Chocolate Tacos Filled With Hazelnut-Chocolate Mousse

That Donna Nordin is a chocolate artist as well as a fine cook is amply demonstrated with this whimsical dessert. The tacos are easily formed out of rounds of melted chocolate draped over dowels until they harden. The shells make an eye-catching presentation, even simply filled with flavored whipped cream or soft ice cream.

  • Mousse
    • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
    • 2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur (Frangelico)
    • 1/2 cup toasted, ground hazelnuts
  • Chocolate Tacos
    • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
    • 1/2 cup toasted, coarsely chopped hazelnuts
  • Raspberry Sauce
    • 1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
    • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • Papaya-Kiwi Salsa
    • 1 papaya, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
    • 3 kiwis, peeled and finely diced
    • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Do Ahead: The raspberry sauce and chocolate taco shells can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. The salsa can be made up to 4 hours before serving. The mousse can be made a day ahead and refrigerated but needs to come to room temperature to pipe into the taco shells.

For the mousse: Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. Melt completely, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Place the cream in a bowl and, with a whisk or electric mixer, whip until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and liqueur and whisk until completely incorporated (do not overbeat or it will be difficult to fold in the chocolate). Fold in the nuts. Remove the chocolate from the heat and gently fold into the whipping cream. Refrigerate the mousse until firm enough to pipe, about 1 hour or up to 1 day ahead.

For the tacos: On parchment paper draw 12 rounds, each 4 1/2 inches in diameter. Cut out the rounds with scissors and arrange them on a work surface. Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. Melt completely, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using the back of a spoon spread a thin layer of chocolate smoothly over each circle. Sprinkle half of each circle with 1 teaspoon of chopped hazelnuts. Let sit until chocolate begins to set but is still pliable, about 30 minutes. Drape the pliable parchment-chocolate disks over 2 wooden dowels, 1 inch thick and 20 inches long, and balance over a roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the refrigerator and chill the tacos until hard. Remove the tacos from the dowels and carefully peel off the parchment paper.

For the raspberry sauce: In a food processor or blender, purée the raspberries; strain into a bowl. Stir in the jam and mix well. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

For the Papaya-Kiwi Salsa: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Let the flavors marry for about 30 minutes. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Assembly: Place the mousse in a pastry filled bag fitted with a star tip. If the mousse has been chilled until it’s too firm to pipe, let it come to room temperature and then fill the pastry bag. Pipe the mousse into the chocolate taco shells. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Place about 1 tablespoon of raspberry sauce on the bottom of each of 12 plates; top with a mousse-filled taco. Spoon a tablespoon of Papaya-Kiwi Salsa on the side of the taco. Serve immediately.

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By Donna Nordin

Cuisine(s): Southwestern

Main ingredient: Chocolate

Serves(s): 12

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