Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fancy Dinner Part 1 - Chocolate Mousse

Alright, I am officially hogging the blog but remember yesterday when I bought all those scrumdidilyumptious ingredients? I also have a few leftovers I need to use. Today I started to put them into action. Since I don't want to kill ya all at once I thought I'd post tonight's dinner and then go over the Christmas plates tomorrow (unless someone else wants to post - I really don't want to be an all out blog hog!)
Part 1 - Make Dessert First (Dinner Coming Tonight with Part 2)
Every night we read to my kids. Right now Dad is reading the latest Percy Jackson but last night he had a meeting so I picked up my daughter's Dealing With Dragons by Patricia Wrede. If you haven't read any of her four Dragons books I highly recommend them (just don't read her 5th short stories - it's a little more adult). In the book we got to the part where the princess Cimorene must make dessert for dragons and doesn't have the time to make her signature Cherries Jubliee (going to have to try that someday). She decides to make mousse instead. As I was reading this out loud, talking about the folded cream and chocolate it was told to me that all this time my kids thought she was making chocolate mice. Today, since I had chocolate and cream on hand, we decided to show them what chocolate mousse really is. We decided to go with Bobby Flay's version

Ingredients -
(to make 7 crystal goblets)
10 1/2 oz of bittersweet chocolate (we used Nestle semi choco chips) (1 cup is 8 oz)
28 oz cold heavy cream
6 large egg whites
1 oz sugar ( 2 Tbsp is 1 oz)
Note ~ I have found that recipes often use measurements I don't have. To know what is what I found a conversion chart I liked and printed it off. It is now taped to the inside of my kitchen cabinet. I also have a small, inexpensive food scale. I love it.

 Melt your chocolate in a double broiler over simmering water. If you don't have a double broiler simply put an oversized metal bowl over a pan of simmering water. Older kids can help stir the melted chocolate. Once melted remove and let stand.
 Beat cream into a frenzy! Okay, it's actually soft peaks. Pick up the whisk and if the peak top falls over it is soft. I like using a kitchen aid for this. It is a lot faster. The recipe calls for the bowl being over ice. I just put my kitchen aid bowl in the freezer this morning and then once done transferred the whipped cream to another bowl.
 Separate your egg whites from your yolks. I like to pretend I am Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina when I do this. Crack, new egg! If you have never done this before there are awesome directions here:
Save the yolks for the hollandaise sauce we will make this evening!
Beat those eggs whites into another frenzy - once again so much easier with a kitchen aid but patience and a hand blender works. When the soft peaks form add the 2 Tbs or 1 oz of sugar. Keep whipping till you get hard peaks. My kids got a lesson on what peaks are.
 Pour your beautiful chocolate into a bowl (lovin' my spatula right about now) and add all your whipped cream at once. Fold (don't stir!). When just combined (you still see streaks) add your whipped egg whites. Fold a little more vigourously. Let the kids help and pass the spoon around to lick. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Your end result should not look like this. What can I say, it happens to the best of us. Actually, the mousse tastes fantastic - like chocolatey air. Our mousse however separated and didn't combine quite as much as I would have liked. I looked it up and we didn't let our chocolate cool competely. We figured we would just add a small slab of white chocolate and let everyone think it is suppose to be lighter in color!
Now, remember that I like working with leftovers? I have all those insides of my potato skins sitting in my fridge with 6 egg yolks. Tonight for dinner we will be having easy sirloin strips, potato rolls, and asparagus with easy blender hollandaise sauce. Stay tuned!! 

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