Updates from April, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on April 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: birch syrup, maple, mousse   

    Daring Bakers 49th Challenge: Maple Mousse served in an edible container 

    The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com! Firstly, this challenge was a cooking trip back to my home province of Québec. Born and raised there, Spring always meant sugar shack time, so maple syrup is definitely part of my heritage. Secondly, the container suggested for this mousse was none other than bacon! Bacon? Yes, oh yes…Glorious bacon. 🙂

    We got this challenge underway in no time. I enlisted my honey in this challenge, because I wanted the cups to be perfectly shaped, and I knew he had the skill and patience to make these work (patience, I confess, I don’t have a lot of when it comes to stuff like that ;( ). As the results show, the cups were perfectly executed (thanks hun!)

    This challenge gave me an opportunity to try a product I tasted at Edible BC in the Granville Island Market: Birch syrup. I had first tried it as part of a limited edition salted caramel birch syrup chocolate made by our favorite chocolate artisan, Chocolatas. The story, according to the salesperson, was that Edible BC approached Chocolatas and asked them to experiment with the birch syrup. The result was that divine piece of chocolate perfection. I thought it was great that merchants in the market interacted this way. A few months later, we came across that syrup while browsing at Edible BC. We got to taste it, and found the taste not quite as sweet as maple syrup, but interesting nonetheless. I couldn’t think of what to use it for to justify paying the somewhat steep price, but kept it in the back of my mind.

    When I read this challenge, I thought, here’s my opportunity. So I split this recipe into two, one half was maple mousse, and the other half became birch mousse. Although I think the quantity of gelatine in the recipe was a bit too much, the two syrups/eggs mixtures really congealed, the whipped cream managed to bring everything together. As for the birch mousse, the lesson learned is that this syrup should be mostly used as a flavouring agent instead of an actual ingredient. I used the same quantity of syrup (1/2 cup) as I did for the maple. The birch syrup is not as “syrupy” as the maple is. The mousse tasted more like molasses, and reminded me of the homemade molasses taffy I used to make with my grandma. However, when eaten/combined with the bacon cup, the taste became much more subtle. We topped both desserts with some walnuts and grated dark chocolate.

    This challenge really got our imagination going into other ways we could use bacon cups.  You just can’t beat the taste and aroma of bacon. Thanks for a great challenge, Evelyne!

    Bacon Cups:

    • 24 thin slices good quality bacon

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C.

    2. Take a muffin pan or 6 small ½ cup capacity heat-proof bowls, turn upside down and carefully form aluminum foil covers on the back of 6 muffin cups or the bowls.

    3. Taking 2 strips of bacon at a time crisscross the strips over the backs of the muffin cups and cut to size a tad longer then the bottom part of the cup. Now use 1 to 2 more strips to cover the sides of the muffin cups in a weaving fashion. You want a full tight weave because bacon shrinks a lot. For smaller cups I used a shot glass with a square of bacon for the bottom and I wrapped 1 strip around the side.

    4. Tuck the ends of the bacon strips inside otherwise they will curl while cooking. A good idea is to insert 4 toothpicks where the crisscrossed bacon meets in the weave.

    5. Place muffin pan in a cookie tray to catch drippings. Bake in oven for about 25 to 40 minutes, or until the bacon is golden and crisp but not burned.

    6. Cool completely, a good hour, before removing your cups delicately from the foil.

    Maple Mousse:

    • 1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine
    • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content)

    1. Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.

    2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle).

    3. Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.

    4. Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between) or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.

    5. Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.

    6. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.

    7. Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour.

    8. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.

    • Crumbs of Love 4:23 pm on April 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Do you think birch beer is made with birch syrup? just a thought. Anyway, very impressed that you did both challenges. You did a great job!

  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: noodles, ramen   

    Daring Cooks 24th Challenge: Edible Container – Savoury 

    Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com! A big fan of ramen, I decided to try the noodle bowl. Unfortunately, after a couple of tries, I just couldn’t get the bowls off their forms, and they all broke. So, ultimately I ended up with a baked noodle nest as my container. Not as striking as a bowl would have been, but edible nonetheless. Turns out baked ramen noodles actually make a pretty tasty snack. Thanks for the challenge, Renata!


    Servings: 6 baskets


    1 package ramen noodles (120gm) (4¼ oz)
    boiling water (enough to completely cover the noodles)


    1. Place the dry noodles in a baking dish.

    2. Pour boiling water over noodles until completely immersed.

    3. When noodles are soft and start separating (about 5 minutes), drain and rinse with cold water.

    4. Drain again, and set it aside until it starts getting sticky.

    5. Use olive oil to grease the outside of baking cups and arrange them upside down on parchment paper.

    6. Arrange noodles as shown in the photos. The sticky noodles will help the strings stay together making it easier to form the basket. 3 or 4 strings across, 3 or 4 strings down, and some strings around the bowl. Push all the excess strings close to the cup to form a lip. Don’t overlap too many noodles, or they won’t get crispy.

    7. Bake at 230°C (450°F) (gas mark 8) preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.

    8. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before trying to remove the noodle baskets from the cups.

    9. Let cool completely.

    10. Handle with care, the baskets are fragile!

    11. You can make the baskets the day before using, they will keep fresh in an airtight container. On the third day it stars losing its crispiness.

    12. Fill baskets with your favorite salad. If you’re using a dressing, serve it aside or mix it to your veggies just before serving.

    • Audax Artifex 5:36 am on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Yes Ramen noodles are very tasty, and the filling of prawns is excellent well done on this challenge.

      Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    • Renata 12:38 am on April 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I like how you made your noodle basket work out, the nest idea was just amazing, and as delicious. Love your choice of filling. Thanks for joining in 🙂

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