When Life Gives You Eggs

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Make mousse.  I actually had to google, “how long do fresh eggs last?”  We’ve never had this backlog.  I love to make mousse because it uses the entire egg.  Yolks go with the chocolate, sweet bit.  The whites are whipped and give it texture.  Ice cream is wonderful, but you must make merengues.   It goes a little something like this :

 

1 bar of chocolate, cooking, noir, we used praline

80g of butter

— melty that

separate 4 eggs

whip the whites, add some sugar.  not much as your bar of chocolate is sweeter than you think

add the yolks to chocolate nirvana

foldy foldy

scoop into fancy mousse bowls

there it will set in the fridge until dinner

 

 

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we tasted after three

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The Sound of Vanilla Ice Cream

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The chickens are laying well these days. We now have a few spare eggs to make some ice cream. I made a vanilla custard, extra sweet. Ice cream needs to be sweet. You should let the custard sit overnight before you spin it in the machine.

I rushed it and stuck it in the big freezer for a spell, then put it in my fancy Snoopy Sno-cone Machine. Otto heard the noise, rushed downstairs and said, “I hear the sound of vanilla ice cream!” Yes sir. You are correct.

6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 cups of cream and milk, fix your ratio
dash of Armagnac

egg yolks and sugar whipped together
milk heated on the hob
slowly make them friends
back on the hob, stir and thicken over low heat
let it cool
add the Armagnac

put the mix in the fridge overnight and then let ‘er go in the ice cream maker

vanilla ice cream

Hot Chocolate for Late Night

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We live in the heart of Gascony.  This means duck, wine, beef!, floc and Armagnac.  I love Armagnac.  These farmhouses get cold in the winter and nothing warms your body like a hot, hot chocolate with a splash of Armagnac.  It’s a bit chilly now, but not that bad.  Though we like to practice and prepare our winter habits in advance especially after a long day and especially when Die Hard 2 is up for viewing.

  • Cacao Powder, 3 soup spoons
  • Suger, five soup spoons then taste
  • Milk, 1 litre
  • Cream, 1 cup
  • Armagnac, shot per cup or less

DSC_0778We have a big jug of Armagnac.  I pour it into something that will pour it into something smaller as to not lose any along the way with silly overpours.  The cup on the right is for the cook.  I have my Gascon Hot Chocolate neat, hold the chocolate.

But for the boys, it’s nice to sip some sweet after a day of work on the farm.

Milk and cream heat up in the pan.  Add the sugar.  Add the cacao powder.

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Whisky whisky.

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Check out the browny-ness. Does it look inviting? No? Add a dash more chocolate powder magic. And maybe some sugar.
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Pour some Armagnac in a mug. Add the hot choc. You can also not add the Armagnac and be equally warmed.
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Sit back, enjoy the action man movie and warm up. If you get the Strawberry Shortcake mug, don’t panic.
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Chocolate Sauce

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One time, after lunch, we needed some dessert. Sometimes, you need dessert and you didn’t plan for this need ahead of time. It was then we realized that you melt chocolate in a pan and dip darn near anything in it. Voila! Dessert. Not just any chocolate will do the job. “Chocolat Dessert” is what the marches in France call it ( duh, I should have figured this out long ago ). In America, I think it’s called baker’s chocolate. Or you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips. I always have melting chocolate on hand because it lasts in the pantry and has the added bonus of dessert potential at any moment. With the shops closed through the two hour lunch and finish the day at seven, you need to plan sweet cravings ahead of time.

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Usually we do a slow melt with a spot of cream and a dash of salt. Tonight, I added two new friends

Sweetened condensed milk
Vanilla extract

Then, magic happened.
I didn’t take notes on the ratio, but I think this chocolate sauce is something you feel. You can serve it over a cottage cake ( not very sweet, heavy on the butter )

Or if cake isn’t your thing, spoon it.

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Or if you’re six, eat what’s on your plate and save some for later.

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No Wheat Treats

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For those of you in search of sweets without wheat, let me introduce to you the country of France. A country where cream is king. Sweets start with cream and build upon this custard or egg white-y base.

Oh sure they do “cake” but said “cake” looks like a cake, feels like a mousse ( snuggled with sponge ).

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Don’t be frightened of mousse. It’s actually straightforward. Even if you suck at making mousse, your effort will still arrive with mousse-y characteristics thus tricking your target with culinary, mousse-y delight.

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After many attempts with chocolate mousse, I’ve settled in on 4×4 Chocolate Mousse TM.

4 eggs
4 oz chocolate

It’s easy to remember so when you have five people, a cat, a dog and some chickens talking to you at the same time, you will not mess up the ratio.

Separate the eggs
Melt the chocolate
Whisk the yellows
Beat the whites
Fold it all together gently
Put in cute ramekins or little espresso cups
Chill, girl. Just chill

It’s gonna be a’ite

Best Chocolate I Ever Ate

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I’m not frequent with the sugar consumption so when we were gifted a big box of dark chocolate , Lindt flavor discs, we took no pause before tucking in.

The flavors were
– chocolate
– caramel
– cherry piment ( that’s French for spicy )
– orange

Oh and they were good. Oh they were lovely.

My ranking:
Caramel ( my ab fav )
Cherry Piment ( Brent’s nemesis chocolate )
Orange
Chocolate

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I had to bite two cherry piment to get this picture; the first one was blurry. I’m loving chocolate photography.

Why Not Say It With Sponge

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On the list of low-to-no flour desserts is sponge cake. Essentially a sweet omelette, this beauty can be a bit tricky to get right. But when you do, you feel like a true champion. And don’t you be reaching for corn starch easy-outs. That’s cheating and you’ll find it lacking in rich flavor.

Tame and yellow your egg yolks with a splash of sugar
Fluff your egg whites also with a splash of sugar
Gently marry them add a dash of salt a generous pinch of baking powder and a few tablespoons on flour

Et voila

Cook for twenty minutes on average heat

We cooled ( barely ) and slathered in Nutella

Now, you can add a splash of milk, butter and vanilla … but we forgot and consequently made one of the best sponges this side of the Pyrenees. Love to share, but it’s gone.