Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Chestnut Mousse

Yes, chestnuts again. I know, I feel like I only cook with two things, chestnuts and squash. I can't wait until seasons change and I get to cook with different things.  But it's ok, I love chestnuts and squash and here I'm showing how you can practically do anything with them! So enjoy them while they're in season.

This mousse is delicious, and best part is it's not even that fattening!  It's quite light, it only has 2 tbsp of cream (split amongst 5 portions, so only about 50 calories coming from the cream in each portion :D) and if you really wanted to you could replace the cream with milk, it was only used to thin out the mixture a bit. Or yoghurt maybe.  Anyway, this can be made ahead, don't be like me, I didn't calculate my timings right and made them too late for my dinner party, they should be refrigerated for a minimum of 2 hours until they set.

Prep time: 1 hr  Cook time: well, no real cook time, let it set in the fridge for at least 2 hrs  Serves: 5  Suitable for:  impressing guests with a delicious and healthy indulgence 

3 egg whites
1 yolk
2 tbsp cream
150g chestnuts
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup sugar

Roast the chestnuts in a preheated oven of 180C for about 30 minutes until tender.  Peel and put in a pot with the milk and a pinch of salt, and let it simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes.  Puree everything in s a food processor.

Press through a sieve to get a velvety smooth paste, this may be a bit difficult because it's quite a thick paste, you can add a bit of milk to thin it out.  Mix the paste with the egg yolk, half the sugar, vanilla, cocoa and 2 tbsp of cream, you can substitute this with milk if you'd like, this is just to make it richer. Beat the egg whites with the sugar until glossy and stiff peaks form.  At this point fold the egg whites into the chestnut mixture.  To make it easier, first take about 1/4 of it and mix it in, then gently fold in the rest, this will make your life a lot easier.  Once fully incorporated, put it in individual ramekins or wine glasses or whatever it is that you fancy, and let them rest in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.

Decorate with chocolate shavings or a dusting of cocoa/icing sugar.  Be creative.  Originally I had planned to decorate with caramelized chestnuts, it would've been beautiful, but caramel and I were not getting along. I made 4 batches and they burnt every time.  I blame the stove.  Or the sugar.  Or the pan.  It became a very frustrating 40 minutes with me just yelling nasty things to my caramel.  But the mousse calmed me down, it didn't need those caramelized chestnuts, they were still beautiful.

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