There’s been a vegan/raw chocolate mousse recipe making the rounds that derives its creaminess not from dairy or whipped egg whites but from avocados. Right. I’ve never made nor tasted it but have always looked upon it with a half-cocked eye, dubious of the flavor. I am steeped in tradition and a proper mousse contains melted chocolate enriched with yolks, whipped egg whites and full fat cream. One of my favorite Parisian meals was capped by a towering bowl of chocolate mousse, doled out by an aproned waiter in enormous spoonfuls. I can guarantee there was no avocado in that mousse. But I’ve come around on my thinking having since made an avocado based popsicle. They’re rather delicious and quite surprising.
Archive for the ‘frozen treats’ Category
Like any American kid, I would whip into a frenzy at the first hint of that tinny, slightly creepy music signaling the ice cream man was on his way down my street. In scenes repeated in neighborhoods across the country, I would run around in circles screaming “Ice Cream Man! Ice Cream Man!” while my mom scrambled for change. Tightly clutching that salvaged quarter, I’d fly out the door and sprint down the street like a track star in an Olympic 4×400. Sometimes I was successful, sometimes not and I’d crumple at the corner (I wasn’t allowed to cross the street), breaking down in hysterical tears as I’d watch him pull farther and farther away. Insanity. Sheer insanity.
Posted in frozen treats, fruit desserts, Uncategorized, tagged Bastille Day desserts, Bastille Day popsicles, frozen desserts, homemade bomb pops, July 4th popsicles, layered popsicles, patriotic desserts, raspberry blueberry popsicles, red white & blue popsicles on July 13, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Bastille Day is this Saturday – but you knew that right? The French national holiday commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération that was held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14th the year prior. It’s a day that is celebrated with parades, picnics, fireworks and great shows of nationalism, not unlike our 4th of July. Last year at this time, I was deep in the Gascon countryside, celebrating a truly unique US-French Bastille Day BBQ courtesy of my friend Kate and a whole crew of mostly American friends at her lovely home, Camont. It was a fantastic day.
Every two or three summers when I was a kid, the family would pile into the car and head to California for summer vacation. We’d go to Disneyland or the beach or Sea World. Sometimes we do all of the above. When I was about 11 or 12, I discovered something new at the San Diego Zoo. It was hot, as it often is during a West Coast summer, and I conned my Dad into buying me a strawberry popsicle. They were expensive, as popsicles go, so he must have been in a good mood. It was a moment that transformed my young life.
I think we’re all aware what today is – a day originally created by Pope Gelasius in 496AD to honor a few martyred Christians, right? A rather gruesome start. The romantic notion we now fancy didn’t make an appearance until the middle ages with Geoffrey Chaucer and the practice of courtly love. I’m not the biggest fan – we pastry chefs have PTSD symptoms around this day – and the pressure to produce something wonderful for your sweetheart is too much. Dinner, chocolate, roses? How about you put a good flick on the tube, order out Chinese and rub my feet? Now that’s a Valentine’s Day I can get behind.
In case you missed it in the last post, I included a simple recipe for chocolate dulce de leche. Yes indeed, chocolate caramel. Did you happen to catch that? Because it’s simple, rather amazing and you should make it immediately. Especially simple because it starts with pre-made dulce de leche, readily available in the Hispanic aisle of your local grocery store (though homemade would work too if you had the time.) I used it previously as a cookie filling but it’s pretty fantastic right off the spoon. Or over ice cream. Or IN ice cream. So here we find ourselves.
How much banana bread can a person eat? In the history of my banana purchases, at least one of the bunch ends up blackened in the trash or stuffed into a freezer bag awaiting some more interesting fate. Smoothies? Over it. Muffins, pancakes and waffles? Done. My freezer is stocked with bags of said baked goods, right next to more indistinguishable frostbitten bags of frozen bananas. It’s time to find something new because, god forbid, I change my purchase patterns.
I had this t-shirt back in the ‘80’s that I adored. It was soft and comfortable and I pinched it from my Dad. Funny thing is, this was a White Sox shirt and my family has always been die-hard Cubs fans. Our blood runs Cubbie blue. What my dad was doing with such blasphemy in the house? I know for a fact that I didn’t pay much attention to the team, rather my fondness stemmed from what it said: “Winning Ugly.” To me, it was funny. I didn’t know it at the time but that the phase personified the Sox of that era with their roster of scrappy players and less than picture-perfect yet successful plays. I made a pie this weekend and was reminded of that phrase as I pulled it out of the oven.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’ve always gotten a kick out of this one. In grade school you had to wear green or get pinched. I’m not sure where that tradition came from but you can be sure I was always wearing green. Later, it was cheap green beer and quite a lot of it. Could there be anything more disgusting? Later on, as our income levels rose ever so slightly it was beautiful foamy pints of Guinness. Ah, there is nothing better. If lucky, the barman would form a clover in the creamy head on top. To this day, I’m tickled when this happens. A properly poured pint of Guinness is a lovely thing and certainly cause for celebration.
So I was really on a roll there for a while. Right on time with my x2 weekly chocolate posts, just banging those suckers out. Then all hell broke loose. In my life, when it rains it pours. A torrential downpour of work to be exact. I’m juggling so many gigs there are moments when I can’t keep them all straight. Like last night when I showed up for a catering gig that had been cancelled. Oops. (I swear I didn’t miss that somewhere in an endless email chain.) So with some unexpected free time on my hands, I pulled it together, drove home and made myself an ice cream sundae. Why not? But not just any ‘ol ice cream sundae because here’s where the night turned around.