Dia De Los Muertos

Dia De Los Muertos

You may have guessed by now The Readys have switched locations and I will continue my PT here.  I was just happy to have made the long car trip without too many problems! 
On my bucket list has always been to join a gourmet cooking club. We found the perfect one here in Green Valley. It's very organized using a sign-up .com service. Each month a theme is picked and one couple volunteers to make the main dish and host up to 4-5 couples in their home. The other couples sign up for the sides. You only have to host a dinner at your home once a year. This month's theme was Dia de Los Muertos a holiday traditionally celebrated November  1 or 2 in Mexico and in the US by people of Mexican heritage.  

It was an absolutely delicious menu with lots of variety in the dishes. It would not surprise anyone I brought dessert.

with  soup toppings: shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, diced avocado, green onions, and limes
Mexican Cornbread
Chili Rellenos
Queso Fundido, Pico and Chips
note the pomegranates on guacamole - a nice festive touch 
Mexcian Salad
Mexican Chocolate Mousse Pie
Cook's notes: The recipe gets its heat from a dash of cayenne pepper which surprisingly works quite well in this recipe, Espresso powder adds depth to the chocolate. It is rich so only a sliver of a piece is needed.  A note of apology for the length. Gosh, I did not realize until I got into the recipe the steps but I will say well worth it for those ambitious cooks. Your guests will rave.   
Beverages: water, tea, margaritas and sangrias were enjoyed by all the guests

Mexican Chocolate Mousse Pie
Cook's Notes: Allow 24 hours in advance for making this dessert as it needs refrigeration time. Use high-quality chocolate such as Ghirardelli and can use half semi-sweet and bittersweet chips if desired.
You will need a food processor for this recipe.
Recipe adapted from Good Dinner Mom

For the Crust
  • 14 oz., which is 1 regular package, Oreos chocolate sandwich cookies-not Double Stuff
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional but highly suggested as it adds a depth of flavor to the chocolate.
For the Filling
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 10 oz. dark chocolate chips, sub semi-sweet or use a combination if desired
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon regular ground cinnamon or ¾ teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
For the topping
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus more to sprinkle on top
For the crust
  • Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by lightly greasing the pan with cooking spray.
  • Grind the cookies (1/3 of the package at a time) into fine crumbs using a food processor or blender. Place the crumbs into a medium bowl. Melt the butter and stir into the cookie crumbs until there are no dry crumbs left. Sprinkle the espresso powder over the crumb mixture and stir again to combine.
  • Pat the crumbs into your springform pan and press firmly into the bottom and up to the top of the sides to create a pretty crust. The sides can be a little thin. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
For the filling
  • Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for about 5 minutes to chill. This step is optional but VERY helpful in making the perfect whipped cream.
  • Combine the hot water and the espresso, stir to make smooth.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and 5 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring occasionally until the chocolate starts to melt, then whisk until chocolate is completely smooth. Set aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • To prepare the whipped cream, pour the remaining 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream into the chilled mixing bowl and use an electric mixer (or your stand mixer) to beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until the cream gets kind of bubbly. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating at high speed until stiff peaks form. Set the whipped cream mixture.
  • Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes until it's light and fluffy. Slowly add in the melted chocolate and beat on a low speed. Continue beating until the chocolate and the cream cheese are well combined. Measure out 3 teaspoons of the brewed espresso and add to the mousse along with the cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Beat the mousse until well incorporated.
  • Lastly, add the prepared whipped cream and fold it into the mousse until the ingredients are well mixed. Use a whisk if not mixing well. Pour the mousse filling into the prepared pie crust. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours but overnight is ideal.
  • Prepare the whipped cream topping using a chilled bowl and beaters. Add the vanilla and cinnamon to the whipped cream.
  • Use a large cookie scoop to add the whipped cream to the top of your pie when serving,
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