VALENTINE’S DAY: THE FINALE

Three days, three posts!  In my series of collaborative articles with Jamie, from Cooking in Red Socks, it is now time to share the dessert course of our romantic meal for two. But, before I do that, let me urge you to visit her site and check out her choice for the last course of her V-day extravaganza! She pulled all the stops and made some seriously gorgeous Strawberry Napoleons, heart shaped and all.  I am in complete awe! Wish I was one of the guests in her party… 😉

Now, to the finale of my dinner for two. It was hard for me not to think about chocolate when choosing a dessert for Valentine’s Day. Having settled on that, I needed something red and sexy to pair it with. Red and sexy like raspberries. All lightly dusted with a very light sprinkle of powdered sugar. For good measure.

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CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH RASPBERRIES
(from Good Food Magazine, May 2010)

85g dark chocolate, 70% (I used Trader Joe’s)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp espresso powder (I used Spice House
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
boiling water (enough to use 2 tablespoons)
1 tbsp sugar
50g full-fat Greek yogurt
raspberries, to decorate
powdered sugar

Chop the chocolate very finely and put it into a large bowl that will fit over a pan of simmering water. Mix the cocoa, coffee and vanilla with 2 tbsp cold water, and pour over the chocolate. Place the bowl over simmering water, give it all a stir, then remove from the heat. Leave the bowl still over the hot water, stirring occasionally until fully melted.  If necessary, place the water back on the stove for a minute or so.

Stir the melted chocolate, it will be quite thick. Stir in 2 tbsp boiling water and the chocolate will immediately thin down and become silky smooth. Leave to cool slightly.

Beat the egg whites to fairly soft peaks, then whisk in the sugar until thick and glossy. Beat the yogurt into the cooled chocolate. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mix using a large metal spoon, then very gently fold in the rest of the whites until they are evenly mixed in.

Spoon into 4 small cups or ramekins and chill for a couple of hours, or overnight.  Top with a few raspberries, then dust with a little powdered sugar.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Comments:  As far as chocolate mousse goes, this is one of the lightest options you will find. Because our cups were a bit large, the recipe made only two portions, each one  perfect to be shared.  As a result, we enjoyed this dessert two days in a row. Naughty naughty naughty…

The yogurt gives the mousse a little bit of a tang, cutting the richness of the chocolate.  If you are fond of that super rich feeling of a regular mousse, this could be too light for you.  But, if you rather play conservative with your sweets, this is a perfect way to end a romantic dinner.

Make sure to stop by Jamie’s site to see what she is sharing with her friends.

VDay2014

Jamie, it was great to collaborate with you on this joint virtual project!
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day celebration!

ONE YEAR AGO: Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

TWO YEARS AGO: Dan Dan Noodles

THREE YEARS AGO: Sophie Grigson’s Parmesan Cake

FOUR YEARS AGO: Antibiotics and Food

LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, EGGS IN SNOW

Eggs in snow” or “oeufs a la neige” or “ovos nevados“… conveys the same delight in any language: a classy, delicious, impressive dessert, that’s surprisingly simple to make. Besides that, you can prepare its components in advance, which is the golden rule for a relaxed host.



OEUFS A LA NEIGE

(adapted from several sources)

for the creme anglaise
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch (optional)
1 + 1/2 cup boiling milk

for the meringue
4 egg whites
6 Tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt

for the caramel glaze
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Thinly sliced almonds (optional)

Prepare the creme anglaise: beat the sugar and yolks with an electric mixer for a few minutes, until the color turns pale yellow and the texture becomes somewhat thick (ribbon stage). Beat in the cornstarch, if you decide to use it, and while still beating, slowly add the hot milk without scorching the egg yolks.
Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and warm over low heat, while constantly stirring. Don’t let it boil, but bring the temperature to 170F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and pass it through a fine sieve to remove any bits of egg yolk that might ruin the texture of the creme anglaise. Put it in the fridge until ready to assemble the dessert.

Prepare the meringue:
Starting with egg whites at room temperature, beat them with the vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue beating at very high speed, until the peaks are all glossy and thick.
Heat water in a large skillet to 180F (at this point, the water will form bubbles on the edges). Using two tablespoons or an ice cream scoop, spoon mounds of meringue and gently dislodge them into the water. You can cook several at the same time, making sure that the water never boils. If it does the meringues will disintegrate. Cook them for 3-4 minutes per side, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with a soft cloth to drain any excess water. Reserve in the fridge.

When ready to assemble the dessert, add about 1/4 cup of creme anglaise to the serving dish and add 3 cooked meringues to the dish. Sprinkle on some almonds and glaze everything with streams of caramel, made as follows:

Add the sugar to a small saucepan, drizzle the water on top. Set the mixture over medium-low heat, and gently swirl the pan until the sugar dissolves. Then, increase the heat to high, cover the pan, and boil the caramel for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and continue boiling until the sugar turns amber. Place the bottom of the pan in cold water to rapidly cool it, and working quickly, dip a fork in the caramel and allow it to stream through the tines of the fork onto the  cooked meringue and almonds.

Serve immediately, or keep in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

for more photos and comments, keep reading