White Chocolate and a Tired Chicken

What do I like about chocolate mousse?

Well, the question should really be, “What I don’t like about it?”.

Its chocolate, its as sweet or bitter as you want it to be, it can have any added flavor that you’d want, fruits, nuts, foam, requires far less time to set than ice-cream or semi-freddos (a highly attractive feature to seek for in recipes, when it comes to impatient bums like me), it melts in your mouth, and what not.

So, I tried to choose between a sumptious honey-chicken-prawn-pilaf dinner and a white chocolate mousse, for the sole reason that I didn’t feel like making both….but ultimately ended up doing so, anyway.

This time its a white chocolate mousse…

Ingredients:

100gms white chocolate

– 1 heaped tablespoon of unsalted butter

– 2 egg yolks

– 1 egg white

– 50gms heavy cream

– 4 teaspoons of castor sugar

– vanilla essence (I used 2-3 drops of a really strong one)

How-to:

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie. Take it off the heat after the chocolate’s melted. Let it stand for minute and beat in the egg yolks.

– Lightly whip the cream (lightly…only soft peaks).

– Combine the chocolate and cream well.

– Beat the egg white till it holds its shape, gradually adding the sugar in.

Try the inverted bowl test. The white should be whipped to such a consistency that, if you hold the bowl inverted, it shouldn’t plop out!

I usually hold it over my head…but that’s me.

– Fold on the chocolate-cream mixture into the egg white gently.

– Pour in glasses and chill in the freezer, till set. 2-3 hours should do it.

Saying “No” to Brownies!

No. I’m not actually saying “no” to brownies! I couldn’t possibly do that…ever!!

But I’ve noticed how every time I prowl around the kitchen, pantry and stick my nose into the refrigerator looking for something to snack on, I mostly choose things that I can just pop into my mouth, rather than those which would require the use of forks and spoons and plates. So I came up with brownie squares. Yes, its just a brownie tart chopped up into pieces for my convenience.

Its technically not the end of the week, I know, but I just couldn’t stand “no-baking-for-a-week” anymore!

This one’s a simple 3-layers recipe really; 1 layer of chocolate brownie crust, 1 layer of lemon pudding and the topmost layer is a chewy mocha meringue.

Chocolate Brownie Tart:

– 75gms of unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks

– 1/2 cup flour, regular all-purpose

– 3 tablespoons of semisweet cocoa powder

– 1/2 cup of granulated white sugar

– 1 egg yolk, well beaten

– two tablespoons of cold water

– 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Blitz to mix the flour, sugar, salt and cocoa powder in a processor. Add the butter and mix again till the mixture becomes crumby. Pour it out on a working surface or a bowl. Add the egg yolk and start kneading gently. Gradually add the cold water to form the dough. Wrap with cling foil and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Prepare a baking tin. Roll out the brownie crust carefully and place it into the baking tin, trimming the edges accordingly. With a fork make piercing all over the crust (so it doesn’t rise up while baking). Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Lemon Pudding:

– Juice and zest of 1 lemon

– two tablespoons of warm water

– 1 egg beaten

– 1/2 cup double cream at room temperature

– 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter

– 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

– 3 tablespoons of icing sugar

Combine the cream, butter, vanilla essence and sugar in a bain-marie and stir it into a uniform mixture. Take it off the heat and beat in the egg vigorously (you don’t want your egg to scramble). Combine the lemon juice, zest and water separately and stir it into the cream-butter mixture. Adding the lemon juice directly will just make the cream curdle.

Chewy Mocha “Meringue”:

– 2 egg whites

– 1/4 cup icing sugar

– 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground coffee (you could also use instant coffee mix, the taste would alter though)

This layer’s technically not meringue-like, since we whip the egg white to a frothy texture, rather than a shiny one. The frothiness makes it turn chewy while baking. Add the coffee and sugar gradually while whipping the whites till they form soft frothy peaks.

Assembling the Brownie Tart:

Pour the lemon pudding over the pre-baked crust and pipe out the mocha “meringue” on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degrees oven or till the meringue is dry and chewy.

Cool completely and cut into bite-sized squares.