Foodgawker is a site with page after page of thumbnails of stunning food photography, each photo linking to the recipe it depicts on the blog it came from. You've got to self-submit, and you've got to be good. Possibly related: they've consistently rejected all my submissions over the last year or so. But still I return, using it like Google for recipes. Their iPhone app condenses all this into a format that fits on your phone, and it's a grand way to fill in spare time - although it helps to have some free Wi-Fi, I bet all those high-res pictures chew through the megabytes.
The reason this recipe caught my attention, while browsing through the app in an airport recently, was its ingredients. Or lack of.
Chocolate, water, juice, honey. In proportions of 100grams, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup, 2 teaspoons. (The honey was a total pain to scrape off the baking paper, by the way, and I didn't even achieve visually what I was hoping for! Hopefully I learn from this.)
You get chocolate mousse out of hardly anything at all. I wish I'd known about this recipe a few years ago as a student - a little chocolate, turn on the tap, and you've got pudding. No eggs, no cream, no nothing. It's amazing. As the German man on Tim's and my train to Warsaw said when he found out we were from New Zealand: "Oh my gosh, that is further away than I could ever have imagined!" As they say in [title of show], "For anyone who's ever dreamed, it's time to believe in dreaming again....It's time. Dream. Believe." (Oh come on, it more or less applies to awesome chocolate mousse. Also: [title of show]!)
Water Chocolate Mousse
With a huge thanks to the Mess In The Kitchen blog where I found this recipe. I've adapted it slightly.
100g dark chocolate (I used Whittaker's Dark Ghana)
1/4 cup juice (any flavour, I used more of that strawberry juice)
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons honey
Bring the liquids and the honey to the boil in a pan, then remove from the heat and tip into a bowl. Break up the chocolate and add it to the bowl, stirring till the heat of the liquid melts it and you've got a shiny chocolate puddle.
Refrigerate for 10 minutes or so. Just before you take it out, fill your sink with a couple of centimeters of cold water, and add a handful of ice cubes.
Sit the bowl of chocolate in the water, and whisk. Whisk and whisk and whisk and eventually it will aerate, turning paler and thickened and - pa-dah - into chocolate mousse. If you end up with what looks like overbeaten whipped cream, just whisk in a little hot water till you get the consistency you want. Divide amongst two smallish bowls/glasses and serve.
Most recipes involving chocolate will stress that you can't let any water get into it or it'll sieze up and turn all gross. So, it was with slight consternation that I mixed the two together. Through some miracle of science, the melted chocolate, rapidly cooling with every flick of your whisk, absorbs the liquid and becomes a soft, velvety pillowy pile of mousse, with the clean, unsullying water making the dark cocoa flavour so definite it's like every single one of your tastebuds is wearing 3D glasses.
In terms of excitement-causing, second only to the astonishing minimalism of the ingredients is this recipe's versatility. With no eggs or dairy or gluten, this could also serve as icing on a cake, the filling in a pie shell, or as a base for whatever flavour you want to push upon it - use orange juice, add vanilla or peppermint extract or cinnamon. If you don't have juice or honey, I think you could use water for the entire liquid content, and just use two teaspoons of sugar.
And for interest's sake, I tried it with white chocolate instead of dark. Apart from the sort of muddy colour (from the strawberry juice) and a softer-set texture, it worked amazingly well and now calls me, siren like, from the fridge.
Kiss From a Rose, Seal. OMG this song is good. Although it's really hard to blog when you're singing along to it. It requires all your concentration.
HAIR. While I appreciate that I've mentioned it a million times, it's only because it's really, really good. And I'm obsessed anew thanks to the arrival from America of the Actors Fund of America Benefit recording and the vinyl record of the 2009 revival cast. "All the clouds are cumuloft, walking in spaaaace"
Unknown Mortal Orchestra, How Can You Love Me. As commenter Pete20Pedro on Youtube says, "what a jam!" And their album came with a free tshirt, one of those nice ones with really soft fabric, even.
Next time: Nigella's recipe for coconut macaroons...unless anything dinner-y overtakes my interest before then. That's if I'm not asleep in every spare moment. Had another weekend away for work - fortunately, didn't hit my head again, but I did have a weird sleepless night in my motel, which I'm still catching up on now.