S’mores Mousse Tart with Crystallized Ginger Meringue

Why I love it: This s’mores mousse tart takes the traditional s’mores flavors to the next level. The buttery graham cracker crust is flavored with pumpkin spice, filled with a creamy chocolate mousse and the tart is topped with a torched crystallized ginger meringue.

smores mousse tart

You can think of this as a fancy s’mores tart. What I love about it is that it has all the great features that s’mores have and none of the annoying ones.

Instead of gooey, uber–sweet marshmallow fluff it’s got a torched meringue whose flavor is enhanced by little pieces of crystallized ginger. The chocolate part is a creamy, bittersweet mousse instead of straight melted squares that get all over your fingers.

The crust is a graham cracker crust, but not just any old graham cracker crust. Rather than crushing up the bland, store-bought crackers I used this delicious homemade graham cracker recipe and morphed it into a tart crust recipe. And it was surprisingly easy to do, too. I basically just left out the leavening agent (baking soda) and that was all that was needed. I flavored the crust with my favorite spice blend, pumpkin spice, but if you’re not into that you can use cinnamon instead.

How to make this s’mores mousse tart:

You’ll start with the crust and just like any graham cracker crust dough this one is too brittle to roll out and transfer into the tart pan, instead you need to press it in with your fingers but that’s fairly easy to do. You’ll need to bake the crust briefly (for 8 to 12 minutes) but then you’re already done with the oven for this tart.

The chocolate mousse filling is easily made with melted bittersweet chocolate and heavy cream and I added pumpkin spice here as well but if you don’t like that, you can just leave it out.

For the meringue, you want to make sure to have the individual pieces of crystallized ginger separated out rather than in one big clump so you can easily fold them in.

You finish the tart with a quick blow of the kitchen torch and you’re all set.

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Related Post:

If you’re in the mood for something s’morey but don’t have times to bake a tart, I can offer you these 10-Minute Pumpkin Spice S’mores Trifles:

10-minute pumpkin spice smores trifles

s'mores mousse tart
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5 from 1 vote

S'mores Mousse Tart with Crystallized Ginger Meringue

The crust for this tart is adapted from Martha Stewart
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time12 mins
Chill Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 42 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mousse, smores, tart
Servings: 6
Calories: 840kcal
Author: Nicole Branan | The Spice Train

Ingredients

For the graham cracker crust:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey

For the chocolate filling:

  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped*
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

For the meringue topping:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (make sure you have the individual pieces more or less separated and not in one large clump to make it easier to fold them into the meringue)

Instructions

For the graham cracker crust:

  • Whisk the flours, wheat germ, salt and pumpkin spice together in a bowl.
  • Beat butter, sugar and honey for a few minutes until fluffy.
  • Beat in the flour mix.
  • Bring the dough together with your hands and flatten into a disc.
  • Press the dough into a 9-inch greased tart pan, then place the pan in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake the tart crust until golden-brown (8–12 minutes).
  • Let cool completely.

For the chocolate filling:

  • Add chocolate and pumpkin spice to a bowl.
  • Bring 3/4 cup heavy cream to a boil, then pour over the chocolate/spice mix and let sit for a minute.
  • Stir to combine cream and chocolate into a smooth mix. (If you end up with chocolate clumps, gently heat the mix over a pot of simmering water). Let cool.
  • Whip 1 cup heavy cream with the sugar to stiff peaks.
  • Fold the cream into the chocolate mix.
  • Pour the mousse into the cold crust, spread out evenly with an offset spatula, then chill in the fridge for 1.5 hours.

For the meringue topping:

  • Beat the egg whites until they start to foam, then, with the mixer running, gradually add the granulated sugar until you get glossy peaks.
  • Again with the mixer running, gradually add the powdered sugar.
  • Fold in the crystallized ginger.
  • Spread the topping onto the chocolate mousse tart and briefly burn with a torch.

Notes

*Don't use chocolate morsels; morsels have stabilizers in them that actually prevent them from melting.

