Back from the dead + Chocolate Mousse Recipe!

16 Dec

Hey everyone! I’m back from the dead :)

Actually, I just got really busy with senior year of high school and the first semester of college (yay!) so I didn’t post for quite a while. But now I’m back and I have a recipe for you guys! I’ve been getting into cooking/baking for the past year or so, and I came across a recipe for “spuma di cioccolata”, or cold chocolate foam, in an Italian cookbook – which is basically chocolate mousse. I did tweak it slightly based on Alton Brown’s recipe for chocolate mousse found here. The first time I attempted this, I failed miserably due to a few key factors. One, I melted the chocolate badly, and it seized a bit; two, I didn’t whip the cream and egg whites properly; three, instead of folding in the whipped elements by hand I used the hand mixer. I made note of these in my modified recipe.

mousse

 

The first time I made this with the original recipe, I did have a problem with the chocolate melting; I took the idea of the butter from Alton Brown since it does make for a much smoother melted chocolate. The original also makes no mention of sprinkling sugar during whipping, but I would recommend doing so since the sugar helps the whip keep its structure so that it doesn’t take forever and a day to whip it to the desired texture. Also, keeping everything chilled is key: the refrigerator is your friend. Particularly when mixing the melted chocolate and egg yolk, test the chocolate temperature by putting some chocolate on your lower lip – it should feel just barely warm. If it is too hot, it will cook the egg yolks. :(

Otherwise, when made properly this makes a great quick and easy dessert that tastes rich and delicious and looks fancy too! It was a hit at my office party. :D

Without further ado, here is the original recipe from Italian Cooking:

Spuma di cioccolata / Cold Chocolate Foam

For 6 persons

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup strong espresso coffee (a double shot if ordering from a coffee shop)
  • 2 tablespoons rum (I left the rum out since I couldn’t purchase any… ㅠㅠ)
  • 2/3 cup very cold heavy whipping cream

Directions:

  1. In a 250° oven, melt the chocolate in a small saucepan.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar to the egg yolks and beat with a whisk or an electric mixer until they become pale yellow. By hand mix in the melted chocolate, the coffee, and the rum.
  3. Whip the cream in a cold bowl until it is stiff, then fold it into the chocolate-and-egg yolk mixture.
  4. Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold into the mixture. When all the ingredients have been gently but well combined by hand, spoon the mixture into glass or crystal goblets, custard cups, or any other suitable and attractive serving container. Refrigerate overnight. (This dessert can be prepared 3 or even 4 days ahead of time, but after 24 hours it tends to wrinkle and lose some of its creaminess.)

*Note: Don’t exceed the recommended amounts of rum and coffee, or you may find a liquid deposit at the bottom of the dessert.

Here is my slightly altered version of the recipe, with my own instructions:

Depending on serving size, this may make more than 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup espresso (double shot)
  • 2 tablespoons of rum (leave out for the kiddies)
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar, and a tablespoon set aside for sprinkling
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

Directions:

  1. PREP: Place a bowl for the whipping cream and the hand mixer blades in the freezer. Preheat oven to 250°. Separate eggs; set aside whites in a small bowl and refrigerate.
  2. Cube the butter; combine butter and chocolate chips in a small saucepan and melt in the oven for about 5 minutes or until easily stirred smooth. (Chips will hold their chip shape no matter how long they stay in the oven, so don’t make the mistake of waiting for them to melt completely like I did – they will seize if overheated.) Remove from oven and place on stovetop; stir in espresso and mix until smooth and fully combined. Let cool for about 3 minutes.
  3. While the chocolate is in the oven, combine sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until pale yellow, about 3~5 minutes.
  4. After chocolate mixture has cooled until slightly warm to the touch, combine chocolate mixture and egg yolk mixture by hand. Refrigerate.
  5. In the chilled mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer until it starts to form very soft peaks, then sprinkle in a generous pinch of sugar. Continue to whip until soft peaks form, then sprinkle some more sugar. Repeat until stiff peaks form; texture should be similar to Cool Whip (maybe a bit more firm even). Refrigerate.
  6. In a separate mixing bowl, whip egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until very soft peaks start to form, then sprinkle a generous pinch of sugar and continue to whip. Like the whipped cream, repeat until stiff peaks form.
  7. Take out the chocolate and egg yolk mixture and give it a stir. Take out the whipped cream and gently fold in by hand, a large spoonful at a time. Do the same with the whipped egg whites. Do not overmix; texture should be light and airy and the color should be light brown.
  8. Spoon or pipe into serving containers and refrigerate overnight. To serve, whip about 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream in the same manner as above, with a bit more sugar to taste (the goal is to taste like Cool Whip) and spoon onto the refrigerated mousse cups. Garnish with a small berry fruit and a sprig of mint. Alternatively, dust with cocoa powder. Serve.
mousse

Hope you enjoyed this recipe! I’ll try to update with procedure pics when I can.

