Wednesday, February 1, 2012

recipe: Tina Robert's Frozen Chocolate Mousse Cake

Many of you will recognize the name Tina Roberts because over the years, she's contributed so many wonderful recipes; such as her famous "blueberry drizzle salad" and her award-winning "marinated brie", to this column and to my monthly newsletters.  Well, I am thrilled to announce that she has finished her cookbook and it is now available for sale at my shop, Relish Cooking Studio, Vincenzo’s and the U of W Bookstore.

Her book is titled "The Two Sisters Cookbook". Tina originally planned on printing just three copies – one for herself, one for her sister Audrey, and one for her mom.  However, the cookbook was such a huge hit with friends and family that she ended up giving away over 100 of them!  Long story short, Tina decided to adapt the original version and create 20 new menus, each inspired by a family memory.

This recipe is from Tina’s “golden anniversary” menu.  She explains that “Mom and Dad’s wedding had to be postponed three times because Dad was not well – was he really sick or was it just nerves?  Finally, on January 30, 1954, the special event took place with a small family ceremony at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on McCaul Street in Toronto.  Fifty years later, we celebrated the anniversary of their vows with this memorable meal.  Mom and Dad both love chocolate, so this was the perfect dessert to end their celebration.”

Frozen Chocolate Mousse Cake

A wonderful dessert for entertaining on Valentine’s Day because you can make it ahead of time.  Expect to receive rave reviews!

ingredients - crust
·         ¾ (three-quarters) cup raw hazelnuts
·         ½ (one-half) cup graham cracker crumbs
·         3 (three) tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
·         unsalted butter to grease pie plate

ingredients - mousse
·         2 (two) cups coffee or vanilla ice cream, softened
·         6 (six) ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
·         3 (three) large eggs, separated
·         4 (four) tablespoons hazelnut or coffee liqueur
·         1 (one) cup chilled fresh whipping cream (35 or 36% MF)
·         2 (two) tablespoons hazelnut or coffee liqueur

ingredients – add the love
·         remaining whipped cream
·         2 (two) tablespoons remaining chopped hazelnuts

1.        Preheat oven to 300°F. Toast hazelnuts on a baking sheet for 15 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and wrap nuts in a clean tea towel. Let rest for 5 minutes and then vigorously rub hazelnuts in towel to remove skins.
2.        Finely chop hazelnuts in a food processor (it’s best to do this when the nuts are still warm).
3.        Combine 1/3 cup hazelnuts, graham cracker crumbs, and melted butter in a medium bowl. Grease an 8-inch pie plate or spring form pan with butter. Press crumb mixture in the bottom and up sides of pie plate.
4.        Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Cool crust and freeze for at least 15 minutes. Spoon softened ice cream over frozen crust and return to freezer.
5.        Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
6.        Beat yolks in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light, about 3 minutes. Slowly beat in melted chocolate and 4 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur. Set aside.
7.        Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside.
8.        Beat whipping cream and 2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
9.        Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture. Fold half of whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Reserve remaining whipped cream to decorate top of cake.
10.     Reserve 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts to decorate top of cake. Fold remaining nuts into chocolate mixture. Pour mousse over ice cream.
11.     Add the love: Place remaining whipped cream in pastry tube and decorate the top of the cake with rosettes (I like to make a ring on the outer circle). Sprinkle rosettes with remaining nuts. Cover cake with plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least 3 hours before serving. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.
12.     Tip: You can substitute almonds for the hazelnuts and almond liqueur for the hazelnut liqueur.

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