THE DESSERT – Chocolate Heaven for Those Winter Wonderland Nights

By Ashley Buckowing

After finishing up a bowl of flavor-packed Pho — a juicy broth packed full of onions, cilantro and other spices — you are convinced that your stomach can handle no more. Finding room for an equally amazing dessert is simply impossible. Or is it?

Cheesecake is too heavy and even a bit lackluster, and ice cream is just too cold for these winter days in Iowa. Your head tells you to stay home and save the thought for later — and save your gut from further expanding after the holidays — but your taste buds say they need more. That leaves one option: When it comes to dessert, the answer is always “yes.”

Sweet and spicy chocolate mousse is a favorite winter treat at Alba and Splash.

Sweet and spicy chocolate mousse is a favorite winter treat at
Alba and Splash.

The spiced chocolate mousse Alba is currently featuring in celebration of the New Year is a fluffy, flavorful dessert option that can satisfy the craving and won’t leave your pants too tight or your taste buds too cold. Chocolate after a cozy soup may seem odd at first, but it really isn’t. This mousse has plenty of spices and flavors to satiate a sweet tooth, flavored with cayenne and cinnamon and served on top of Alba’s house made churros. And if that’s not enough, the dessert is also accompanied by hazelnut chile and a cherry confiture.

“It’s a play on Mexican chocolate,” Chef Joe Tripp at Alba explains.

Are you drooling yet?

The chocolate mousse is served in a canister underneath a layer of whipped cream. Three warm churros accompany the canister to the side on a long, thin plate. Though the mousse is flavored with spices, the cayenne does not make this taste like you’re eating a burrito with your dessert. Instead, it makes the chocolate “pop” against the cinnamon-sugary churros. A good suggestion is to dip the churros in the whipped cream and chocolate mousse — you’ll thank us later.

This dessert has the qualities your palette is searching for: sweet and spicy, and the mousse is light enough to follow up your previous wintery entrees. It’s small enough to not leave you needing to buy a new pair of pants, but it’s big enough to satisfy your craving for that finishing touch on a perfect meal. RELISH

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Categories: The Dessert

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