Heston’s mousse vs. regular mousse

Sunday is cake’s day, I usually make a cake for the rest of the week. This weekend was the time for a cake with mousses. I am a big sucker for mousses, any type of mousse will do, but of course the chocolate one is on top of my list. So I started trying out different recipes. Usually I go for mousse recipe including raw eggs, but since I didn’t have any fresh eggs, I tried two new recipes.

First, I went for a regular mousse consisting of hwhipped cream (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHYYkZpZGjo&feature=related) and melted chocolate. 

The recipe is straight forward : Hwhip some cream, about 300 ml, melt some chocolate (milk, white, dark, extra dark, whatever you prefer) let it cool down for a bit.Then gentely incorporate the chocolate into the hwipped cream. And there you have it, smooth, silky chocolate mousse.

Second trial – Heston Blumenthal’s mousse. He says he got the idea from a French culinary scientist called Hervé This. I found it slightly hard to belive that you can get a mousse out of chocolate and water, but Heston gave a scientific explanation to go with it. If there is a scientific explanation for it, the geek in me falls for it.

Therefore, I started my little experiment by melting 270 gr chocolate into 230 ml of water in a mixing bowl. For this recipe you need the best chocolate you can get – I used some dark Lindt chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, put the mixing bowl on top of a pan containing some ice cubes and whisk continuously, just like Heston is showing in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g28-9NVUHj0

 

By the time I was done with the second mousse, half of it was gone. It is smooth, full of flavour, the taste of the chocolate stays strong – oh yeah it is simply great. At the end I just mixed both of them and got a nice delicious chocolate mousse. And because there was a great sunny day I started playing with different types of presentations:

summer fruit + chocolate mousse

brownie soil + chocolate mousse + edible pansies

 

Rumor has it – the brownie combination with chocolate mousse and the summer fruits is simply the best, it balances great flavours and tastes :-).

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Spring is here

My friend Suzanne invited us last week for dinner. We knew we are in for a treat, as usual – Su’s speciality is Thai food. The menu included a delicious green curry chicken amongst other great dishes, so today Su will be my guest chef. The dinner was great,  the food was so  delicious and unfortunately for Su there weren’t any leftovers, but luckily she had a recipe and nice pictures for me at the end of the evening. 

curry paste

1 teaspoon of roasted coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons lemongrass

1 teaspoon kaffir lime peel

3 tablespoons chopped coriander root

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

1 tablespoon crushed garlic

1 teaspoon shrimp paste

1 teaspoon chopped turmeric

20 small green chillies

1 cup sweet basil leaves

The easiest way to deal with the paste is to putt all the ingredients in a blender and blend them until you get a green smooth paste.

green curry with chicken

300 gr chicken breast thinly sliced

250 ml of  coconut milk

250 ml thick coconut cream

100 gr green curry paste

3 big eggplants cut in small pieces

50 gr small eggplants

40 gr palm sugar

30 ml fish sauce

2 kaffir lime leaves

30 gr sweet basil leaves

1 big green chilli

1 big red chilli

Put the thick coconut cream into a wok and fry for 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously untill the coconut oil starts to separate out. Then add the green curry paste and fry for 1-2 minutes. Once the paste is cooked add the chicken and cook until the outside of the chicken turns white. Then add the thick coconut milk and when it is boiling add the eggplants. Simmer for 4 minutes, then add the palm sugar the fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves and half of the basil leaves. Turn off the heat and serve garnished with the green and the red chillies, the remaining basil leaves and few tablespoons of coconut cream.

And because Suzanne cooked all the delicious thai dishes I also made a little cake to go along with all the deliciousness of the amazing flavorful and balanced dishes – I made a Spring cake.

 I got inspired by the fact that the spring just started officially on the 21st of March, so to celebrate it I made a cake that consists of a vanilla sponge, a chocolate mousse layer, and a berries mousse on top of everything. Stay tuned, the recipe will follow soon.  

The sunny side of life

Finally, there are signs that the spring is coming – the sun showed up. You can see happy faces everywhere, lots of gorgeous flowers and you can hear the songs of cheerful birds every morning. I have no clue if it is because of the sun, but I feel happy today.

And because of it I decided to make a sunny salad inspired by a recipe I came across in the Nobu Now book. Well, I adapted it bit, but the result was great and I think very pretty. I think it makes a great appetizer or a nice salad if you size up a bit the quantities.

smoked salmon salad with swiss chard and deep fried rice noodles

rice noodles or mihoen (to replace the finely shredded filo pastry – I like the deep-fried rice noodles better)

swiss chard (the original recipe called for baby spinach – I am in my “I don’t like raw spinach phase “so I replaced it with the swiss chard, but I guess any green stuff will do)

smoked salmon (sea bass originally)

salmon roe (ok, ok – the is the only original element from the recipe)

thai sweet chilli sauce (yuzu dressing in Nobu’s version)

Start by deep-frying the noodles in hot oil, take care to take them out in 30 seconds or so, they get done very fast. Arrange the chard or the greens on a plate , place the noodles on top of the greens and on top of them place the smoked salmon. Drizzle some of the sauce around the salad and top everything with salmon roe.