Spiked Mocha Mousse Bars
Spiked Mocha Mousse Bars

Spiked Mocha Mousse Bars

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: 9 servings

I was surprised by how quick and simple this recipe turned out to be — and how amazing! I loved spiking it with creamy Bailey’s Hazelnut Liqueur. Forget buying a fancy coffee; why not make a fancy coffee bar for dessert?

Crust Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons icing sugar

Ganache Ingredients:
6 tablespoons heavy cream
about 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (I love Ghirardelli’s 60% cacao chips)

Coffee Mousse Ingredients:
1 3/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons water
4 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons Bailey’s Hazelnut Liqueur (or Kahlúa)
2 cups well-chilled heavy cream
chocolate covered espresso beans (optional, for topping)

Make the shortbread crust: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 x 9 in. baking dish with a foil sling. Cut the butter into the flour and icing sugar and press into the baking dish (I used a food processor to cut the fat into the flour — about 6 pulses — and then the bottom of a glass to press the mixture into the pan). Bake 18-20 minutes or until light brown. Set on a wire rack to cool.

Make the ganache: While the shortbread is baking, place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan (or microwave it for a couple of minutes). Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let it stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Set it aside until your crust is finished and has cooled for a few minutes, and then pour it over the crust (it’s okay if it’s not cooled all the way). Place the chocolate covered crust in the fridge to chill until the ganache is set into a firm layer.

Make the coffee mousse: Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside as an ice bath (I just stopped up my sink and used it). Place 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and sprinkle the envelope of gelatin evenly over the top. Let it soften for 2 minutes. Add in the sweetened condensed milk and instant espresso powder. Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved and the mixture is smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, whisk in the Bailey’s (or Kahlúa), and then transfer the saucepan to the ice bath. Cool, whisking frequently, until the mixture is cold and thick.

In the meantime, whip the chilled heavy cream to stiff peaks. Stir about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cold espresso mixture to lighten it up, and then pour this mixture into your remaining whipped cream, folding it in gently until there are no streaks. Pour this mixture over your chilled ganache. Chill the entire dessert until it’s set up nicely (a few hours). Lift the bars out of the pan, slice into 9 servings, top each bar with a chocolate covered espresso bean, and serve.

27 Comments on Spiked Mocha Mousse Bars

  1. Mom
    December 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm (11 years ago)

    Oh, these look yummy! Very pretty, too! The hardest thing for me accept lately was God’s plan for my future even if it included a very scary turn. Dad and I sat up all one night praying and had a real “peace that passeth understanding”. We didn’t cry, or get angry, just a genuine acceptance for God’s plan for the future for us. I guess after going through cancer…. (He gave me a peace in that situation, too. HE is AMAZING!) <3

    • Julie Ruble
      December 10, 2013 at 9:14 am (11 years ago)

      Thanks, Mom! I’m so glad everything worked out the way it did for Dad.

  2. Dianna
    December 9, 2013 at 9:35 pm (11 years ago)

    Little by little, I am learning to radically accept many things that used to cause so much inner discord! I can think of about a million little, silly examples — the egg whites that just will not whip up, the cake that is lopsided and simply cannot be salvaged, etc. etc. Some of these things have been enough to bring me to tears of frustration in the past. Age is helping to lessen the importance of the little annoyances.

    I can also think of a bunch of really big examples, too — namely, my constant struggle with remembering that I am not perfect, that I cannot do and be everything for everyone and still have sanity left over for myself. I radically accept {daily} that I will never attain perfection or control; that nothing is perfect except for Him. It is the sweetest relief when it sinks in. And then I wake up and do it all over again. Thanks for today’s reminder. 🙂

    • Julie Ruble
      December 10, 2013 at 9:13 am (11 years ago)

      I love these examples! Sounds like we’re a lot alike!

  3. Vickie
    December 10, 2013 at 8:10 am (11 years ago)

    What a wonderful post! Besides being a wonderful cook and baker, you have a way with language, to put it mildly. Thank you for sharing such thoughtful ideas! An then there’s the recipe!!!

    • Julie Ruble
      December 10, 2013 at 9:13 am (11 years ago)

      Aw, thanks Vickie!

  4. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
    December 10, 2013 at 10:06 am (11 years ago)

    I could not resonate with this post more. I, too, often pick back up my sack of worries even after I’m given them to God. It’s a long journey of practice for sure, this idea of radical acceptance. But I’m getting there.

    This dessert looks super tasty. That mousse topping is calling my name!

    • Julie Ruble
      December 10, 2013 at 10:08 am (11 years ago)

      Thank you, Stephanie!

  5. Vahtikoira
    December 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm (11 years ago)

    These are seriously dreamy!! Loving this flavour!

    • Julie Ruble
      December 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm (11 years ago)

      Thank you, Vahtikoira!

  6. Aislinn
    December 13, 2013 at 2:54 am (11 years ago)

    I posted the link to this page on my Facebook page and urged everyone I know to read it. Not so much because of the recipe ( which looks fantastic btw. ) but for everything else you had to say. It was profound and deeply moving. Thank you. I think we all need reminders sometimes that God is still on His throne and still in control and I can RELAX cause He’s got this. 😀


    • Julie Ruble
      December 13, 2013 at 11:43 am (11 years ago)

      That is so sweet of you, Aislinn. Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  7. Laura
    February 7, 2014 at 11:54 pm (10 years ago)

    Wow did this come at a time for me. I clicked over for the mousse, which I am pinning 🙂 but… long story short, I have the insane health history that culminated in brain surgery and got rid of seizures. They have started back up and for the longest time I was trying to convince myself they were panic attacks, but just this week I called my neurologist and accepted they are not. I think this is what you are talking about. This is relief in just accepting it and moving forward with treatment. It is scary, but somehow it was more scary when I was terrified and trying to convince myself they were not. Thanks for the great post.

  8. Natalie L.
    March 5, 2014 at 1:44 pm (10 years ago)

    Such excellent advice! The radical acceptance concept really hit home.

    Also, I completely agree with #6: I like to eat my feelings as much as the next person, but more than that, the process of making dessert and creating something delicious to share is positively therapeutic.


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