The little big things in life...Let me start by a very little thing: fresh tasty raspberries in late October. I had stopped at the restaurant last week to say "hi" to the old crew when Crazy D and Nazi K (the appropriately nicknamed line chefs) emerged from the kitchen with a small crate of raspberries. "For you!" they exclaimed at the same time. I was quite surprised as we have spent 6 years in crammed quarters together, sweating, cursing (yes, I know how to!), loving and hating each other at the same time. To see them bearing gift, you can guess that I was expected a prank or something worse. To my surprise the berries were juicy, sweet and tasty. "Where did you get these? They are so good!". I got the usual "Fell off the back of a truck" answer. We would say that anytime we'd get something we were not supposed to. Hmmm the little things in life...don't ask, just do!
I contemplated for a day or two what I was going to do with this unexpected summer extension. In spite of a couple days when we wore long sleeves, it's been perfectly sunny and warm around here, the perfect backdrop to a little frozen treat. I opted for frozen parfaits, perfectly rich and at the same time light and creamy with whole raspberries in them. The base of the parfait is a simple mousse made with a pate a bombe, aerated with whipped cream. Pate a bombe is one of those kitchen techniques that make your life much easier when making mousses, not to mention incredibly creamier.
The yolks are beaten with a sugar syrup that has been brought to 238F. When it's just us, I use both whipped egg whites and whipped cream to finish the mousse, but in the process of calming raw egg worriers I am usually cooking for, I use only whipped cream and save the whites for meringue buttercreams or macarons. The result is of course a tad richer but I am far from being the last to turn one away. Come to mama, you little creamy thing!
If Lisa lived here, I would absolutely serve these at her bridal shower but she does not and she already had it...so I am going to have to eat them all by myself. Why am I mentioning Lisa and her upcoming nuptials? Again, one of those little things in life that turns into a big thing. When I first started blogging, Lisa was one of the first to leave comments and support and one thing leading to the next we became virtual friends outside of the blog. Those friendship can become quite strong even through emails and online chats and there are a handfull of bloggers I communicate with on a daily basis. I had the chance to actually visit Lisa twice, sealing the bond that we formed online.
This coming Wednesday, I am boarding a plane for Lisa's house where for the next few days I will be, along with Kelly from Sass And Veracity, friends and family, helping her prepare her wedding party food, be one of her bridesmaids and last small thing, make her wedding cake. Now, I am getting nervous... Before I leave though, I have another macaron baking marathon with Kim today and Tuesday, so if you thought I was the ghost commenter before, visiting your blogs less and less regularly, I am afraid I will be most absent this week and I apologize for it. But I feel blessed that I'll be able to share this big adventure with Lisa and W. turning one early morning comment over two years ago into one of the most meaningful relationships of my life.
Yes, those little Frozen Raspberry Parfait Lollipops are perfect to wish them both "Congratulations!".
Frozen Raspberry Parfait Lollipops:
Makes 8-10 depending on your molds.
Kitchen Note: I used disposable bath Dixie cups to pour the mousse into but you can use any small ramequins, glasses, silicone molds, etc...
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) heavy cream
6 egg yolks
5 Tablespoons (100gr water)
1/2 cup (100 gr) sugar
1 3/4 cups (220 gr) fresh raspberries
In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the whisk attachment or hand held one with balloon whisks, beat the cream until it just holds soft peaks. Chill while you prepare the base of the frozen parfait. Wash your bowl and whisk attachment.
In a heavy saucepan, stir together the water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Since you are not making caramel, it is ok to stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Let it boil and bring the mixture to 238°F on thermometer (soft-ball stage).
In the clean bowl of your mixer, still using the whisk attachment, beat the yolks slightly to break them up. Increase the speed to medium high and slowly pour the hot syrup over the yolks. Go fast enough to prevent the eggs from scrambling but not so fast that you end up with most of the syrup on the wall of the bowl or the whisk. Continue to whip until the mass is completely cold and airy.
Fold about one third of the pate a bombe base into the chilled whipped cream to loosen it up and make it easier to incorporate homogeneously. Fold in the remaining pate a bombe. Add the raspberries and give the batter one last quick fold. Divide mixture evenly among cups, glasses or silicone molds, place a lollipop stick in the middle and freeze until firm.