I’ve been told that it is happy hour somewhere, so I might as well have a drink. Although it was enough reasoning for me in college, that’s hardly the case now. It may be a little too excessive to drink whiskey and heavy cream with my morning coffee even if it is St. Patrick’s Day.
This Irish coffee mousse is a great way to be part of the party without the unwanted side affects of too much alcohol. Its also a dessert you can get away with eating anytime of the day, including breakfast. With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, this is a perfect little treat to get into the spirit.
I have a soft spot for whiskeys and bourbons, especially Jameson. Jameson is a great whiskey to incorporate into desserts because of its smooth finish and lingering caramel after tones. The slight bitterness of the espresso mixed with the whiskey is mellowed out by the dollop of sweet whipped cream. I also added some cocoa nibs to break up the monotony of the creamy texture with a little bit of crunch. Crushed cookies or biscotti would work just as well.
Irish Coffee Mousse, adapted from Everyday Food March 2012
1/2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
2 Tbsp water
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
2 1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
3 Tbsp Jameson Irish Whiskey, more if desired
1 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
cocoa nibs, as needed
unsweetened cocoa powder, as needed, sifted
1. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water. Let sit until gelatin is hydrated.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt until pale in color.
3. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of cream and espresso powder over medium heat until warm. Stir occasionally to make sure cream doesn’t burn. Just before cream starts to boil, gradually whisk cream mixture into egg mixture. Return mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring. Add 3 tablespoons of whiskey. Cook until mixture thickens.
4. Transfer to a clean bowl and whisk in hydrated gelatin mixture until incorporated. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the mixture. Let cool completely at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. Make sure the entire surface of the mixture is covered with plastic to prevent an unwanted skin from forming. Do not refrigerate or freeze mixture!
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk 1 cup cream until soft peaks form. You can also whisk the cream by hand. With a spatula, gently fold soft cream into the cooled espresso mixture. Divide mousse among six 4-ounce containers. Cover and chill until set, about 1 hour.
6. Before serving mousse, whisk remaining 1/2 cup cream and 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. Garnish chilled mousse with a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and cocoa nibs.