Friday, 9 December 2011
It's all about The Mousse Trials over here.
My family has really upped the ante for Christmas this year with an entirely French menu. I'm on baguette and mousse duty and quite frankly I'm shitting myself.
I put the call out on twitter since I'm a total ignoramus in relation to French Cuisine, and mousse in particular. Aside from the eating bit (baguette and mousse that is) and reading Julie and Julia, really all I know is they use a lot of butter, cream, cheese and odd parts of animals.
Of course when it comes to mousse there are controversies and deep divisions. There's egg, no egg, white only or yolk only. Cream or no cream. garnish or no, liqueur or no. What kind of chocolate to use and last but by no means least (oh no, definitely not least) there's Heston's molecular gastronomy version which uses just chocolate and water.
How can I decide between these all, and allay my fears that I will find myself on Christmas morning whipping whites that won't form hard peaks, curdling cream, making mouse that won't set? Why try them of course!
Trial 1 is a definite outsider, a rebel, an audacious and contentious holder of the name - the Toblerone chocolate mouse. It has egg white and cream and is heavily garnished with whipped cream and crumbled flake.
About as inauthentic French as they come. And mine is absolutely beyond the pale, since in my desperation to make passage through the supermarket in record time I failed to notice I didn't even buy proper toblerone. Instead I have some abomination called a honeycomb crisp - the bastard child of a toblerone and a violet crumble.
So it's not really fair, but it was never going to be.
In my heart of hearts I know I won't be making this for a fancy French meal. It was never going to wash. Maybe that's why I made it first. And why I skipped the garnish. And only made half quantity. It's just warm up.
Well it tastes bloody great in the way that many chocolate flavoured calories must - a lighter, creamier, dissolvey version of the toblerone itself. Toblerone without all the chewing work! The bits of honeycomb and nougat are a little perturbing (they are not mousse like at all) and the sweet milk chocolate doesn't bring that rich dark decadence to mind but it's most definitely chocolate and most definitely mousse and it was both fast and easy to make.
The kids adored it but I don't think it will stand the heat of the trials myself.
I figure it's all up from here!