From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a bit fussier than most of the desserts I've been experimenting with this holiday season, but it's really not that all hard to do. Making the chocolate shells can be off-putting to some, and while they are a bit messy to prepare, wikihow has a marvelous tutorial that will walk you through the steps needed to get them to your table. You'll find them much easier to make if you use parchment liners for your muffin cups. They make for a smooth release, and while standard liners work, these make the job much easier. If they are not available in your area, parchment liners can be ordered, here. Once you've made the shells they must be kept cold to prevent unwarranted melting,so it is best to fill them just before serving. I've filled mine with a mousse-like, eggnog flavored cheesecake that is delicious and almost effortless to make. This filling is versatile and can also be served in small pudding cups or used to fill cream puffs. This is a nice holiday dessert and it might work well for those of you who are looking for something a bit different to serve your guests. The dessert works best if it is assembled just before serving, but all of the components can be prepared well ahead of time. If you have time. I hope you'll give the shells a try. I think you will be quite pleased. Here is how the shells and filling are made.
Chocolate Shells with Eggnog Cheesecake Mousse...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Taste of Home magazine
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 package (8 ounce) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cups cold eggnog
2/3 cups cold whole milk
1 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
1/4 teaspoon rum extract
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup heavy whipping cream, divided use
1) To make chocolate cups: Melt chocolate over a double boiler until smooth. Line a 12-cup cupcake tray with silicone (parchment) paper liners and scoop approximately 1 tablespoon melted chocolate into each cup. Use a pastry brush to evenly coat each cupcake liner and paint chocolate up the sides of each liner, stopping about 1/2-inch from the top. Freeze tray for several hours or overnight. Peel off cupcake liners and store the chocolate cups in the freezer.
2) To make eggnog mousse: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the eggnog, milk, dry pudding mixes, extract and nutmeg until smooth. Whip 1/2 cup cream until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into pudding mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
3) Just before serving, whip remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Spoon eggnog mixture into chocolate cups. Top each filled chocolate shell with whipped cream. Yield: 12 servings.
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