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Jahresarchive: 2006

Mousse and the Diabetic

No, no, it’s not about me suffering from self induced sweet related diabetic coma…but rather about my father- in- law who has diabetes but still would like to try some of my desserts. We have been sampling a few different mousses lately and today was such a hot day that I got inspired yet again by the wondurful Mercotte and her mascarpone mousses, but greatly tweaked them to accomodate a diabetic diet.

I tried to make them as sugar free as possible without sacrificing taste ansd texture and I think it worked. I don’t think I’d be making these instead of the regular version but the mousses were good and B. mentionned he kinda felt good knowing he was eating "less full fat/full sugar" How dare he turn all healthy/shmancy on me now?

Here is my variation. I agree they were not bad at all, I’d rather splurge on the "real ones" now and worry later…

Mascarpone Mousse: whisk 2 egg yolks (save the whites for later in the recipe) with 1/4 Splenda, add 100g mascarpone, the zest and juice of one lemon.
Soften one sheet of gelatin in cold water. Heat 50 ml. heavy cream, when the cream is hot, add the soften gelatin and sissolve.
Beat 100 ml. heavy cream to stiff peaks and incorporate to the mascarpone cream.
Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks with a Tb. of Splenda and add them to the mascarpone mousse. Layer the mousse in pretty dishes.

For the fruit gelee topping: cut some strawberries and lay them on top of the cream. In a small saucepan heat up 1/2 cup of sugar free berry jam (raspberry, strawberry, I used blackerry) and add 1/2 sheet of gelatin softened in cold water. Let cool a little bit and slowly pour on top of the mascarpone mousses. Cover with plastic wrap and let set in the fridge.

Dessert Cosmopolitan

I don’t know what it is with me and lemons or even Cosmos lately. It’s got to be related to this spring/summer weather we’ve been having. I have felt inclined to make me a nice chilled Cosmos on a couple of occasions but wisdom ended up taking over and I had a nice tall glass of lemon water instead.
Well, I played with the notion of a Cosmo for dessert a few nights and I finally came up with this dessert Cosmo. I took the most noticeable flavors of the drink, turned them into mousses and gelees and poured them into nice Martini glasses. I got inspired by the lovely desserts of Mercotte, especially her verrines and other creations.

Here is her recipe for the 'Cremes au Citrons' in French and my interpretation:

La recette : pour 6 à 8 verres selon la tailleLa crème au citron: 8cl de jus de citron, 2 œufs, le zeste d’1 citron ½, 100g de sucre, 100g de beurre, ou un peu moins. Dans un cul de poule mélanger le sucre et les zestes hachés très fin, ajouter le jus des citrons et les œufs. Laisser épaissir le mélange au bain-marie en remuant. Ajouter le beurre au mixer plongeant quand la T° est entre 55 et 60°, sans incorporer d’air.Verser tout de suite dans les verres et laisser refroidir, la crème va prendre très vite.

Variation : she cooks her cream/ curd on top of a water bath, but I eliminated that step and cooked it directly on top of the stove over medium/low heat.

The recipe for 6 to 8 glasses: 80 ml of lemon juice, the zest of 1 1/2 lemon, 2 eggs, 100g sugar, a little less than 100g butter. Put everything in a saucepan and cook over medium low/ medium heat whisking constantly so that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. Remove from the heat and slowly add the butter. Let cool and when still lukewarm add 3-4 Tb vodka for your Cosmos.

For the cranberry part: boil 2 cups of cranberry juice until reduced to 1 cup. Soften 1 sheet gelatin (or 2 tsp. powdered gelatin) in cold water. Whn soft add to the hot cranberry juice and let cool.
Meanwhile, wash and cut some strawberries and put them on top of each Martini glass.
When the cranberry juice mixture is cooled but not set yet, slowly pour it on top of the strawberries. Cover the glasses with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely set.

It was awesome..I am happy…again!

Dark Chocolate Reeses cookies

I admit that since I have been living in the US, my fondness for peanut butter has greatly improved, (especially since I can find it crunchy and sweet at the same time). However, I still can’t get to eat Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. I don’t know if it is the taste or the texture or a mix of both but the candy is really too sweet for me and that is big for me to say, because I have been known to devour truffles by the boxes in my younger days. Mr. B. on the other hand, being the full blown southern boy that he is, luuuves the little candies. I have had my eye on the limited edition of the dark chocolate peanut butter cups for quite some time, as in " just to give them one last shot" (all this of course for the sake of this blog…), but at $3.19 a bag, I kept on finding a nicer bar of European chocolate to enjoy…until monday when there was a bin of reduced price items at the grocery store and I found the cups for $1.50 a bag….and in the shopping cart they went and then they sat on the counter top until today.

I had them, now what? Eat them straight out of the bag? We rarely have candy or chocolate out around the house even during the holidays. I usually keep little squares of dark espresso chocolate for coffee when we have guests or the occasional Kinder Egg when I get a care package from France. If I did not like my husband I could tell him to go ahead and clog his arteries up by digging in, but you see I love him dearly and would rather gave him a sweeter, more interesting way of clogging up than a straight piece of trans fat…why not adding butter and brown sugar to the mix, a little flour and a couple of eggs and "voila!"…Dark Chocolate Reeses Peanut Butter Cookies aka "One A day May not Keep the Doctor Away" cookie.

For the batter I used the recipe for the Soft Baked chocolate cookies by Trish Boyle that I posted before, and added a whole bag of the peanut butter cups chopped up and folded with a rubber spatula into the dough.
The result: it was Ok not Wow…I have been proven wrong, they might have been better straight out of the bag, still the cookies had a nice peanut butter chocolate flavor, everything the B. guy loves. When he is happy, I am happy!

