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Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Ramsay's Chocolate Mousse

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I don't eat scallops and none of my household eats steak, but would you believe it - we all eat chocolate mousse!! I am referring to Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong Live, which was shown on Channel 4 last Friday, and had people running to the shops to buy the ingredients.

OK, so I cheated and made the chocolate mousse earlier in the day before the show was aired. I thought the boys would enjoy eating it while the show was on, and I'm not about to be messing around in the kitchen that late at night anyway - on the other hand, it was chocolate...

It was the first Gordon Ramsay recipe I have ever made and I thought the mousse was so-so. It had crème fraiche in it, which wasn't to my taste, but I really liked the addition of the Crunchie bars and will keep that in mind for future desserts!

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This is my entry for this month's Sugar High Friday, being hosted by CandyRecapper, and the theme is to make something with store-bought candy in it, hence the Crunchie.

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Gordon Ramsay's Chocolate Mousse

150g dark chocolate
250ml crème fraiche
284ml double cream
25g icing sugar, sifted
1-2 tbsp coffee liqueur (optional)
2 chocolate covered honeycombs, 40g each (frozen for 10 minutes)

Break the dark chocolate into small pieces (reserving 25g for grating later) and place in a bowl that fits snugly over a pan of boiling water. Leave until the chocolate has completely melted and then remove from the heat and set aside.

Add the crème fraiche to the melted chocolate and whisk until combined. Put the double cream and icing sugar into a separate bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until it forms soft peaks. Fold the chocolate mixture into the cream, add the coffee liqueur and stir to combine.

Remove the chocolate covered honeycomb bars from the freezer, remove the packets and wrap them in a clean tea towel. Place the tea towel under a chopping board and press down hard on the chopping board to crush the honeycomb. Open up the tea towel and tip the crushed honeycomb into the mousse and gently fold through with a spatula. (I just bashed them gently with a rolling pin through the wrapper).

Spoon the mousse into four small serving dishes and then grate over the remaining chocolate and serve. (I saved a couple of spoons of the cream to go on top of the mousse - done!)

(Printable Recipe)

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Lava Lamp Update
The new lamp is in place and is even 'more awesome' than the one I broke - this one is a traditional shape with red lava. Cappuccino muffins are on the menu again.

This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Cappuccino Muffins and The Tale Of The Lava Lamp

I am a terrible mother!
Just a few days ago, I realised that I still had one of my son's Christmas presents hidden away! Not even wrapped!! And it was the one thing that he had wanted 'so very badly', a lava lamp.
I hot-footed it upstairs, wrapped it in some reindeer paper and duly handed it over. The lamp was pronounced "awesome" and has been switched on ever since.... until today.
I broke it, right in front of him; it was only four days old. I knocked it over while closing the curtain, and that was the end of the lamp.

Now, a husband can be bought off with a caramel vacherin or a chocolate raspberry tart, but not a 14 year old. Not even cappuccino muffins can soften the blow, and they are usually 'awesome' too.
As if to prove I really do have the 'brain of a goldfish', I'd forgotten to put the chocolate chips into the muffin mixture. And surely a goldfish wouldn't make 'mini' muffins - that's got to be the 'worst idea in the entire world'.

So even though I can't do anything about the lava lamp today, I can remake the muffins, complete with chocolate chips and in muffin tins that take more than one bite.

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These muffins are really good warm, and although you could use ordinary cream cheese for the topping, I've used creamy mascarpone, which adds another dimension. And don't forget the chocolate chips!!

Cappuccino Muffins
Makes approx 11-12 medium sized muffins

2 cups self raising flour
3/4 cup vanilla caster sugar (or plain caster sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 small bag chocolate chips (100g)

Preheat the oven onto 375º F / 180ºC.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and leave to cool. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and sugar.

Crack the egg into a medium sized bowl and add the milk and coffee granules and stir until the coffee is dissolved. Pour this coffee mixture onto the flour/sugar and add the melted butter.

Stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill the muffin cases with the mixture, do not over-fill, you want the cases to be about 2/3 full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until springy to the touch. Cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before putting the muffins onto a wire rack to cool.

Cappuccino Topping

6-8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon vanilla caster sugar (or plain caster sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract)
½ teaspoon instant coffee powder
¼ cup chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, mix the mascarpone cheese, vanilla sugar and coffee powder together in a bowl until blended. I just use a spoon to mix.

Add chocolate chips and spread onto muffins.

(Printable Recipe)

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This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Squidgy Chocolate Log

A little late, but Happy New Year - let's hope it's a peaceful one!
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to look at my posts, make recipes and leave comments - all of which are very much appreciated!

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Even though is seems like Christmas was ages ago, I wanted to share this dessert with you. We always have at least one chocolate dessert on the menu at Christmas, and Delia's Squidgy Chocolate Log is the one my boys request first. It's a light, moist cake, filled with chocolate mousse, whipped cream, and a sprinkling of snow.
I made a couple of changes to the original recipe. My chocolate mousse was eggless (I just melted the plain chocolate and folded it into some whipped double cream), and I added some Cointreau to the whipped cream filling.


This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.