Sunday, October 9, 2011

For better presentation

Often, when I take photos of cold desserts like flummery or pineapple snow, they don't look that appealing. Since people are more drawn to recipes that have a tasty-looking picture, (hence the current trend for overly large, overly expensive cookbooks with more photos than recipes) I get annoyed when I can't portray a dish in such a way as to make people want to try it.

Part of the reason why my dessert pictures have been so boring is that generally, I had to present them in plain glass mixing bowls, since I had nothing else suitable to put them in. So yesterday, when wandering around the annual Vintage Car Club swapmeet, Mum and I honed in on glass and crystal serving dishes. There were plenty available, as not many people are wanting that sort of thing these days. I ended up with two bowls, both of which would be suitable for flashing up my puddings a bit.

Naturally, I had to make use of at least one of them immediately. I had some cream left over from my green peppercorn sauce: exactly enough to make a half-recipe of easy chocolate mousse (p201).

I'd already made the liqueur variation, and I'd noted at the time that more chocolate would be an improvement. So I upped the quantity a bit as I placed the chocolate in a bowl over some boiling water to melt. When the chocolate had melted, I removed it from the heat and stirred in some egg yolks. This seemed to stiffen the consistency of the chocolate, but I hoped it would be ok as I beat it smooth in accordance with the instructions.

The next step was to whip the cream. I transferred the beaters directly from the chocolate to the cream, figuring that since they were going to be combined anyway, it wouldn't matter if a bit of chocolate got in the cream. Before long, the cream was whipped and I added the chocolate. It had stiffened up even more while I whipped the cream, and it didn't fold in very smoothly. The two mixtures combined eventually, but the mixture was still flecked with bits of chocolate that wouldn't combine.

 There was nothing much I could do about that. I moved onto the final step, beating some egg whites until stiff, then adding just enough sugar to make it glossy. I folded this into the chocolate mixture, and poured the mousse into one of my new serving dishes. As a final touch, I scattered grated chocolate over the top, and left it in the fridge to set.

Chocolate mousse is one of my favourite desserts, and this recipe doesn't disappoint. It's light and creamy, and chocolaty enough without being too rich. It's not a difficult dessert to make; all you need is an electric beater and a few bowls. And this time, I managed to make it look pretty too!

1 comment:

  1. Turned out to be a good sized bowl eh Robs, looks nice! Sounds like a worthwhile mousse to try.c


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