It's been a busy few days, but I am still enjoying it. I'm in the middle of finalising an essay on 'advertising the new men' for next week; and last night I found myself typing away the delicious beginning of my dissertation which is rather exciting I must say...
A couple of nights ago, I prepared a small, laid-back farewell dinner for my dear friend Kelly who is moving to Australia in less than a week time. I invited along two other close friends, Michelle and Mark.
One of Kelly's request that evening was herbes de Provence and lemon chicken wings. I don't very often do requests, but this is a special circumstance and these wings are so delicious, I know everyone will love them and I was right. They were gone in minutes. Even though these wings is intended as an appetiser, I have previously use the same flavourings for larger pieces of chicken, like bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs will be perfect.
Michelle also made a request (what is going on here? have I gone soft?)... caramelised onion hummus which she described as the best hummus she ever tasted... Well, what can I say? I love compliments. Along with caramelised onions, the hummus is also flavoured with garlic, cumin, lemon, yoghurt and sprinkled with smoked paprika when serving.
We then had lemon roast chicken served with garlicky truffle mash. I think simple dishes, like roast chicken is the universal 'taste of home', but yet it's also elegant and nothing beats a golden bird with crispy skin and tender, juicy flesh. I smothered the chicken with seasoned lemon butter and then roasted on a bed on sliced onions, garlic, thyme and lemon wedges which then became the dressing for the green beans side dish. I also jazzed up a simple creamy mash potatoes with roasted garlic and white truffle oil for instant luxury.
And for dessert, the indulgent baked cherry chocolate mousse with vanilla cream and fresh cherries. Though I make this quite often (with different variations of flavours), I am still amazed by how delicious this mousse is. The sourness of the dried cherries inside the mousse works perfectly with the rich dark chocolate. The baked mousse has this cake-like exterior, and inside is the light as a feather chocolate filling. To make it extra special, the mousse is topped with vanilla cream with real vanilla seeds and sweet red cherries.
Another one of Kelly's request to complete the evening was espresso zabaglione... my favourite. My best description of this zabaglione is like eating clouds, because it's so light and soft with espresso infused in it.
We had a great night with plenty to eat and drink. Kelly, it's been a pleasure feeding you and your company is certainly going to be missed. Have fun and good luck in Australia.
Enjoy your weekend everyone.
Baked Cherry Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Cream and Fresh Cherries
Recipe by Me
300 g cherry dark chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa (I use Green & Black's)
150 g unsalted butter
6 eggs, separated
50 g caster sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
200 ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, or 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line the base and sides of a 23-cm spring-bottomed cake tin with greaseproof paper. Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass/metal bowl over simmering water.
Whisk the egg yolks with sugar and stir in the melted chocolate, stirring well to combine. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining of the sugar until stiff peak. Fold the egg whites gently to the chocolate mixture, and pour the mixture to the cake tine.
Bake for 20 minutes until just firm to the touch. Let cool on a rack to room temperature. When completely cool, remove from the tin, but keeping the base, and put on a platter. Whip the double cream with vanilla seeds or paste for the topping, and scatter with fresh cherries.