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The Smooth World of Chocolate Mousse

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Chocolate Mousse

Smooth, rich and intense, chocolate is basically a beautiful & magical ingredient that turns everything into, well, chocolate! And for this mousse recipe, I combined milk and dark chocolate. But feel free to use either of the two chocolates on their own (I would recommend dark chocolate in this case), and indulge, diving into the smooth world of chocolate mousse!
Just keep in mind, that the mousse is best prepared one day ahead so it gets enough time to set and be ready for serving the day after.


For the Recipe

Ingredients

1 tsp vegetarian gelatine
2 tbsp water
250 g mascarpone cheese
120 ml double cream
50 g caster sugar
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
50 g milk chocolate
50 g dark chocolate
A handful of pistachio, roughly chopped

  • Mix the two chocolates and melt them in a heatproof bowl over a double boiler. Leave aside.
  • Sprinkle the gelatine over the water in a small heatproof bowl. Stir the gelatine, then stand the bowl in a small pan of simmering water. Keep stirring till gelatine has dissolved completely. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, sugar and vanilla using a hand held electronic mixer. Once mixture is smooth, beat in the double cream. Stir in the gelatine followed by the melted chocolate. Stir till mixture well combined.
  • Divide the mixture into 4 – 6 small serving cups (I used small oriental tea glasses), then sprinkle with pistachio.
  • Refrigerate over night and keep refrigerated till ready to serve.
  • Enjoy!
            Bon Appétit!

Blue Cheese & Caramelized Onion Walnut Tart

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Recipe

Tart Shell

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

100 g cold butter, cubed

1/3 cup walnut halves, soaked overnight

1 egg

pinch of salt

1 tsp olive oil (to enrich taste, optional)

Filling

2 tbsp olive oil

2 medium red onions, sliced 

1 tsp brown sugar

125 ml double cream

150 ml sour cream

3 egg yolks

200 g blue cheese, crumbled

salt & pepper to the taste

  • For the tart shell: in a food processor, pulse the flour and butter till they resemble bread crumbs. Then add the walnuts, egg, salt & olive oil and process, just enough to bring the mixture smoothly together. Turn the dough on a clean floured surface and roll it out till it is about 5 mm thick. Gently move it onto a 23-cm spring tart tin. Trim the tart shell by removing any dough excess. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes – 1 H. Preheat oven at 200°C. Cut a rounded piece of parchment paper just enough to cover the base of the tart shell then cover it with dried beans. Blind bake the tart shell in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the paper and beans. TIP: for a finer tart shell texture, you can opt to lightly process the walnut before adding them into the flour & butter mixture.
  • For the the filling: heat oil in a medium frying pan. Sautée the onions for a few minutes till soft, then add the sugar and stir continuously, for a few minutes, till onion slices have caramelized nicely. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, and using a hand-held electric mixer, mix the double cream, sour cream, egg yolks, and salt & pepper. Once well mixed, add in the crumbled cheese and sautéed onions and mix well using a spatula or a metal spoon. 
  • Pour the cheese filling onto the tart shell and bake for about 20- 25 minutes, turning the tart tin around while half way in the oven. Once set and lightly browned on surface, remove from oven. 
  • Allow to cool a bit and set before serving it best, warm.  

         

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Bon Appétit!

Fruit & Date Mini Tarts

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Today I’m sharing a very simple recipe that I experimented a while ago and which turned into the most wonderful and extraordinary tart, a Fruit Date Tart with Custard Cream filling. 

The tart shell is rather soft and not crusty, as it would normally be. And if well stored, you can keep the tart shells for a few days, which means they can be prepared ahead of time. And while you can prepare any filling of your choice, I opted for a light and delicious custard cream filling that suits the tart perfectly. As for the fruit toppings, they can be any of fruit of your choice, but for me, Raspberries, Blueberries and Pomegranate seeds felt to be the perfect choice. Not only they are wonderful companions of custard cream in general, but they also taste great with this particular tart, and they provide the tart with beautiful and balanced vivid colors.

 

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For the Recipe:

Ingredients

Tart Shells

75 g shelled pistachio

75 g almonds

200 g stoned dates, 

1 tbsp olive oil, plus some extra oil for working the tarts


Filling

1 cup milk

1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

75 g caster sugar

2 tbsp corn starch 

80 ml double cream

Fruit Toppings

About 400 g fruits of your choice

  • For the tart shells: pour all ingredients, in a food processor. Process untill mixture becomes ground and crumbly. Using the extra olive oil, grease the base and sides of 6 10-cm spring tart tins. Then divide the date mixture among the tart tins making sure to spread the mixture as smoothly as possible to cover the base and sides of the tin.
  • For the Custard Cream filling: Mix the milk and vanilla extract in a small pan, over medium heat. Stir continuously. Bring to a boil then remove from heat.
    In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and corn starch using a hand-held electric mixer. Keep whisking till mixture is smooth and pale in color. Pour the milk gradually over the egg mixture stirring continuously.
    Pour the mixture into a clean pan put over low heat. Continue to stir till custard gets a thick and smooth texture. Remove from heat and pour into a clean bowl. Cover the custard with cling wrap and refrigerate till ready to use. When ready to serve the tarts, whip the double cream till it becomes light and fluffy. Add the whipped cream to the custard and stir gently till custard cream is smooth. 
  • Gently remove that tart bases from the tart tins. Divide the custard cream among the date tarts. And top with your choice of fruits! Indulge!
    Bon Appétit!