Welcome to our second installment of The Engineer’s Kitchen. This week we take a moment to recognize the special woman that spent our early years putting up with erector sets, chemistry sets and homemade inventions that were always spread out over the living room floor. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I thought this would be a good opportunity to share a little recipe that any level engineer of any discipline could utilize to say “Thanks mom”.
Today, Glew Engineering menu was probably meant more for the man in us, as we prepared grilled Italian turkey sausage, steamed green beans and a fresh cucumber and tomato salad. I did have to soften it up a bit by finishing it off with chocolate mousse stuffed strawberries. This is where the mother’s day angle comes from for this week’s blog. Instead of taking all day to create the perfect dinner to surprise you mother with, make it an easy meal, spend some quality time, and then you can let her think you spent all week at a cooking class to make a great dessert to top off the day. It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate and strawberries.
The basis for this dessert is that you can spend relatively little time creating something delicious and delectable that can be utilized for many events. From Mother’s Day to Valentine’s Day to a picnic in the park, the versatility of this recipe has no limits.
Chocolate Mousse Stuffed Strawberries
8oz Semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
In a heavy saucepan, melt chocolate and liqueur over medium heat and stir until thickened slightly. Add ¼ of chocolate mixture to egg you and mix. Return egg and chocolate to saucepan and stir until mixed completely. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Stir often as mixture cools.
In a large bowl, whisk heavy cream until it starts to thicken. The type of bowl in which you beat the cream can make a great difference in how they turn out. While a traditional mousse that incorporates eggs whites will benefit from the use of a copper bowl, a stainless bowl will work well for whipping a cream. The reason for using a cream in this mousse is that I find it is a little more durable for piping. The best advice I can give is to make sure the bowl and the cream are both cold and whisking will generate heat. The warmth tends to flatten out the cream causes it to lose its body. Once the cream has thickened, add the sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold the cream mixture into chocolate gently to incorporate. Chill for about 30 minutes. Fold the cream mixture into chocolate gently to incorporate. Chill for about an hour.
To prepare the strawberries, slice an “X” about ¾ of the way down from the tip towards the top. Place the chilled chocolate mixture into a piping bag with a long round umber one piping tip attached. Place the tip down into the “X” and pipe as you extract the tip. Place finished berries in the fridge and chill until ready to serve. Serve the strawberries with fresh whipped cream and garnish with mint leaves. An addition tip is to dip the stuffed berries in melted chocolate and chill. This is a great way to preserve the berries in case they can’t be served straight from the refrigerator. Plus, a little extra chocolate never hurts.
PLease join us again next week as we get back to the grill.