Monday, August 23, 2010

Dessert? Maybe?

Well I said in my first post that I would post even the things that go wrong and dessert tonight was one of those things. Now I don't routinely make dessert, I don't think it's necessary to eat sweets after dinner every night. But every now and then I decide to make something. This particular recipe I made up. Now I use "made up" loosely because its based on a similar dish I saw a picture of in a magazine. However that one called for instant coffee in the mix and other such things that my taste buds rebelled against the idea of.

However I love to cook and come up with new things and  looking at the picture the wheels in my mind started turning and I could think of something that did sound tasty. I started by making a chocolate torte that I cut into squares after it cooled and placed on a couple of parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Then I made chocolate mouse (yes all this is from scratch) and put a generous glob on each square. My mother meanwhile whipped up some meringue. Now the initial idea was to use a plastic bag with the corner cut out to pipe the meringue around each mouse topped torte square in a pretty swirl, however the bag wasn't really sturdy enough and it just didn't go as planned. I used to be a cake decorator and love putting pretties on things but at this point in time I don't have any icing bags or tips so my options are a bit limited and my temperamental Scorpio self was getting quite frustrated. This is a point in time when my husband usually leaves me alone to curse and grumble at the food. However my mother-having a more stable personality- swooped in and used a butter knife to spread the meringue around each torte. Instead of the pretty little swirls I had imagined they now looked like globs, although now that I have had time to come to terms with this part of my failure I can say they look more like cloud puffs. Then came my real mistake. During the making of these, we had lasagna in the oven which finished at just about the same time we turned the last torte into a puff. So into the oven they went for the meringue to get golden brown.

Did you know that chocolate mouse doesn't like a hot oven? Well I didn't.

By the time the first pan had golden brown meringue, there was liquid chocolate running all over the pan. I was not happy. My husband, sensing a brewing storm building in his wife, wisely suggested that maybe we should try using just the broiler. So I turned off the oven and turned on the broiler and once it was hot, in went the second pan. Although there was still liquid chocolate on the pan when it came out, it wasn't near as bad as the first pan. I am sure it would have worked better if the oven hadn't already been hot. Next time though, that meringue is getting browned with a butane torch.

Next time? Surely after my description you think the mess might have gone in the chicken bucket. And as irritated as I was, the thought crossed my mind. However, as I was standing there keeping careful watch over the garlic bread that was now toasting under the broiler (I have a habit of forgetting about the garlic bread and burning it) I grabbed a fork and stabbed at one of the cloud globs that was still bleeding melted chocolate mouse on the pan. To my surprise, despite the melted mouse on the pan, there was still a good deal of intact mouse on top of the torte. I forked up a bit of the meringue/mouse/torte and took a bite...I was instantly transported to some wonderful chocolate heaven. My bad mood and irritation were gone in a flash. I took another bite, you know just to make sure my tongue wasn't playing games with my mind and it was just as heavenly as the first. The third was also just as wonderful. Then I remembered the bread which thankfully hadn't burned during my brief chocolate mouse/torte/meringue vacation. My mother likewise enjoyed a bite and we began brainstorming on how to make it better, what would be best to do next time etc.

Dinner was served and each serving was accompanied by a little plate of what I was now calling Moose Droppings. It had stopped bleeding melted mouse by then and didn't look half bad. It was enthusiastically devoured by all.

So although it didn't go smoothly the first time out, I wrote down the recipe and into the box it went and the recipe title at the top of the card? Moose Droppings.

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