Monday, June 4, 2012

Adventures in Dessert

This weekend, I channeled my inner Paula Deen for my Dad's early Father's Day present and there was NO BUTTER INVOLVED!  Imagine that!  Though, there was shortening involved but that's not the same is it?  Meh - same difference I guess.
My Dad is a big time chocoholic and so for his early Father's Day present, I decided I would make him Paula Deen's Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pie.  I am not a chef.  I am most definitely not a baker.  So why make it?  Because I was watching an unhealthy amount of Food Network (as per usual) and Ina Garten made an easy-looking Key Lime Pie.  I'm usually not a Barefoot Contessa fan (especially after her Make-A-Wish fiasco) but she was making my most favourite dessert: Key Lime Pie.  Easy enough, right?  Sure!  I could make that!
But wait!  I don't think my Dad likes Key Lime Pie as much as I do!  I had to change it up and FAST or else it was a chocolate sampler from Godiva and I felt that that was a little impersonal since he's heading out to Kuwait for 9 months.  So I decided I'd peruse the Food Network site for the ultimate chocolate recipe.  Who better than Paula Deen, right?!
I skipped buying a pre-made shell and made my own using the Best Ever Pie Crust.  Like I said, I'm not a baker and this pie crust was super easy to make.

I tried to scallop the edge to make it all fancy and with as many times as I had seen it executed on Food Network and shows like Top Chef, I couldn't do it quite right but it still looked pretty.
The chocolate sauce and the whipped mousse were the scariest parts for me.  I'd never melted chocolate for any kind of sauce but here it was as the base of the whole dessert.  I had also never made whipped cream and I was so scared I was going to screw it up and have to go to the mall.
But the recipe was SO SIMPLE.


There it was! The chocolate sauce! I left out the chocolate creme liqueur since I didn't feel like running out just for 1 tablespoon, so I subbed in an extra tablespoon of heavy cream. The chocolate sauce took no time at all! Easy, right?! Totally! But now for the whipped cream... I was joking around and had a Tony Montana moment when I was measuring out my powdered sugar (I'll never grow up)

I don't know how many times I've seen whipped cream being made on Food Network. I know the egg white version and the powdered sugar version. I know to look for stiff peaks and all that but I was so scared I was going mess that up as well!
Ugh - I sound really insecure, don't I?  But I really was afraid I was going to mess it up.  Well, the joke was on me since it's the easiest thing to make EVER.  There's no possible way you can mess up making whipped cream!  EVER!

And even with my little hand mixer, I got my coveted stiff peaks.  I was so excited that I was actually cheering for myself!


So then came the folding of the whipped cream into the chocolate sauce - with care to not overdo it.  What did that mean?  Well, I'd seen enough shows to know that I could potentially take all the air out of my whipped cream if I overdid it, so I took very special care to be nice and gentle (which I'm usually not during cooking)

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  I could make whipped cream ALL DAY.  Too bad I had made A LOT OF IT.  But I remembered - it was Paula Deen's recipe.  Of course there would be TONS OF EVERYTHING.  Except the chocolate sauce.  I felt like there wasn't enough.  But then I thought that maybe there was enough because it was a frozen mousse pie after all.  But as I was folding the whipped cream into the chocolate I thought that maybe there was too much whipped cream there.
I foolishly spooned out what I had mixed into my pie crust and it went all the way to the edge of the tin in height.  That was enough right? the photo, the mousse reaches epic proportions.
Check it

Was there enough room in my freezer for all of this mousse? Hell no.  I guess I would just deal.  I spooned out more whipped cream into my mousse mixture that I had already put in the pie shell and started folding it in for that creamy brown colour but I had to give up because I didn't want to demolish my pie shell in the process so I just spooned it out on the whole thing and made a pretty coating of whipped cream and put the rest in a container for fruit dipping.

And there you have it. My adventures in desserts. I can't really call it baking since the only thing I baked was the pie crust.
My everyone at the party liked it - including my Dad - which made me happy.  I did feel like it was missing something (probably the liqueur but whatevs).   At least everyone had the sense to mix the fruit salad in with the chocolate to cut the sweetness.
So now that I've done it, I can make another version when my Dad gets back!  Hopefully by then , I'll have a nice, customized version (Grand Marnier anyone?).  Sounds like a plan to me!

How was your weekend?