We’ve all had our turns at the stove where everything we did messed up and stank from here to high heavens. And that’s about the time when either we wish we had not started this venture or we could, errr.. uncook it. And amazingly enough, someone has unlocked the key to ‘uncooking’. You heard me right, it’s ‘Uncooking’! And we have the fathers of fine dining, ie the French, to thank for. Well, one French guy in particular called Hervé This.
A little about Hervé before we go on. Heard of Molecular Gastronomy?* Well, this is the physical chemist who, along with physicist Nicholas Kurti, came up with the concept. He breaks down the science of everyday cooking, thus discovering more efficient way of assembling a recipe. For example, it’s been an old debate among cooks, how to make béchamel sauce ie white pasta sauce without lumps; whether to to add roux (cooked butter and flour) to milk or vice versa. Also whether the milk should be hot or cold. Turns out one of the polymers is not water soluble and another dissolves only in hot water. Dissolving starch in hot water creates a gel that makes lumps. The solution? Add the roux to cold milk. Who knew that the dreaded chemistry lab would help us make that perfect pasta!
Check out his CHOCOLATE CHANTILLY recipe. It has only chocolate and water with sugar optional! Now if that the not the shortest ingredient list you have seen for a mousse then I don’t know what you been making!!
INSTANT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE (CHOCOLATE CHANTILLY)
Recipe by Herve This & Heston Blumenthal
- 9.35 ounces (265 grams) bittersweet (%70 cocoa solids) chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- 4 tbsp sugar, optional
- Place a large mixing bowl on top of another slightly smaller one, filled with ice and cold water (the bottom of the large bowl should touch the ice). Set aside.
- Put chocolate and water (also sugar and/or liquor if you’re using) in a medium-sized pan and melt the chocolate over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl sitting on top of ice and water, and start whisking with a wire whisk (or an electrical hand-held mixer) until thick. Watch the texture as you whip and make sure not to over-whip as it will make the mousse grainy. If the mousse becomes grainy (which is possible at your first try), transfer it back into the pan, reheat until half of it is melted, pour it back to the mixing bowl and whisk again briefly.
- Divide into four serving cups and serve immediately.
And you can also flavor it with cinnamon or add a tablespoon of liquor like Grand Marnier, Chartreuse or Tia Maria. Just make sure the amount of liquid stays the same (subtract the amount of liquor from water). Or boil the water first, take off heat, place a couple of Earl Grey tea bags, let infuse and then use it as your liquid. You’ll have Earl Grey scented mousse in no time. Watch this video for finding out the perfect consistency from the man himself,Heston Blumenthal and he tells you why it works!(Applause!!)
Best part is that since it doesn’t lose it’s consistency it can be used as filling for cakes or any kinda bakes!
Anyways, got side track there, din’t we? Back to ‘uncooking’. We are not at a place where we can uncook that really complicated ‘pate en croute’ yet, but we can start with the humble egg. And you can try this at home, just that it takes about ,say 3 hours! It’s just easier watching the video!
Check out how to uncook an egg:
Ps: ignore the last 5 secs.. have no idea why Chucky! :-/
Well, that’s a lot of new things you learned today! Let us know how you liked it!
* If you have not, then more on that in later posts!