Wednesday, April 16, 2014

White Chocolate Mousse Eggs Dessert Tutorial

Hippity Hoppity, Hippity Hoppity, Easter is on it's way!"  Here at Red Couch Recipes we have a very delicious dessert for Easter Sunday.  It is designed to look like the Cadbury Eggs, so popular at Easter.  The white chocolate mousse is killer --- it really is!  The lemon curd "yolk" center goes so well with the mousse, and adds a little bit of tang.  So delicious even the Easter Bunny would approve of these himself.

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My very talented friend Shannon used to host a local cable television show that features cooking and crafts.  A few years ago I was one of her guests when she made these White Chocolate Mousse Eggs, and we have been making them ever since at Easter. 
The dessert is comprised of a chocolate egg shell, white chocolate mousse, and lemon curd.  I will take you through the steps.  None of it is difficult.  Making the mousse generates a few dirty dishes, but it really is an excellent tasting mousse, well worth the effort.  But if you are not in the mood for making a homemade mousse, buy a mix.  So let's start with the chocolate egg shells.
Chocolate Egg Shells
1.  Blow up water balloons.
2.  Melt some good quality milk or dark chocolate chips in a medium -size glass bowl in the microwave.  We used milk chocolate chips.  Melt the chips first for about 30 seconds, then stir, and then return to the microwave and melt another 10-15 seconds, and then stir,  repeating the steps until the chips are completely melted.  Be careful as the chips can be easy to burn. 
3.  Then take an offset spatula, or the backside of a spoon, and spread the chocolate around the bottom of a small water balloon.  You don't want to make the egg shell too large.  You can also dip the bottom of the balloon in chocolate which will give the chocolate egg shell a cleaner look.  I like using a spoon because it gives it a more rough look.
4.  Place the chocolate covered balloon on a goblet or a half-pint sized mason jar to dry.
5.  Take the chocolate covered balloons  and place them in the freezer or refrigerator until the chocolate is firm.  The chocolate covered balloons should be ready for filling in about 10 minutes or less if you place it in the freezer, and a bit longer if you place it in the refrigerator.
6.  Pop the balloon and peel away the balloon from the chocolate shell.  Set aside the chocolate shells.
White Chocolate Mousse Filling
Adapted Food Network Recipe
7 ounces white chocolate chips -- I used Ghiradelli White Chocolate Chips
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/4 cups heavy cream, divided into 1/4 and 1 cup portions
1.  In a large glass bowl, place the chopped white chocolate  and set aside.
2.  Add the egg yolks and sugar to a small bowl and whisk until pale in color.
3.  In a saucepan, over low heat, bring 1/4 cup of the cream to a simmer, and slowly add the cream into the yolk and sugar mixture to temper.
4.  Pour the creamy mixture (the egg, sugar and cream) back into pan and stir with a wooden spoon until it coats the back of it.  The mixture should be quite hot, hot enough to melt the chocolate chips.
5.  Pour hot mix into a fine mesh sieve placed directly over bowl with the chopped chocolate. Stir until completely smooth.  Then set aside.
6.  In another bowl, whip remaining 1 cup of the cream to almost stiff peaks. Fold half the whipped cream into the white chocolate mix to lighten and then fold in the remaining whipped cream.

With a spoon, fill the chocolate shells about half full.

Place a small amount of lemon curd in the center.  We used Trader Joe's Lemon Curd.
All of the steps can be done ahead except for adding the lemon curd.  After about 30 minutes or so the lemon curd does tend to sink down into the mousse, so place the lemon curd on the mousse right before you serve the dessert.
I hope you make this dessert and let me know how you liked it. Thanks for dropping by my Red Couch.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Meringue Baskets With Sorbet and Raspberry Sauce

These little Meringue Baskets are such an elegant and delicious dessert.  Truly, this is one of the best desserts we have had around here in awhile.  I love the crackly outer party of the meringue with the chewy center;  the sorbet melts together with the meringue into sensory delight!  Of course, I also swoon when any dessert is adorned with raspberry sauce -- natch!

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I was perusing the blog City Home Country Home, by Bonnie, who is a fine cook and needlewoman, and saw her little meringue baskets filled with lemon, cream, and berries.  Inspired by her baskets, I came up with this concoction.

