Sunday, May 10, 2015

Gianduja Mousse Pie with Chocolate Cookie Crust

An ode to Nutella.

That’s what this tart is to me, at least. Some of my acquaintances bake frequently, but don’t eat their desserts. Now this befuddles my raging sweet tooth. Why bake, stir, mix, fold, frost IF YOU’RE NOT GOING TO DEVOUR THE CREAMY, LUSCIOUS PUDDING DESSERT ( See below) IF YOU’RE GOING TO ABSTAIN? Granted, my enthusiasm for all sweets makes gym sessions more frequent (Sigh), but I share the loo0o0ove with my family. So obviously I have to marry the Cheangs’ familial tastes into a singular dessert.


Such a mouthful but only when you PUT THE WHOLE DAMN THING IN YOUR MOUTH… (Strongly suggested). When your whole family loves meat and dessert was always a far far afterthought in the household, you know something is a keeper when the WHOLE MOUSSE PIE VANISHES THE NEXT DAY.  

The star really is the hazelnut mousse, made with pure hazelnuts instead of just Nutella – creamy, luscious and melts with every mouthful. The crust is a no brainer press in, so don’t skip the extra steps to make this nutty, boozey confection! 

Gianduja Mousse Pie with Oreo Cookie Crust

For the Oreo cookie crust
·    24 Oreo cookies
·    ¼ cup melted butter
In a medium-sized bowl or a food processor, add the Oreo cookies and blend until the texture of coarse meal or crumbs. Add the melted butter and blend until well combined.

Place the ground crumb mixture into a 9- or 10-inch deep-dish pie pan and press onto the bottom and up the sides evenly. Tip : I like to use a measuring cup to make layers even.
To make the hazelnut butter
2 cups roasted and skinned hazelnuts (Can be bought from Phoon Huat)
Process the nuts until smooth and blended. This will make a helluva lot of noise as it takes 12-15 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides occasionally. Continue until you have a runny, smooth paste.
For the Gianduja mousse
·       6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
·       1-1/2 cups heavy cream
·       2/3 cup hazelnut butter at room temperature
·       2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
·       2 tablespoons Baileys’ liquor
·       2 bananas, sliced thinly
·       2 tablespoons Nutella, microwaved till runny
·       2 teaspoons lemon / lime juice

To make the mousse

Melt chocolate in a microwaveable bowl in 30 second bursts, until smooth and melted. Stir. In a separate small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of the cream over medium heat to just below the boiling point. Pour the hot cream into the melted chocolate and stir together with the spatula until well blended. Using a handheld mixer, add the hazelnut butter and vanilla, Baileys and mix till smooth. 
In a chilled mixing bowl, using chilled beaters, beat the remaining 1 cup cream until it holds soft peaks. With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture in four batches, blending thoroughly after each addition. Pour the mousse into the prepared individual cookie crusts.
Garnish with thinly sliced bananas and chopped hazelnuts. Using a fork, drizzle the pies with a melted Nutella sauce. Brush the bananas with lime juice to prevent them from browning. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. 
Baker’s Notes
1.    This dessert is best made in stages, as there are many steps. I’d suggest making the Oreo cookie crust and nut butter on day 1. Finish the mousse and filling the tarts on day 2.
2.    Yellow bananas that just ripe are perfect as a firm garnish. Their brown, spotty counterparts are too mushy. If you are making these ahead, brush the bananas with lemon / lime juice. The acid prevents them from browning.

3.    I love love love Baileys’ and they gave such a boozy kick to the mousse. You can also add Frangelico liquor to punch up the hazelnut flavour.

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