Ricotta Chocolate Mousse

My birthday is in a few days and I want mousse. Chocolate mousse, to be specific.

MOUSSE! Tim has declared this the “week of Sarah’s birthday” so I made some.

Even though it is my birthday “week”, I needn’t be ridiculous about eating tubs of chocolate mousse (although I would like to) so I lightened this up. It’s the new year, after all, and isn’t almost everyone on a health kick right now? Or at least an eat-less-junk-kick. My butt has even been on the elliptical again. . ugh!

Mouss-y goodness!That’s the trouble with having a birthday right after new year. The food splurging is supposed to be over! And the exercising is supposed to begin! ‘Tis the season.

BUT. . this mousse is not much of a splurge. No heavy cream and just enough chocolate and cocoa powder to be very chocolate-y without being a giant sugar and fat bomb all over your hips! It gets its creaminess from low fat ricotta cheese and whipped egg whites.

This is a variation on a recipe I saw in Everyday Foods a year ago or so & a mousse my aunt makes. (Sadly Everyday Foods Magazine is no more.)

I made the mistake of adding my melted chocolate to the ricotta instead of the egg whites and it hardened up and gave a little texture to the mousse. What was I thinking? Don’t do that! Add the chocolate to the slightly warm whipped egg whites and the mousse will stay creamy. Don’t misunderstand, my mousse was still delicious (I wouldn’t kick it out of bed for eating crackers)  but it just wasn’t quite as smooth as it could be. I ate it anyway!Here Mousse, Mousse, Mousse. .

Almond is my extract of choice with chocolate but if you’d like it more neutral just use vanilla extract.

I got a new stick blender for Christmas from Tim and this mousse was the first time I used it! Worked like a charm. You could just use a food processor, though. Or even a blender. (Tim also got me 3D cookie cutters for Christmas  No joke! Just wait until I make you some 3D dolphin cookies!)

Ricotta Chocolate Mouse

1 15 oz container low fat ricotta cheese

3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

2 tsp almond extract

pinch of salt

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled a bit

1/2 cup sugar

2 egg whites

With a stick blender or in a food processor, blend the ricotta, cocoa powder and extract together until smooth and cream. Set aside.

CAREFULLY melt your chocolate. Set aside to cool.

In a double boiler (or a bowl set over simmering water) whisk the sugar and egg whites constantly until the sugar is melted and the mixture is thickened up a bit and foamy. Remove from heat and whip until it’s thick and satiny. It will look a little like marshmallow fluff. Add the melted chocolate and whip together. Fold the egg mixture into the ricotta mixture.

Spoon into 4 glasses/bowls and refrigerate for a few hours. Serve with whipped cream or berried. (optional)

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