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Chocolate Mousse Cake

2 or 3 packages Lady Fingers, separated
15-25 blanched whole almonds or whole shelled almonds
8 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 egg whites
3 egg yolks
3/4 pint whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1/4 to 1/2 cup Amaretto liqueur

Boil water in the bottom of a double boiler. Put your shelled
almonds into the boiling water and let soak for a couple of minutes.
Remove them with a slotted spoon, cool down in some ice water and
pinch them. The skins will slide right off. Allow to dry completely.
Place top of double boiler onto the water and melt the chocolate

Holding the almond by the pointed end, dip the round end into the
melted chocolate. Coat 1/2 of the almond in chocolate and set the
dipped almonds on a greased, frozen plate. Make sure you set the
almonds down at about a 45 degree angle so that when you angle them
into the whipping cream, the flat bottom does not show. Put dipped
almonds into the refrigerator or freezer.

Separate the 3 eggs. Put the whites into a large mixing bowl and
keep cool but don't refrigerate.

In a medium saucepan, pour the milk, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and
gelatin. Wire whisk it well before heating. Bring to a boil over
very LOW heat. Don't let anything stick to the bottom of the pan.
This should also be done in a double boiler, but it will take you
a month to get it hot enough. After it boils, remove from heat
and whisk in the melted chocolate and the Amaretto. The best way
to cool it is to whisk it constantly with the saucepan in a bath
of ice water.

Line springform pan with the lady fingers. Do the sides first,
lining them up vertically, leaving no spaces in between and making
sure that the floured (rounded) side is touching the metal and the
cut side will be touching the mousse. Next line the bottom. There,
you can use up the broken ones and cut the remaining lady fingers
to fit. The entire bottom should not have any holes larger than
1/4 inch.

In the large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites. Pour the stiff whites
into a smaller bowl or just turn them out on a plate. Now you can
beat the whipped cream without washing the bowl or the beaters.
When the whipped cream is stiff, reserve about 1 cup or a little
more for the decoration.

Now add the cold custard mixture to the whipped cream and last but
not least, fold in the egg whites. Pour the completed mixture into
your lined pan. With the remaining whipped cream, pipe some 3/4"
to 1" diameter stars side-by-side all along the perimeter. Into
each mound of whipped cream, carefully set one of the dipped almonds,
smushing it down just enough to hide the flat spot, at about a 45
degree angle.

To serve, set the mousse on a pretty plate, carefully remove the
sides of the Springform or similar pan and leave the bottom on.
Slice and serve as cake.


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