A Lemony Mood

I have been craving and eating everything lemony under the sun lately, and my confections these past few days clearly reflect that. I seem to be tolerating high amounts of anything tart, citrusy and puckery but I think that B. has reached his limit…I might have also since my tongue seems to be citrus-burned!
I love martinis and cosmos and bought a set of martini glasses for Christmas but I have yet to serve a Martini in them! Up until now I have only used them to plate different mousses and layered desserts such as triflles and reconstructed cheesecakes.

The inspiration for this one came from The Domestic Goddess and her Frozen Lemon Cheesecake.
My modifications: I halved the recipe, I layered the whole thing in pretty glasses. I used limes for lemons and mascarpone instead of cream cheese, and crumbled Oreos instead of chocolate chip cookies. Last thing, I refrigerated the whole thing instead of freezing.
It was delicious and tart without an artificial flavor of citric acid that often masks lime and lemon desserts at certain bakeries and restaurants using pre – made lemon/lime curds. I am surprised I even liked the chocolate of the cookies with the lime mousse. I had my doubt about this one as I am one of the very few people (seems like) who do not really like the combinations of chocolate and fruit (raspberry, orange, lemon,…) I must be growing up or something.

Here is my modified recipe:

Lime Cheesecake Martinis:

1 cup oreos crumbs

3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2eggs, beaten lightly

1 tablespoon grated lime zest

8 ounces mascarpone cheese , at room temperature

1 cup whipping cream

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a stainless steel saucepan. Whisk in lime juice then beaten eggs until smooth. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens to a pudding-like consistency. Remove from heat and stir in zest. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment, whip mascarpone until smooth. Add lime mixture and combine.
Place whipping cream in a separate bowl and beat until stiff. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into mascarpone mixture then fold in remaining whipped cream until smooth.
Start layering the Oreos and lime cream into pretty glasses and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Man, that was good !

Quick, Quick

… before it’s too late and there is no point in posting about this birthday cake:

Every year for my birthday, my loved ones are faced with the same dilemna: since I am a pastry chef they feel like I should get a day off and not havee to make my own birthday cake but at the same time they don’t want to offend me making one or buying one at the store…everyone but my mothe-in-law…and bless her heart for it because I would have ende up saturday night with zippo treat to put a candle on…! She went to Wal-Mart and got me one of their mini cakes. I really dislike store bought cakes in America, sorry…here is the French snob in me but I am used to Daubos cakes in my little French Village outside of Paris. Now, I have to admit that this past Saturday I found myself all alone celebrating my day since B. was playing 2 music jobs back to back and when I got home after the gym, I found this little morsel of buttercream staring me in the fridge…a couple of Cosmos later and I was eating some for dinner…and I liked (yes I did!) the super artificial taste of buttercream…for about 10 minutes, then the little slice I had seemed to sit on my stomach and not go anywhere… or maybe it was the drinks…oh well, I toasted to myself and went to bed.
Thank you B’s Mom! At least she knows the importance and symbolism of a cake on a birthday.

Some Time Off

It is by no personal choice that I have not posted in a while…I have been preparing some yummy things to blog about but, since the Frenchies have left we have been enjoying some time alone, eating out, cleaning house and being lazy…

Saturday was my birthday and I got a new digital camera so I have been playing with it a lot! I still have to figure out a few things and I will be back with delectable photos and recipes very soon.

They did it!

Zee cake…

Zee Happy Couple

T & D finally tied the knot after 5 or 6 years of dating! WooHoo!!
My brother and his daughter left the day before and my 5 year old niece was really happy to give me a hand with the wedding cake…and it did not turn out to be perfect like I wanted but D. was a forgiving bride and I am glad it was low key affair.
The flavors were great but as you can see the sides were not straight…oh well, nobody cared but me….!

Now that the french are gone, I am back to my regular postings…

Good Morning Breakfast!

Cream Cheese Danish Couronne

Cream Cheese Danish Twist

I have little time to bake these days. I usually pack all the baking on my days off, but right now I am playing sis, auntie, tourist, chauffeur, wife and hostess all at once. It’s good to have one’s life disturbed once in a while, breaks up the routine and educates you on all the other worlds out there…like that of parenthood…and I don’t think we’re there yet. In the meantime I am enjoying having the French around and feel like spoiling them, especially in the morning to give them so long lasting warm and cozy feelings. This morning was no exception. I stayed up late and made a couple of Cream cheese Danishes, one I braided and the other one I turned into a "couronne", crown or wheel.
I took my basic Danish recipe but rolled it into two large rectangles and spread cream cheese all over the dough, sprinkle with some sugar, folded and turned one more time and voila!. It was yummy and the Frenchies loved this new breakfast treat that they had never had before. They also fell in love with Krispy Kreme

My favorite Surprise

The Brother surely did not come empty handed. His suitcase was full of goodies for me to bake with: Praline Chocolat Poulain, powdered "pralin", vanilla galore and some local alcohols… but he also remembered my favorite thing to enjoy: Kinder eggs. It seems I am not the only one in the food blogging world to enjoy these, check Beck and Posh.

Unlike her though, I was too quick digging into mine to be able to take pictures! I just can’t find these around here and I regularly have a family member include them in goodie packages. In a way I am glad they are not easily accessible…it make the moment even more precious.

We went shopping for kitchen stuff with my brother today but I managed to start a Cream Cheese Danish Braid…I’ll hopefully finish it before midnight!

They are here!

They are here! It’s been kinda crazy around here getting the French acclimated, but I think they are anjoying it so far. My 5 year old niece seems to have a good time even she does not speak the language, and my brother is curious of everything.
We already went for BBQ downtown at Sticky Fingers and my niece has just discovered the power of cookies ar Great American Cookies at the mall!

I’ll try to post as much as I can in the next couple of weeks but it will be difficult…we are never home!