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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

“Fabulous Bakery Desserts, Pt. XXXI: Chocolate-Amaretto Mousse—a tasty Treat from long ago that’s still Great Today!”

The Steve Miller Band’s twenty-ninth and final album, “Let your Hair Down” came out in 2011 and is a fine album but unfortunately is pretty much the end of the line.  Tomorrow, we begin offering the music of another fine San Francisco band: It’s a Beautiful Day.  We therefore urge you to take the handy link to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and buy it now! You won’t be disappointed! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.  






                                                                     
Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 486 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!



                                                                                     



                                                   STINKBUG 2011

                                                                             


Chef Murph MacDougal

END Commentary 08-24-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 2,004.



CULINARY POLITICS



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Wednesday, August 24, 2011 by Chef Murph MacDougal

FABULOUS BAKERY DESSERTS, PT. XXXI

 Fabulous Bakery Desserts, Pt. XXXI: Chocolate-Amaretto Mousse—a tasty Treat from long ago that’s still Great Today!



Bakersfield, CA, 08-24-2011 W:  Long ago, we had this great restaurant in our hometown that had some of the most closely-guarded dessert recipes that the owner only shared with her top chef and had him commit to memory or did them herself.  Margaret was known to be a bitch and was very protective of what she knew how to make but the word was she had purloined them herself from another great chef who later committed suicide when he lost his franchise desserts.  I was working at a country club as a sous chef and one summer when I was to take my vacation, I managed to get a job with her as the night pantry girl, telling her that I was disaffected with my job and that I would share the secrets of my employer with her.  The first week or so, everyone watched me closely so I went about doing my job and never said a peep but remembering what my father had told me, I followed his advice precisely: “steal everything you can—with your eyes!”

So, I watched Chef Hector make his desserts and two of them—today’s recipe and tomorrow’s—I ‘stole with my eyes.’ I managed to watch out of the corner of my eye how Chef Hector made this mousse—Chocolate-Amaretto Mousse and tomorrow’s White Chocolate Mousse—and committed them to memory.  Then, when Chef Hector had to go down to the storeroom, I quickly looked at his indecipherable handwritten notes, memorized them, and walked out of there six hours later and transcribed them at home on my word processor. It took a few times before I could do them perfectly but I was there for THREE WEEKS so by the time I left at the end of my stint, having given no notice, I knew them perfectly.  When I returned to my regular job at the end of the time, I introduced the desserts which received major raves and a lot of raised eyebrows as people recognized them but had no idea where I had gotten them.  Even my Chef didn’t know that I had been working over there until word came back through the purveyors’ careless speech that I had been over there.  This cost him the membership of Margaret and Chef Hector in our American Culinary Federation chapter when they realized what had happened and I could never go there to eat dinner with my first husband ever again.  There was even talk of a lawsuit of sorts but nothing ever happened as the country club had more powerful attorneys than had the restaurant.

Let’s make some mousse, shall we?  What you need to know is to always use clean, dry utensils when working with egg whites and heavy cream and be careful to NEVER overmix either of them in the first go-round as they will need to be combined together somewhere at the end of the process which means being mixed one last time. Use common sense and be careful and you will always have marvelous results.  You can also buy a book on custards, mousses, and puddings for additional information and enlightenment if you must at Amazon.com.  Let’s do it:

CHOCOLATE-AMARETTO MOUSSE





Yield: 8 servings / Mis-en-place: 120 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
8
Ounces
Nestlé’s unsweetened chocolate
Melted
4
Each
Large egg whites, whipped stiff
w/ next 2 items:
.5
Cup
Granulated sugar

1
Teaspoon
Cream of tartar

5
Cups
Heavy cream, whipped stiff
w/ next item:
.5
Cup
Granulated sugar

2
Teaspoons
Amaretto liqueur

2
Teaspoons
Vanilla extract

1
Teaspoon
Lemon zest

1
Teaspoon
Orange zest

1
Cup
Heavy cream, whipped stiff
w/ next 2 items:
.5
Cup
Powdered sugar

1
Teaspoon
Vanilla extract

.25
Cup
Chocolate cocoa

8
8
Maraschino cherries

8
8
Sprigs fresh mint




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready to work with. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double-boiler.  Beat the egg whites in the bowl of a chilled electric mixer equipped with a whip attachment and as they gradually begin to form, incorporate the granulated sugar and cream of tartar.  Whip until of meringue-like consistency. Transfer to a plastic or glass bowl and refrigerate.

2.      Using a clean, chilled mixing bowl equipped with the same whip attachment, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed and incorporate the powdered sugar as you do so. Whip until fairly stiff but DON’T over-whip the cream, leave it some room to mix a little bit more.  Then, quickly blend in the liqueur, the vanilla, and the two zests.

3.      Now, fold in the meringue-like egg whites and the chocolate and mix until combined.  If you still have some room to give it a few quick bursts, by all means do so just until it’s incorporated, speckled with bits of chocolate and zest but DON’T overmix. Chill for 10 minutes.

4.      Transfer the mousse to a pastry bag equipped with a star tip and using a circular motion, pipe eight red wine glasses full of mousse.  When you have, clean the pastry bag and tip and turn inside-out to dry it thoroughly.  Transfer the second measure of whipped cream (whipped with the powdered sugar and vanilla) into the cleaned bag and pipe rosettes atop each glass. Decorate with cherries and mint sprigs and refrigerate for at least an hour prior to serving.

5.      At serving time, lightly dust the tops of the mousses with cocoa shaken through a fine-meshed sieve or through a shaker container for good effect; then, it’s time to serve.

This is an excellent old-time restaurant mousse used by a classy restaurant in the town in which I grew up. I was fortunate enough to have learned the recipe and to have “stolen it with my eyes.” That is, after all, what I was taught to do by my first executive chef, my father.  This is based on the old days of culinary thought: chefs almost never shared a recipe figuring that if they lost their stuff, they’d lose their jobs which many times, sadly, was quite true. Nowadays, we are expected to instruct the following generations of chefs.

As I said yesterday, I have had a great time today and as always enjoy my opportunities to write for the Elemental News of the Day. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun!

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

I will return with another recipe for White Chocolate Mousse made with Gran Marnier tomorrow and then the day after that, I will teach you how to make a classic dessert by the great French chef, Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), the father of modern French cooking, Peach Melba. Both of these desserts are phenomenal and I am sure you will enjoy learning how to make them as much as I love teaching you how to do it! Anyhow, please be sure to visit Amazon.com and maybe buy a Steve Miller Band album and/or buy a cookbook! See you tomorrow! Bye!    

Thank you, my friends!

Murph MacDougal

Murph MacDougal

Certified Club Manager, ACF Member, Foodserver/Bartender and professional Chef and Baker

_______________________________________________________________________

This is a picture of me when I was a young chef in the kitchen back in 1975. I apprenticed underneath my father and spent six years working for him in his British-Irish Restaurant in Fresno, California. I later moved to Frazier Park, California, and spent quite a few years working in the area and that's where I met Stinkbug. Anyhow, I am now working at a country club over on the coast near San Luis Obispo.

---30---

END Commentary for Wednesday, August 24, 2011 by Chef Murph MacDougal



Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.

REFERENCES:

This original essay was authored by the one-and-only Chef Murph MacDougal

Recipes created by Chef Murph MacDougal on July 12, 1987 in Bakersfield, CA.

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This is #1284, a 16” x 20" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Garden Party." It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!

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Tags:

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