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Archive for the ‘chocolate’ Category

Round 2 of chocolate overload – here we go!

After seeing how the soufflé experiment did not seem to make a dent in the chocolate supply, I caved in and decided to try to do a mousse. There was another reason, and I’m not even sure if it’s embarrassing or not, but anyway: I though mousse only used egg whites (as well as, of course, chocolate), and I had two already separated egg whites I did not use for the soufflé. The duh moment comes when the recipe called both for egg whites and yolks; separated and used in different points of the recipe, but still, I had to use new eggs. Oh well, my mousse was extra egg whitey, and it did no harm.

So, on to the recipe. Mousse. Simple. You would expect it to be in all every day cooking types of cookbooks, right? Well, it wasn’t in 1080 or the Spoon. Surprisingly, there was a chocolate mousse recipe in my other new and yet to be used book. And it included coffee. Interesting.

That over there is that book. Different from my usual, more sophisticated recipes whilst supposedly simple and doable. Supposedly. I only had a quick browse through it – oh the pretty pretty photos – and it does nto look all that simple or doable. I was frankly intimidated. Some of the recipes do look straightforward, but most of them don’t. Oh well.

The mousse recipe looked fine. Quite a bit of work – what with whipping up the whites and cream. But I already knew I was in for that when I decided to give mousse a go.

The coffee part was interesting, because it did not require a lot of coffee (couple of tablespoons) so I was curious to see^^^taste what difference it made.

Too many eggs?

Too many eggs?

Yeah, too many eggs. Remember how I said I was trying to use up all the chocolate (by the way – I didn’t)? I doubled the recipe. Of course the eggs have to be separated, but they made a much prettier setup this way – the gooey whites running down the cutting board didn’t seem too appealing for some reason.

Is that butter I see?

Is that butter I see?

Butter, coffee, and chocolate. In a double boiler until smooth. I was actually very surprised when the soufflé didn’t call for butter with the chocolate. Could this be why it didn’t work? …I’m obsessed, I know. I just want to know what went wrong!!!

Smooth and creamy

Smooth and creamy

Now this is what I’m talking about. Bring me a towel and let me take a swim in there.

This time I was a good girl and let things cool down when the recipe said too. I also remembered about the whipping metal thingy attachment for one of my immersion blenders (yeah, I have two, it’s a long story), and that made things easier. At least for the cream. The whites were done by hand. Cuz I’m tough and mean like that. Yo.

Stalagmpeak

Stalagmpeak

Do all mousse recipes call for whipped cream? I know it’s normal to have it as a topping, but I didn’t think it was part of the mousse itself. Though it certainly was in this recipe – reason why I did not put anything on top. Plus it didn’t need it. I just didn’t expect it.

Ready to fold

Ready to fold

Fold it all in – GENTLY – put in cute little bowls. Chill. Devour.

SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD.

Reach and fluffy. The coffee hit you in the first couple of spoon fulls, but after that it was all chocolate, baby. Creamy, and rich, yet you could eat bowl after bowl of this and not be full.

Of course, it has raw egg, so it has to be eaten fast. Which is not a good combination if you remember from up there that I doubled the recipe. I was feeling generous – and yes, I wanted to show off this chocolate masterpiece – so I took some for a friend who hurt his back and was stuck in bed without being able to move. Lets just say that I believe that the reason he can now get up and move somewhat is because of the mousse. There is no other possible explanation.

And Alex made an incredible effort and a great sacrifice and ate the rest of the mousse. Well, almost all. I might have had some small bite. Or two. But small. Or something.

If you find yourself with chocolate at home: make mousse. Even if you have to go out and buy the rest of the ingredients. You will not regret it. And invite me over.

Chocolate mousse

Chocolate mousse

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A couple of weeks ago was my birthday, and as well as some great gifts, Alex made me a birthday cake. He asked me what type of cake I wanted, and what else could I say? Chocolate cake, of course! I also requested flourless – I wanted the chocolate flavour to be overwhelming, none of that spongy airy bullshit. So he did, and it was really good. I’m kind of sad that I had to share it with my friends, I could have eaten the whole thing by myself. It was that thing.

Why mention this? Well, lets just say that we are definitely not used to this US thing of measuring stuff with weird units. So instead of getting the 8 oz the recipe called for, we bought a bag of 32 oz of chocolate. Which brings me to this: all that chocolate could not be allowed to age in the pantry! Blasphemy!

