Friday, September 30, 2005

IMMB #19 Heidi's Chocolate Mousse With Persian Fairy Floss and Turkish Delight

I Can't Believe That I'm actually going to participate in an Is My Blog Burning? event. Properly. Punctually. This blows my mind. I am not given to organisation when it comes to this sort of thing, despite my best intentions, but when I saw the topic and realised I had JUST THIS SECOND MADE SOMETHING THAT FITTED THE TOPIC I couldn't resist. The credit of course goes to the wonderful Heidi Swanson of 101 cookbooks. I think hers was the first food blog I ever read, and to this day I can recall that I came to it courtesy of the astounding talented Loobylu.

Okay, it's not entirely properly, as I don't consider it complete without photos, but I simply am not going to be able to post any. Out of due consideration for the Internet, I have held a small bowl of leftovers in the fridge for almost two weeks now, but it's time to realise that it's just not going to happen and get on with the post.

Heidi recently posted a recipe for Amaretto-Spiked Chocolate Mousse and the minute I read it I wanted to try it. Not because I was consciously looking for something vegan, but because any time I read the words "chocolate" and "rich, velvety and decadent", I'm gone. We were having friends over for dinner and I decided this would be the perfect dessert. Not because it was particularly Moroccan, but because Heidi promised it would be quick and easy. And it would have been, if I had remembered that I don't have scales at the moment. I realised this at the precise moment I was required to measure 300g of chocolate chips. A moment about 40 minutes before said guests were arriving. I was only briefly daunted and then I remembered what I did as a child when required to weigh something. Most of my mum's cookbooks were the Women's Weekly type, which called for cups and teaspoons of ingredients. When I had to weigh something, I simply sorted through the cupboards until I found an item of roughly equivalent weight and then stood with an item in each hand until they felt about the same weight.

I frantically searched through my unopened packets and containers until it suddently dawned on me. The tofu weighs 300g! Of course. So once again I stood with a container of tofu in one hand and added and emptied the bowl of chocolate chips until it seemed about right. I heated the chocolate soy milk in a small pan, I melted the chocolate in the microwave and then I mixed them all up in the blender with the tofu. Now I must 'fess up, I didn't use the Amaretto. I just don't like Amaretto. I consulted with J, the most learned cook amongst our guests and when I asked if I should add Amaretto she looked decidedly pained. Plus I didn't have any in the house. But I did have Cointreau. We agreed it didn't need it, given the addition of the Turkish Delight and Persian Fairy Floss, which were going to be my little contributions to keep the meal's theme on an even keel. I mean, I don't recall seeing any pictures of traditional Moroccans glugging down Vitasoy. I added some vanilla extract and tipped the mixture into a bowl and tossed it in the fridge.

It chilled while we ate our tagine and couscous and later, when the evening had hit the mellow phase, I ladled out dessert. The mousse was very firm at this point, probably because it was missing 1/4 cup of liquer. I was able to scoop complete round balls of mousse, which I surrounded with small pieces of diced Turkish delight, and a small mound of Persian Fairy Floss/Pashmak. The mousse was very very rich. When I read the recipe, I noted that Heidi said "makes 6 decadent servings", but I thought "Hah! You obviously understimate my chocolate-eating-abilities!". Well let me tell you, despite the lack of cream and egg yolks, this is one of the richest, richest chocolate mousses I have ever eaten . None of us got more then half way into our serve.

The tofu taste was not noticeable when the dessrt was first made, but after the chilling, it was distinct. I suspect that the Cointreau would have masked this and intend to try making it again, but probably with regular milk, not soy. And I'm not sure whether the pashmak and delight were vegan, but you know what? I don't really care. Now that I think about it, I didn't use vegan chocolate chips, partly because I don't think they're available here and partly because I still have a giant bag of Belgian chocolate chips sitting on top of my fridge. Well they used to be. Anyway, I don't want to talk about it!

To sum up: This distinctly surprised guest T, whose wife J colluded with me over the whole thing. I think he was appalled enough at the fact that he'd eaten tofu, let alone breaking the news to him that he'd eaten vegan as well. The boy will NEVER come over here again if I go too far at once. But he took it well (a true gentleman that one!). And I don't think I ever got around to telling the Figster that it had tofu or that it was vegan. Some people will eat anything ....

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At 6:50 AM, Blogger Nic said...

Wow - it sounds like you got more of a reaction than most people did! The mousse sounds good, though.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger glutton rabbit said...

The mousse sounds delicious! I am not familiar with Persian Fairy Floss, could you tell me how it looks like?

At 10:55 PM, Blogger Rachael said...

I am delighted. And hungry. What a great post.

At 7:23 AM, Blogger Sam said...

aha - what a great perception - some people will eat anything! Thanks for your entertaining entry to IMBB, I really like the weighing method you employed, but maybe its time to invest in some scales and a bottle of ameretto. I love amaretto and I have a little stash in the house somewhere. I think. It's always goods to add a splash to some dessert recipes.

thanks for taking part in IMBB#19 in such entertaining fashion


At 9:25 PM, Blogger plum said...

Hi Nic - yes the mousse was good, but I just need to experiment a little with it - I think I'd like to add more milk next time and have a slightly lighter consistency.

Hi Glutton Rabbit, I've put up some pashmak on my next post at Check it out!

Hi Rachael - thanks! It was a loooong post to write for sure! I liked your falafel too - my recipe doesn't have cracked wheat in it, but I think that would go really well in it.

Hi Sam - I do have scales, I do, I do! They are just temporarily unavailable (it is a very tedious and boring story which trust me, no one wants to hear) but I shall have them back one day soon so there's no point in me buying another set. Although a funky scale instead of my beat up old soehnle would be nice!

Thank you so much for hosting this event - I can see how many entries are rolling in and it must take heaps of time to sort them through.

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Amanda Banks said...

The mousse sounds great!


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