Chocolate Walnut Mousse

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Barb grew up in Loveland, where her step-father owned a dairy farm. She now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband John, where she is employed by Focus on the Family.

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons cold water
3 tablespoons light rum (optional)
2 eggs (separated)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine chocolate bits and milk in top of a double boiler. Heat over hot water until chocolate melts. Soften gelatin in water. Beat egg yolks lightly. Stir yolks and gelatin into chocolate mixture. Cook over hot water a few minutes, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add salt and cream of tartar. Continue to beat, adding sugar gradually, until stiff peaks form. Whip Cream. Stir rum into chocolate mixture, then fold in meringue, half of the whipped cream and walnuts. Chill until firm. Un-mold and garnish top with the remaining whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

From Barbara McCarty