Fresh Herb Pasta

Fresh Herb Pasta

Pasta made into Ravioli

I’ve watched the little Italian ladies on TV make fresh pasta on a board by just putting down the flour, making a well for the egg, adding a little water and maybe some olive oil and gracefully mixing it up into a beautiful dough.  Unfortunately my first few attempts were not nearly so successful.   I ended up with either the flour dam breaking and egg all over the floor, a struggle to get the dough to form and then the pasta was either too wet or too dry and stubbornly refused to make anything resembling a proper shape either by hand or with the pasta machine.   When I finally got something I could roll, apparently I didn’t do it enough and it was so thick it was like eating a wet sock.  I readily admit that I love fresh pasta but I also admit that for the few cents it costs, I was willing to just buy it.  Finally though, I have discovered this method that makes a great, easy to work with dough with very little effort.  It works with just a rolling-pin, or a pasta machine and cooks up wonderfully.  Of course, the use of the food processor is probably cheating, but that along with using the semolina flour makes all the difference in the texture.

Printable Version

Pasta Ingredients

Ingredients for 4 servings:

1 cup fresh herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme or whatever  combination you prefer, this time I used lemon basil)

1 cup semolina flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons water (approx. add just enough to make the dough form a ball)

Procedure:

Add herbs to the food processor

Pulse several times until the herbs are finely chopped

Add the flour, salt and eggs

Pulse until well mixed

Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, it shouldn't take long to become smooth and elastic since the food processor has done most of the work

Kneaded and ready to rest

Wrapped in plastic to rest - at least 10 minutes 30 is better

After the pasta has rested, you can roll it out with a rolling-pin or run it through a pasta machine and make whatever shapes you want.

Chocolate Marquise (fancy plated chocolate mousse with meringue)

Chocolate Marquise (fancy plated chocolate mousse with meringue)

Chocolate Marquise with Pomegranate Schnapps meringue

Marquise with meringue (see how creamy the mousse is)

Once again this month there was a great challenge.  This time Husband, who isn’t much of a dessert person unless it is chocolate was very pleased with the Marquise and since both kids were home from college, there were plenty of takers as it made a lot.  It looked a little daunting at first with quite a few steps, but once you get going it is actually not so difficult and the chocolate mousse portion is wonderful I would use the recipe unfrozen and served in a bowl all by itself.  It does need some pre-planning, but actually that you freeze the mousse mixture makes it nice for a fancy dinner because you basically make most of it ahead of time.  You only need to plate for a spectacular looking finish. It is also a pleasant surprise as it looks rather firm but is really a soft, smooth texture.  Since the original recipe makes so much (18 servings) also included are 1/2 and 1/4 version recipes.

The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.

We had been at my Daughter’s graduation from University of Oklahoma up until only a couple of days before the deadline so I just didn’t have time to get very creative or do my usual procedure pictures but the ones provided by Emma and Jenny are wonderful so I followed their recipe available on the Daring Kitchen website.  I made only a few changes that I will note below in red and they turned out wonderfully.  I would definitely recommend giving them a try!

Servings:18 2.5″x2.5″ cubes

Ingredients
11 large egg yolks at room temperature
4 large whole eggs
2/3 cup (150 grams/ 5.3 oz) sugar
1/3 cup (2⅔ fluid oz/ 80 ml.) water
Chocolate Base, barely warm (recipe follows) (I used pomegranate schnapps and cinnamon instead of the tequilla and cayenne and honey instead of the corn syrup)
2 cups (16 fluid oz./ 500 ml.) heavy cream
2 cups Dutch process cocoa powder (for rolling) (Note: We used extra brut, like Hershey’s Special Dark. Make sure it’s a Dutch processed cocoa, not a natural cocoa powder.)
Torched meringue (recipe follows)
Spiced almonds (recipe follows)  (instead of cayenne and salt I used 1/2 teaspoon bacon flavored seasoning salt and sliced almonds)
Cacao nibs (optional) Skipped

Instead of the tequilla caramel sauce I used some of my honey caramel sauce spiced up with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the pomegranate schnapps.

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg yolks and whole eggs. Whip on high speed until very thick and pale, about 10 – 15 minutes.

When the eggs are getting close to finishing, make a sugar syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring the syrup to a boil and then cook to softball stage (235F/115C). If you have a cake tester with a metal loop for a handle, the right stage for the syrup is reached when you can blow a bubble through the loop (as seen in the following pictures).

With the mixer running on low speed, drizzle the sugar syrup into the fluffy eggs, trying to hit that magic spot between the mixing bowl and the whisk.

