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Blood Orange Chocolate Mousse Dirt Cups

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

Dirt pudding all grown up.

Chocolate mousse dirt cups topped with whipped cream, orange zest, and crushed oreos.

Wanna take a field trip to childhood while staying firmly planted in the world of adults? Make chocolate mousse dirt cups. Chocolate mousse and blood orange curd join the classic crushed oreos for a sophisticated, decadent take on nostalgic dirt pudding.

Chocolate mousse dirt cup filled with blood orange curd and topped with whipped cream, orange zest, and crushed oreos.

Mousse isn’t difficult, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are the key stages to watch for as you whisk your way toward rich, chocolatey goodness.

Tempering the eggs. The process of pouring the steaming cream into the bowl of whisked egg yolks and sugar is called tempering. The hot liquid is introduced slowly, bringing up the temperature of the raw eggs gradually to avoid scrambling them. If the possibility of cooked egg bits scares you, relax! The whole point of tempering is to avoid that. Follow the instructions and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Thickening the custard. Once the egg-sugar and cream is combined, it goes back into the pot and is stirred over medium heat until it’s thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. In French, this is called “nappe.” This only takes a few minutes, but you need to be stirring constantly. The mixture touching the bottom of the pan will thicken first, and if you’re not constantly scraping it up and reincorporating it with the rest, it will burn. I recommend using small rubber heat-proof spatula if you have one—it’s great for getting in the corners of the pot.

Chocolate mousse in a big white bowl with a spatula beside it.

Melting the chocolate. The best way to incorporate the chocolate into the hot thickened custard is to pour the hot custard over the chopped chocolate, let it sit for a few minutes, and then whisk until it’s smooth and combined. To be successful here, make sure your chocolate is chopped into small bits so it melts evenly, and let it sit for the full two minutes before starting to stir. If you try to whisk prematurely, the custard won’t have time to melt the chocolate, and you’ll end up with unmelted chocolate lumps in the custard that won’t whisk out.

Incorporating the whipped cream. Once the chocolate custard is cool, it’s time to whip the rest of the cream and fold it in. You’ll want to fold it in in three separate parts. The goal of the first addition is to lighten the texture of the custard making it easier to fold in the rest of the whipped cream while keeping its volume. You will deflate the first bit of whipped cream when you fold it in—it’s a given. The remaining 2 stages of whipped cream should be folded in as carefully as possible, so you retain its volume—that’s what will give the mousse its volume!

Chocolate mousse and blood orange curd dirt cups topped with whipped cream, orange zest, and crushed oreos.

Once you’ve mastered chocolate mousse, the orange curd is a snap. It’s basically the same process as the mousse’s “thickening” stage, and then you sieve it (if you want) and whisk tiny bits of butter into it until it’s glossy and gorgeous.

These chocolate mousse dirt cups are what dirt pudding always wanted to be. Between the rich, fluffy mousse and that sweet and tangy curd, you won’t be able to put it down. Is that bad? Is it good? Well, whatever it is, it’s a thing!



Blood Orange Chocolate Mousse Dirt Cups

(Serves 6)

Chocolate mousse dirt cups filled with blood orange curd and topped with whipped cream, orange zest, and crushed oreos.

For the blood orange curd:

4 large egg yolks

½ cup blood orange juice

6 tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. orange zest

½ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt

2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

For the chocolate mousse dirt cups:

4 egg yolks

¼ c. granulated sugar

2 ½ cups heavy cream, divided

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, preferably 70%

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. kosher salt

2 tbsp. powdered sugar

12 oreos, plus additional for serving

Special equipment: small sauce pot, sieve, hand mixer


For the blood orange curd:

Blood orange curd in a glass bowl.

In a small sauce pot, whisk together egg yolks, blood orange juice, sugar, lemon juice, orange zest, and salt. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a spoon and a finger swiped across the curd-coated spoon leaves a distinct trail, 5-6 minutes.

Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a heat-proof bowl. Whisk in cubed butter until combined and shiny.

Let cool at room temperature, then cover and store in an airtight container until completely chilled.

For the chocolate mousse dirt cups:

In a medium bowl using a hand mixer, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small pot, heat 1 cup heavy cream until steaming.

Still whisking, add steaming heavy cream to egg yolk mixture and mix until incorporated. Return cream and egg yolk mixture to the pan. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly with a flexible heat-proof spatula, until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 1-2 minutes.

Chocolate custard in a white bowl with spatula.

Remove from heat and pour over chopped chocolate. Let sit 2 minutes, then stir until chocolate is completely incorporated. Whisk in vanilla and salt, then set aside to cool to room temperature.

When chocolate mixture is completely cooled, whisk 1 cup heavy cream in a large bowl using a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold approximately 1/3 of whipped cream into cooled chocolate until combined, then add the rest and fold in just until no streaks remain.

Crush 12 oreos into medium sized pieces and divide equally between six rocks glasses. Divide half of the mousse evenly between the glasses, spreading into a flat layer. Divide the curd equally between the glasses, then carefully spoon the remaining mousse on top. Chill at least 30 minutes.

Just before serving, whip remaining ½ cup heavy cream with powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Top dirt pudding cups with whipped cream and sprinkle with more crushed oreos as desired.

Chocolate mousse dirt cups filled with blood orange curd and topped with whipped cream, orange zest, and crushed oreos.

Originally posted October 28, 2023.

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