So the Bakers Challenge this month was very interesting…. Maple mousse, bacon, edible containers?…. Love it!
This months challenge was brought to us by Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz. The really cool part is that challenge was teamed up with the Cooks Challenge, so there will be a slew of ideas, both savory and sweet. I think it was a really fantastic idea and pushed people s creativity to think outside the box- oh wait- I meant ” inside” the box. I am so impressed (and jealous) of how creative my fellow bakers are.
I made two versions over the course of the month. The first one was a chocolate shortbread/bacon-chocolate ganache/maple mousse concoction. The combination of chocolate, bacon, and maple mousse was soooo tasty. The second version was a maple-walnut pizzelle bowl filled with a vanilla-cream cheese-maple ripple ice cream, topped with bacon-chocolate bark. I served this at a dinner party and while the ice cream got rave reviews, the bacon-chocolate combo is not for everyone . I think it is a great combination, but while I loved it with the chocolate shortbread, I would leave it off the ice cream next time (at least for the company). The maple mousse was fantastic but sweet- I guess that is why the bacon works so well with it. I made 1/2 of this recipe as it makes too much for my small household.
• 1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine
• 1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content)
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
Chocolate Brittany Shortbread:
– this recipe is from Alain Ducasse. I used my digital scale to 1/4 the recipe
1 1/2 + 1/3C (225g) All purpose flour
1 Tablespoon + 2 tsp (12 g) cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
1/2 C (125 g) unsalted butter
1/2 C (100 g) granulated sugar
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk the dry ingredients together and slowly add them to the butter sugar mixture until well combined. Divide the dough in half. Roll the dough out between 2 pieces of parchment paper until 1/8 inch thick. Place the entire sheet on a baking sheet and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and cut into desired shapes. I used the bottom of a large piping tip to cut out my circles and then placed them into the bottom of a wilton brownie pop mold to make a small cup shape. I then cut out triangle shapes and placed them over a round mold to bake, then used a 3 inch round crimped cutter for the bases.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set.
Note- make this as bark, leave out the cream and butter. just melt the chocolate and then add the bacon
4 slices good quality bacon, cooked crisp.
6 ounces (150 g) bittersweet chocolate
1/2 c (150 ml) heavy cream
1 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons maple sugar and 1 tsp course fleur de sel for sprinkling
Prepare a baking sheet with a or parchment
Finely mince the bacon; set aside. Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl. Heat the cream until almost boiling, then pour over the chocolate and let it sit for 3 minutes. Whisk this until smooth and then add the butter and keep whisking until it is fully incorporated and velvety in texture. Stir in the bacon. Immediately pour out onto the silpat and spread into a thin layer. After 15 minutes sprinkle with the maple sugar and salt. Place in the fridge to set, about 1 hour.
The sauce on the plate is 1/4 C pure maple syrup, reduce it by a third, take off the heat and add 1 Tablespoon Creme de Cacoa. Stir briskly.
Assembly: Cut out a piece of ganache the same size or smaller than your cookie base. Place this on top of the cookie. Your “container” cookie should have the edges dipped in chocolate then rim them with some bacon powder (grind your bacon super fine). Adhere this cookie to the bottom cookie with a dab of melted chocolate. Pipe in the maple mousse.
Pizzelle cookies do require a pizzelle maker. Mine was given to me by a dear friend who never once used it.You can buy one new but I would check garage sales or ask some of your friends. People have the strangest things… To shape them I used small bowls. As soon as the pizzelle comes off the press I placed it on an upside down bowl and immediately placed another bowl right over it. It only takes about 10 seconds to cool completely. You need to work fast so don’t have any anything else going on while making these. These cookie edges were dipped in some warm dulce de leche and then some ground walnuts. Perfect.
Maple Walnut Pizzelle:
This makes about 20 cookies
1/2 C white sugar
1/4 c maple sugar
1/2 C butter, melted and cooled
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 3/4 C (250g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 C finely ground walnuts
Beat eggs and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in the melted butter and maple syrup. Combine the flour, baking powder, and walnuts; stir in gradually. Dough will be sticky.
Preheat your pizzelle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Drop batter by rounded spoonfuls onto the iron. Close and cook for about 90 seconds, or until steam stops coming out of the iron. Carefully remove and cool. Store in an airtight tin at room temperature
Vanilla Cream Cheese Maple Ripple Ice Cream:
While eggless ice cream is nothing new, this version contains corn starch as a thickener. It make the creamiest ice cream ever.
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened (3 tablespoons)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 C pure maple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 C pure maple syrup
In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla bean and seeds. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves and the vanilla flavors the milk, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the salt Place in the fridge overnight to thoroughly chill OR set the bowl in an ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the 1/2 cup of maple syrup into a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil and let it reduce a little, boiling it for 3 minutes. take off the heat and cool.
Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container.When The ice is done, place half in a container, pour half of the reduced maple syrup over it, repeat. Take a butter knife and swirl it through the ice cream, marbeling the maple syrup throughout.Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the vanilla ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.
Ice Cream recipe source:http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/vanilla-bean-ice-cream. Great article