When all of the syrup has been added (do it fairly quickly), turn the mixer back on high and whip until the bowl is cool to the touch. This will take at least 10 minutes.

In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Set aside.
When the egg mixture has cooled, add the chocolate base to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Try to get it as consistent as possible without losing all of the air you’ve whipped into the eggs. We used the stand mixer for this, and it took about 1 minute.

Fold 1/3 of the reserved whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Pour into the prepared pans and cover with plastic wrap (directly touching the mixture so it doesn’t allow in any air).

Freeze until very firm, at least 2 – 4 hours (preferably 6 – 8 hours).
When you’re ready to plate, remove the marquise from the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving. While it’s still hard, remove it from the pan by pulling on the parchment ‘handles’ or by flipping it over onto another piece of parchment.

Cut it into cubes and roll the cubes in cocoa powder. These will start to melt almost immediately, so don’t do this step until all of your other plating components (meringue, caramel, spiced nuts, cocoa nibs) are ready. The cubes need to sit in the fridge to slowly thaw so plating components can be done during that time. They don’t need to be ready before the cubes are rolled in the cocoa powder.

Plate with the torched meringue and drizzled caramel sauce, and toss spiced almonds and cocoa nibs around for garnish. You want to handle the cubes as little as possible because they get messy quickly and are difficult to move. However, you want to wait to serve them until they’ve softened completely. The soft pillows of chocolate are what make this dessert so unusual and when combined with the other elements, you’ll get creamy and crunchy textures with cool, spicy, salty, bitter, and sweet sensations on your palate.

Chocolate Base


Servings: n/a – this is an ingredient for the chocolate marquise, not meant to be used separately

Ingredients
12 oz (340 grams/ 1½ cups) bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
12 oz (355 ml/ 1½ cups) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup (60 ml/ 2 fluid oz.) tequila
1/4 cup (60 ml/ 2 fluid oz.) light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons/ less than an ounce) cocoa powder (we used extra brut, like Hershey’s Special Dark, but any Dutch-processed cocoa would be fine. Do not substitute natural cocoa powder.)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 oz unsalted butter (2 tbsps./30 grams), softened

Directions:

  1. Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl.
  2. In a double-boiler, warm the cream until it is hot to the touch (but is not boiling). Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.
  3. Allow it to sit for a minute or two before stirring. Stir until the chocolate is melted completely and is smooth throughout.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Set aside until cooled to room temperature. Do not refrigerate, as the base needs to be soft when added to the marquise mixture. If you make it the day before, you may need to warm it slightly. Whisk it until it is smooth again before using it in the marquise recipe.


Torched Meringue


Servings: Makes about 4 – 5 cups of meringue. If you aren’t planning on serving *all* of the marquise at once, you might want to scale this recipe back a bit.

Ingredients
11 large egg whites
1 ¾ cups (14 oz or 395 gms) sugar
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Combine the egg whites, sugar and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using your (clean, washed) hand, reach in the bowl and stir the three together, making sure the sugar is moistened evenly by the egg whites and they make a homogeneous liquid.

Over a saucepan of simmering water, warm the egg white mixture. Use one hand to stir the mixture continuously, feeling for grains of sugar in the egg whites. As the liquid heats up, the sugar will slowly dissolve and the egg whites will thicken. This step is complete when you don’t feel any more sugar crystals in the liquid and it is uniformly warm, nearly hot.

Remove the mixing bowl from the saucepan and return it to the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk until you reach soft peaks. In the last 10 seconds of mixing, add the vanilla to the meringue and mix thoroughly.

When you’re ready to plate the dessert, spoon the meringue onto a plate (or use a piping bag) and use a blowtorch to broil.

Tequila Caramel


Servings: Makes about 1 cup of caramel

Ingredients
1 cup (8 oz.) sugar
1/2 cup (4 fluid oz./ 120 ml.) water
1 cup (8 fluid oz./ 240 ml.) heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tequila

Directions:

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water on medium-high heat. Boil until the water completely evaporates and the sugar caramelizes to a dark mahogany color.

Working quickly, add the cream to the darkened caramel. It will bubble and pop vigorously, so add only as much cream as you can without overflowing the pot.

Return the pot to the stove on low heat and whisk gently to break up any hardened sugar. Add any remaining cream and continue stirring. Gradually, the hard sugar will dissolve and the caramel sauce will continue to darken. When the caramel has darkened to the point you want it, remove it from the heat. Add the salt and tequila and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.


