Monday, April 14, 2014

Chocolate Mousse- The cream with a dream

'Twill make old women young and fresh    ,
Create new motions of the flesh .
And cause them long for you know what  ,
If they but taste of chocolate.
                                        ~James Wadworth

Desserts are sweetness with a Zeeeee√®. 
Some people leave impressions that speak a million words. With that joi de vivre and an infectious verve I was tottaly at ease and spilled a few tricks of the trade.
The magic mantra as always is complements...
What a womanly dessert. The shape and the softness and luscious folds and the silky texture and sweetness and the elation of being as light as air...

Today was one such occasion. I generally hold a captive audience of teenagers dangling a carrot of good marks to keep them entranced and attentive. Well, I had ladies as my students today. Many well versed in the art of conducting dinner parties. My task was to guide them in making desserts(with a Zeeeee√®) and give them ideas to make their parties even better. 
One dessert on the card was my No Bake Mango Cheese Cake which can be suited to any fleshy ,tangy, tart ,colorful fruit. 
And the other one was the Chocolate Mousse. 

Fluffy and dreamy and creamy and light and awesome. This will serve 12 people. Not counting hungry kids,12 individual glasses...
The desires...well,no one likes lonely. An accompaniment of fruit or liquor or liqueur is always great.

I made the mousse and the cheese cake the day before and did a second round as the demo in front of the ladies. 

for the 
Chocolate Mousse -The cream with a dream ...and desires...

you need 

230 gms dark chocolate
60 gms butter
4 eggs separated
6 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence or rum optional
1 cup or 240 mils cream

Chop the chocolate and butter in to small pieces and place them in a steel bowl.Steel is always good. Double boiler on,at medium heat.

Stirring occassionally  to mix . Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.Set aside till it is warm to the touch and not hot...we don't want rambled egg yolks in the mousse.
That is the shiny steel reflecting the flash.

I separated 8 eggs...I was making a mousse for 24 people to taste.You stick to the 4 eggs...
Whisk the egg whites with a few drops of lemon juice and beat in the sugar till stiff.

Once the chocolate is warm ad ok to touch,beat in trhe egg yolks,surely buy firmly. Be careful before you pop the yolks in...too hot and you have scrambled mousse.Set in the fridge till the egg whites and cream are done.
Bring the chocolate mix out and add a little egg white at a time to loosen the chocolate. Add in a third at a time and gently,gently fold it in.
Thats the non dairy cream being whipped...

Fold that in next. Again ,the operative word is gently and you can add the esssence or rum or any other liqueur here. Since this was not to be dressed for a party,it was a Plain Jane kind of pud. I would have macerated strawberries or pitted cherries in rum or sugar syrup and folded them togther with the mousse...

A little for sweet child ...
I prefer to serve the mousse on a base of chocolate genoise or sponge and with tart fruit to cut the sweetness of the chocolate.
I am going back to my DSLR,this convenient smart phone gives flat images..
Topped with the remaining non dairy rich cream and chocolate chips.Yummmmm!!!
The other one was...
 My No Bake Mango Cheesecake. The  ladies were suitably impressed and made the right noises. What is important is that they try out the puds at home...and tell me about it.
Here is one picture from the past...
Next on...
Garlic rolls revisited.

So what are you baking today???

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Udaipur Mewar And the Suryavanshi Rajput

Udaipur,Day 10 
January 8th, 2014
Sweet Child turned 14 today and we celebrated his birthday with chocolate brownies ,that was all the cake the hotel had to offer.
Serious sightseeing on the agenda for the day.
Put off by the lack of sign boards ,hubby dear and I opted to traverse the city in an Auto Rickshaw instead. So auto driver set and all places marked out we set out to explore the city. The wisest decision ever made.Our driver was super enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and a good story teller.
Pit stop 1.
Swaroop Sagar lake  was the first stop. These lakes were all linked to each other so that the spill over stays within bounds.

The Maharana Pratap Smarak is a museum dedicated to the bravest son of the soil . This is a museum where tales are told via paintings.
To Start is the painting of Rani Padmini, famed for her beauty. Allauddin Khilji forced her husband Rana Rawal Ratan Singh into battle and fearing their dishonor at the hands of the moguls after the loss at war ,Rani Padmini led the women to Johar or mass that they wouldn't be defiled.
Meera the princess, who gave up her all for the bhakti of Krishna also belongs to this family.
This is a model of the Chittorgarh fort. Massive.  It is one of the largest forts in Rajasthan. Your eyes will be unable to take it in in one go.
There is a gallery of portraits of the brave men that fought with the great Maharana.
This is the actual Smarak or memorial.A statue of the brave Maharan Pratap and his faithful Arabian Steed Chetak,who sacrificed his life for his master.

