Easy Chocolate Mousse with Chambord

February 8th, 2016

Easy Choc. Mousse 1

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I was looking for an easy dessert featuring chocolate.  It occurred to me that a simple mixture of whipped cream, melted good quality chocolate and raspberry liqueur would be just about as simple and elegant as it could get.  It was easy.  I had it whipped up and in the refrigerator in 30 minutes.

Easy Choc. Mouse 3V

Flecks of chocolate permeate the smooth gently whipped cream.  I used just a teaspoon of Chambord liqueur but next time I will splash a little more into the mix because the flavor was not noticeable.

Easy Choc. Mousse 2

We had this Valentine’s Day treat a little early because we are traveling for the holiday as we do every year.  Our Grandson’s birthday is February 14th.  We will travel to NC with a side trip to Washington DC.  It will be a busy week.  I hope everyone does something special for Valentine’s Day.  We will be stopping in Charleston on our way home for a special dinner at Husk.



2 cups whipping cream
8 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate such as Callebaut, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon or more of raspberry liqueur such as Chambord
Raspberries for garnish

Melt chocolate in a bowl over simmering water in a saucepan.  Remove and set aside to cool slightly.  Whip the cream in a stand mixer until starting to thicken.  It helps to have chilled the bowl in the freezer before you begin.  Add the sugar and liqueur to the cream.  Beat briefly.  Add the chocolate and whip the cream until it thickens.  Pour mixture into 4 ramekins and chill for at least 2 hours.  Garnish with raspberries.

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Chocolate and Pecan Shortbread Bars

February 28th, 2014

Chocolate Shortbread Bars 3


These bars are one of my favorite sweet treats.  I have blogged about them before, but since I have been posting for so many years, I figured that the first blog post is buried deep in the blogging archives.  The original recipe was called Scandinavian Tea Cakes.  I am sure there is a history there, but to me they are basically chocolate and pecan shortbread bars.  David would be happy if I made these every week.  He has a sweet tooth that requires one piece of chocolate every night.  And my, oh my, do these deliver.  Not just chocolate, but crispy, buttery shortbread too.

Chocolate Shortbread Bars 2 V


I started a New Year’s tradition this year.  At the stroke of midnight, after the hugs and kisses, we sipped our glasses of champagne while eating these chocolate delights.  Everyone agreed that it was the best way to start the New Year.

Chocolate Shortbread Bars 1


The recipe is very simple.  The shortbread crust has just a few ingredients.  Please use the size baking sheet specified.  When you spread the butter and brown sugar mixture on the pan, it is not necessary to get it all the way to the edges.  It spreads as it bakes.  When it is golden brown, take it out of the oven and sprinkle it with good chocolate chips.  The mini chips work well.  Place it back in the oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute just to warm the chocolate.  Then spread it around with a spatula.  Sprinkle it with chopped pecans and place it in the refrigerator to set before slicing the bars.


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup unbleached flour
6 (1.05 oz.) milk chocolate bars, grated ( I used 7 oz. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips)
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, and egg yolk until very smooth. Gradually add flour until well blended. Spread dough on lightly greased 15 1/2″x10 1/2″x 1″ sheet pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until medium brown. Sprinkle chocolate shavings or chips evenly over cake. Put in oven to melt and when warmed remove from oven and spread over top. Sprinkle with nuts. Cut into squares when cool.

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Salted Caramel Brownies

September 20th, 2012

While we were in Paris this Summer I fell in love with macarons.  Specifically, I fell in love with salted caramel macarons.  A trip to Laduree, the famous bakery on rue Royale, is a must for anyone visiting Paris.

Photo courtesy of LadyMacaron20ten

What was it about these salted caramel macarons that had me swooning?  I think it was the richness of the filling against the crunchy airiness of the cookies.  It was the combination of the sweetness of the caramel with the hint of flaked salt that startled the taste buds but made sense; a ying and yang that worked in the best possible way.  

While in the airport on my way home from Vermont recently, I picked up the latest issue of  Food Network Magazine.  It seems that Ina Garten has a new cookbook coming out at the end of October.  It is called The Barefoot Contessa Foolproof.

One of the recipes that was featured in the magazine was Ina’s Salted Caramel Brownies from her new cookbook.  I knew I had to try it.  Those salted caramel macarons were still fresh in my mind and to be honest with you, I haven’t worked up the courage to tackle them.  Brownies I can handle.

They did not disappoint.  The chocolate was rich with just a hint of coffee and the caramel tasted just right with the flakes of sea salt.  They are dangerously decadent and my love for the combination of caramel and  salt was satisfied.  Now I need to experiment with macarons.

SALTED CARAMEL BROWNIES (Barefoot Contessa Foolproof)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
8 ounces plus 6 ounces Hershey’s semisweet chocolate chips
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 extra-large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules, such as Nescafe
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 to 6 ounces good caramel sauce, such as Fran’s
2 to 3 teaspoons flaked sea salt, such as Maldon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 9x12x1 1/2-inch baking pan.

Melt the butter, 8 ounces of the chocolate chips and the unsweetened chocolate together in a medium bowl set over simmering water.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes.  In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee, vanilla and sugar.  Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.  (It is very important to allow the butter to cool before adding the chocolate chips, or the the chips will melt and ruin the brownies.)

In a medium bowl, sift together 1/2 cup of the flour, the baking powder and salt and add to the chocolate mixture.  Toss the remaining 6 ounces of chocolate chips and the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour in a medium bowl and add them to the chocolate mixture.  Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Don’t overbake!

As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, place the jar of caramel sauce without the lid in a microwave and heat just until it’s pourable.  Stir until smooth.  Drizzle the caramel evenly over the hot brownies and sprinkle with the sea salt.  Cool completely and cut into 12 bars.

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Chocolate Salami

October 24th, 2011

I blogged about something similar to this when I was a new blogger.  Here is the link.  I think my photography skills have improved since then.  The recipe has improved too.  Although I liked the original recipe, it was a pain to make the candied citrus rinds.  It made what should have been a quick and easy chocolate confection too time consuming.

Food 52 is having a contest for your favorite Christmas confection.  I immediately thought of this Italian goodie.  The chocolate log is filled with whole almonds, cookie crumbs, dried cranberries and my addition of orange zest and crystallized ginger.  When it is sliced it looks like a salami with it’s marbling of fat.

The chocolate and butter are melted in a double boiler.  The almonds, orange zest, soaked cranberries, cookie crumbs and ginger are added.  It is left to cool and then rolled into a log and refrigerated to harden.  It is easy to slice and serve.  I would love to receive a Christmas tin with this treat inside.  The chocolate is enhanced by the additions and the crystallized ginger gives it an extra pop of flavor.  I think it is worth entering in the contest.


9 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup whole almonds
zest of one orange
1/3 cup dried cranberries soaked in 1/4 cup water and 2 tbls of Triple Sec for 15 minutes and then drained.
1 cup butter wafer cookie crumbs
1/4 cup crystallized ginger slices, chopped
2 egg yolks, beaten

Melt chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water.  When melted add the sugar, almonds, orange zest, drained cranberries, cookie crumbs and crystallized ginger.  Stir and remove from heat.  Cool for a few minutes.  Add the beaten egg yolks and allow to come to room temperature.  Form chocolate mixture into a log,  Smooth the surface to be sure none of the filling is sticking out.  Wrap the log in wax paper and refrigerate until firm.  Take out of fridge and leave at room tempeature for 30 minutes.  Slice and serve.  Chocolate log can be frozen for later use.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.