On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

Room for dessert?

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Hello hello. I’m back from Auckland and thinking about what I have to pack tomorrow for my week-long trip to Sydney. Phew. Talk about a quick turn around at home.

Despite that I still found time today to make dessert. A dessert that involved white chocolate AND caramel. Two of my weaknesses.

White Chocolate Caramel Mousse Tart anyone?

White Chocolate Caramel Mousse Tart anyone?

During the week I’d made the Salted Caramel Sauce primarily for our Australian Practice Manager. I’d met Donna a few weeks ago when I was working out of the Melbourne office. This time it was her turn to visit us. Donna had mentioned her plans to make an apple pie this coming week and I immediately followed that up by saying it needed to be served with salted caramel sauce (and send her this link as suggestion for Apple Pie. The caramel sauce recipe is in there too). Making a dry caramel isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and my first two times were a flop. So I decided to make the caramel sauce making the full recipe and keeping half for us. Well Mr Fussy was keen that we have some too, so a full recipe it was.

Donna has two smaller jars of salted caramel sauce tucked under her arm, and we put our lot to use in a White Chocolate Caramel Mousse individual tarts. That’s a long title.

I had 3 individual tart cases left over from when I made another carmel tart recipe. The pasty is my favourite and the recipe is here. The caramel sauce is the one I always use, but I change the method somewhat.

Ready to make something wonderful happen

Ready to make something wonderful happen

Heat the cream so it’s just warm. Add the cream in 3 batches whisking between additions and making sure any clumps have re-melted. Return the caramel/cream mix to the heat and add in the butter and sea salt.  And Bob’s your uncle. In actual fact I whisk the castor sugar while it’s clumping and melting and yes I get some splashed up the side of the pot. But it all seems to melt back in once the cream is added. The cream makes the mix bubble up and at this point it seems to collect the little bits of melted sugar. At least for me it makes caramel a less fussy task and it doesn’t seem to make an ounce of difference to the caramel.

So the tart cases and the caramel had been pre-prepared. I just had to make the white chocolate mousse. I used this recipe again. It’s the same I used when making this year’s Valentine’s Dessert.

Glorious!

Glorious!

I added 3 egg yolks instead of the 2 in the recipe. I added an extra only because our eggs are smaller in New Zealand than in America. Three is a little more than 2 in America, but I don’t mind extra richness. To the white chocolate mousse (yet to have the whipped cream added) I spooned two very generous dessert spoons of caramel sauce. Once this had been mixed through, and loosened the white chocolate mix, I then added the whipped cream in two batches.

A slathering of Whittaker's 70% dark chocolate

A slathering of Whittaker’s 70% dark chocolate. Which made it impossible to cut into and necessary to pick up and eat by hand.

Then to up the ante, I added a layer of dark chocolate to the base of the tart cases before spooning in the mousse. It didn’t take much to fill up the 3 cases, especially when I had a generous layer of chocolate. I ended up filling 4, almost 5 ramekins with White Chocolate Caramel Mousse. Two of those went to Dad and Ruth (it was Dad’s birthday yesterday. No time to make anything for a nice afternoon tea this year), two for Mr Fussy and my MIL during my absence, and Natalie has the “almost” enough to call it dessert. I don’t think she has any plans to share the salted caramel sauce. I think that’s being snuck home without the inhabitants being any the wiser.

Mr Fussy's little tart. And proof cutting into the tart was an impossible task (notice the cut mark?)

Mr Fussy’s little tart. And proof cutting into the tart was an impossible task (notice the cut mark?)

There was a bit of chocolate left over so I put that into a piping bag while it was still melted. Then I warmed it back up tonight to flick around the plate (along with a little more caramel sauce). Then decided I’d be creative, or silly, depending on how you look at it, and pipe little messages on the plates.

Love the collection of colours and aromas from these spices and ingredients.

Love the collection of colours and aromas from these spices and ingredients.

Before dessert came a Moroccan casserole. Thanks for Alison providing me the recipe many months ago. I think this was the 3rd time I’ve made this. Each time it’s with beef. Tonight I decided to use white pepper, which is what the recipe calls for, but I’ve never had it, instead using cracked pepper. Boy oh boy. What a massive difference that one change in ingredients made. I liked it, but it sure added more heat to the meal.

Unlike usual, this time I served it with mashed spud. Mr Fussy often makes mashed spud but it tends to have a few lumps here and there (sometimes more than a few). I’d read a trick recently about how to make sure the mash is creamy. A quick Google and I found what I had remembered. The milk needed to be warmed up. I incorporated a few changes. I drained the potato and left the pot on the element so that the could dry out and the steam could escape. While that was happening I warmed up the milk and then added the butter to it. The warmth from the milk melted the butter. I used the stick whiz thingee with the mash attachment and mashed the potato as is and then began adding in the milk/butter mixture. The milk/butter mixture was added in 3 batches. Then the taste test and a bit more salt and cracked pepper was added. And we had the perfect creamy mash, just like that.

Ok, that’s the end of my little tid bits. And here’s hoping that all future mashed spud in this household will be just as creamy.

There’s enough spud and casserole left over that Mr Fussy and my MIL have a meal ready to go. In the meantime I’ll be making doing in an apartment and counting down until I return home. It’s another little milestone. Once I’m home it’ll be one more day of work and holiday time for 6 weeks. Excited much?!

First up is brunch at The Old Vicarage tomorrow morning. I wanted to do something nice with Mr Fussy before heading way and leaving him to manage everything at home alone. I’ll miss him.

The chocolate and white chocolate caramel mousse was just the right balance to make sure the mousse wasn't too sweet.

The hidden chocolate layer with the white chocolate caramel mousse was just the right balance.

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2 thoughts on “Room for dessert?

  1. I’ve not touched the caramel sauce YET and depending whose around tomorrow, I may share it 😉 Have had a few spoonful’s of the white chocolate caramel mousse. YUM! Have some to share with the girls whenever they get home. Always love sampling your creations. Thanks.

  2. I had to smile at the mashed potato instructions. When we first got our whizz stick we used it with gay abandon on everything in sight – somehow our mashed potato ended up like wallpaper glue. .we both stood there looking into the pot in amazement! Ha.

    Going sugar free as from today – need to get my health better – so no baking or desserts for me for now. Hope it helps.

    Can’t wait for your posts when you get back from your holiday.

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