Everyday Food (June 2011)
When summer starts to set in, and the mercury creeps up toward triple-digit temps, there's really only one necessary ingredient for a great summer dessert: goosebumps.
A terrific summer treat should be a spoonful that's spine-chilling and skin-tingling -- a spoonful that makes you forget, just for a minute, how oppressively hot it is outside.
We're talking about something exactly like these Frozen Chocolate-Mousse Trifles. If you're looking for goosebumps, you've found 'em.
Crumble a few cups of a store-bought chocolate angel food cake. (We couldn't find a chocolate angel food cake at the store, so we used a chocolate bundt cake instead and thought it was a phenomenal substitute.) Pour on a little brandy. Make the mousse by whipping egg whites and cream separately and then folding them together with cocoa. Layer. Freeze. And you're done.
And since you make them ahead of time and pull them right out of the freezer, there's no last-minute fuss or assembly. And that makes these pretty close to a perfect summertime dessert.
The rich, dense, brandy-soaked cake, layered with the frozen cocoa mousse, makes for a heavenly bite of chocolately goodness. And they're easily made kid-friendly by omitting the brandy.
And we dare you to eat that first spoonful without getting goosebumps!
Active time: 25 min | Total time: 25 min + freezing
2 cups crumbled chocolate angel food cake (5 ounces)
1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1/2 ounce bittersweet chocolate
In a medium bowl, toss together cake and brandy, if desired. In another medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high until foamy. With mixer on medium, gradually add sugar. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 2 minutes. With a rubber spatula, gently fold cocoa powder into egg white mixture.
In another medium bowl, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, 3 minutes. Gently fold whipped cream into egg white mixture.
Fill each of four small glasses with 1/4 cup cake and top with heaping 1/4 cup mousse. Repeat to make a second layer with remaining cake and mousse. Freeze until firm, 3 hours (or up to overnight). Let sit 10 minutes at room temperature, then finely grate chocolate over tops to serve.