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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Beefcake: And the Mousse You Rode In On

The response "... You and the donkey you rode in on" must have come from Jesus Christ's bittersweet triumphant entrance into Jerusalem on what it is allegedly Palm Sunday. Well, maybe that's not the origin of that saying. It seems that Jesus the Christ might have made a bigger splash charging into Jerusalem on a stallion or some such -- but there's this Judaeo-Xtian penchant for humility, a sado-masochistic approach to life which might end up in torture and crucifixion.

Still Xtianity's basic tenet and dogma is Resurrection and New Life -- something like eating chocolate which for many does provide a sense of well being. Therefore, in honour of the alleged avatar Jesus and chocoalte bunnies and the upcoming sacred season of the celebration of new life here is a recipe for some absolutely revitalizing chocolate mousse. Just sinful. He might have done better to ride into Jerusalem with a little orange brandy flavoured mousse if not exactly mounting one.

The press around this time of the Christ's life has placed too much emphasis on big, burly Roman soldiers beating the crap out of him and then nailing him to a cross while rabble rousing Orthodox Rabbis lobby for that exact same thing. Let's face it, the guy is God and he chose not to smite them. There must have been a reason.

Everybody seems to forget that Easter is Christianity's chief feast where Jesus gets out of his grave and offers life eternal. It's about life and celebrating the glorified body and all that.

With that in mind, here's a horse (not some namby pamby donkey) and some bodies, which, while not exactly glorified, do point to some kind of glory. Glory be!

Julee Rosso's Dark Chocolate Mousse

This serves twelve from her book Great Good Food with some variations. She labels it, "Dense and satisfying but the egg yolks and cream are gone."

Semisweet Chocolate, 500 grams, chopped
Unflavoured gelatin, a tablespoon
Espresso, a small dense cup
Grand Marnier or Cointreau, a double shot
Non Fat Yogurt, one cup
Non Fat Ricotta, one cup
Egg Whites, 4 at room temperature
Sugar, a quarter cup or equal amount sugar substitute

1. Blend the yogurt and ricotta (pass the ricotta through a sieve before doing so to make it smoother) in a blender or by hand. do not use a processor.
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a reasonable facsimile thereof. Stir until smooth and completely melted. Cool slightly.
3. Soften the gelatin in small saucepan with a quarter cup cold water, then dissolve over medium high heat.
4. Add the coffee and liqueur to the gelatin and slowly whisk until it thickens slightly -- "enough to glaze a spoon but not to jell" -- Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Cool to room temperature.
5. Whisk in the melted chocolate and the yogurt/ricotta blend. Stir until well blended. Allow the mixture to cool for 20 minutes or so until it is room temperature.
6. Beat the egg whites to peaks. Beat in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Fold the egg whites gently into chocolate mixture, blending well.
7. Either dig in and eat it until you fall over from gluttony or do the Xtian thing and share it with others. Oh, make sure it gets chilled for two hours. Patience is a virtue.

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