Saturday, October 06, 2012

All in the name of scientific discovery!

I like finding a recipe that combines unexpected tastes and pulls it off really well. That’s how I felt the first time I mixed strawberries with balsamic vinegar (just top fresh strawberries with sugar, balsamic vinegar, cracked pepper and fresh mint). There was a scene in Full House – which I looked for on YouTube and couldn’t find – where one of the men was explaining to one of the little girls that she couldn’t just mix two ingredients that she loved together and expect the result to taste good. If you like chocolate and you like cheese, it doesn’t mean that chocolate and cheese go together. And yet, chocolate cheesecake works…

So when I saw recipes by Maille for desserts that included their Honey-Dijon mustard (I believe I got this in the mail), I was intrigued. On their French website, they even have a berry Dijon and a coconut Dijon mustard… One of their recipes was for mini-cheesecakes (the link I just gave is to a version of the recipe that looks both more precise and more accurate than the printed version I have), but the one that I tried was Chocolate Fondant à la Maille. Chocolate and mustard, together? All in the name of scientific discovery for you, dear readers!

Our verdict: not worth it. The mustard is not delicate enough. I had reservations to begin with, so I made 4 ramekins as the recipe suggested (though with a soy creamer instead of the whipping cream), keeping the rest of the chocolate batter in the fridge. When we decided the mustard did not have a place in this dessert, I made the rest of the ramekins with only chocolate, and that part of the recipe is a keeper. It reminded me a bit of a plain version of my chocolate and beet pudding cakes, or perhaps my chocolate raspberry mink cakes. These cakes don’t contain gluten, and if you choose not to bake them and serve them cold, they are like a chocolate mousse. That’s the recipe I’m giving you, because it’s the one I can stand behind; if you want the mustard version, click on the previous link and attempt at your own risk and peril.

9 oz. 70% cocoa dark chocolate
1 ½ sticks vegan margarine
1 ¼ Tbsp. rice flour
1 ¼ Tbsp. powdered cocoa
8 eggs, separated
½ cup sugar

Grease 8 ramekins. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.

Melt chocolate and margarine in double boiler.

Mix egg yolks with flour and cocoa.

Pour melted chocolate and margarine into egg mixture and stir.

Beat egg whites until bubbly, and then add sugar. Blend egg whites into chocolate mix.

Fill the ramekins with the chocolate mixture. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool, invert to remove from the mold and serve. (Or, if you used pasteurized eggs, refrigerate overnight and enjoy chocolate mousse.)

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