Surprise your Valentine with either of these recipes for chocolate mousse, from Cumberland County's own Chef Donna Desfor.

Recipe: Fast 'n Easy White Chocolate Mousse Serves 4 to 6

This recipe is as simple as white chocolate melted in heavy cream. The white chocolate cream must be made a good 12 to 24 hours before you want to serve the dessert and can be kept for as long as 48 hours, so make sure you plan ahead!

Ingredients 6 ounces white chocolate, chopped 1 1/2 cups heavy cream Fresh grated Meyer Lemon zest, to garnish (optional)

Preparation Place the white chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the cream comes just to a boil, remove from the heat and pour over the white chocolate. Whisk until the white chocolate is melted and the mixture smooth. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 12 hours. Note: do not put plastic wrap directly onto the mixture to prevent a film; the fat and chocolate that collects on the top of the cream must be whipped back into the mixture to achieve a light fluffy mousse.

Remove the white chocolate mixture from the refrigerator and using a hand held mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), whip the white chocolate cream on medium speed into fluffy, soft peaks, 3 to 5 minutes with a hand held mixer (about 2 to 3 for the stand mixer). (Be careful not to over whip the white chocolate cream mixture or it can separate.)

Spoon out into chilled dessert cups. Garnish with a grating of lemon zest. Serve immediately.


Recipe: Fast 'n Easy Chocolate Mousse Serves 6 to 8

When you find yourself in need of a quick and impressive dessert – especially if it's for a special event like Valentine's Day – this mousse fits the bill. It contains raw eggs so if you have a compromised immune system, try the White Chocolate Mousse also featured in this segment.

Ingredients l cup high-quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (or a combination of both) 5 tablespoons boiling water 4 eggs, separated Scant 1 tablespoon sugar (to taste) 1 teaspoon spiced rum, or more to taste (optional)

Preparation Place the chips in a blender and pulse at high speed for about 10 seconds until the chips are pulverized. Add the boiling water and blend on high speed for l0 seconds. Add the egg yolks, sugar, and rum (if using) and blend until thick and smooth.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Whip the eggs on medium-low speed until frothy. Turn the speed up to high and whip until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. Turn the chocolate mixture out into the whipped egg whites and mix together using a combination of folding and mixing strokes. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and refrigerate for about 1 hour for the mixture to firm up. Pipe or spoon into chilled dessert bowls.

For more information, visit Chef Donna's website at www.theresachefinmykitchen.com