I cook. I don’t bake.
 
Cooking is an art form.  A touch of this, a little of that. Don’t have this?  Use that instead. Adapt, change, create new boundaries. Baking is scientific. It’s precisely measured and checked, or else, you may have disaster. it’s not my forte. 
 
So when I saw this recipe in Fine Dining Lovers Magazine and it didn’t require a stitch of baking, I was intrigued.  It  still required some measuring, but nothing I couldn’t deal with.  And of course…I adapted it a little!
 
Espresso Mousse
 
5 tablespoons sugar
Pinch sea salt
8 oz. heavy cream
4 shots of espresso, about 6 ounces
4 oz. mascarpone
6 hard biscotti crumbled
4 small chocolate Easter eggs, crumbled
 
Simply combine the sugar and salt in a small sauce pan.  Brew the espresso, pour into a creamer or small bowl and set aside.  Set the sugar on the stove over medium heat and stir until it melts and turns golden brown.

Dry Ingredients: Sugar & Salt in the Sauce Pan.  Espresso getting brewed and poured into the Creamer
 
Once the sugar turns brown, add the espresso to the pan. Lower the flame, and reduce 2-3 minutes.  Time it.  If you don’t reduce the liquid enough, your final mixture will be too liquidy.  Once the reduction is done, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. Make sure the bowl is big enough for the next two steps.  It takes about 15 minutes to cool.
 
Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the mascarpone.  This was interesting.  The mascarpone is thick and no matter what I did, little clumps of cheese floated to the top and the whole thing looked like cheese curds in brown gravy.  Not a pretty sight, but thankfully – nothing that a whisk couldn’t fix – so that’s your answer.  Stir the mascarpone in to start and then finish incorporating it with a whisk. 
 
Once that’s done, whip the heavy cream to thick peaks and fold the whipped cream into the bowl with the espresso and mascarpone.  Take a taste – it’s awesome!



Espresso cream whipped with Mascarpone
Separate the biscotti and the chocolate into two separate ziploc bags and pound the hell out of them with something.  Random size pieces are ok – don’t beat them into crumbs. You want odd sized chunks.   I used rocks glasses to serve.  First I put some cookies in the bottom of the glass, then a layer of cream, and so on until the glasses were full.  Top with the crumbled chocolate. Serves 4.
This side view shows some of the crumbled biscotti layers

This top view shows some of the cookie crumbs and the crumbled chocolate

The finished dessert had a distinct espresso flavor, like the finest gelato but the crunch of the biscotti really made a great contrast against the silkiness of the whipped cream and cheese.   And who doesn’t love chocolate? 
 
15 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes waiting for the espresso to cool.  A very elegant dessert to finish a meal.  Light, but yet still rich.  Everything was done in advance, I assembled the dessert just prior to serving. 
 
Allora…
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