Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Daring Bakers: Maple Mousse and Edible Containers

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!
Okay, I will admit that when I saw the Daring Bakers challenge this month I was a bit underwhelmed. We had been tipped off that April's Daring Bakers challenge would involve an edible container, just like April's Daring Cooks challenge did. I had visions of learning to make some kind of chocolate cup- like tiramisu comes in sometimes. Then, I saw maple mousse (okay, that sounded fun) in nut bowls (underwhelmed) or bacon bowls (WTF!).

First, let's talk about the mousse. It uses real, let's capitalize that, REAL maple syrup. Ouch on the pocketbook, but it was important to do this ingredient right. The mousse was unexpectedly easy to make and oh so delicious. The maple flavor is light and sweet. This would be an incredible substitute for whip cream.
Yes, I could have been creative and figured out my own chocolate edible container but as I read the whole challenge I became more interested in these nut bowls. Think of all the fun things I could put in them- ice cream, peanut butter, piped marshmallow, fruit, or even yogurt. And, what kid wouldn't love to eat a snack out of a nut bowl that they can then eat! The nut bowl did not disappoint. I had to improvise as I was out of foil so it was thicker than expected, but what a fun experience!
Okay, now back to the bacon bowl. Again, WTF! A bacon bowl for mousse? That sounds insane, but Evelyne attested that it was good and the combination of sweet and salty was really good. I wasn't going to do it. I just couldn't go there. Then, I was standing in the grocery store and thought, "my husband would love me if I brought home bacon this week and what the heck- let's give it a try". You know what, Evelyne was right. It was surprisingly good. The bacon was a great compliment to the sweet maple mousse. I asked my husband which bowl her preferred. He smiled and said, "everything is better with bacon." So, there you have it. Bacon bowl- WTF to OMG.

Maple Mousse and Edible Containers
Printable Recipe

Maple Mousse:
Ingredients:
• 1 cup pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine
• 1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1. Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.
2. 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).
3. Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.
4. 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.
5. Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.
6. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
7. 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.
8. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.

Bacon Cups:
• 24 thin slices good quality bacon
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C.
2. Take a muffin pan or 6 small ½ cup capacity heat-proof bowls, turn upside down and carefully form aluminum foil covers on the back of 6 muffin cups or the bowls.
3. Taking 2 strips of bacon at a time crisscross the strips over the backs of the muffin cups and cut to size a tad longer then the bottom part of the cup. Now use 1 to 2 more strips to cover the sides of the muffin cups in a weaving fashion. You want a full tight weave because bacon shrinks a lot. For smaller cups I used a shot glass with a square of bacon for the bottom and I wrapped 1 strip around the side.
4. Tuck the ends of the bacon strips inside otherwise they will curl while cooking. A good idea is to insert 4 toothpicks where the crisscrossed bacon meets in the weave.
5. Place muffin pan in a cookie tray to catch drippings. Bake in oven for about 25 to 40 minutes, or until the bacon is golden and crisp but not burned.
6. Cool completely, a good hour, before removing your cups delicately from the foil.

Nut Bowls:
• 1 1/2 cups crushed nuts of your choice such as almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts
• 1 egg, beaten, at room temperature
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces
1. Use a food processor or a zip-lock back with a rolling pin to crush your nuts if whole, use about 1 cup of whole nuts to get 3/4 cups crushed. You want it somewhat coarse.
2. In a bowl mix the nuts with the beaten egg and the sugar.
3. 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.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. until the nuts are golden and fragrant (about 15 minutes). Let cool completely before unmolding.
5. 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.

3 comments:

  1. Though the ingredients are unique in their applications, the flavors sound delicious together! Good luck!

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  2. I'm completely intrigued by all three recipes, although for different reasons. =) Bacon bowl?! My hubby would think he'd gone to heaven!

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  3. Its comforting to know you liked the bacon/mousse combination. I keep hearing how bacon in desserts is an awesome thing but have never made anything sweet with it. One thing I might try soon is bacon jam.

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