Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Spa-Style" Orange Chocolate Mousse with a Secret Ingredient

When I was in Portland, my sister told me that I scare her sometimes with the things I make on my Blog. An interesting comment that I was not quite sure how to take. Upon further explanation, it turns out that it is some of the strange ingredients I use that scare her, and she did clarify that she thought the end results always look like they tasted good. So, I am sure she will love this next recipe for Orange Chocolate Mousse with a special healthy ingredient, pureed, roasted carrots! (I figured that if I could enjoy brownies with beets in them, I would like chocolate mousse with carrots). I got this recipe from the Culinary Center page on the Rancho La Puerta website. Rancho La Puerta is a destination resort and spa that I fantasize about going to someday. I like to look at resort and spa web sites as they often have recipes for food that looks and tastes really good and indulgent, but is generally pretty healthy. Most people going to spas want to feel pampered while eating better, not deprived, so the food they serve usually reflects that. Since I am a sucker for anything chocolate, this seemed like a good way to get my chocolate and some veggies too--making me feel less guilty for indulging. 

Orange Chocolate Mousse
Rancho La Puerta
Hands-On Cooking Class, with Creative Chef Jesús González

1 cup carrots (6-8 baby carrots)
1/4 cup milk
8 ounces dark semisweet chocolate (75%)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur (optional)
Mint sprigs
Fresh raspberries

Wash carrots, then remove the tops and tips. Do not remove carrot skins. Place the prepared carrots in a medium metal sauté pan or on a baking sheet. In a 375-degree oven, roast the carrots for 45 minutes. Let cool. Then puree the carrots in a food processor and set aside.

Place the chocolate in a small metal bowl and add the milk. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but leave the bowl over the hot water.

In the bowl of a food processor, puree the melted chocolate and milk, pureed carrots, cream cheese, agave nectar, vanilla and Grand Marnier, until perfectly smooth, scraping the sides down several times.

Place the smooth chocolate mousse in a large pastry bag with a large rosette tip OR merely use a serving spoon to serve the mousse. Place 5-6 raspberries (or other fruit) in the base of 6 glass coupes and then top the berries with the mousse. Top the mousse with a raspberry (or other fruit) and a sprig of mint.

Recipe Created by Chef Jesús Gonzalez of La Cocina Que Canta Culinary Center at Rancho La
Puerta Fitness Resort & Spa • Tecate, Baja CA, Mexico - 

Notes/Results:  Chocolaty, rich, decadent and good, with no discernible carrot taste. The texture was a bit fudgier than the lighter texture I normally associate with mousse, but that is not a bad thing. Rather than add the orange liquor, I used a bit of orange zest and juice for the orange flavor. To get the right texture, puree the carrots really well before adding in the other ingredients, and then take your time in pureeing everything together, until it is very smooth, (which took several minutes and lots of scraping down the sides of the processor). I took the lazy way out and spooned it into four little tea cups and garnished them with mint, but if you have the fresh berries, piping the mousse into glasses as suggested would be nice. A fun recipe and a good way to sneak a bit of vitamin A into your diet while enjoying dessert.


  1. That does look decadent! I love the little hit of cream cheese, a personal favourite and a great pairing with both carrot (as in carrot cake) and chocolate.
    It looks almost like a crust-less cheesecake! Mmmm....

  2. Carrots! Why that seems healthy! With the dark chocolate as well? This is going into my "must try" file! I'm joining you for soup again this week!

    Potage of Lentils:

    Thanks Deb!

  3. What an amazing concept, carrots in the chocolate mousse. But hey, it also has Grand Marnier, so I know it's got to be good. :)

  4. Sounds fantastic. Chocolate and orange pair well together.

  5. What an interesting twist! I love orange and chocolate together.


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