Nutrition

Calories: 840kcal

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Coffee Borgia Mousse

coffee borgia mousse

This dessert was inspired by one of my favorite espresso drinks, the coffee Borgia. A Borgia is like a mocha (espresso, chocolate syrup, steamed milk) but with orange zest mixed in. It’s a wonderful flavor combination that I recreated in this chocolate mousse with melted bittersweet chocolate, a bit of heavy cream, espresso powder and orange zest.

You can serve the mousse with a dollop of whipped cream to lighten it up a bit but I actually prefer to eat it by itself. The recipe is very easy to make, the preparation takes no more than 15 minutes and you can easily scale it up and make a fancy dessert for a large crowd.

Recipe Tip:

One thing I want to point out for the prep work of this recipe is that you want to make sure that you chop the chocolate very finely. That takes more time than a rough chop would but it will pay off big time because the chocolate will melt so much faster and more evenly.

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Related Post:

If you’re in the mood for a white chocolate mousse instead, I recommend the Chai–Spiced White Chocolate Mousse below:

chai spiced white chocolate mousse

coffee borgia mousse
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5 from 6 votes

Coffee Borgia Mousse

An easy recipe for a delicious dark chocolate mousse that is modeled after the coffee Borgia, flavored with espresso and orange zest.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Chill Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, mousse, orange
Servings: 2
Calories: 510kcal
Author: Nicole Branan | The Spice Train

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped (I used a Ghirardelli 60 percent cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bar)*
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon very finely grated orange zest (about one small orange)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 thin orange slices as garnish
  • whipped cream (optional)

Instructions

  • Add the chocolate, the cream and the espresso powder to a glass bowl, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and let the chocolate melt. Don't stir the ingredients until the chocolate is almost fully melted.
  • Once the chocolate is melted, take it off the water pot and stir in the orange zest. Set aside.
  • Whisk the egg yolk with the sugar in a bowl (by hand) until lighter in color and texture than when you started.
  • Quickly whisk the chocolate mix into the egg/sugar mix in two to three batches. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, whip the egg white with the cream of tartar to very stiff peaks.
  • Carefully fold the whipped egg white into the chocolate mix (take a half-turn around the bowl with the whisk and then shake the mousse through the tines of the whisk).
  • As soon as no streaks remain, fill the mousse into individual serving bowls.
  • Let me mousse chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Garnish with the orange slices and serve by itself or with whipped cream.

Notes

*Don't use chocolate morsels; morsels have stabilizers in them that actually prevent them from melting.

Nutrition

Calories: 510kcal

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Vanilla Cream with Cinnamon Sugared Cranberries

vanilla cream with cinnamon sugared cranberries

Say hello to an absolute smasher of a holiday dessert. If you’re looking to serve something that’s easy and next to impossible to mess up but at the same time stellar both in taste and looks then this vanilla cream with cinnamon sugared cranberries is the ticket.

How to make the vanilla cream:

The vanilla cream is easily made with eggs, cream, vanilla and sugar, stiffened with gelatin and takes literally just a few minutes to put together.

You start by whisking together the egg yolks, the sugar and the vanilla by hand. Next you whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and in a separate bowl you whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks (no need to rinse the beaters in between).

The last step is to whisk bloomed gelatin into the egg/sugar mix and then fold in the whipped cream and whipped egg whites.

You put the whole thing in the fridge to set up and an hour later your vanilla cream is ready.

How to make the cinnamon sugared cranberries:

The cranberries are quick and easy as well, you just simmer up a simple syrup flavored with cinnamon, briefly submerge frozen cranberries in it, then roll the berries in sugar.

I sprinkled a few chopped pistachios over everything for extra visual appeal but you can skip them if you want to. The light and sweet vanilla cream contrasts perfectly with the tart berries that have just a hint of cinnamon flavor. It’s one of my favorite desserts, and not just for the holidays!

