Christmas Tree Chocolate Mousse
Last Christmas I prepared gingerbread cookies in the holiday spirit and decorated my plastic Christmas tree with them. That same week I traveled with the whole family to Turkey and celebrated Christmas there.
Not that we (or the Turks) celebrate this holiday, but we did enjoy the lights and decorations everywhere, the Christmas markets and that red stocking full of sweets hanging outside our hotel room door Christmas morning.
This Christmas I didn’t take out my tree from its box. I didn’t travel to Turkey with the family and didn’t even enjoy seeing Santa Claus walking on a high tightrope between two of the hotel towers (I guess there are no sleighs in Turkey).
Instead I stayed in Jerusalem and prepared a Christmas tree chocolate mousse which I decorated with colorful sprinkles and brought to Devora’s Hanukkah candle lighting. Oxymoron? Definitely, and I love it.
I’ve been imagining this festive Christmas tree chocolate mousse for a while now. I already created a Christmasy dessert once, a pistachio meringue fir tree on top of a raspberry chocolate tart. This time I wanted to create a more serious fir tree but didn’t know how exactly.
Eventually I figured it out.
The trick lies with ice cream cones. Yup, I covered ice cream cones with parchment paper from the inside, placed them in cups and filled them with chocolate mousse, and behold, a perfect conical mousse.
In my first attempt, I covered the mousse cones with green glaze to look like a sparkling green fir tree, as you see in this picture. Unfortunately, the glaze bent the trees and what resulted was a forest of bent crooked trees as if a strong northern wind blew right through them.
I tried again, but this time I gave up on the glaze. Well, my trees might have lost their green leaf color, but the magic is still there with every bite. Belated Merry Christmas!
4 g gelatin powder
20 g water
Dark chocolate mousse
3 large egg yolks (60 g)
½ a medium egg (25 g)
45 g sugar
30 g water
20 g gelatin mass
240 g dark chocolate
200 g heavy cream
100 g flour
50 g powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt
40 g cold butter (cut into cubes)
1 large egg yolks (20 g)
1 tsp water
½ tsp vanilla paste
Dark chocolate ganache
50 g dark chocolate
50 g heavy cream
White chocolate ganache
50 g white chocolate
50 g heavy cream
Edible gold dust (optional)
11 ice cream cones
Small plastic bags
11 small tea cups
Parchment paper cut into squares (about 15×15 cm)
Round cookie cutter, 5.5 cm diameter
Star shaped cookie cutter, 2 cm big
Pastry bag fitted with a 3 mm smooth tip
Pastry bag fitted with a 2 mm smooth tip
The recipe makes 11 christmas tree chocolate mousse
Gelatin mass: Sprinkle gelatin powder over the water, mix well and keep in the fridge for at least half an hour. Cut into small pieces before use.
Ice cream cones: Cut parchment paper into squares about 15×15 cm. Roll each paper square into a cone and insert inside an ice cream cone. (If you desire to keep that sharp tip, put a piece of tape to hold the cone shape together, otherwise the cone will open up a bit inside the ice cream cone and lose its tip). Insert small plastic bags in tea cups. Place the ice cream cones inside them.
Dark chocolate mousse
Weigh all ingredients in advance. Place a sieve on top of the mixer bowl.
Pour heavy cream in a separate bowl and whip it until you almost get soft peaks (beware not to over whip, the goal is to get a texture that resembles thick yogurt). Keep in the fridge.
Melt dark chocolate on a double-boiler. Once the chocolate has melted, turn off the flame and set aside.
Put egg yolks, eggs, sugar and water in a stainless steel bowl and whisk until uniform. Place the bowl on a second double-boiler and heat gently (low-medium fire) to 80-82 ° C (176-180 ° F), while mixing all along.
Once the desired temperature is reached, strain the mixture immediately into the mixer bowl and whip on high speed for about 4-5 minutes, until the egg mixture cools. When you drop a spoonful of the mixture into the bowl it should fall back in ribbons and disappear into the mixture slowly.
In the meantime, melt the gelatin mass on a double-boiler and make sure the melted chocolate temperature is between 46-50 ° C (115-122 ° F). If the temperature is too low, reheat on a double boiler.
Add the melted gelatin mass to the egg mixture and mix a little. Add the warm chocolate and fold until uniform. The texture will become viscous. Remove the heavy cream from the fridge and whip it a little more (remember, yogurt texture).
Fold the heavy cream into the egg mixture in three parts. Pour immediately into the ice cream cones. Shake and tap it lightly on a surface to flatten the mousse. Keep in the freezer for a few good hours until the mousse sets.
Put flour, powdered sugar, salt and butter cubes in the mixer bowl and keep in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Remove from fridge. Using the paddle attachment, start mixing at low-medium speed until the batter reaches sand-like consistency. Make sure the butter chunks are as small as possible at the end of the process without melting the butter.
Add egg yolk, vanilla and water all at once and keep mixing at medium speed until the dough starts to form but is not yet completely uniform. Remove dough parts from the bowl and combine together. Place the dough on parchment paper. Flatten the dough a little bit and lay another parchment paper on top.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin between the two parchment papers to about 4 mm thickness. Keep turning the dough throughout. Place the dough with the parchment papers on a tray. Keep in the fridge for at least an hour.
When the dough is stiff and cold, remove the parchment papers and place the dough back on one of the papers. In a cool room, using a 5.5 cm round cookie cutter, cut out circles from the dough.
Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Using the star shaped cookie cutter, cut out stars and place them on another tray. Keep in the freezer (or fridge) for about 10 minutes and preheat the oven to 175 ºC /345 ºF in the meantime.
Please note (!) If at any point the dough starts to soften, put it back in the fridge until it is stiff again.
Remove the cookies from the freezer and transfer them to another baking tray. Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature.
Putting it all together!
Remove chocolate mousse from the freezer (one at a time) and release it from the ice cream cone. Release the parchment paper. (Wear latex gloves to avoid touching the mousse with your bare hands.)
Using a sharp knife, remove the excess mousse from the bottom and make sure the mousse cone stands straight. Place the mousse cone on top of a cookie. Put back in the freezer.
Dark chocolate ganache
Break chocolate into pieces and put it in a measuring pitcher or a bowl. Bring heavy cream to a boil and pour it immediately over chocolate. Give it half a minute and then mix it with a spatula until uniform. Pour the ganache into a pastry bag fitted with a round 3 mm tip.
Remove one mousse from the freezer. While turning the cookie, pipe a strip/line of chocolate ganache in a spiral form from the top of the mousse to the bottom. Do this step while the chocolate is still warm, otherwise you won’t get that cool drippy effect. Keep in the fridge.
White chocolate ganache
Break chocolate into pieces and put it in a measuring pitcher or a bowl. Bring heavy cream to a boil and pour it immediately over chocolate. Give it half a minute and then mix it with a spatula until uniform. Pour the ganache into a pastry bag fitted with a round 2 mm tip.
Remove one mousse from the fridge. While turning the cookie, pipe a thin strip/line of chocolate ganache in a spiral form at the top. Keep in the fridge (preferably in an airtight container).
If you want to add some glimmer to the tree, brush a bit of edible gold dust over the stars. Place a star on every tree top.
Decorate the trees with sprinkles. Using a sieve, sprinkle coconut flakes on the christmas tree chocolate mousse for a snowy effect that doesn’t melt in the fridge.Yum
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Very clever idea to use ice cream cones to make cone shaped chocolate mousse. You could even make these year round without the Christmas decorations, just as simple sleek chocolate cones. Beautiful work.
True! Thanks D 🙂