Saturday, 23 April 2011

"Chocolate Mousse" (A'la Medrich)


Chocolate Mousse. Yet again, I have proceeded to make this classic french dessert. And it will not be the last time, nay - mastering the chocolate mousse is an essential must, if one is to be a master pastry chef - as is my dream.

This time I have opted for a technique used by Alice Medrich ( I just got her book, I'm in a Alice Medrich phase - you could say - or at least - I'm testing some of her recipes). In this recipe, the egg is beaten whole with sugar and water over a pan of simmering water (no meringue or pâte à bombe!). Anyway's I used double the amount of sugar by mistake, but the consistency turned out quite nice (picture below). Needless to say - it was a little too sweet :-)

The chocolate I used was 86% Dark (Freia - the used to be Norwegian Chocolate manufacturer now owned by kraft), and the quality of that is quite bad. Not awful, but almost (Gritty). I would expect this to taste great with a chocolate from Lindt or G&B, etc. In the recipe below I have given the correct sugar amount, as well as my mistake amount.


Chocolate Mousse Recipe (Based on "Chocolate Marquis" from Bittersweet, A. Medrich)

1 Egg
56g 86% Dark Chocolate
56g Unsalted Butter
35g (- 40g) sugar (I used 68g by mistake)
20ml/14g water or liquer

Instructions

1. Melt butter and chocolate together
2. Beat egg and sugar and water, over a water bath, until it registers 70C (or until it's warm and creamy). Keep beating until cool and thick.
3. Mix the egg mix, into the chocolate mix in 3 batches.
4. Put it fridge until set. Minimum 2 hours.





To make the caramel decorations...just put 50g sugar and 60ml water in a pan (and if you can a tiny bit cream of tartar to make air bubbles). Don't mix! It might crystalize (or harden up if you will). Heat until golden-ish. Spread it quickly on a large tray covered with a baking sheet. Cool, then break into pieces.

Friday, 22 April 2011

"Burned Almond Brownies" - (gluten-free)


I've decided to make brownies - again! This time the nuts take the place of flour. And in this case, the nuts were some very caramelized almonds (or in Norway, we call them "brente mandler"). The recipe is based on Alice Medrich's recipe from her book"Bittersweet". The flavour of the burned nuts was actually too overpowering, and there was a kinda taste of coconut in there afterwards (there is no coconut in the recipe!). If you're going to make this I would recommend roasted nuts, or perhaps some slightly carmelized nuts (just put sugar and nuts in a pan over high heat, mix constantly until golden). The consistency of these brownies was very nice, moist and chewy all at once!

The good thing about brownies is that there is no leavening agent, and they don't really rise in the oven. This means that it's better to underbake than overbake, cause you can always return them to the oven later if they're too wet.

Recipe for Almond Brownies
Makes about 8-12 small brownies. You can double recipe, but use a tin twice as big.
Precook inst.: Turn oven to 200 C, line a 10-12 cm cake tin with a baking sheet.

58g Chocolate, 86% or more (you can use 60-70% but use 10g less sugar)
58g Butter
115-120g Sugar
45-50g Almond or Hazelnuts (roasted in oven at 200C for 20min, then ground to powder)
1 Ecological Egg


Instructions:

1. Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When melted and hot to touch, take of heat.
2. Add sugar
3. Add egg('s if doubling recipe)
4. Add Nuts. Mix with spatula for 1 minute.
5. Bake for 20min - at 200 degrees C - until a pick/knife comes out with a moist crumb. It will firm up as it cools. Serve with whipped cream infused with a tbs of liquer (I used something called "mozart chocolate orange liquer", as seen in picture below - it's got a fancy lid).