Makes 6 1/2 - cup chocolate cups, or 6 servings
For the Chocolate Cup:
8 oz. of semisweet, coarsely chopped (see "The Best Chocolate")
1 recipe White Chocolate Mousse
Raspberry Sauce, as needed
Fresh raspberries, as needed, for garnish
Ming springs, as needed, for garnish
For the mousse:
1-3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
6 oz. of white chocolate, chopped
For the sauce:
1 16 oz. package frozen, sweetened, sliced strawberries
To make the cup:
In a quart bowl set over simmering water, or in the top half of a double boiler, melt 2/3 of the semisweet chocolate, stirring until it is completely melted. Immediately remove the pan containing the chocolate off the hot water and stir in the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate until melted. This process, called tempering, assures a glossy chocolate, making for a beautiful cup. It's an added precaution, but not absolutely necessary, to check the temperature of the melted chocolate. Ideally it should be around 89°F, never above 115°F.
When the chocolate is melted and tempered, place a 6-cup shiny silicone muffin mold on a flat tray large enough to hold it and small enough to fit onto a refrigerator shelf. Dip a 1 to 2-inch wide natural bristle pastry brush into the chocolate and thickly coat the bottom and sides of each cup. Place the muffin mold on its tray in the refrigerator and leave for 1 hour. Replace the bowl with the melted chocolate back over the hot water, but remove the pan from the heat. Repeat the process 2 more times (three brushings in all), and refrigerate the chocolate-lined mold overnight.
The next day, starting at one end of the mold, gently pull the edges of one cup away from the chocolate, then, pushing gently but firmly from the bottom, push the chocolate cup out. When all the chocolate cups have been un-molded, place a paper muffin cup loosely into each cup and stack the next chocolate cup on top. Make two stacks of three, place in a one-gallon self-sealing plastic bag, and store in a door shelf of your freezer.
To make the mousse:
Pour 1 cup of the cream into a 2-quart bowl and refrigerate, covered.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining ¾ cup of cream in a small saucepan and let soften for 10 minutes. Bring the cream slowly to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and reserve.
In a 2-quart stainless steel bowl set over a pan of simmer water, place the white chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Add the reserved cream-gelatin mixture and stir with a whisk to mix well.
Remove the bowl from heat and set in an ice water bath to cool to room temperature. Do not allow the mixture to get cold, or the gelatin will set.
When chocolate-cream mixture is at room temperature, remove the 1 cup of chilled cream from the refrigerator. Whip the cream to firm but not stiff peaks. When the cream is whipped, fold the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture by thirds.
Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Will keep, covered, refrigerated for 3 days. Makes 3 ½ cups, or 6 4-oz. servings
Remove cups from freezer 30 minutes before you are ready to serve them. Place each on a dessert plate. When ready to serve, fill each chocolate cup with a generous ½ cup of White Chocolate Mousse. Spoon Strawberry Sauce on the plate at the base of the cup. Garnish the top of the mousse with a few fresh raspberries and a sprig of fresh mint.
Spoon mousse into a dessert dish and top with Strawberry Sauce and garnish with a fresh berry. Or drizzle with chocolate syrup. Or serve a spoonful with Jean Banchet's Flourless Chocolate Cake
To make the sauce:
Place frozen sliced strawberries in the food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until pureed. Transfer pureed strawberries to a fin-mesh sieve, place sieve over a deep bowl and let drain, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula to speed up the process. Discard the pulp in the sieve and transfer sauce to a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use. Sauce will keep, covered, refrigerated for 3 days.
Makes 1-1/2 cups