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!
Yes, you read the title correctly. This month’s challenge did in fact involve maple syrup mousse in an edible container. If it were any flavoured mousse in any type of container – I already had a few ideas in mind. Although we have a few compulsory items each month for our Daring Bakers challenge and this month we had to make the maple mousse.
When I told others about this months challenge I must admit I didn’t get too many people saying it sounded like a lovely dish we had to make this month. Many people screwed up their faces at the thought of such a large maple syrup to cream ratio plus the addition of bacon (if you chose that type of edible cup).
There were many suggestions on how to make this beautifully presented and a good flavour combination, although I kept putting off the challenge until the day before it was due – the last day of our long weekend. And by that stage I was drained of cooking – hot cross buns, sorbets, honey comb, ice cream, lamb shoulder, pork belly and a few other experiments in the kitchen.
I decided to go by the recipe which said to use real maple syrup rather than maple flavoured syrup – although here in Australia a good quality real maple syrup costs about $10 for a cup. Yep – a little too expensive for a mousse that I didn’t think I would like that much. So I decided to halve the quantity of mousse.
After tasting the maple mousse (which I had a few troubles with, as I let the maple syrup + gelatine mix cool too much and had to gently re-heat it), we decided to go ahead with the bacon cups, hoping it would cut some of the sweetness.
Unfortunately I don’t think the mousse was for my tastes, although others that tried it, said it was better than they expected. It is quite unlikely I will make this again.
I will have to find time to make my own mousse and edible cups – although I think they will have a chocolate theme.
Thanks to our host this month for making me try something different.
• 24 thin slices good quality bacon (I used 4 slices)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C.
2. Take a muffin pan or 6 small ½ cup capacity heat-proof bowls, turn upside down and carefully form aluminum foil covers on the back of 6 muffin cups or the bowls.
3. Taking 2 strips of bacon at a time crisscross the strips over the backs of the muffin cups and cut to size a tad longer then the bottom part of the cup. Now use 1 to 2 more strips to cover the sides of the muffin cups in a weaving fashion. You want a full tight weave because bacon shrinks a lot. For smaller cups I used a shot glass with a square of bacon for the bottom and I wrapped 1 strip around the side.
4. Tuck the ends of the bacon strips inside otherwise they will curl while cooking. A good idea is to insert 4 toothpicks where the crisscrossed bacon meets in the weave.
5. Place muffin pan in a cookie tray to catch drippings. Bake in oven for about 25 to 40 minutes, or until the bacon is golden and crisp but not burned.
(I halved this recipe)
• 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.
8. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.