So I searched my new cookbooks for chocolate recipes.

Erm. Yes. New cookbooks. What can I say, I couldn’t resist.

This is what I got – but in Spanish (I’ll talk about the other one in the next post). I didn’t even know this book existed till reading through the comments at Amazon about the 1080, when I was writing the post about the chicken with onion sauce (too lazy to dig up a link). They basically said that this was the Italian version of that book, but better, and the translation was kind of crappy as some of the ingredient measurements were clearly wrong.

I don’t know much about Italian cooking, but I know that I like it. And not just the obvious stuf like pastas, pizzas, and tiramisu – actually, I’m not a big fan of tiramisu. So I was definitely interested. Then the prize is pretty good for a big ass hardcover book. Aaand, I could get it in Spanish, which would give me METRIC MEASUREMENTS! Plus,  was pretty certain it would be Spanish from Spain and not Latin America (which, yes, I could understand, but would have expressions that would be weird to me). What’s there not to love?

The only downside – which 1080 also has – is that I will never be able to identify fish by their names. If you ask most people who learn a second language and are proficient at it, what they find most difficult about it, chances are they´ll say the food. For me it’s fish. I’m not talking about recognizing fish at the fishmonger’s – I’ve never been able to do that even at home. Basically find the Spanish name for different types of fish. 1080 kind of helps with that – titles of recipes are in Spanish and English – though not really, as the English fish names that are given I’ve never seen around here. I would dismiss it as saying that those fish must be Mediterranean, but that wouldn’t be entirely true – some I know for a fact that they are fished on the Atlantic. So yeah, ask me what a snapper is, and I won’t be able to tell you – though I will say it tastes very similar to besugo, which is the closer I could get.

All of this, of course, having nothing to do with chocolate.

So where was I? Oh, yes. With a lot of oz’s of chocolate to use up and two new cookbooks. You can probably guess what comes next.

Surprisingly, it was not all chocolate

Surprisingly, it was not all chocolate

At first I didn’t want to make mousse, because I wanted to cook something in my cute new mini casseroles. BTW, you want to see them?

Cute, huh?

And the only chocolate-heavy cooked recipe I found was soufflé. I’d heard that soufflés were pretty hard to make right, but what the hell – chocolate, eggs, and sugar – that can’t taste bad even if it doesn’t rise!

There was more chocolate than it looks like here

There was more chocolate than it looks like here

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler with some of the milk.

Let cool. This step  forgot – which might or might not explain why the soufflés never rose as they should have.

Now the yellow stuff

Now the yellow stuff

Add the egg yolks. And don’t be like the friend who was helping me out, and say that you don’t know how to separate eggs – google it, or search for it in YouTube – it’s the simplest thing ever!

Whisk up the egg whites. If you’re dumb like be and forget you have an attachement for the inmerion blender that does exactly that – then you’ll have to do it by hand. And your wrist will hurt. Maybe if you’re a guy it won’t…. not sure about that.

Houston, we have peaks!

Houston, we have peaks!

And the rest is pretty simple. Mix it up.

Fold the whites into the chocolate

Fold the whites into the chocolate

Put it in the little molds, or casseroles in my case. The recipe called for them to be greased and sprinkled with sugar, as their suggested presentation was to get it out of the containers. I think I could have gotten away with no greasing or sugaring. C’mon, I was going for cute overload – and what is cuter than those smurf colored mini casseroles, chocolate and ice cream?

The sugar almost sparkles

The sugar almost sparkles

And bake. Serve warm. Ice cream optional. Optional not being a word that really fits into my vocabulary.

The good or the bad first?

They didn’t rise. At all. Maybe when they were in the oven the tops were concave instead of flat – but the damn thing never got up. So disappointing. I guess it is difficult to make a soufflé!

Hit me with it, what did I do wrong?? We still have some chocolate left, so I can give it another try if someone lets me in on the secrets of big rising soufflés.

Chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice crea^^^liquid stuff

Chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice crea^^^liquid stuff

The taste? Did I not say you could not go wrong with the ingredients that went into this?

It was good. Very good.

But.

It pains me to say so, but it was too chocolatey and dense. I could not finish it all, in spite of my love for chocolate. And I think the reason for that might have been the fact that it didn’t rise.

Oh, and if you ever mention  – ever – that I said that something with chocolate was too chocolatey, I will deny it.

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