Ask A Boston Chef: Holiday Desserts – Chocolate Mousse W/ Peppermint Whipped Cream & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

December 19, 2013 8:29 AM

(Photo from Seaport Hotel)

Consider all the time and effort you spend on holiday meals. Shouldn’t the same be afforded to desserts. If you answered yes, keep reading. Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center Pastry Cook Laura Campagna whipped up a recipe that’s going to blow the minds of you AND your guests: Chocolate Mousse with Peppermint Whipped Cream & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Laura Campagna (Photo from Seaport Hotel)

Laura Campagna (Photo from Seaport Hotel)

Laura Campagna
Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center
1 Seaport Ln
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 385-4000

Chocolate Mousse with Peppermint Whipped Cream and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Photo from Seaport Hotel)

(Photo from Seaport Hotel)

Chocolate Mousse
10 servings
2 ½ cups dark chocolate, chocolate chips (1, 1 pound bag)
⅓ cup powdered sugar, sifted
⅓ cup strong brewed coffee
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
5ea. egg yolks
2 ½ cups heavy cream

1) Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl and place over a pot of simmering water to create a double boiler and melt the chocolate. Don’t let water boil during this process.
2) Add the sugar, coffee, and vanilla to the chocolate whisking constantly. Add the egg yolks one at a time. Whisk until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly.
3) Whip the cream to a medium stiff peak. Add the whipped cream to the slightly cooled chocolate mixture in 3 additions folding in each addition gently. Put finished mousse into a piping bag or a large zip lock bag and cut off the corner.
4) Place 1 Tbsp. of the cocoa nib crumble in the bottom of the serving glass. Pipe in a layer of mousse so the glass is ⅓ of the way full. Put an additional tablespoon of the crumble and pipe a second layer of mousse so the glass is ⅔ of the way full.
5) Let the parfaits set up in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
6) Top each with a dollop of homemade peppermint whipped cream and mini candy cane. Serve with sea salt chocolate chip cookies on the side.

Peppermint Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
½ tsp. peppermint extract

1) Combine all ingredients and whip until sift peak.

Cocoa Nib Crumble
Yield: 12 oz.
2 Tbsp. per parfait
Oven: convection
Temp: 300 F
Time: 15 minutes – cool completely – crumble and bake 15 minutes more

½ cup unsalted butter, softened
⅓ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
2 ½ Tbsp. cocoa nibs
¾ tsp. fine sea salt

1) Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract.
2) Add all dry ingredients.
3) Mix to combine.
4) Place onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and press into a thin layer.
5) Bake 15 minutes; cool completely.
6) Using your hands crumble the baked cookies dough into small pieces.
7) Put crumble back onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes more.
8) Re-crumble and store in airtight container.

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie
Yield: 75 cookies, 3 cookies per mousse parfait
Oven: convection
Temp: 300 F
Time: 10-12 minutes frozen

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
Heaping ½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup + 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp.
¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
Scant ½ cup sugar
1 ea. eggs, lg. room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cup mini chocolate chips
fine sea salt for finishing

1) Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2) In 6 qt. with paddle, on medium speed, cream butter and sugars until very light, about 5 minutes. Scrape down well ½ way through, and at end.
3) Continue on medium speed; add egg and vanilla, scrape bowl well.
4) Reduce speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined, only a few seconds.
5) Mix in the chocolate chips.
6) Portion cookies with a tablespoon measure; 1 level teaspoon per cookie.
8) Sprinkle a few grains of Fleur de Sel on top of each cookie.
9) Bake. (If not baking right away freeze cookies minus the Fleur de Sel).

Similar to many chefs, Connecticut native Laura Campagna discovered an early love for baking. In her case, the interest developed from a toy oven she received when she was 4; she knew immediately that she wanted to be a pastry chef and even announced it at her pre-school graduation.

Laura’s first experience in a professional kitchen came at age 11 when she spent a week shadowing the culinary staff at her aunt’s Chatham restaurant. She continued to pursue her dream by taking food services classes in high school as well as working part-time job at a local restaurant as a pie girl, baking up to 24 different types of pies.

She headed off to college at Johnson & Wales, interned at the award-winning Chatham Bars Inn and the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center. Upon graduation, she joined the Seaport team full-time as a pastry cook. Laura’s career has flourished at the Four Diamond property, where she is responsible for the pastries and desserts served in the award-winning Aura restaurant and TAMO bar & lounge.