Thursday, April 28, 2011
I just had to jump into the wagon. Due to my overly focus on fondant practice I had entirely forgot last month’s Daring Bakers Challenge. I almost couldn’t believe myself for such ignorance, but then I had promised myself I would definitely keep track of the next one. So here it is.
Never thought this was going to be an interesting discovery of great taste. In the beginning I was setting my expectation quite low on the outcome of this challenge judging from my rejection over bacon cups, one of the challenge mandatory items. But when it was revealed that the compulsory challenges were the maple mousse and a creative edible container, I was glad I could skip the bacon cups altogether.
I was looking into the nut bowls. My liking for almonds led me into the decision to develop almond bowls. It was pretty much the same as making the tart cups, just that it was mostly consisting of almonds. I had to say I couldn’t wait to taste the baked almond bowls since the baked almond fragrance overwhelmed my kitchen and quickly turned my curious taste buds on.
The almond bowls were heavenly. And so was the maple mousse. It was sweet, thick, and smooth. They were such a good couple as soon as I added peach slices. Somehow a slight tanginess was all that it needed to break the dominating sweetness of maple mousse. As an overall, the taste was a true marriage of sweetness, nuttiness, and slight tanginess.
Thanks to Evelyne for this wonderful challenge! Without her I wouldn’t have found the wonders of maple mousse and almond bowls. The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!
MAPLE MOUSSE IN ALMOND BOWLS
1. Almond Bowls
- 1 1/2 cups crushed almonds
- 1 egg, beaten, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces
- Use a food processor or a zip-lock back with a rolling pin to crush almonds, use about 1 cup of almonds to get 3/4 cups crushed. You want it somewhat coarse.
- In a bowl mix the almonds with the beaten egg and the sugar.
- Take 6 small ½ cup capacity Pyrex cups or a similar container and line the inside with aluminum foil. Spread ¼ cup of the mixture in the bowl, all the way up to the sides making sure you have a thin and even clean layer all around.
- Bake at 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. until the almonds are golden and fragrant (about 15 minutes). Let cool completely before unmolding.
- Melt chocolate (either in the microwave or over a double boiler). Dip the rims of the cooled nut bowls in the chocolate. Place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened and is set.
- 1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine
- 1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content)
- Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle).
- Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.
- Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between) or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.
- Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.
- Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
- Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.
- Decorate as desired and serve while it is cold.