Birthday flowers for the Missus, courtesy of Laura Belle.
A bunch of our good friends got together to celebrate The Missus’s birthday a week early, and in addition to my usual Challah-Loaf Contribution, I was asked to provide a dessert.
That’s a dangerous request to make... because when it comes to desserts, Mister Debonair is serious.
Perhaps because I indulge in the Sweet Stuff less frequently than in days past, when I do, I want to make it count. And since this is one of those major birthdays for She Who Must Be Obeyed - the kind with a zero in the units column - I wanted this dessert to be extra special tasty good.
Cakes? Pies? Pfaugh. Those are OK. Hell, they can even be spectacular. But your average pie or cake is not jaw-droppingly, astonishingly special. Cobblers? Tasty but rustic. Same goes for your grunts, slumps, and pandowdys.
A big honkin’ dessert soufflé? Sure, but that has to be readied in advance and prepared at the last minute... and this was not going to be at our house. No. A frozen dessert was the way to go, and I knew just which one I would make:
A Mousse Brillat-Savarin.
Wuddat? It is a frozen white chocolate mousse. More exactly, it is a frozen mixture of whipped cream and meringue, delicately perfumed with kirschwasser, with a pile of white chocolate shards embedded therein much like raisins in a plum pudding. It is both decadent and delicate at the same time... and completely irresistible.
|Italian meringue: Egg whites are whipped
while hot sugar syrup is drizzled in.
But in this dessert, white chocolate really shines.
The recipe is from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts, a book that I’ve owned since 1980 (!) and which is indispensible to anyone with a sweet tooth. There’s a copy of the recipe here that appears to be lifted right out of the book (sans Maida Heatter’s notes - and probably her permission, as well). Following her recommendation, I use white Toblerone, which has almond bits embedded in the white chocolate. This time, however, I substituted raspberries for the strawberries. I may never go back to the original.
How was the rest of the meal? It was ridiculously good... a group effort, with every family throwing something yummy on the Food-Pile.
|The Challah du Jour: Rum raisin!
It was what we call a real belt-loosener.
But the best part? The best part was when the Mistress of Sarcasm made her appearance, having driven down from upstate New York the day before in a straight 17-hour shot... all on the down-low in order to surprise She Who Must Be Obeyed.
Happy (early) birthday, my love!