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Chocolate cardamom mousse with pound cake and raspberries

Chocolate cardamom mousse with pound cake and raspberries
Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Geographically speaking, the South Pasadena kitchen where Craig Strong is cooking this December afternoon is only a few miles from the elaborately outfitted kitchen and Michelin-starred white-tablecloth dining room of the Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa -- previously Pasadena's Ritz-Carlton ... Read more

Total time: 35 minutes, plus cooling and chilling times | Serves 12 to 16
  • 4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 pound milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 pound cake, sliced into 1/2 -inch slices and crusts removed
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced crosswise into 1/4 -inch slices

Step 1In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, bring 2 cups of cream to a boil with the cardamom seeds. Remove from heat, cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Remove the plastic and bring the cream to a boil again. Remove from heat and strain the seeds.

Step 2Place the milk chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir gently to combine, melting the chocolate and incorporating with the cream. Cool the mixture to room temperature (it is important that the chocolate be at room temperature before continuing with the recipe; the chocolate can be neither too hot nor too cold).

Step 3When the melted chocolate has come to room temperature, whip the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream to soft peaks (be careful not to over-beat). Gently fold one-third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining two-thirds to form a mousse. The mousse will be very loose at this point; it will thicken as the assembled dessert chills.

Step 4Gently fold the chopped bittersweet chocolate into the mousse and set aside.

Step 5Assemble the dessert: Place one-third of the mousse in the bottom of a trifle dish or decorative bowl. Top the mousse with a layer of sliced pound cake (4 to 5 slices). Add one-third each of the raspberries, blueberries and sliced banana.

Step 6Repeat with a second layer of mousse, topped with the remaining pound cake and another third of the fruit. Top with the final third of the mousse, decorating the top of the mousse with the remaining fruit.

Step 7Place the mousse, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours to thicken and chill. To serve, scoop the mousse into bowls.

Note: Adapted from Craig Strong, chef de cuisine at the Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa. The fruit listed below can be replaced with the fruit of your choice. Assemble the mousse no more than three hours before serving so the mousse does not over-thicken and the fruit does not discolor.


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