Spicy Layered Chocolate Mousse Squares
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Cocoa Puffs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided, softened to room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 1½ cups mini marshmallows
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more for dusting
  • cocoa powder for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.
  2. Place 3 cups Cocoa Puffs in a zip-top plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, crush the cereal until it is in crumbs, with no large pieces remaining. Pour crushed cereal into a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Add 6 tablespoons of the butter and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the cereal, combine well with a fork or pastry blender.
  4. Press mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of an 8" x 8" baking dish. If crust is sticking to your hands, wet your fingers lightly with water.
  5. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set on counter to cool completely. While the crust is baking and cooling, make the cream cheese, chocolate mousse and whipped cream layers as described below.
  6. For chocolate mousse layer: In a heavy medium saucepan, melt bittersweet chocolate, 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of hot water over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the mini marshmallows and cook until marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  7. While chocolate is cooling, in a medium mixing bowl, mix together ½ cup of the cream, ½ teaspoon of the vanilla and ¼ teaspoon of the cayenne pepper. Whip with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  8. Fold chocolate mixture into the whipped cream, carefully mixing until there are no more white streaks.
  9. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes (not longer). If you are still prepping other layers at the 30 minute mark, remove the mousse from the fridge and set aside until ready to assemble the dessert.
  10. For the cream cheese layer: Using a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, ½ cup of the cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Start out at low speed until ingredients are mixed evenly together, then slowly increase speed to medium-high. Beat for about 1 minute, until very well blended. Set aside until ready to assemble dessert. Do not refrigerate before assembling - this will make it easier to spread.
  11. For the whipped cream layer: Beat 1 cup of the whipped cream in a large mixing bowl until thick but still spreadable. You do not want stiff peaks to form, but it should be thicker than soft peaks.
  12. To assemble the dessert: Once the crust is completely cooled, spread the cream cheese layer first directly on the crust, spreading evenly. Next add the chocolate mousse layer, spooning the mousse onto the cream cheese layer in several spoonfuls around the dish, then carefully spreading to all the edges. Finish with the straight whipped cream, spreading evenly on top and using a frosting spreader or knife to smooth out the top.
  13. To dust the dessert with cocoa and cayenne: Using a mesh sieve, over the sink spoon some cocoa powder into the sieve carefully. Hold the sieve over the dessert and tap it with a finger to sprinkle a thin layer of cocoa powder over the entire top surface. Repeat the process with cayenne pepper, making sure to sprinkle just a very light layer.
  14. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve cut into 16 squares.
Recipe by This Week for Dinner at http://thisweekfordinner.com/2016/02/02/spicy-layered-chocolate-mousse-squares/