I must confess, I am not the best meringue maker. The meringue for my baskets was probably not stiff enough but they still turned out, in taste and looks, just fine.  They really do whip up quite quickly.  However, you could also buy some meringues and use them instead of making the baskets. 
Meringue Recipe and Technique for Making Baskets:
 Recipe from Joy the Baker

4 egg whites from 4 large eggs
1 cup of superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla -- the good stuff
1/2 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Put egg whites in a medium-size bowl and beat until the egg whites form a soft peak.  Then begin to add sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, until fully incorporated.  Beat until egg-sugar mixture forms stiff, but not dry, peaks and the egg whites look shiny.  At this point you can turn your bowl upside down and the egg white mixture won't fall out.  Take a bit of the mixture and rub it between your fingers.  If it is quite gritty, you may need to beat some more.  Then beat in the vanilla.  Then add corn starch and the vinegar, just using a spatula, to fully incorporate into the egg white mixture.  If you want individual baskets, place the mixture into a piping bag with a tip with a large opening.    I used a 1 M tip.    Then pipe mixture into 3-inch circles.  You can trace circles on some parchment paper, and then flip the parchment around (to avoid getting pen on your meringues) and begin piping.  Then pipe around the edge of the basket to provide a rim.  As you can see, my meringue could have been more firm.

For individual 3-inch baskets, place in a 250 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes.  I like the meringues to be quite light, not really brown at all.  Then turn off the heat and let them sit in the oven for about another 1.5 hours until  cooled off and dried.  After cooling and drying the meringues should be crackly on the outside and chewy on the inside, in other words, pure heaven!

Meringue Making Memos

1.  Make sure all your equipment, such as beaters and bowl are clean and grease-free.
2.  Beat your egg whites until you have soft peaks and then begin to add your sugar.
3.  Use superfine sugar.  You can make this by putting your sugar in your food processor and processing for one minute. 
3.  Make sure you add your sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, rather than adding it all at once, making sure to incorporate each tablespoon. If you add the sugar all at once, it will weigh down the egg whites. 
4.  When you think you are done beating your meringues, take some of the mixture and rub it between your fingers.  If it is quite gritty, beat a bit more 

 Raspberry Sauce Recipe:

 Take raspberries and puree in blender.  If using the 12 ounce package of frozen raspberries, thaw first.  Add some sugar to taste, from about 1/4 to 1/2 cup, and about 1 tablespoon of corn starch.  Place berry puree in small saucepan and on medium heat bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.  If you want seedless sauce, place berries in a wire sieve and put a bowl underneath sieve.  With a spoon or spatula, push puree against the sieve and continue doing so until the seeds are mainly dry.  My daughter made the raspberry sauce for this and she didn't add very much sugar, and I loved the tartness of the sauce. 

Place some raspberry sauce in a piping bag, or in a Ziploc bag with a small hole cut in the corner, and pipe some sauce into a fun design.

Take a meringue basket and place some whipping cream on it.

Place your meringue on the raspberry sauce.
Place small scoops of sorbet on the meringue baskets.  We used lemon, mango, and cherry.  Yum!

We love the Smith Grocery Store house brand.  It is delicious, and is usually on sale for less than $2.00 for 16 ounces.  They have lemon, mango, strawberry, raspberry, cherry, and a pomegranate. blend.  Then add some more raspberry sauce.  Yum!  I especially love the raspberry sauce with the mango sorbet.


I hope you make some little baskets for you and yours!  

Posted with Foodie Friday.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chocolate Bunny Easter Table

Dear Red Couch Readers!  Hippity-Hoppity Easter is on its way!  As I was pulling together a table for Easter, I had a bit of fun with these chocolate bunnies and some non-traditional Easter colors! 
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I knew I wanted to incorporate these guys, and then I remember that I had some basket weave reactive ware plates that were brown to go along with the brown bunnies.
As some of you may know, our lives here at the Red Couch Family have been a bit crazy for the past two years.  Many of my dishes are in storage (yah, there were about 35 boxes), and I do not have access, or it is very difficult to get to them.  If you are ever going to move, I would not recommend having a dish collecting hobby :).  Alas, the reactive ware is not in storage! 

Just a peak of the edge of the dishes.

Just a close-up of this embossed cutie!  These are the real chocolate deal!
 These are the imposters!

These are the little chocolate guys that inspired me.  I have them sitting on a cake plate near my sink.  I bought them years ago at Dillard's, no I mean the Dollar Store!

Just another view of the little guys.

As I was searching in my napkin stash for some napkins to use, I found these CHRISTMAS napkins, and I thought, "Why not?"  As you know, I am a lover of red, and it has the green similar to the green Easter grass  with the bunnies?  What do you think?  As for me, I love it!

Then, of course since there was red in the napkins, I decided to add some red stemware.

Okay, in my crazy mind, this all kind of goes together.  The red and green look great with the background of my red couch, don't you think?

Just another peek  at my table...

This little imposter wishes you all a wonderful Easter.

Thanks for hopping by!
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Table Information:

White chargers, salad plates, bubble stemware, and brown reactive ware plates -- Tai Pan Trading
Red Stemware -- Costco
Flatware -- World Market
Napkins -- Wal-Mart, on sale after Christmas 2012
Napkin Rings -- Bed, Bath and Beyond
Imposter Bunnies -- Dollar Store
Cake Stand -- Home Goods -- They always seems to have cake stands like these.

Posted with Tablescape Thursday


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