Spiced Almonds


Servings: Makes about 1 cup of spiced almonds

Ingredients
1/2 cup (4 oz.) sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg white
1 cup (145 grams/ 5 oz.) blanched whole almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt.
  3. In a larger mixing bowl whisk the egg white until it’s frothy and thick.
  4. Add the spice mix to the egg white and whisk to combine completely.
  5. Add the nuts to the egg white mixture and toss with a spoon.
  6. Spoon the coated nuts onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake the nuts for 30 minutes, or until they turn light brown. Allow the nuts to cool completely and they will get very crunchy. Set aside until ready to serve.


Half Recipe Variations:

Half and quarter-batch recipes were provided by Audax Artifex, who’s done a fantastic job of reinterpreting the challenge into more reasonably-sized portions!
He said: I rounded up 5½ egg yolks to 6 egg yolks in the marquise recipe also I rounded up 5½ egg whites to 6 egg whites in the torched meringue this will not make a difference.


Chocolate Marquise


Servings: 9 2.5″x2.5″ (6⅓cm x 6⅓cm) cubes
Ingredients
6 large egg yolks at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (75 grams/ 2⅔ oz) sugar
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (1⅓ fluid oz/ 40 ml.) water
Chocolate Base, barely warm (recipe follows)
1 cup (8 fluid oz./ 250 ml.) heavy cream
1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (for rolling) (Note: We used extra brut, like Hershey’s Special Dark. Make sure it’s a Dutch processed cocoa, not a natural cocoa powder.)
Torched meringue (recipe follows)
Spiced almonds (recipe follows)
Cacao nibs (optional)


Chocolate Base


Servings: n/a – this is an ingredient for the chocolate marquise, not meant to be used separately
Ingredients
6 oz (170 grams/ ¾ cups) bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
¾ cups (180 ml/6 fluid oz.) heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 cup (30 ml/ 1 fluid oz.) tequila
1/8 cup (30 ml/ 1 fluid oz.) light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons/less than 1/2 ounce) cocoa powder (we used extra brut, like Hershey’s Special Dark, but any Dutch-processed cocoa would be fine. Do not substitute natural cocoa powder.)
1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 oz unsalted butter (1 tablespoon/15 grams), softened


Torched Meringue


Servings: Makes about 2 – 2½ cups of meringue. If you aren’t planning on serving *all* of the marquise at once, you might want to scale this recipe back a bit.
Ingredients
6 large egg whites
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (210 ml) (7 oz or 200 gms) sugar
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla


Tequila Caramel


Servings: Makes about 1/2 cup of caramel
Ingredients
1/2 cup (120 ml/4 fluid oz) (4 oz/115 gm) sugar
1/4 cup (2 fluid oz./60 ml) water
1/2 cup (4 fluid oz./120 ml) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tequila


Quarter Recipe Variations:


Chocolate Marquise


Servings: 6 2″x2″ (5cmx5cm) cubes
Ingredients
3 large egg yolks at room temperature
1 large egg
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (40 ml) (40 grams/ 1½ oz) sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (2/3 fluid oz/ 20 ml.) water
Chocolate Base, barely warm (recipe follows)
½ cup (4 fluid oz./ 120 ml.) heavy cream
½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (for rolling) (Note: We used extra brut, like Hershey’s Special Dark. Make sure it’s a Dutch processed cocoa, not a natural cocoa powder.)
Torched meringue (recipe follows)
Spiced almonds (recipe follows)
Cacao nibs (optional)


Chocolate Base


Servings: n/a – this is an ingredient for the chocolate marquise, not meant to be used separately
Ingredients
3 oz (85 grams/ 6 tablespoons) bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons (90 ml/3 fluid oz.) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon (15 ml/ 1/2 fluid oz.) tequila
1 tablespoon (15 ml/ 1/2 fluid oz.) light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon/(less than 1/4 ounce) cocoa powder (we used extra brut, like Hershey’s Special Dark, but any Dutch-processed cocoa would be fine. Do not substitute natural cocoa powder.)
dash freshly ground black pepper
1/4 oz unsalted butter (1/2 tablespoon/8 grams), softened


Torched Meringue


Servings: Makes about 1 cup of meringue.
Ingredients
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon (105 ml) (3½ oz or 100 gms) sugar
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Tequila Caramel
Servings: Makes about 1/4 cup of caramel
Ingredients
1/4 cup (60 ml/2 fluid oz) (2 oz/55 gm) sugar
2 tablespoons (1 fluid oz./ 30 ml.) water
1/4 cup (2 fluid oz./ 60 ml.) heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon tequila

Tomato Basil and Bacon Tart

Tomato Basil and Bacon Tart

Tomato Basil and Bacon Tart

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Italian four cheese blend (or mozzarella) cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup crisp bacon bits (real bacon please!)

