I think I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like to bake. I should honestly add that it goes beyond that; I don’t enjoy making desserts. And since I’m being honest, it’s probably because there are not many desserts I like to eat.
My fellow hosts and hostesses have often admonished me for this failing and they are right. Presenting a meal that begins; Smoked Salmon with Dill Sauce, Boned and Stuffed Cornish Game Hens, Wild Rice with Mushroom Sauce, Buttered Green Beans with Almonds; and ends Chips Ahoy Cookies on a fine bone china plate, smacks of carelessness or drug use or both. I only did it once. The sliced Snicker bars don’t count. I was young.
So now I usually end with homemade ice cream (I like to make ice cream), buy something from the pastry shop or make White Chocolate Strawberry Mousse. This is a fairly easy recipe but you have to be careful when you are cooking the custard portion to make sure that you get it to the correct thickness. If the custard is not thick enough, you will end with a wonderful tasting but soupy mousse. Also, the advantage of using fresh strawberries is that sliced strawberries on top make for a nice presentation.
WHITE CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY MOUSSE
1/2 cup of milk
4 large egg yolks
3 tbsp of sugar
8 ounces of chopped white chocolate
2 tbsp of Cointreau
1 cup of chilled whipping cream
2 cups of strawberries, fresh or frozen
Make the custard by whisking the milk, yolks and 2 tbsp sugar in a metal bowl. Cook the custard over a pan of simmering water, whisking constantly until the custard thickens, 6-8 minutes. The custard is ready when it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from over water, add the white chocolate and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the custard from the refrigerator and stir in 1 tbsp of Cointreau.
Beat whipping cream into stiff peaks then fold into custard.
Puree 1 cup of the strawberries with 1 tbsp of sugar. Add in the remaining whole strawberries, reserving some for topping. Divide this mixture between 4-6 dessert glasses and spoon mousse over the top. Cover each glass with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Remove, top with strawberries and serve.
Suggestion: Serve with buttery Gavottes’ Crepe Dentelle