Sour Cherries, Avocado and Mascarpone Verrines

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I am not what people would call a "fashion victim", food wise or clothes wise. I know the shape and curves of my body and what will feel good on it, what fabric I like and cuts that I love and look good on me. The same goes with food... with the exception of verrines, or what one might call "creations in a glass". Whether savory or sweet I have been fascinated by them since I saw them on Mercotte's blog over a year ago, and since I was given this book at Christmas. The European culinary scene seems to have been quite fond of them for a couple of years now and I totally fell for them , so go ahead...say it...I am a verrine fashion victim...and it is mighty sweet.

I am also another kind of food fashion victim as I love to participate in blog events. Not only do I have the chance to share my passion with others but I also discover a multitude of great blogs and talented cooks everywhere in the world. When I read about Chris from Mele Cotte's event Cooking to Combat Cancer, I knew I could not sit back and not participate.

Too many people in my life have been taken away by cancer, particularly my grandmother and my brother. I felt complete loss of control when they died: could I do anything to prevent this in me? Probably not if it is in my genetic profile, but since there is no way to know and since our family health history is not that great, it could certainly be improved, and I could do my part with what I would put in my body. My diet was not bad to start with since my parents very rarely served us boxed or processed foods but I think I developed a sort of acute awareness to the cancer fighting essentials around me.

I know what looks good on me, but I also know what does my body good and food wise, even desserts can do their part in fighting cancer. For this particular event I wanted a shock full of cancer fighting foods in evey bite and although I was not sure how my little creation would turn out I thought it was worth the try. These verrines turned particularly tasty, surprisingly tasty!
I am new to avocados in desserts but after my first try a few days ago, I have to say I am a convert and they won't go only in my salads anymore!

Sour Cherries, Avocado and Mascarpone Verrines:

Makes 4-8, depending on the size of the glas you use.

Mascarpone mousse:

5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
8 ounces mascarpone, softened to room temperature
1 cup heavy cream

Cream together egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until mixture is thick and doubled in volume. Remove from heat. Stir in the mascarpone until completely blended.
In a chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.

Avocado Mousse:

3 avocados, pitted, skin removed and cut into cubes
1/4 sugar, or to taste
1 cup heavy cream
juice of 1 lime
In a food processor, combine the avocados, sugar and lime juice and puree until smooth. Whip the cream to soft peaks and slowly fold it in the avocado mixture.

Sour Cherry Topping:

1 cup sour cherries
1 cup sour cherry jam

Heat the jam and cherries over low heat. Let cool to room temperature until ready to assemble.

Assemble:

Do this just before serving as the avocado will oxydize a bit and get brown over time.

Layer the mascarpone and avocado mousse in glasses or conainers of your choice and top each with a 2-3 Tb. of the sour cherry mixture.

This dessert is health in a glass (if you forget the heavy cream....) as avocados are rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals in the body. They are also high in protein, fiber, niacin, thiamin, ribofalvin, folic acid, zinc and healthy fats (see...you can forget about the heavy cream!). Cherries contain the anti-cancer bioflavonoid quercetin.



Update: I apparently converted my temperatures wrong for the salted butter caramels. I corrected the recipe accordingly.

21 comments:

Chris said...

This looks fabulous! Thanks for participating! I must admit, like you I am a food fashion victim, loving blog events. To me, its great fun!

eliza said...

helen, avocados have been used as desserts/drinks in southeast asia. i grew up drinking avocado shakes, pudding, etc. but i admit those concoctions aren't so healthy!
your verrines looks very yummy from here :D

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Seems like there's enough good to over balance the heavy cream. This looks really heavenly.

Freya and Paul said...

Sounds and looks wonderful! With the green it could have looked gaudy but you have made it look really pretty and delicate!

Mercotte said...

c'est superbe, j'adore la couleur verte pâle !! et tu as changé le look de ton blog ....bravo !

Cheryl said...

Such a beautiful and refreshing dessert. Something I have never seen before.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Helene, you can go on this "fashion" forever - I'm amazed by your beautiful creations! I love the way you present your food, it's even more appetizing!

Here in Brazil, we eat avocados with sugar and lime juice sprinkled over it. Delicious.
And we also make a smoothie with it, blending it with milk and sugar.

Here, eating avocados in savory dishes is relatively new - not many people know guacamole, for instance.

Brilynn said...

I think they're pretty!

I'm a big fan of avocado smoothies.

lili63 said...

Comment arrives tu à avoir cette couleur pour les avocats ?
cette association de saveurs m'intrigue beaucoup .

Julie said...

Those are so pretty. I love the flavor combinations, the sour of the cherries, the buttery nuttiness of the avocado and the rich creamy marscapone. I must make these.

Lis said...

Only you could make an avocado look and taste better than it already does. =)

These look too pretty to eat! But yanno.. if you forced me.. :D

xoxo

veron said...

You can't beat a dessert that is healthy as well as tasty; avocado and mascarpone is a winning combination. This brings me down memory lane. Avocado for dessert ...oh yes. I remember my dad would simply cut it up and drench it in condensed milk...mash it a little...chill and then serve.

Gourmet said...

Avocado & Cherries???!!!! ;-)
What a great mix....
Wonderful!

Monisha said...

Interesting combination of Avocado and Mascarpone, looks gorgeous and I'm loving the health benefits as well!

Anonymous said...

I've never thought of using avocados in desserts! Actually, that's not true... Alton Brown did make an avocado ice cream once (but I haven't tried it.) Still, sour cherries + avocado? What a novel combo! And I love all those colors.

Ari (Baking and Books)

Helene said...

Chris: thank you. It was a pleasure to participate.

Eliza: avocado shakes...yummm

Tanna: you're right..balance is key.

Freya&Paul: one word:Photoshop...it looked a bit blue grey because of the sun and that's the best I could achieve.

Mercotte: merci de ta visite. J'essaye d'ameliorer le blog un peu chaque jour mais c'est bien technique tout ca!

Cheryl: thank you, it is really good.

Patricia: I have become quite taken by it actually. I am a new believer!

Brilynn: thank you. I'll try smoothies tomorrow morning!

Lilli: um mot: Photoshop. la couleur etait bleue grise au depart et j'ai joue un peu avec les couleurs.

Julie: try it, you won't be disappointed!

Lisa: thank you...I saved one for you!

Veron: it is amazing that something so good as avocado in desserts in just this brand new to me! I am a follower!

Gourmet: thank you!

Monisha: thank you!

Ari: now you got me intrigued. I will try ice cream next.

Arfi Binsted said...

That looks wonderful. I always love the way you photograph. Brilliant!

the pastry princess said...

absolutely fantastic, helene! it looks heavenly, and i love the vibrant colors. i unfortunately missed the deadline, but will still post mine shortly anyhow...

Z.Chef said...

Mmmmmm...ca a l'air delicieux!!!
I just finished writing a post on sour cherries on my blog when i encountered yours. I'm a private chef in new york, my boss grows sour cherries in his country estate, every year i get tons of them. Always on the look-out for new recipes!...Can't wait to try the avocado, mascarpone, sour cherry combination!
Merci pour l'inspiration, votre blog est genial!!

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