Over the years, I’ve often been asked “What dessert should I make for my sweetie for Valentine’s Day?”
Of course, it’s impossible to know everyone’s likes and dislikes, especially when it comes to sweets, but my default suggestion is one of my favorite desserts. I’ll defend it to the end.
It’s not too complicated–just enough to show you made something special. And, in my opinion, it contains three ingredients that are essential for both a great dessert and great relationships:
Chocolate (containing serotonin, the love chemical)
Strawberries (red in color and heart shaped to boot)
Strong Coffee (Sometimes, you just need some strong coffee to get you through.)
I first saw this made on TV, way back in the day before the Food Network. It was prepared by a chef in his restaurant kitchen and filmed (with narration) as he showed how it was made.
He called it Chocolate Marquise Mousse, and so I’ve stayed faithful to the name of that recipe, although I’ve added a couple of additional touches to turn it more into a pâté of sorts, with a garnishment of the strawberries and marshmallows.
Here’s how you make it.
Chocolate Marquise Mousse Pâté With Fresh Strawberries
This chocolate marquise mousse part of the recipe makes enough to fill an average-sized loaf pan. If, however, you have a smaller loaf pan, you can halve the recipe. The method remains the same.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels 12 ounces
STRONG Coffee ½ Cup
Egg Yolks 8
Granulated Sugar 1 Cup
Cocoa Powder ¾ Cup
Salted Butter (Softened) 10 ounces
Whipping Cream 2 Cups
Powdered Sugar ¼ Cup
You’ll also need:
Fresh Strawberries, Hulled, Diced ½” 1 Pint
Mini Marshmallows 1 Cup
Chocolate Cake or Pound Cake 2 to 3 Slices
Begin by choosing your loaf mold. Lightly spray it with vegetable spray, and then line it carefully, and completely, with waxed paper.
Next, prepare the mousse recipe above. It’s easy.
Melt mixture #1 together and set aside until it is just barely warm.
Whisk mixture #2 together until it’s thick and light. Set aside for a moment.
Beat mixture #3 together until it’s like a firm pudding. Set aside.
Whip mixture #4 together until stiff.
Now, fold mixture #1 into mixture #2. Then fold in mixture #3 followed by mixture #4. Fold them all in, one after another in succession.
Next, fold in the diced strawberries and the mini marshmallows. As an option, you can also fold in some toasted almonds.
Fill your mold with this mixture, and then top the surface, edge to edge, with sliced chocolate cake (or pound cake). Cover up the finished mold with plastic film and refrigerate overnight for a minimum of 8 hours.
To serve, unmold the loaf and cut it into ½” slices. Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or even a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can garnish your creation with a sprig of mint and if you’re feeling super creative, a baby red rose or some rose petals.
I think you’ll love this dessert. It’s pretty foolproof and time-tested.
And it goes well with a cup of strong coffee.