I’m a walking sweet tooth.
We always joke in our family that I get it from my dad. My mom could go for the rest of her life never eating anything sweet and be fine with it, but my dad’s day is never complete without a sweet treat. After dinner, we can often find him rooting around in the fridge for his backup bag of chocolates. He has impeccable self control though and is satisfied with one small foil wrapped chocolate, which I consider to be an impressive feat.
For me, chocolate runs through my veins and any dessert that has cocoa in it calls my name. Chocolate chip cookies with gooey chunks, a rich chocolate cake, creamy chocolate ice cream, I could go on and on. But if I truly had to choose favorites, the classic s’more would be my number one pick.
It might come as a surprise that, out of all the amazing desserts in the world, I’d pick s’mores as my favorite. But there’s just something so utterly perfect about that flavor combo. The crunchy graham crackers, melted and gooey chocolate, sticky burnt marshmallows — what’s not to love!? The season is never complete without the nostalgic feeling of gathering friends around a bonfire with a bag of puffy marshmallows and letting everyone make their own s’mores. I can recall so many cold weather memories in friends’ backyards, wrapped up in blankets and lounging in fold-out lawn chairs, debating whether the perfect roast marshmallow was charred and blackened or merely with a blush of golden brown. Or the merits of stuffing a piece of chocolate in the marshmallow before roasting for extra melty effect. And whether using a caramel filled chocolate was blasphemous or just plain genius.
As you can probably guess, I’m also a big fan of s’mores ice cream, s’mores cookies, s’mores brownies…and now this s’mores chocolate mousse.
I make a chocolate mousse for Christmas dessert every year, and I’ve started to dub it the “cheaters” version. Most mousse recipes require you to make a custard with eggs, which is just a little more effort than I’m willing to give. This chocolate mousse uses just whipped cream as the base, making it much easier to assemble and a little lighter than a typical mousse that uses an egg yolk filled custard. For the holidays I add a splash of Cointreau into my mousse, but for this classic s’mores version I keep the base plain. I also add only a teaspoon or so of powdered sugar in the actual mousse which keeps this dessert from being overly sweet and lets the chocolate flavor be front and center. Because the mousse is so simple, I really do recommend using a good quality dark chocolate and (while optional) adding a pinch of instant espresso to really bring out the chocolate flavor.
The base is simply ground up graham crackers with coconut oil. I like a really thick crust for extra crunch, but you can make it as thin or thick as you like. And the top is of course your classic marshmallow fluff. If you wanted to be fancy, you could top your mousse with some gourmet marshmallows and torch them, but let’s be real, sometimes you just gotta use the classic.
This is one of those really fun desserts that will garner smiles the minute you bring it to the table. Which is what this cozy season is all about!
for the crust ::
- 9 full size graham crackers (1 sleeve of crackers)
- 2 tbsp of melted coconut oil
- a pinch of salt
for the mousse ::
- 1 1/4 cup of cold heavy whipping cream, divided into 1/4 cup and 1 cup
- 1/2 cup of good dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 tsp of instant espresso powder (optional)
- a pinch of salt
- 1 - 2 tsp of powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you want your mousse)
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla
for the topping ::
- marshmallow fluff
- optional toppings - crushed graham crackers or grated chocolate
- Add your graham crackers to a food processor and pulse until broken down into fine crumbs. Add your crumbs to a small mixing bowl and add the 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil to the crumbs and the pinch of salt, mixing until combined. The crumb should hold when you press together.
- In your serving cups of choice, divide the crust, adding as much or as little as you'd like depending on how thick you want your crust. Press down on the crust so it's tightly packed on the bottom of your serving cup. Place cups in fridge while you prep the mousse.
- In a small stove top pot, add the 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 1/2 cup of chopped dark chocolate, instant espresso powder, and salt. Turn on the stove to a medium heat, and stir the chocolate into the cream until everything is combined and chocolate is fully melted into a chocolate ganache. This should only take a few minutes. Remove from heat and set ganache aside to cool while you whip up your mousse.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add your remaining 1 cup of heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks have been achieved. Be careful not to over whip as this may result in split cream.
- Once the ganache has cooled, add a tablespoon at a time of the ganache to the whipped cream, gently folding the chocolate into the cream so as to not deflate the whipped cream.
- Once all of the chocolate has been incorporated into the cream, grab your cups with the crust in them from the fridge, and evenly divide the mousse into the cups.
- If you want to serve right away, top with marshmallow fluff and torch as desired for a softer mousse.
- For a firmer mousse, set the crust topped with the mousse back in the fridge for at least two hours, but overnight is fine as well. Top with marshmallow fluff when ready to serve and torch as desired. Enjoy!