Sunday, February 17, 2008

Gordon Ramsay's Chocolate Mousse and a Meme

Despite my misgivings about Valentine's Day, I did relent and go just a little bit heart-shaped by making these interesting chocolate mousses. Why interesting, I hear you ask? They just look like normal chocolate mousses held in a heart-shaped dish. Indeed they do. And indeed they are. Except that these are no ordinary chocolate mousses. They are Gordon Ramsay's chocolate mousses. Some of you may have caught his recent programme that involved cooking a three-course meal 'with the nation' - the meal (scallops, steak, chocolate mousse) was cooked in real time with members of the public following his direction at home. I enjoyed the show, but didn't cook along with him. For a start, I don't have a television in the kitchen. And secondly, I can't eat shellfish. Thirdly, I reckon I can cook a fairly mean steak.
However, I did like the sound of his chocolate mousse. It was very quick to throw together and had a little extra special something - honeycomb. I knocked the mousses up in ten minutes. Seriously. Ten minutes. I was in a major rush, admittedly, but it really was a speedy thing to whip up post work.
But here is the bad part... It really pains me to say this as I am a fan of Mr Ramsay (despite his temper and obscene language)... but... I'm not sure I terribly liked them. Like Nicisme of Cherrapeno, I found the flavour of the creme fraiche (excuse the lack of accents) a little pervasive. It took away from the chocolate flavour, I thought. The chocolate-covered honeycomb (i.e. Crunchie bars) were a great addition however, and one I'll use again with another chocolate mousse recipe. You can find the recipe here, by the way.
Whilst I'm here, I thought I'd take part in a meme which I've been tagged for a couple of times. I'm participating in Blogging By Mail and am very excited about receiving my package of 'small things' from LisaRene of Little Bits. She thought it would be a good way to learn a little more about me and so I thought I'd take part. I am aware I have completed one similar to this before, but thought I'd share a few more facts with you. This time, they are all food-related: my five favourite foods, my five 'worst' foods, something I've never cooked but really should have done, what I ate today and what I'd eat for my last meal on earth...

These are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.

2. Share 5 facts about yourself

3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).

4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

So... here goes...

My five favourite foods: apple or rhubarb crumble, smoked trout, roast beef with all the trimmings, chocolate fondant and leeks.

My five 'worst' foods: fennel (or anything involving aniseed flavour), mint, stone fruits (...peaches, apricots, cherries etc. Odd, I know), shellfish (I'm allergic to it) and plain boiled white rice (it is the smell, more than anything).

Something I have never cooked, but really should have done: Now this is embarassing. But true. I have (in all honesty), never cooked a poached egg. Really. Strange, isn't it? I think the reason lies in the fact that I'm not terribly fond of poached eggs. Give me a boiled, fried or scrambled egg over a poached one any day of the week.

What I ate today: This is also rather shameful. A lot of cake and a lot of bread is the short answer... Ok - here is the list - toast and marmite, an apple, a slice of carrot cake, a slice of banana cake (this was entirely beyond my control - it was offered and would have been rude to refuse, honestly!), a tomato, rocket and black pepper sandwich, pasta with a tuna and tomato sauce, apple crumble and custard. So... not exactly very balanced... We all have our bad days, huh?!

My last meal on earth: basically, see my favourite foods! I'd start with smoked trout with horseradish cream and blinis, then rare roast beef with yorkshire puddings, parsnips, more horseradish sauce, roasted carrots and potatoes, greens and gravy, cheese (hard Alpine cheeses) and then a slice of really good lemon tart with a slightly caramelised top.

I've tagged the recipient of my Blogging By Mail package, Pam, of Cave Cibum. I hope I'll get some hints of what she would like to receive from sunny England (!). Anyone else who hasn't already taken part in this one, please do so!


LisaRene said...

The dessert foods you ate today contained fruit and veggies so that's saying something and the custard is egg based after all :)

My husband enjoys smoked salmon with dijon mustard. I have a question for you, what type of wine would your recommend with smoked fish and strong horseradish/dijon flavors?

Bellini Valli said...

When I was in Greece I just couldn't bring myself to drink the ouzo (the dreaded licorice flavour) but I appeased my new found friends by having their homemade raki instead which is just ouzo without the flavour...pure alcohol. It was nice to learn a few little tid bits about you :D

Antonia said...

Thank you for making me feel better about the whole thing! Today has been somewhat healthier, I am pleased to say.

The best wines with smoked fish are either those crisp and refreshing to 'cut through' the oily texture (Sancerre, for example) or match the oily texture (gewurztraminer is surprisngly good, as is Fino Sherry and Alsace pinot gris). The strong horseradish/dijon flavours are tricky though and hard to match. I might go with a dry riesling with plenty of acidity to match the high acidity in the mustard.

Val - Oh no - I can't bear ouzo either! Glad you manage to find a substitute that you could stomach instead!

David Hall said...

Smoked trout with horseradish cream, rare beek and Yorkshire puds, you are a lady after my own heart! I would have both of these on my last meal, what great choices!


nicisme said...

I really like your heart shaped dishes - just right for chocolate mousse!
Oh - and I've never cooked a poached egg either - I can't stand them.

Helen said...

That's funny because I have cooked a couple of Gordon Ramsay recipes and found that I wanted to modify them in some way. I did make a baked chocolate cheesecake form his Sunday Lunch book that was awesome and then realised it wasn't his recipe! I totally agree with you about Valentine's misgivings too.....

Trekkie said...

Well, if you've got to hang your head over not poaching an egg, then so do I (I do not count using an 'egg poacher' which I think more fries them than poaches them).

Cakelaw said...

You have done a fine job on these mousses - Gordon, eat your heart out!

Pam said...

Chocolate-covered honeycomb... in mousse? Yum!

Here you go!

LisaRene said...

Thank you Antonia for the wine suggestions. The owner of my local wine shop has an affinity for French wines and stocks a wide variety so I should have no problem finding one of your selections to try.

Your BBM package has been shipped and should arrive in about 5 days. I hope you enjoy it!