Directions

  • In a  food processor, add the flour and butter, pulsing 5-6 times until the mixture is crumbly.
  • Gradually add water, pulsing until the dough forms a ball.
  • Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until it can be rolled easily.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to fit a 9-in. tart pan with a removable bottom.
  • Place the pastry in the pan and trim the edge.
  • Bake at 350° for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned.

 

Pastry Baked

 

While the pastry is baking, thinly slice the tomatoes and place on paper towels, salt them and cover with another layer of paper towel.  This will prevent the dough from getting soggy.

 

Tomatoes sliced

Tomatoes drying

 

Sprinkle 2 cups cheese into the crust; top with basil and garlic slices.

 

Cheese and garlic

Add basil

Add tomatoes

 

Arrange the tomato slices in a circular pattern around the edge of the tart leaving three for the middle.

 

Drizzle with oil, salt and pepper

Drizzle with the oil, salt and pepper. 

  • Sprinkle the rest of  the cheese over the tomatoes in the center.
  • Sprinkle the bacon bits around the tart.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until the cheese melts.

Ready to Serve

Click here to find out more!
Flaming Dulce de Leche Cupcakes and mini-bundts

Flaming Dulce de Leche Cupcakes and mini-bundts

Flaming Cupcake

I’ve been testing ideas for Daughter’s college graduation which of course we want to celebrate with the proper decorum (in other words parental glee).  She wants cake balls of course, but I did not want to spend the next week making hundreds of them after realizing that my original plan of making a replica of the OU logo completely of them would take a LOT of cakeballs.  Instead I’ve decided to add some flaming cupcakes and a cake to act as the white background for the red velvet cakeballs.   I recently saw where someone had used flaming strawberries on cupcakes (here is the post, they were gorgeous and inspiring) and thought that would fun.  I practiced a little on that as well with a few variations using some raspberries, lemon peel and marshmallows (didn’t happen to have strawberries and didn’t feel like shopping).  They actually all flamed but the raspberry picture came out best so that’s the one that is here.  I definitely plan on using the marshmallows again because not only do they flame, you get a roasted marshmallow – I’m working some sort of smores theme.  This cake is one of the several practice recipes I tried for the cupcakes and it worked out great for a Mother’s Day treat.  I put them in a couple different pans, some regular, some in a cute little flower shape and some in a mini-bundt pan.  The ones in the flower shaped pan worked the best for icing and flaming and the ones in the bundt pan were best for the full Dulce de Leche treatment.

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

The cupcake recipe is a nice mild caramel flavor but when you add some Dulce de Leche syrup (or you could use caramel syrup) and toasted pecans it is amazing.

Dulce de Leche Mini-bundt cakes

The recipe for the cake is:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Add the butter and cream cheese to the mixing bowl and beat until well mixed without lumps.  Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy.  One at a time add the eggs, then the vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then alternate adding the dry ingredients with the sour cream, beating until blended.  Spoon into lightly greased muffin/mini-bundt pans and bake for 13-15 minutes.  Cook pans on wire racks 5 minutes, remove from the pans to wire racks and cool completely.

Pans

Use your favorite icing (I used Swiss Meringue Buttercream from Epicurious) for some, leaving others plain, pouring the caramel syrup over them with some toasted pecans.

To make the flaming ones, you will need an alcohol that is at least 80 proof (I tried Grand Marnier, vodka and uzo as tests and they all worked) and some nice large raspberries (you can do one or more per cupcake).  I found that soaking the raspberries in the liquor in a small cup for a few minutes helped the flame last a little longer as it doesn’t burn long so you have to work quickly.  Make a small dent in the center of icing (to hold the raspberry) then refrigerate the cupcakes for a while so the icing is firm.  When you are ready to present them,  place the soaked raspberries in the center of the cupcakes, fill the raspberries with liquor (I found that putting the alcohol in a small squeeze bottle made it much easier to fill them) and immediately light.

Final graduation post to come soon!

