Thursday, January 25, 2007

Double Vanilla White Chocolate Mousse

"The creamy whipped things you make are always so good." Said in complete deadpan by the son of a co-worker who ate my double vanilla white chocolate mousse. So two years ago J gave me about 20 vanilla pods, of which I used three. Like a fine wine you wait and wait and wait to use only to find it's been stored in the basement NEAR THE HEATER and now taste like crap, I held off on using my precious pods until they became hardened. Luckily, I remembered from Barefoot Contessa that you can soak vanilla pods in vodka to soften them and make vanilla extract. So right after Christmas, I bought a lovely decorative bottle and soaked eight vanilla pods in about 1/4 cup of vodka. One month later I have a soften vanilla pods and homemade vanilla extract.

Friday, there was a after-work party at J's place of business and I made smoked salmon dip with lots of dill and goat cheese instead of cream cheese and the double vanilla white chocolate mousse. Ok folks, mousses are the easiest things to make. The basic steps? Melt chocolate, whip cream, fold. For CHOCOLATE chocolate mousses, you may addd egg yolks and whipped egg whites but for this mousse it was back to basics.

Here's the recipe:

8 oz (1/2 pound) good white chocolate
2 cups of whipping cream (1 1/2 cup for the whipped cream, 1/2 cup for the chocolate ganache)
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod
1 tablespoon of good vanilla

Over a double boiler (in my case a bowl suspended over a pot of simmering water) melt the chocolate with 1/2 cup of the whipping cream. Add the vanilla seeds and the extract. Whisk until smooth and take off the heat to let it come to room temperature, whisking ocassionally to keep smooth. In the meantime whip cream until it reach smooth (but not completely stiff) peaks. When the chocolate is room temperature, fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream and then fold in the rest. Cover and stick in the fridge for at least 2 hours but overnight is ideal.

I find them best served in this little clear plastic wine glasses but if you wanted to go all out serve the mousse in a martini glass.

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