This is from Taste of Home's Holiday Cookbook 2002. My version is much more fun. I promise.
1/4 cup butter (no substitutions, exchanges, or refunds), softened
1 cup sugar
2 squares (1 oz each) unsweetened chocolate, melted & cooled
2 eggs (separated)
1/4 cup milk
1 t. vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 cups (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 T. instant coffee granules
5 egg yolks, lightly beaten*
3 T. vanilla
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup cold water
1 cup whipping cream, whipped (whip it...whip it good)
14-16 creme-filled Pirouette cookies, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
*Cook up leftover egg whites and feed to your favorite little buddy:
Start your mixer motor...
In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add chocolate, mix well. Add egg yolks, one at at time, beating well after each. Add milk and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, powder, and salt; stir into chocolate mixture just until blended. In small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture.**
**Okay, "folding" wasn't quite possible since the chocolate mixture was a bit...hard. So, "beat into submission" is a more accurate bit of instruction.
Pour into greased/floured 9-inch springform pan. Place pan on baking sheet (oops...totally neglected this step). Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
For mousse, combine chocolate chips, butter, sugar, and coffee granules in a saucepan.
Wait...Unwrap the butter first. There, that's better.
(I used chocolate chunks, which was all I had, and I'm pretty chunky right now, so it was apropos.)
(I also used this cappuccino mix since I didn't have regular instant coffee:)
Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and chips are melted. (I found it took higher heat and quite a bit longer for the sugar to dissolve, so I recommend letting it sit awhile after dissolving so it's not too hot when adding the egg yolks.) Stir a small amount of hot liquid into egg yolks; return all to pan (try not to make scrambled eggs). Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 2 minutes; watch out for Bill Cosby.
Add small amount of hot liquid to gelatin; stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir into chocolate mixture. Pour into bowl. Set bowl in larger bowl of ice water; stir occasionally until thickened, about 30 minutes.
(At this point, I suggest you do follow the instructions and stir occasionally instead of running to your computer to work on your blog post. If you don't stir, you'll end up with a thick, hard, (did I mention THICK) layer on the outside, and soup on the inside, and you'll have to frantically stir the mess together and hope and pray it comes out okay. Not that I have experience with that.)
Remove sides of springform pan (I removed the brownie bottom from the whole thing and set it on a serving tray).
Whip your cream and put in the fridge until you're ready. (If you look closely, you can see where a smiley face formed in my whipped cream!!)
Set aside 1/4 cup perfectly-prepared mousse for garnish. Spoon half of remaining mousse over brownie layer, spreading evenly over top and around sides.
In mixing bowl, beat the remaining mousse and 1/3 of the whipped cream on low. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Spread over mousse layer. Place cookies around sides of dessert,
Place reserved mousse in pastry bag and decorate top as desired.
If you take nothing else away from this post, please remember this: When you take your decorator tip out of your pastry bag to wash, please, please PLEASE do NOT put it in the side of your sink where the garbage disposal is (not even for a second), because I promise you, you'll forget it's there and it WILL drop down, and you WILL turn on the disposal. The light bulb will come on in your head and you'll know immediately what you've done. I don't even think my Philly can fix this one.
Cover and refrigerate (your dessert, not your ruined decorating tip) for at least 4 hours or until firm. 12-16 servings.
Now go have a glass of wine. You deserve it.
Oh, and if this dessert sucks, I'll be removing the post tomorrow.
-the sloppy chef
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