Daring bakers Aprill 2011 challenge: Maple mousse in an edible container

 This is my first Daring Bakers challenge 🙂 and I have to say that I really enjoy being a daring cook and a daring baker.. I love the suspense of waiting for a challenge to be announced…the fact that you get to think outside the box and try new things but the greatest part is, you get to do it in the company of some amazingly talented cooks and bakers.

 I was in absolute awe at the creativity and talent that my fellow daring baker showed. I’m really glad that I joined the daring bakers and I can’t wait to get started on the next challenge

Now let’s get down to business 🙂

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

Maple mousse (if you have not tasted before) has multiple layers of flavor..the first and most dominant is caramel followed by (but less dominantly) fenugreek seed and there is a hint of vanilla and coffee in the background.

Maple Mousse recipe: (I halved the recipe)

• 1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine
• 1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content)

1. Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle).
3. Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.
4. Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between) or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.
5. Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.
6. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
7. Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour.
8. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers

My first thought for a container was to use apples. I thought that the predominant caramel taste would go beautifully with apples but I wanted to counter the smooth creamy texture of the mousse so I thinly sliced the apple using  a mandolin and then using a muffin tim I arranged the apple circles in the shape of a flower and placed them in a 200 C oven in the middle rack untill they were crisp then I turned on the broiler to give them that amber color.

The verdict: The crunchy apple went  beautifully with the creamy mousse in both texture and flavor and made for a lovely presentation

My second Idea was to make a container that cut down on the sweetness of the mousse without undermining or overwhelming the maple flavor.

So I made a pastry cone using my favorite pizza dough.

I formed tin foil in the shape of a cone

Rolled pizza dough untill it was 0.5 cm thick

Cut the pizza dough into strips

Wrapped the dough round the cone

Baked the cones at 240 C (middle rack) untill they turned golden at the place they touch the baking sheet .

Placed them under the broiler to give them that golden top

Allow to cool for a few minutes

Remove the cone

Allow to cool completely then fill with maple mouse

My last container is a scone sandwich if you will. When I was researching maple syrup I came across many recipes that use maple syrup as a sweetener and I thought why not use maple mousse as a filling for scones.

the recipe for the scones comes from 101 cook books and it tastes heavenly on its own but the addition of maple mousse made it exquisite (even my 2-year-old loved them). I halved the recipe and instead of making a mega scone I cut it into hearts and circles. One thing I loved about these scones is that they still tasted good when they cooled and even the next day.

4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
3 tablespoons aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz), chilled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3/4 cup fine grain natural cane sugar or granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups half-and-half ( or you can also use heavy cream or whole milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Using a food processor, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles little pebbles in a beach of sandy flour (about 20 quick pulses). You can also cut the butter in using a knife and fork. Pulse in the sugar. Now add the half-and-half, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Pulse (or mix until) dough just comes together – don’t over mix, but if the batter is too dry add more cream a bit at a time.

Roll on a well floured surface and cut with cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet

Brush with cream

bake untill they are golden where they touch the sheet then place under the broiler for a few minutes