White Five Cheese Pasta Shells with Ham

White Five Cheese Pasta Shells with Ham

Five Cheese Pasta Shells with Ham

Of course we had ham for Easter and with everyone gone home and just the two of us, there was a lot of leftover ham!  There is always freezing, but first I pretty much use it until we can’t stand anymore.  This week I’ve made ham and eggs of course, Ham and Lentil soup, which was delicious(and will be posted another time) and today I made White Five Cheese Pasta Shells with Ham.  I had some leftover cheese sauce but if you don’t happen to have some made, here is the recipe I use for my white cheese pasta sauce.  I made it just a little differently, not baking it for as long to keep it more “saucy” and after taking it out of the oven I stirred it and added some steamed broccoli (or you can serve the broccoli on the side).  This recipe is for 4-6 servings, I only made half for us so it will be more than it looks in the pictures.

Five Cheese Pasta Shells with Ham

Ingredients:

White Five Cheese Sauce

1 lb pasta shells

1-2 cups cubed ham

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

2 cups broccoli

Procedure:

Make or heat the sauce in the microwave for about 1 minute just so it will pour while the pasta is cooking according to the package directions.

Brown the ham cubes

Fry the ham in a heavy skillet until nicely browned.  You can skip this step, but I like the flavor it adds.

Ready to bake

Add the drained pasta, ham and sauce to a baking dish and mix well.  Sprinkle the cheese on top.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, just until the cheese starts to melt.  Remove from the oven and stir to mix well.

Cook the broccoli covered in the microwave for 3 minutes and mix into the pasta (or serve with broccoli on the side).

White Five Cheese Pasta Shells with Ham

Daring Baker’s Challenge:  Maple Mousse in a Maple Syrup and Bacon Candy Bowl

Daring Baker’s Challenge: Maple Mousse in a Maple Syrup and Bacon Candy Bowl

Maple Mousse in Maple Syrup with Bacon Candy Bowl

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

My choice for the container was a maple sugar candy.  Growing up in a touristy area in the North, almost to Canada, every once in a while we would see maple sugar candy in the shape of maple leaves which was always a treat, so I decided that, along with a little bacon, would make a great container for the mousse. Making the candy was pretty simple, easier than I expected but making the bowls was a bit of a challenge.  For the mold first I chose a bowl that had a little lip in it which turned out to be not the best as it made it difficult to remove the candy and some of them broke.  Next time I used a nice smooth mold, although the broken pieces certainly tasted just as good were definitely not wasted!

For the candy containers:

Bacon Maple Syrup Candy

Ingredients:

1/2 pound bacon (you can use more or less to your taste)

2 cups maple syrup

Procedure:

Bacon sliced and fried

Cut the bacon in to small pieces about 1/4 inch and fry until very crispy.  Drain on a paper towel.

Cooking the maple syrup

Put the maple syrup in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.  It bubbles up a lot so use a bigger one that you would think.  The one I chose barely escaped overflowing.  Over medium high heat bring the syrup to a boil stirring occasionally. Boil until syrup reaches 235 degrees F (110 degrees C) on a candy thermometer.  Remove from heat  and cool to 175 degrees F (80 degrees C) without stirring, about 10 minutes. Stir rapidly with a wooden spoon  for about 5 minutes until the color turns lighter and mixture becomes thick and creamy – being impatient (lazy) I used a mixer which works a lot faster. Stir in the crisp bacon pieces

Pour into molds and set aside to cool.  You do have to work fairly quickly as it will start to harden fast.  I had prepared several sets of two small glass heatproof bowls with a light coating of vegetable spray, one on the inside, one on the outside.  I poured in the candy mixture in the bowls to about 1/2 full, then placed the second bowl on top, basically squashing the filling between the two.  I let that cool, then removed the candy from between the bowls.  After the first batch using the bowls with a little rim, I switched to bowls without rims and it worked out better, as did the ones I made using two silicone muffin pans.  It was ok though, I used the pieces of the ones that broke (that we didn’t just eat) as a little garnish on top of the mousse.

Maple Syrup with Bacon Candy

Once cool, unmold candy. Store in airtight containers up to 1 month.

For the Mousse:

I used the recipe so graciously provided by Evelyne which turned out wonderfully.  I did end up with a double batch because I still had 2 cups of maple syrup on my mind from making the candy so I started with that and realized the mistake half way through.  I worked out fine though – there was mousse for all my friends!

Maple Mousse:

Ingredients:
• 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)

Directions:
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.
8. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.

Apple Slices in Maple Syrup bowl

For presentation, I used a maple syrup candy bowl, some freshly sliced tart apple slices (dipped in lemon juice to prevent browning), filled with maple mousse using a piping bag, with a few sprinkles of the maple syrup bacon candy on top.

Maple Mousse in Maple Syrup Bacon Candy Bowl