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Related Post:

If you’re looking for a festive drink to serve with this dessert, I recommend the Ginger Bramble New Year’s Cocktail below:

ginger bramble new years cocktail

vanilla cream with cinnamon sugared cranberries
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5 from 4 votes

Vanilla Cream with Cinnamon Sugared Cranberries

The vanilla cream recipe here is from The Centennial Collection of Favorite Recipes from Grace Episcopal Church in Paducah KY, Second Edition 1975.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Chill Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberries, mousse, vanilla
Servings: 6

Ingredients

For the cranberries:

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, more for rolling
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries

For the vanilla cream:

  • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 1 two-inch piece of vanilla bean (you can substitute one teaspoon of vanilla extract)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • finely chopped pistachios for garnish optional

Instructions

For the cranberries:

  • Heat sugar, water and cinnamon in a saucepan to a simmer.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, add the cranberries. Stir them around to make sure they are completely coated with the syrup.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries onto parchment paper.
  • Add granulated sugar to a shallow bowl then roll the cranberries around in it, one by one, until they are all fully coated.

For the vanilla cream:

  • Add gelatin along with 3 tablespoons of cold water to a saucepan. Let sit for 4 minutes.
  • Cut the vanilla bean open and scrape out the seeds.
  • Whisk the egg yolks with 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl until creamy.
  • Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks.
  • Whip the cream with 1 teaspoon sugar to stiff peaks.
  • Heat the bloomed gelatin just until dissolved.
  • Whisk the gelatin into the egg yolk mix.
  • Fold in the cream (I use the whisk for that, just take a half-turn around the bowl, then shake the cream through the tines of the whisk).
  • Fold in the egg whites (same as above).
  • Fill the mix into a large bowl and chill for at least one hour.
  • Scoop the cream onto individual plates and serve with the cranberries.
  • Sprinkle pistachios on for garnish.

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Spicy Edamame

spicy edamame

I had spicy edamame beans at a sushi restaurant for the first time a little while ago and I can tell you I have never been this surprised and impressed with a dish!

Up until that dinner I had only ever had plain steamed and salted edamame and I always found those to be “meh” at best. Well, it turns out that spicy edamame are a completely different story! They are exciting and full of interesting flavors; a bit garlicky, a bit smoky, a bit salty and a bit spicy. You get all these flavors when you bite into the pod to squeeze out the actual beans. It’s a really addictive appetizer, we ate the entire plate barely taking a breath between bites.

Naturally I tried to replicate the recipe at home. Since it seems impossible to create the smokiness you get from a restaurant-quality wok and burner at home I resorted to liquid smoke and while that’s not exactly the same thing it does come close. In addition to that I added sambal, garlic, salt and dried red pepper flakes.

The dish is easy to make, you just steam or boil the edamame beans, then heat the remaining ingredients in a bit of vegetable oil, toss the beans in the oil and voila, you’re done. If you’ve only ever had regular salted edamame I urge you to try this, it will change your view of the vegetable completely!

Recipe Tip:

Do be sure to let the cooked edamame beans dry before tossing them into the hot spices. If you don’t, they’ll end up soggy and you don’t want that. That’s really the only thing to pay attention to in this recipe, other than that it’s very easy and straight forward.

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Related Post:

Looking for a main dish to serve with this edamame appetizer? Check out this Sesame Lime Cilantro Chicken Noodle Stir Fry:

sesame lime cilantro chicken noodle stir fry

spicy edamame
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Spicy Edamame

A very quick and easy recipe for a delicious salty, smoky, garlicky and spicy edamame bean appetizer bursting with intense flavors. 
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time18 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: edamame, spicy, vegan
Servings: 2
Calories: 380kcal
Author: Nicole Branan | The Spice Train

Ingredients

  • 1 pound frozen edamame beans in their shells
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sambal
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)

Instructions

  • Steam or boil the edamame beans according to package instructions. Drain and let dry. (Do not skip the drying period, it's important. You don't want soggy edamame.)
  • In a large pan, heat oil, garlic, liquid smoke, salt, sambal and red pepper flakes all together until fragrant.
  • Add the edamame beans, stir to coat and cook for another minute.
  • Eat the edamame by biting into the pods and squeezing out the beans. Discard the empty pods.

Nutrition

Calories: 380kcal

Made this recipe? It would be awesome if you could leave a rating. No need to type anything, just tap or click the stars in the recipe card and you’re done. Thanks!