domingo, 26 de outubro de 2008

Desserts for a party at home: banana flognarde, chocolate mousse and milk jam petit gateau






We had a party last night and the house was full of friends. We had nine children and 16 adults talking, laughing and eating. It was a great time for me, the chance I was waiting to celebrate with friends some special moments of this years that is not finished yet but which has already been so intense to me.


The first thing to be celebrated was my master degree and the wonderful grade my thesis got: 'A', secondly the end of the radiation treatment and my hope that I will never have anything in my thyroid again and for that reason I will never, never need to take radiation again. The third reason for celebration was my babe's birthday which actually takes place next Wednesday. Those were my reasons to celebrate and enjoy the last day of summer time here in Norway. From today the days will be shorter and shorter until December 21st when there will not be many hours left for the days.

It was a great joy for me to have friends over and to serve them some of my favorite desserts. I was pretty lonely during the year. First I was writing, writing and writing and suffering with the difficulties of writing. Suddenly I was sick, then very sick, and then more sick until I finished writing my thesis even being sick. Then I decided to stop being sick because I couldn't handle being sick any more and decided taking a more radical treatment.

This sick mood is now over. The psychological effects of the treatment have worked faster and even though I am supposed to wait some six weeks to be cured, I feel am fine now.

It was a reason to indulge in chocolate, bananas and milk jam i.e. confiture du lait, dulce de leche, doce de leite. My favorite ingredients in a dessert.



So, even if I mentioned a party I am writing about the desserts only because the main courses took their way from the oven to the dinner table and didn't offer me any chance to say goodbye or to make some pictures. Besides, the light was horrible and the battery of the camera was exhausted making me more a dessert blogger. My mobile's camera is a disaster.

This morning I enjoyed taking pictures of the left overs of the dessert and I ate some of them again. I cooked enough for everybody to eat two pieces of everything, but they did not follow my advice. Most of them tried two of them only and now Per Olav and I have the obligation to finish the rest. The kids are controlled and have been grabbing the mousse under supervision.



Chocolate Mousse

This mousse is the one I used to eat as a child. My mom used to make it regularly since we all loved it. There were never any case of salmonella in my family or in my neighborhood and I actually never heard of a case of salmonella in my close relations. I make it clear to convince those who fear raw eggs.




12 fresh eggs free range/frittgående
12 tablespoons of sugar
300 grams 57 to 70% dark chocolate
250 grams unsalted butter
A pinch of salt

How:

Melt the chocolate with the butter in 'bain marie' or double boiler. Mix to incorporate the chocolate and the butter and reserve.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks and place each in a big bowl. First whisk the egg whites with the pinch of salt until hard picks are formed and reserve. Mix the yolks with the sugar until the batter is thick and the color became a very light shade of yellow.

Add the chocolate mixture to the yolks mixture and mix until everything is well incorporated. Add the egg whites to the mixture and mix it all with a fouet or a spoon until everything is well incorporated. It takes some time to incorporate all the egg whites to the chocolate mixture. It must be done carefully because I guarantee the lightness and the airy consistency of the mousse. Mix everything until the batter is homogeneous and there is no sign of the egg whites.

Divide the batter in cups or ramekins and refrigerate it for 3 to 4 hours before serving.





Banana flognarde

Flognarde is one of those easy, simple and delicious French desserts that conquered the world. Flognardes are very rarely made with tropical fruits such as bananas but I believe banana makes one of the best flognarde I have ever tasted.

My banana flognarde is delicious even if it is not very correct and it does not look so beautiful. The banana, vanilla, cream and egg mixture is perfect to me.



Banana flognarde:

10 ripe, R-I-P-E bananas cut diagonally in slices
1 cup sour cream, can be heavy cream also
1 cup milk of your preference
4 eggs
3/4 cup confectioners sugar + more to protect the sliced bananas from getting brown
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup corn starch
Scraps of a vanilla pod
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In a oven proof glass pan arrange the bananas in two layers and sprinkle some sugar to avoid them from getting brown.

Add vanilla scraps to milk and add this mixture to sour cream and reserve. Mix the eggs with sugar with a fouet and add this mixture to the cream mixture. Add flour and starch. Place batter over bananas and bake at 190C/325F for 40 minutes or until set. Can be served warm or chilled. Tastes even better the next day.




'Milk jam petit gateu'(Petit gateau de doce de leite)

This is the favorite dessert of my adult years. It is one of the dishes that makes me love Carlota restaurant. My recipe was made with Hapå, a kind of milk jam cooked for a longer time and for that reason darker and harder. Hapå is the closer to 'doce de leite' once can get in Norway even though Hapå is a little salty. Norwegians of my husband's generation used to spread Hapå on their breads like other do with Nutella, Nugatti and generics. Hapå looks like a cheese spread of the Norwegian brown cheese but it is much more a milk jam than anything else. Besides a jar of Hapå cost half the price of a can of condensed milk.




The gateau made of Hapå tasted fantastic, a stronger taste of toffee/caramel since it is a sort of well cooked milk jam. The important is that the filling behaved as expected and melted once the spoon took the first piece.



The recipe of the Milk Jam Petit Gateau can be found in the book:




As Doceiras, de Carla Pernambuco and Carolina Brandão.
Companhia Editora Nacional, São Paulo, 2007

And at the restaurant Carlota in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

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