Thursday 22 November 2007
[A to-die-for chestnut mousse]
Before I can start with this, I need you to complete a little homework. Basically, I want you to rush to the nearest French supermarket (never told you it was going to be easy) with a spoon in your hand and a thick scarf in your bag. Once you’ve arrived, try to locate the yogurt aisle. It will get colder and colder as you move forwards. It’s time to use your scarf – how handy is that? Roll it around your neck and stop for a second to experience a feeling of intense cosiness.
Ok, by now you should have reached what appears to be meters of yogurts and other yummy things. Find the Marronsuiss’. Tear one pot apart, open it and dig your spoon into it. Make sure you notice how fluffy it is. Let it melt in your mouth.
I really can’t believe I asked you to eat processed food. Me. The, ahem, organic-agriculture-fanatic-and-animal-supporter. But well, that was necessary. I needed you to taste Marronsuiss’ before you start judging me about what follow.
See, when we were younger, my little sister and I used to fight for Marronsuiss’. It was nasty. Bites, hair pulling, among other too-cruel-to-tell-you-about things.
It’s crazy how such a feathery and chestnut-flavoured mousse can generate so much conflicts? However, knowing that you’ve done your homework, I have the feeling that you understand.
Here, I whipped up the harder-better-faster-stronger* version of Marronsuiss’.
* It just means terrific, really.
Mousse aux châtaignes
Adapted from Saveur magazine.
This delicate chestnut mousse, while tasting pretty much the same than its industrial twin, has the advantage that it doesn’t contain stabiliser and other creepy ingredients that the food industry likes to put in our plates from timt to time.
It’s texture is airy and it has a lovely chestnut flavour. Perfect for holidays, or in my opinion, for everyday.
Remember that gelatine has to be soaked for at least 20 minutes in cold water before being used.
You can fold in some roughly chopped candied chestnuts, just make sure you decrease the sugar quantity accordingly.
Mousse aux châtaignes
4 gelatine leaves
350ml whipping cream
250g cooked chestnuts, pureed
80g caster sugar
3 egg whites
Put the gelatine leaves in a bowl, cover wit cold water and allow to soften for at least 20 minutes.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and refrigerate until needed.
In a pan, combine the sugar and water and bring to the boil. Meanwhile start whipping the egg whites. When the syrup reaches 110°C, pour it over the egg whites and mix until the bowl is barely warm to touch.
Drain the gelatine leaves and melt in a pan set over low heat. Incoporate to the pureed chestnuts.
Fold in the whipped cream and egg whites. Divide between 8 ramekins and chill for at 6 hours. Serve.