Cappuccino Mousse Tarts with Shaved Chocolate

Serves 4


  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa



  • 1 envelope plus 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/3 cup milk and 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup espresso (regular or decaf)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
  • 1 cup heavy cream


    Chocolate Shavings

  • 1 6-ounce package chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening


    Roll the puff pastry sheet out on a lightly floured surface to measure 16" x 14". Cut the rectangle into 4 pieces. Fit each piece into a 4-inch removable-bottom tart pan, pressing pastry against the sides of the pan. Run a rolling pin across the top of the tart pan to trim off excess pastry. Return pans to the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 400° F. Prick the pastry with the tines of a fork. Line the pastry with foil and fill with pastry weights or dry rice. Bake in oven for 12 minutes. Remove the foil with the weights and continue to cook until golden brown, about 5 to 7 more minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Remove the tart shells from the pans. Place the cocoa in a small sifter and sprinkle shells with cocoa. Set aside.

    Add 1/3 cup milk to a 1-quart saucepan. Sprinkle in gelatin. Let stand 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the espresso. Stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining milk and liqueur. Transfer to a large bowl. Place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water. Stir with a rubber spatula just until the mixture mounds slightly, about 15 minutes. Remove from the ice bath.

    Meanwhile, using an electric mixer in a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the cream into the espresso mixture until well blended. Gently fold in the remaining cream. Spoon into a pastry bag with a large plain tip and pipe into prepared tart shells. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

    Chocolate Shavings
    Line a 5" x 3" loaf pan with foil, and set aside. In a heavy saucepan, combine the chips and the shortening. Stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate into a prepared pan and refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 2 hours.

    Remove the chocolate block from the pan by gently pulling on the foil. Using a vegetable peeler and working over waxed paper, peel large curls from the chocolate block. If curls are breaking, let the chocolate soften at room temperature for 30 minutes and continue. Use a toothpick to transfer the curls and shards to the top of the mousse-filled tarts.

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