan of simmering water; whisk the egg yolks until they thicken enough to form a slowly-dissolving ribbon when drizzled back over themselves. Whisk in the rum. Take the yolks off the heat and whisk in a large spoonful of meringue to lighten them, then fold the yolks into the meringue. Fold the melted chocolate into the meringue mixture. Cover and chill 3 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
To serve: Put the crème fraîche and the raspberry puree in separate squeeze bottles. Pool raspberry puree on the serving plates. Dot with the crème fraîche in a semi-circle over the lower portion of each plate. Pull through the dots with a toothpick in a single direction, creating heart shapes. Anchor two almond shells on the upper half of each plate. Fill the shells with scoops of chilled mousse. Place a strawberry between the mousse cups on each plate and garnish each with a mint sprig.