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    Chocolate Strawberry Mousse

      Servings:   9 servings
      Time:  20 mins

    Ingredients
      For the chocolate base layer:
      7 ounces (about 1 ¼ cups) Ghirardelli Bittersweet 60% Cacao Baking Chips
      ½ cup unsalted butter
      3 large eggs, separated
      ½ cup granulated sugar
      ½ cup almond meal
      ¼ cup all-purpose flour
      ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
      ¼ teaspoon almond extract
      ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

      For the strawberry mousse layer:3 tablespoons water
      1 packet (.25 ounces) powdered gelatin
      1 cup milk
      4 large egg yolks
      1/3 cup granulated sugar
      4 ounces (approx. 5 or 6 large berries) fresh strawberries, hulled and finely chopped or pureed
      2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
      Juice of ½ lemon
      Pinch of kosher salt
      1 cup heavy whipping cream
      Drop of pink food coloring (optional)

      For the garnishes:
      3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
      2 ounces Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking Bar, chopped
      2 tablespoons light corn syrup
      1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped softly with ¼ cup powdered sugar
      9 Ghirardelli Strawberry Bark SQUARES
    Directions
    To make the chocolate base layer: 
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, mist a 9x9-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray, and line it with parchment.  
    2. Place the Ghirardelli Bittersweet 60% Cacao Baking Chips in a small bowl, and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring, until melted and smooth. 
    3. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl, and whip until pale and doubled in volume.
    4. Fold the chocolate mixture into the yolks, along with the almond meal, flour, extracts, and salt. 
    5. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and whip until they can hold stiff peaks.  
    6. Fold the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture, a little at a time. 
    7. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.  
    8. Cool completely, then top with strawberry mousse. 
    To make the strawberry mousse: 
    1. Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top.  
    2. Heat the milk in a small pot over low heat. 
    3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl, until pale and doubled in volume. 
    4. When the milk is steaming, pour it into the yolk mixture in a slow, thin stream, while whisking.  
    5. When all the milk has been added, transfer the mixture back to the pot and cook over low heat, whisking, until slightly thickened (about 5 minutes).  
    6. Stir in the gelatin mixture, the fresh strawberries, strawberry preserves, lemon juice, and salt. 
    7. Cool the mixture to room temperature.  
    8. Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks, then fold into the strawberry mixture. Tint with food coloring, if using.  
    9. Pour the mousse over the chocolate base, and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. 

    To garnish: 
    1. Place the cream, white chocolate, and corn syrup in a heat-safe measuring cup, and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring, until melted and smooth. 
    2. Pour the glaze over the mousse.
    3. Allow the glaze to set, then cut into bars. 
    4. Top each bar with whipped cream and a Ghirardelli Strawberry Bark Square.