Merry Christmas one and all! I can’t quite believe it’s already come and gone for another year. Time is whizzing by and I’m happy to say that while holidaying at home, I’ve been able to spend a lot of time in the kitchen baking, cooking and experimenting until I’ve literally been too tired to stand up. We decided to holiday at home this year as we went away a couple of months ago and we don’t often get to spend weeks at home with absolutely no plans.
Well, I’m sure you know what I mean when I say “no plans” as according to my husband, this means building a table for our deck from scratch, redoing a garden bed, I’m having a BBQ of sorts made up, our laundry area is getting a makeover (a DIY job) and an old fridge that has stood closed and unused in a while needs a good clean…hubby has also built 3 bikes (our Christmas gifts to ourselves) and tried three different bicycle pumps to pump the wheels, but for whatever frustrating reason you can come up with, none of the pumps has worked so tomorrow I foresee a trip to the bike shop…again!
As it was just our little family for Christmas lunch, I decided to keep it simple. I tried a new ham recipe which combined Dijon and wholegrain mustard, apple juice, cloves and soft brown sugar as the glaze. All I can say is that although it sounds a tad unusual, it was absolutely delicious and the few strips of skin I left in the pan and basted throughout the cooking time turned into a sticky delicious accompaniment. But sorry! This post isn’t about the ham or it’s fantastic glaze. It’s about my choice of pudding.
I had my heart set on mousse, but the new recipe book I was given for my birthday has a Three-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse and a Chilled Strawberry Mousse that I couldn’t choose between. And to make matters a considerable degree worse, I had discovered a simple White Chocolate Mousse in a recent magazine I purchased so it wasn’t long before it became glaringly obvious what I had to do: combine all three and layer it up. I don’t know when last we enjoyed something quite this rich, but Decadence doesn’t even begin to describe it. It takes a little preparation and forward planning as you need to make one mousse and allow time for it to set before you begin making the next one. I opted to have the strawberry one on top as the ingredient list prompted me to think that it was more of a compote (runny berry sauce) than an actual mousse that would set. And thankfully I was right.
- Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a simmering pan of water (double boiler) taking care that the water doesn’t touch the underside of the bowl. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Separate the eggs. Place the yolks and vanilla extract in a large bowl and mix to combine. Once the chocolate has cooled slightly, combine it with the egg mixture.
- Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, add the sugar and mix until it is glossy.
- In another bowl, whip the cream. Fold the whipped cream and egg whites alternately into the white chocolate mix. Don’t over beat the mixture as this may cause it to curdle.
- Pipe or pour the mixture into your serving glasses/bowls carefully so you don’t mess it all over the sides. Chill in the fridge and allow 3 – 4 hours to set.
Three-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse
200 g dark chocolate (the recipe called for 70% cocoa content, but I used 50% as I didn’t want it too bitter)
2 cups cream
100 g chopped marshmallows
- Heat the chocolate, half the cream and the marshmallows in a dry, heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring until melted and smooth (about 10 minutes).
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Beat the remaining cream to soft peaks and fold through the chocolate mixture. Slow pour onto the white chocolate layer. Refrigerate to set for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Chilled Strawberry Mousse
2 punnets (500 g) strawberries, hulled
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet strawberry jelly crystals
¼ cup caster sugar
½ cup boiling water
½ cup plain yoghurt, chilled
- Purée the strawberries with the lemon juice and vanilla extract.
- Mix jelly crystals with sugar and boiling water and stir until the jelly is fully dissolved. Add to the strawberry mixture and stir well, then stir in the yoghurt.
- Pour on top of the set chocolate mousse and refrigerate for two hours or overnight. (I let it chill for about 6 hours before we ate it and it still hadn’t set firm).
To serve, I decorated each glass with a blob of freshly whipped cream and a quartered strawberry. If you can finish one of these in a single attempt you’ve done really well :).
NOTE: I halved all recipes to make my puddings as each recipe list of ingredients above makes 4 – 6 full servings.
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