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Wednesday, 8 July 2009

A dinner for the girls ... ends with a fabulous dessert!

Just this weekend, The Lovely Wife invited some of her old school mates over for a get together. She had asked me earlier if I could cook up a nice dinner for four of her friends. How is a guy supposed to say no to dinner with four lovely ladies?! Errr... I mean FIVE including The Lovely Wife!!

One of the girls, Lynn, has become a good friend of mine as well. The last time she came over, she had told me about some swanky restaurant that she had been too where they had printed individual menu cards with the diner's name on it. She 'insisted' that the next time she came for dinner, I would have to print a menu card for her.

I had planned on individual cards for all the guests but as I ran out of time, I just quickly strung this together - that's my excuse for the Typo Errors!

As you can see from the menu, I stuck to the tried and tested although the Stuffed Peppers were different from anything I had ever done with stuffed capsicum before. I'll post about them soon enough.

I did some small variations on the Mediterranean Rice Tarts where I used beef pepperoni and cheese. I also omitted the bacon from my Chicken Pie and for both dishes, I used Portobello Mushrooms - more out of necessity than choice because the supermarket had run out of white button mushrooms. No complaints though as Portobello's are always good!

The piece de resistance was of course the dessert! Lynn had asked for an ice cream cake and I was actually planning on doing that but kind of changed my mind at the last minute. I didn't want to tell The Lovely Wife what I was planning to make either as sometimes, she will wrinkle her pretty little nose at my ideas just because she thinks it may not be up her alley - oftentimes she is completely wrong!

I spent the better part of Saturday morning making the dessert. It is loosely based on Le Kit Cat the famous dessert creted by Michel Richard, renowned chef of Citronelle Restaurant in Washington D.C. (Adapted from Happy in the Kitchen by Michel Richard)

I added an almond meringue base to the recipe, used more cream and added egg yolks to the mousse. This is what I did:

3 Eggs whites
150 g castor sugar
150 g ground almonds

Bottom Layer:
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
200g ounces milk chocolate, melted and at body temperature
1 1/4 cups crushed corn flakes

Top Layer:
400 ml heavy cream
200g dark or semisweet chocolate
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp Sugar

Make the base. Line a 9" Springform pan with baking paper. Whisk eggs whites till foamy and then add in sugar and whisk till stiff. Fold in ground almonds. Spread meringue mixture into springform and bake in preheated 170C oven for about 40 minutes or till meringue is cooked. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Remove springform and greaseproof paper from meringue. Allow to fully cool then replace into springform.

For the bottom layer, Whip peanut butter and vegetable oil on medium speed until combined and light in color, 2-3 minutes. Reduce to low, add the melted chocolate and mix until combined. Stir in the crushed corn flakes. Pour over almond meringue in springform. Spread into an even layer. Chill in fridge until firm.

For the top layer, melt the chocolate over a double boiler on low heat. While chocolate is melting, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and quickly add into the melted chocolate. Remove from heat and continue whisking till smooth. If chocolate becomes clumpy, add in a little warm cream. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Fold a little of the whipped cream into the chocolate, then fold in the remaining cream.

Pour mixture over the peanut layer layer and spread evenly. Slice into rectrangles or cake slices to serve.

My Little princess helped with crunching up the corn flakes and she had a lot of fun doing it.

I had planned on making some miniature Le Kit Cat Almond Meringue Cake but I ran out of the peanut feullantine. What I did though was to make mini Almond Meringue Chocolate Mousse tarts! My mom had come over for lunch as Dad had a function to attend and she just Loved my little dessert! This is the first time I've posted a picture of her on this blog too!

I decorated the dessert with strawberries and when I brought it out, it was welcomed with oohs and ahhs. I want to perfect getting desserts cleanly out of a springform without leaving the sides all messed up. I guess the trick is to line the sides of the springform too...

The dessert itself was simply divine. I have to admit that this is probably one of the nicest desserts I have ever tasted - EVER! All the guests loved it as did The Lovely Wife. She too proclaimed that it was probably one of the best desserts she'd ever tasted. Lynn, ever my foodie-fan, simply oohed and raised her thumb in appreciation as she savoured the dessert. Most everyone had two slices while I sneaked in three!

There was some left over for the next day and I cut it into cake sized slices and took a few more photos. I think the dessert tasted even better the next day! Both the kids loved it too and the leftovers were polished off very quickly.

As I sit here blogging about this dessert, I wish I had saved a piece (or two) as it was really, really delicious. I have to say that this is definitely a dessert that I would make again - and again and again!

Oh, and thanks ladies for a wonderful time! It was a lot of fun having you over for dinner and even more fun watching you all enjoy dessert. It's always nice to be in the company of lovely women who know how to enjoy their dessert!


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

What a fun time for everyone involved Dharm. Your dessert does sound delicious 007:D

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Fun with the menu card Dharm!
You certainly seem to keep the ladies happy!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

oh dharm you really are a sweetheart. will the wife allow me to borrow you the next time i have a girls night? that cake looks divine!

Parita said...

Oh my the dessert looks so creamy and delicious! your wife is so lucky:)

Deeba PAB said...

Aw...elegant ladies, my friend, & what a sweet Mom you have. Wecome to this beautiful blog. It's lovely to see their pictures here. That cake is AWESOME Dharm. Am sure her highness must have been THRILLED!!!

Deeba PAB said...

Ohhello, it's me again. I always have so much to say; maybe I should mail you. Anyway, the lemon curd HAD egg & loads of them. And i've had my DH look at the fab cake you made. Sorry mate, you are in the dog house; he gave me a grunt=I don't thnk I can make this!!

Bergamot said...

Lovely desert. Looks just amazingly soft and delicious. I am sure the ladies enjoyed the food and of course the yummy desert.

Maria said...

Sounds like such an elegant dessert. Delicious and the presentation was great Dharm! Love the pics.

Alicia Foodycat said...

That is an amazing looking dessert! Well done!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Dharm, that dessert is worth dying for (well, almost!). Lucky ladies.

I hope the 3 ladies in your life know how lucky they're. I'm going to show this to my husband. He's a decent cook, but he's never made dessert ever, only eaten it! ;)

Jane said...

Your cake really turned out beautifully. It looks extremely luscious and delicious. Looks like a great recipe!



Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

That dessert look fantastic. The moussy top just made me swoon. I wish I could dive into it face first!

The Caked Crusader said...

your dessert looks amazing - I love chocolate and almond anyway, but the addition of peanut too sounds yummy!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Fabulous cake! This one is definitely going in my "to make" file. Your wife is one lucky woman!

Mallini said...

This looks Sooooo awesome!! Will be trying it out soon! Though, here's a tip if you want to get mousse and cheesecakes cleanly out of a springform tin.Try soaking a towel (that's wide enough to go around your tin) with HOT water (wouldn't have the kids in the kitchen when I'm doing this). Once the water has soaked up, wrap the towel around your tin for a few minutes. Don't keep the towel there too long or you might melt the cake inside. Hopefully it helps!


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