About a month ago I received an email that got me very excited. It was from Aimee, asking me to consider becoming a contributor for a new site called Simple Bites. I headed over to check it out and knew that I just had to be a part of it.
Simple Bites is a collaboration of mommy food bloggers who are passionate about simple, real food and are dedicated to “real food for the family table”. Although I”m ecstatic and extremely honoured to have been asked to be a contributor, I”m even more excited about what the others have to offer and learning tips and tricks to simplify family mealtimes.
Everyone has a different take on what works for them and the more inspiration you get, the more you can find what works for you. That”s why I”m so pumped about this site. It”s not just one person giving their viewpoint, but seven!
Another point of excitement is that Aimee, our lovely editor who was once a professional chef, will be sharing tips from her culinary training that we can apply at home through her posts on cooking school. A few other categories that may pique your interest are: quick bites, preserving, menu planning & batch cooking, kids in the kitchen, and what”s for dinner? Recipes and knowledgeable tips and tricks will abound.
The site is officially launching on Monday. I hope you will join me over there and show your support. Every new site needs a little loven”. If you wish, you can become a fan on Facebook or follow Simple Bites on Twitter. And, make sure to familiarize yourself with the other lovely contributors. There will be a huge giveaway that first week so please come and show your shining faces. I will be happy to see you there.
Now on to these valentine treats! Although this recipe may appear complicated, it”s not. The only way it could be made simpler is to purchase the wafers, cool whip, and chocolate sauce from the store and only make the mousse from scratch. There is no single mousse recipe that is simpler than this. You throw all the ingredients in a bowl and whip away. Done.
The taste and texture of these wafer cookies are identical to the ones you buy in the store. But, they really are not difficult to make from scratch. You beat it all together in one bowl, refrigerate, roll out the silky smooth dough and cut it into any shape and size you want. That is why you should make these at home. They are a lot more versatile but still have a long shelf life.
A simple recipe with super cute results.
Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse Towers
- 12 round chocolate wafer cookies
- 4 heart chocolate wafer cookies
- strawberry cheesecake mousse
- 1/2 cup chantilly cream
- dark chocolate sauce
- Place one wafer on serving plate. Pipe strawberry mousse on top leaving half an inch gap from the edge of the wafer. Place another wafer on top and repeat process until there are 3 cookies and 3 layers of mousse. Repeat with remaining wafers and mousse to make 4 servings. Refrigerate until serving.
- To serve: garnish with a dollop of chantilly cream and a heart wafer. Decorate plate with dark chocolate sauce.
* You can serve these right away but then you will have to pick up the cookies to eat them because they will be too firm. If you refrigerate them for a couple of hours first the mousse will soften up the cookie just enough to stick a fork through without it becoming a sloppy mess.
*To amp up the chocolate factor you could always add a layer of chocolate sauce to the cookie before topping it with mousse.
Chocolate Wafer Cookies
adapted from Sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp. milk
- 1.5 cups flour
- dash salt
- dash baking powder
- additional icing sugar, for rolling out
- Beat butter until creamy. Sift in icing sugar and cocoa powder. Beat until incorporated.
- Add vanilla, egg yolk and milk. Stir well.
- Mix in flour, salt and baking powder. Beat until mixture is very well incorporated.
- Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 min.
- Dust work surface with icing sugar. Roll out dough until 1/8 inch thick. Cut out circles with 2.5 inch round cutters (or a cup) and hearts with 1.5 inch heart cutters.
- Transfer with a large spatula to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Gather scraps into a ball and repeat the process.
- Bake for 12-15 min at 325ºF until cookies lift easily off of the parchment paper. Remove parchment from baking sheet and allow cookies to cool on the parchment.
*It”s important to roll the dough out in icing sugar as flour will absorb into the dough and dry it out.
*Cookies will store for 2-3 weeks in an airtight container at room temp.
Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse
- 1/2 cup (4oz) cream cheese, room temp.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 strawberry puree
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Beat cream cheese to soften. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Add strawberry puree and heavy cream. Beat until peaks just hold their shape when beaters are lifted.
- Place in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate until using.
*When ready to use simply cut off one corner and use as a piping bag.
Dark Chocolate Sauce
- 2 oz. dark chocolate
- 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Place all ingredients in a bowl set over simmering water (but not touching the water), making sure to stir the cornstarch with the cream first to ensure that there will be no lumps. Stir occasionally until chocolate has melted. Remove from pot and allow to cool. The cooler it gets the thicker it will be.
*This thick chocolate sauce is perfect for decorating because it stays put with no spreading.
*Once refrigerated this becomes firm like ganache, so it will need to be reheated to become a pourable consistency.
*You could also do this in the microwave but keep a close eye or the chocolate may burn.