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Featured Recipe:
Chocolate Mousse with Browned Butter Burgundy Cherries,
Pound Cake Crostini

By Renee Shelton

Featured Recipe
The Featured Recipe is one or more recipes on our site, which can also be found on our index of recipes, put to use to make a delightful dessert. Here we used:

  • Dark Chocolate Mousse
  • Browned Butter Burgundy Cherries
  • Butter Pound Cake

Wanting to create a dessert worthy of your talents in the pastry kitchen? This dessert combines dark chocolate mousse, lightly grilled pound cake and an unusual sauce made of browned butter, blond roux and dark, sweet cherries. We served this dessert with slightly sweetened soften whipping cream, but you may omit this if desired.

Chocolate Mousse with Browned Butter Burgundy Cherries, Pound Cake Crostini
Chocolate mousse pairs with an unusual cherry sauce made of browned butter and a blond roux. Rich pound cake is sliced and lightly grilled to accompany this dessert. Recipes created and tested in our kitchens. If you've never attempted a chocolate mousse, this is a great recipe to try since it is very easy and virtually foolproof.


  • This recipe may seem advanced, but consists of three recipes: dark chocolate mousse, pound cake and cherry sauce. Tackle one at a time for ease in preparation.
  • For the pound cake, use only unsalted whole butter. Regular butter or margarine will spoil the rich, sweet flavor of the cake.
  • This is my favorite style of pound cake, resulting in a firm cake that is great for cubing, slicing or snacking (it's highly addictive) and is great for dipping in ganaches and creams or sauces. This pound cake contains no added chemical leaveners.
  • The chocolate mousse recipe consists of a crème anglaise style of mousse: where a vanilla sauce is made then poured over the chocolate to melt. Once cooled, whipped cream is folded in. This is then let to set up overnight.
  • Find the best dark chocolate you can find, and finely chop it. Semi sweet chocolate chips may be substituted.
  • For the vanilla sauce, straining through a fine mesh sieve over the chocolate results in a silky, very smooth ganache-style chocolate cream. The chocolate cream should be just slightly cooler than room temp: if it's too warm the mousse will be liquid, and it it's too cold the chocolate cream will be a solid and it will be hard to fold in the whipped cream.
  • We tested both 1% and whole milk in the anglaise sauce to great results. Use which ever you have on hand at home.
  • The cherry sauce is a sauce that is to be served warmed, which makes it ideal to make ahead. Simply warm slowly on the fire until it is warmed, or pop into the microwave.
  • The sauce consists of two parts. It starts off with browned butter. Add in the frozen cherries, dry red wine and add in sugar to suit your tastes. We started adding sugar to our recipe, and found that a quarter cup was the perfect amount. This first part is then reserved while you assemble and cook the roux.
  • For the roux, melt whole butter and add in the flour, stirring until it is a very light blond color. Add in the cooked cherries in wine and whisk to blend.
  • The Kosher salt isn't to give a salty flavor to the sauce, but to very subtly heighten the flavors: only a small pinch will suffice, and is nescessary.
  • Simmer the sauce for a couple of minutes to cook out the roux. You can then adjust flavors if desired. Serve warm.
  • This is a great sauce to have to serve over ice cream, yellow and white cakes, crème profiteroles, and white or chocolate mousses.

Butter Pound Cake
Only use unsalted butter for this cake. This pound cake contains no added leaveners. Evaporated whole milk is used.

1 c unsalted butter, soft, room temperature
2 c sugar
3 c flour, sifted
1 t vanilla
6 eggs
1 c evaporated whole milk

Grease and flour a 10" tube pan well. Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a stand-up mixer, cream butter and sugar over low speed until very light. This may take some time. Sift the flour again and add in alternately with the evaporated milk. Stir in the extract, then add in the eggs one by one, stirring well after each addition. Transfer the batter in reserved pan and bake until golden browned on top and cake tests done, about 1 hour. Cool for a couple of minutes on rack before loosening cake from pan and unmolding. Let cool completely.

For pound cake crostini: Heat a seasoned griddle over medium high heat. Brush melted butter over your slices of cooled pound cake and place on heated griddle, turning to make each side a golden brown. Remove to platter when done. Serve either warmed or cooled.

Dark Chocolate Mousse
This recipe is made of a simple vanilla sauce poured over chopped chocolate. Once cooled whipped cream is then folded in.

8 oz. dark chocolate, fine chopped
4 1/2 oz. milk
5 yolks
2 oz. sugar
16 oz. cream, whipped to firm peaks

Chop the chocolate and place in a medium sized bowl (that will accommodate the whipped cream when folded). Reserve. Gather a fine mesh strainer and place over the chocolate for straining the vanilla sauce later.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the yolks together. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and sugar over medium heat until it lightly boils. Temper in the hot mixture to the yolks, beating all the while, then add this back to the saucepan. Continue cooking over medium heat until sauce is cooked: it will look thickened and will coat the back of a spoon. (Do not worry if you think you overcooked it, since straining it will remove any cooked eggs.) Once the sauce is cooked in the saucepan, immediately pour into the strainer set over chocolate and work a rubber spatula across the bottom while stirring to remove any lumps and to empty the strainer of the sauce. Once done straining, shake the bowl so that the sauce covers the chocolate and let sit one minute undisturbed. Whisk to smooth the chocolate cream, and let cool in chiller for a several minutes, stirring every couple of minutes to prevent chocolate lumps from forming. Once slightly cooler than room temperature (but not solid) take one-third of the whipped cream and fold in, blending smooth and completely. Then add in the rest and fold more gently until no cream or chocolate streaks are seen in the mousse. Cover with wrap and chill overnight.

Browned Butter Burgundy Cherry Sauce
It's unusual in that it contains a roux as a thickener. This is best served warm, and is perfect for any number of desserts to accompany.

Part One:
1 T butter
1 lb. dark sweet cherries
1/4 c sugar
1 c dry red wine, such as a Burgundy

Part Two:
2 T butter
1 T flour
Small pinch of Kosher salt

For Part One: In a heavy saucepan, add butter and stir over medium high heat until it foams and turns a light brown. Add in the frozen cherries (thawing isn't necessary), sugar and the wine. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.

For Part Two: In a heavy saucepan, add the butter and melt over medium heat. Stir in the flour and stir continually until a light blond color forms. Add in the cooked cherries. Whisk to combine and to make smooth. Bring to a soft boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add in a small pinch of Kosher salt. Continue at a simmer for several minutes to cook the roux out, and to finish to desired consistency. Adjust any flavors if desired. Serve warm.

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