Eggless Kahlua mousse with condensed milk

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For some, impulse buys can take the form of candy, magazines, and other tempting items by the checkout counter. Me? My impulse decided to buy me a can of condensed milk at the grocery store.

There’s something decidedly summery about condensed milk to me. Come June, I’d always looked forward to drenching strawberries in a big fat bowl of it when I was young. This time around, I wanted something a little more decadent and a little more grown up. I found a perfect chilly solution in kahlua coffee mousse.

As I’m working on my presentation, I dressed the mousse up with some homemade whipped cream and garnished it with chocolate shavings to boot. An embarrassing confession: I destroyed an entire chocolate bar doing this. The bar was pretty kept breaking into pieces the warm (for now) weather. If you’re working under hot conditions, definitely stick your chocolate in the fridge for a bit.

Other than this seasonal snafu, this dessert was pretty painless. Just beware that condensed milk burns easily, so stir well and avoid gelatin clumps. If you don’t like too-sweet sweets, try tweaking the milk-to-cream ratio.

EGGLESS KAHLUA COFFEE MOUSSE
Adapted from Gourmet’s iced coffee mousse on Epicurious

Ingredients, for mousse

  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 cup condensed milk (sweetened)
  • 3 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua

Optional, for garnish

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • chocolate for shaving

To make the mousse

Leave heavy cream in the fridge. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a sauce pan, making sure the powder is evenly distributed throughout. Let it soften for two minutes, then swirl mixture to minimize clumps.

Add condensed milk and stir over low heat until it steams. Add coffee powder and stir quickly until it dissolves. (If it’s taking a while, try turning up the heat slightly up to medium-low.) Being patient and making sure the powder doesn’t settle will help prevent burning.

Remove pan from heat and place in a bowl of ice water. Stir until mixture cools and thickens. Add Kahlua and mix evenly.

Take heavy cream out and beat 1 cup in a separate bowl until cream holds stiff peaks. Be careful not to over-whip, which will make the texture lumpy. Fold cooled coffee mixture into the bowl evenly but gently. Spoon into glass containers and chill for 3 hours. Serve as soon as possible, since the whipped cream will start losing air.

To dress up your dessert

Right before you serve, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of cream until it holds stiff peaks. The better the peaks hold, the prettier the whipped cream will look (but again, avoid over-whipping). An electric blender is recommended.

Spoon the whipped cream into a zip loc bag, keeping the cream away from one bottom corner. Make a quarter-inch snip in that corner, then swirl the cream on top of the mousse. I spiraled mine up in circles the way one does with soft-serve cones, looping the cream as I went to create a ruffled looked.

Using a peeler, shave chocolate into the glasses. A knife also works, but shave the chocolate on a cutting board, then sprinkle over the mousse and cream. Serve proudly and enjoy.

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