Leave a comment and let me know how it turns out! Next time, I’ll make sure to get my hands on some rum and make it again. :)

Grosgrain Sizzix Giveaway~*

25 Jan

 

Grosgrain is having another giveaway! This time it is for the Sizzix bigshot, since she has been using her Sizzix a lot for her Shoe Sugar month. The creative choices are endless! I’d love to try one out someday :)

Go check it out: Grosgrain Sizzix Giveaway

 

An apple a day :)

25 Oct

Apple nails!! These are actually from a while ago.

I was at Watson’s the other day and I saw a nail polish ad that featured this kind of apple design. It was SO cute. Next chance I got I tried it out for myself, and here’s the result!

I was lazy and I took these pictures about a day or two after doing them, so there’s a little bit of visible tip wear from some angles.

So basically how I did this was I started off by sweeping the apple color in a semi-circular motion, one on each side of the nail, to get the basic apple shape. I then used a white polish to do the “shine” of the apple and a lime green to do the leaf. Then I used a silvery glitter to outline the apple edges and lightly dot the tip of the leaf. Wait for it to dry completely, top coat and done!

I think using different colors in the red/pink family made it more fun and playful, but if I had to pick a favorite I think the bright red worked the best! After all, nothing says apple better than apple red. :)

Products used:

thumb: Olive Deco in Silky Brown 실키브라운

index: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Flirt!

middle: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Sweet!

ring: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Cherry Red

pinky: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Fuchsia Power

outline: Castledew in Popsky Gold Silver 팝스키골드실버

white: Wet n’ Wild Wild Shine in French White Creme

 

Hope you like^^

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1950s inspired dress

25 Oct

I made this for my IB art class. I love being able to use school as an excuse to sew. :)

My theme was 1950s fashion inspired: Dior’s New Look, Jacques Fath and vintage in general. Clothes from then were so lovely and elegant.

It is actually two pieces: the top blouse-y part and the skirt part. I used this tutorial to make the skirt, modifying it a bit by lengthening it and gathering more to make up for the material (a navy nylon). I drafted my own pattern for the blouse, which is chiffon material. I ran out of time while making the blouse (procrastination ㅠㅠ) and I made the pieces a bit too narrow to sew the sides together, so it turned out a little risque, haha. I think I will fix the pattern and make it again sometime, and connect the sides so that I can actually wear it without having to worry about flashing anyone!

Oh, I finally broke out my tripod and DSLR to take these! Yay! :)

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Grosgrain Naiad Frock Giveaway

25 Sep

So, so pretty.

I remember seeing her works on Burdastyle a long time ago, and I’m really glad that I’ve rediscovered her blog. All of her frocks are so beautiful! The ethereal quality of this one is especially breathtaking. I think “Naiad” describes it perfectly – the gathered layers remind me of a waterfall. :)

Here’s the link to the giveaway: Grosgrain Naiad Frock Giveaway

domo-kun!

8 Sep

domo 1

Domo-kun!

I got the idea for this over at Gizmodo (http://gizmodo.com/5628965/nail-painting-gallery/gallery/2). The original artist’s nails are definitely nicer than mine, but I tried! :D

At first I wanted to do all ten fingers too, but I changed my mind because I was short on time. Plus I fail at doing my right hand!

Anyhoo, I first tried to replicate this design by just putting the mouth red on top of the brown, but that did not work because the red wasn’t that opaque. So what I did was I first brushed on a square of red (Sally Hansen X-Treme Wear in Cherry Red) and then brushed on a warm brown (Etude House in Choco Slushi 초코 슬러시) all around it. I then used a tiny disposable nail art brush to dot on the teeth in white (Wet n’ Wild in French White Creme). Lastly I dotted the eyes on in black (VOV Chamon Nail Pop #3901) and dotted white on top after they dried. A topcoat went over everything, but unfortunately the white streaked a bit because I didn’t wait long enough for it to dry. :(

The rest of my nails are a cool taupe shade (Holika Holika #03 Medium 미디움) that sets off domo-kun.

domo nails 3

Hope you enjoyed this – I know I have! :D

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sparkly funtime

8 Sep

sparkly nails 1

For a while, I just grew my nails out with the aim of doing interesting designs on them. But the real motivation might just have been laziness and me not wanting to bother cutting them. :3

So I finally decided that I needed to do something on them before they all broke off; one was already starting to rip a bit. I really wanted to try out a gradient manicure and I just love this polish – Castledew Popsky Gold Silver (팝스키 골드실버). It’s a super glittery mix of silver and gold, so it goes with everything! And the glitter aspect meant that mistakes would be less visible on the gradient. ^^

Basically what I did was I polished the tip pretty thickly and used the polish left on the brush to paint thin coats about halfway down the nail. The nature of the polish is pretty forgiving, so lines aren’t really visible. A coat of Sally Hansen Strengthening Topcoat helped even it all out.

sparkly nails 2

(Please excuse the blue marker on my finger :D)

I really liked how it turned out! Next time I’d like to try a gradient using dark blue polish, I think.

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