Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chocolate-Almond Mousse Neapolitans

I got this one out of a Rachel Ray Magazine as well. Super Yummy dessert. Basically its a miniature chocolate pie for everybody. It is a little time consuming, but it looks fabulous and tastes just as good as it looks. If you are looking to impress some company at your house, then this will be one killer dessert to do just the job. You can make these ahead of time and leave them in the fridge if you like, or serve them right away. You could do a variety of flavor combinations as well...the possibilities are endless!

One 15-ounce package piecrust
7 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, plus more for grating
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 cups heavy cream
5 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1- Preheat the oven to 400°. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. On a work surface, unroll 1 piecrust and roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Reserve the remaining crust for another use.
2- Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 18 rounds, rerolling the scraps and cutting additional rounds as needed. Place on the prepared cookie sheets. Prick the rounds with a fork. Bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
3-Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted. Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the rounds with about 1/4 cup of the melted chocolate, reserving the remainder at room temperature. Sprinkle 12 of the chocolate-covered rounds with 1teaspoon toasted almonds each.
4- In a bowl, combine 1 cup heavy cream, 1 1/2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, the vanilla and cinnamon. Beat until soft peaks form. Stir one-third of the whipped cream mixture into the remaining melted chocolate. Fold in the remaining whipped cream.
5- Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the chocolate whipped cream onto each of 6 chocolate-almond-glazed rounds. Top with another chocolate-almond-glazed round, another heaping tablespoon of chocolate whipped cream and a third chocolate-almond-glazed round.
6- Whip the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar. Top each stack with whipped cream, the remaining almonds and some grated chocolate.

**Randi's Side Notes**
~ Instead of using a store bought pie crust I just made my own. Its just as simple and tastes a lot better.
~ I also just used regular old chocolate chips (not semisweet cuz I don't like them) and that worked just fine.
~ I decided that with the chocolate chips, I don't think I will spread the layer of chocolate on the crust. I think that it was a tiny bit to rich for me with even that small layer.
~ Also, I think next time I will use un-toasted almonds. I think I will like that better.
~ I made a few extra and put them in the fridge and you know what...I think I liked them better the next day after the chocolate cream got to set up and i could just pick it up and eat it.

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