Travis Watson's Chocolate Mousse Covered Strawberries

Yesterday in Sweet Talk, Executive Pastry Chef Travis Watson described his philosophy on the discipline and art of pastry creation and the important elements of any carefully crafted dessert. Chef Watson favors desserts that are refined and include only deliberate elements (flavor, texture, and presentation). Chef Watson reminded us there are very few original recipes, most are a list of ingredients steeped in a long history of culinary tradition. His advise to make a dish your own, is to put your passion into the creation of the food. Give it a go with Chef Watson's recipe for Chocolate Mousse Covered Strawberries.

recipe, after the jump

This is a take on the traditional Valentine's Day favorite- a great ending to a romantic dinner.

Chocolate Mousse
1.5 pounds of dark chocolate (the better quality, the better the result)
3 cups cream- halved
1 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
3 each eggs
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 cup fresh strawberries - sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Put the sliced strawberries, 1 teaspoon of sugar and the vanilla extract in a small bowl. Mix to incorporate. Set aside.
2. In the top of double boiler melt the chocolate.
3.While the chocolate is melting, take half of the cream and the Bailey's Irish Cream and put it into a small sauce pan. Bring the cream and liquor to a boil.
4.When the chocolate is completely melted pour the hot cream into the chocolate. Turn the heat off the chocolate at this point.
5. In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix your eggs.
6. At the same time, make simple syrup using your ¼ cup of sugar and your ¼ cup of water. When the simply syrup comes to a boil, slowly and carefully pour the syrup into the egg mixture while the mixter is on. When all of the syrup has been add, you can turn up the mixer to its highest speed.
7. When your eggs are very light and fluffy, fold them into the chocolate.
8.Take the other half of the cream and whip it to stiff peaks. Fold that in as well.

9.In four martini glasses, divide the strawberries. Top the strawberries with the chocolate mousse to completely fill the glasses.
10.Refrigerate for at least four hours.
11.To serve, top each martini with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, and enjoy!

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