That crest of the sun signifies Suryavanshi. Of the clan of the Sun. Exactly what hubby dear set out to find.
A view of the Lake City from the Memorial and the Maharana's trusted Aide ,Afghan warrior and Chief of Artillery Hakim Khan...
The second of the seven lakes.Fateh sagar Lake. The lake of Victory.
Victory over water and Jet Speed Motor Boats...all 3 minutes of a ride minus the shoes...
The before the ride...
The After the ride.Without the life jackets. Mind you,one doesn't look as picture perfect with the orange contraption on.Hence.
Sahelion ki Bari...A park with statues and fountains and plants ,only for the women.Nothing spectacular in the park,maybe if you were out for a walk,this would be the place,but I would have rather spent this time in the palace.
A baby elephant...quiet disinterested in the tourists.
The piece-de-resistance...Pichola Lake.Nestled in the oldest mountain range in the world,the Aravalis,Udaipur is also known as the Venice of the East.
That is the Jag Mahal,the palace where the 007 movie Octopussy was shot.
New to Udaipur,a desilter...the boys were fascinated...
In the background is the Fateh Prakash Palace...the luxurious heritage hotel and the City Palace ,that towers over the lake.Initiated by maharaja Udai Singh-so Udaipur.
A romantic getaway of the hotels...far from the madding crowd.
At the entrance to the City Palace...the passage for the elephants.
The rulers never built a fort here at Udaipur. The architecture is Hindu temple style with not a hint of Islamic influence.
And here the mere mortals walk.
The Maharaja of Mewar has long been associated with the Indian Army. On display ,is an amazing collection of Revolvers,swords,grenades,knifes,ammunition,medals,trophies and photographs of his association with the regiment of 9 Grenadiers.
The fresco's that beautify the wall are ,as you can see-Awesome.Udaipur has access to the whitest of marble.
Intricate murals of elephants and warriors on horses and women and Krishna in the form of Sri Balaji adorn the walls.

Thikri art form on the walls adds to the charm of the palace.
Bits of coloured glass and murals painted with squirrel hair brushes...
This is what the maharaja bought back from Sothebey...
Ben Kingsleys glasses from the 1983 movie Gandhi.
Theses carved stone benches were in the central courtyard.

A piece of History. Maharana  Sir Fateh Singh who was the only raja to decline an invitation to the Delhi Durbar both in 1901 and 1903.
One of the rooms of the palace..

The ceilings were painted too,the fan is a recent addition.
The first floor courtyard.
That by the way is a kerosene powered fan.A room where Maharana Sir Fateh Singh did his work.
Those are Dutch tiles on the wall btw.
Coloured glass and Mirrors from Belgium.
That is a door covered with Ivory.Yes...Ivory.
Never saw this kind of Jhulas in Marwar-Jodhpur,styles differ here.
That is the Suryavanshi Crest. The Sun.
Another Thikri -Colour Glass Inlay work...the peacock is the most famous motif and it is done here in Mewar,Rajasthan ,only.

Great patrons of local art and artists,the family has an amazing number of paintings.The first phad I have seen on this trip.This is a Phad painting. An art that died out almost 30 years ago,extremely intricate,the artist paints stories from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Not many patrons for this kind of work.Unfortunately,We are not all royals,you know...
A picture of the princess and her prince...Padamja Kumari Mewar.Love the Poshak. Beautiful in its simplicity.
This was what fascinated me the most. Her wedding mandap,preserved for posterity. Silver all the way.
The worlds first Silver Museum. The Amar Mahal at the City Palace. This is a palanquin...where oh,where are the bearers???
This is a Silver Howdah,the seat used while riding an elephant. Don't miss the Gold Crest.

A marble chess board with  enameled silver pawns and stuff.
And the buggy...Yes the horses may be plain whatever ,but all the adornments and the buggy itself are Silver.
I didn't bother to photograph the plates and pens and idols and tea sets and stuff seen earlier...the camera battery was dying of exhaustion.
The last shot,couldn't resist it.
Out of the palace,while hubby dear bought camel leather shoes,I wandered...The market outside the palace.

 Radha Krishna in a beautiful Buddhist form...only INR35K for the pair.
 Hand tooled,leather bound notebooks...apparently,they supplied SRK's notebook from the movie Jab tak hai Jaan.
 These had the sun,peacocks camels and lots of stuff tooled on them...
 See the notebook near SRK-Shah Rukh Khan...that's where he pens his stuff...
Not that I am a fan anymore,I bought one for Hubby dear with an image of the sun tooled on the cover.
Suryavanshi rajput.
google images
There are still miles to go...Sajjangarh Palace,Haldighati and more...
'Till I bake again...
This is my entry for Prismma Holiday 2014.

Spread the happiness


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