Thursday, April 19, 2007

Frozen Cherry Mousse and Chocolate Malt Sandwiches

I am new to the world of food blogs, and I must confess that I was slow to figure out why so many bloggers would suddenly be inspired to make the same thing... I LOVE Donna Hay, so when the meaning of "HHDD" finally became clear to me, I decided I needed to participate. I anxiously awaited the theme, and then honestly had no idea what to make of mousse! It is not something that would normally find its way onto my table, but then that is the whole idea behind a challenge, right?

This mousse recipe was adapted from a raspberry mousse torte I found on epicurious. I got rid of the liquor, and swapped cherries for the raspberries. The cookies I have been making forever, and were modified from a recipe that came from an old Pillsbury cookbook.

Frozen Cherry and White Chocolate Mousse

- 1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin***
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 2/3 cup cherry puree*
- 1/3 cup of juice from cherries*
- 12 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla

*Note on the cherries: I used the jarred morello cherries from Trader Joe's. It required just over one jar to get the puree, and that provided more than enough juice. I drained the cherries, reserving the juice, then tossed them into the food processor until I had 1 2/3 cup.

**I used two disposable foil cake pans from the grocery store for the mousse. They were 12 inches x 8 1/2 inches. I lined them with parchment paper. I am thinking that one of my large baking sheets would have worked fine.

***For the record, this was the first (and probably last) time gelatin has ever entered my kitchen.

Place juice in large saucepan. Sprinkle with gelatin and allow to sit for about 20 minutes. Add puree and sugar, stir over medium heat until mixture begins to steam, just shy of a simmer. Add white chocolate and mix until it has all melted. Stick in refrigerator for about two hours, stirring about every 20-25 minutes.

When cherry-chocolate mixture is cool, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until whipped cream has stiff peaks. Fold in cherry mixture, then beat briefly for another 10-15 seconds. Pour into the two prepared pans and freeze until firm.

Chocolate Malt Cookies

- 1 cup butter, softened but cool
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup malted milk powder*

*This is what I mean by "malted milk powder"

Oven to 375 degrees, baking sheets lined with parchment.

Beat butter and sugars. Add baking soda and beat. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and chocolate. Beat in flour and malted milk powder.

I used an ice cream scoop (1 tablespoon capacity) to form these cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Edges will be set, cookies will be puffy and appear underdone. Leave on cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

When cookies are cool, find a round cookie cutter that approximates the circumference of your cookies, and cut out circles of mousse to make your sandwiches. Return sandwiches to freezer and store in airtight container. Serve these directly out of the freezer.
In the end, I will probably opt for ice cream or pudding when craving a dairy-style sugar bomb, rather than repeating this recipe. However, I wasn't exactly disappointed with the results. I found my sandwiches to be quite tasty. I just can't say they are worth how labor intensive they turned out to be!

PS: Go see the HHDD#11 mousse round-up!

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