Alex got a promotion – yeah! When he gets a promotion, he gets to choose something ridiculous for me to bake (well this is the second time it has happened, but in my family if something happens twice it is a tradition and will be enforced with the heavy hand of my sister Peggy!). This time he wanted peanut butter mousse. I was a bit skeptical. Mousse is light and fluffy and well peanut butter just isn’t. I wasn’t sure how I was going to combine these things. So to the internets I went. I found a lot of recipes that used things like cool whip (which I don’t like anywhere near my kitchen thank you very much!) or they just a hint of peanut butter through peanut butter chips. Finally I stumbled across a recipe at Sprinkle Bakes that fulfilled my requirements and along the way I found another great idea at Sweet Tooth to make little chocolate cups to put the mousse in. It sounded like reese cups except with a bit of snobby accent: in short perfect!
I started with chocolate cups and then started on the mousse while the cups were in the freezer.
Bag of baking chocolate
Melt half the bag of chocolate on the stove (in a double boiler if possible) on medium heat. Watch it quite closely as chocolate will easily burn. While the chocolate is melting take out a muffin tin and place paper cupcake liners in the muffin tin. Once the chocolate is melted, take it off the stove and use a brush to literally paint the inside of the cupcake liners. I found that for the first coat it helped to dab with the brush instead actually painting. Don’t be stingy – use lots and try to cover all the surface. You don’t want to have any parts where the chocolate is transparent or it is a likely spot the cup will break. Then once all the chocolate is gone, place the muffin in the freezer for 15 minutes. While they are in the freezer, melt the other half of your baking chocolate. Then take them out and give the cups another coat of chocolate – remember use lots! Then put them back in the freezer again for 15 minutes at least. I left them there until I was ready to serve them. Once you are ready to serve them take them out one at a time so they don’t melt. Pick a piece of the liner that is easy to grab and peel from the top of the liner down to the bottom. Then once you have a bit of a piece in your hand try to pull the piece around the cupcake liner so that you are pulling horizontally over the creases instead of vertically. It seemed significantly easier this way for me and then the bottom almost falls off. You want to have a couple of extra cups handy just to practice on so that if you break them it doesn’t matter.
Peanut Butter Mousse
2/3 c. whipping cream
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 c. creamy peanut butter (do not use natural peanut butter!)
1 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
In a chilled small mixing bowl beat whipping cream with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on low to medium until soft peaks form; set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese and peanut butter with an electric mixer until combined. Don’t forget to stop once or twice and scrape down the sides and bottom with a spatula to ensure that all the ingredients get mixed together. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Gently fold in beaten whipped cream, half at a time, until mixture is smooth. Cover and chill for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Spoiler Alert! Alex has already decided that he wants raspberry mousse (hopefully from what will be well grown raspberry bushes in our backyard) for the next promotion.