Wednesday, January 27, 2016

prepping a Friday dinner and dessert

Dinner this Friday evening with Ligament ought to be interesting. On the menu: pulled-pork quesadillas, chocolate "mouce," and cupcakes with chocolate ganache.

I'm going to try my hand at making homemade sour cream, which is a bit hard to find in a regular Korean grocery. Even though I'm going to hit Costco in a few minutes,* I'm not sure that the warehouse store actually has any sour cream. If Costco does happen to have some, then I'll put off my Frankensteinian experimentation until later. If not, then I'm going to make the cream myself with milk, heavy cream, vinegar, and a sterilized bottle.

The misspelling is in the spirit of faux foods like Krab or Quorn: I wrote "mouce," above, instead of mousse, because what I'm making isn't a true mousse: it's not foamy in the least (mousse is French for "foam"). If anything, it's moving a bit toward flan. The other night, I successfully combined Nutella, unbeaten heavy cream, warm water, and gelatine to make something that was not quite custard, not quite flan, and not quite mousse au chocolat. That said, it was smooth, incredibly rich, incredibly delicious, and absurdly easy to make. Gelatine sheets are the cheater's way to a mousse-like texture, and I don't mind cheating. I could even mix things up a bit by freezing some semisweet chocolate chips, blitzing them in the food processor, then mixing those flakes into the "mouce" to provide a welcome bit of texture.

Et voilà: ma mouce au chocolat.

*Nerp—didn't hit Costco. I came home from work too late, and I was too tired to go out again. Tomorrow, God willing. Tonight: shop locally and watch more "Game of Thrones."



Charles said...

If you're using gelatin, wouldn't that be more like an American-style gelatin pudding (like Jell-O)? Flan is baked, and I'm assuming you don't bake this. Sounds good, whatever it is.

Kevin Kim said...

True, flan is baked, but many flans are somewhere between creamy and gelatinous in texture—custard-y, I suppose, which is where my "mouce" is. If I stirred the congealed mouce up, it would be more like Jell-O pudding—unable to hold its shape after having all those molecular bonds broken during the stirring.

It is indeed quite delish. And very, very rich. I'm going to see whether I can get closer to a mousse-like consistency by whipping the heavy cream this time around.

Charles said...

Ah, so you don't stir it? I think I'm starting to get the picture her. And, yeah, whipping sounds like it would be a good way to introduce some of that texture.

Looking forward to pics.

Kevin Kim said...

Right. The only stirring I do is when I mix the gelatine into warm water, and when I pour the Nutella/cream mixture into the gelatine and mix it up for good measure. After that, I let the whole thing set in the fridge for at least two hours. What comes out is superficially Jell-O-y in that it wobbles when I take it out of the fridge, but the moment I cut into it, it behaves like flan and has a similar mouth-feel.

Good point of comparison: some Korean gelatine desserts (like those weird fruit-yogurt cups) often won't stay in your spoon after you cut a section away from the main body: the liberated pieces are wiggly and slippery. This never happens with flan in my experience, despite the custard-y, gelatinous texture, and the same is true for my mouce.

Charles said...

Fascinating. Tempted to try this myself... but fearing the sugar rush.

Kevin Kim said...


Lots of sugar, to be sure, and all from Nutella. The fatty cream might also be a bit hazardous to your health in particular. Partake of only a shot glass at a time!

Seriously, though, this is absurdly easy to make.

1. 2/3 cup Nutella in double boiler to soften.
2. Add 2 cups heavy cream. Stir until you've got hot chocolate. Add more Nutella if you want it darker.
3. Heat maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water. Set water aside and add gelatine. If using sheets, maybe 3-4 sheets. Not sure how much to add if you're using powder, but at a guess, 2 rounded teaspoons(??). Stir gently until the water looks like plain, clear water again.
4. Add choco/cream mixture to gelatine water. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
5. Pour mixture into a container.
6. Stick in fridge. Chill at least two hours.

Everything I read about gelatine says that you have to keep the water temperature under 70-80 degrees Celsius, or the gelatine will lose its ability to coagulate. That said, if the water is too cool, the gelatine won't dissolve properly. I made that mistake once, when I was living in Front Royal, and when I ate my pudding/mousse, I bit into this horrific hunk of gelatine that felt like earlobe cartilage. My disgust reaction was instantaneous; I spat the damn thing out and threw the mousse away, completely turned off.

Anyway, good luck.

Charles said...

Yep, sounds simple enough, and I probably would have to take it in small doses. (That being said, for some reason dairy fat doesn't seem to affect me nearly as much as meat fat.)

And you're right about gelatin having to be in warm water. I saw a chef on Chopped once drop gelatin into boiling water and completely screw up his dessert. It wasn't a pretty sight.

We do have some Nutella in the cupboard... but now I'm tempted to make an actual Nutella custard. Must... resist... temptation!