Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My heart pumps RICH CHOCOLATE MOUSSE!!

The most amazing, mouth-watering and terribly delicious thing in the world:


The Richest Chocolate Mousse Ever

Without a shadow of a doubt, this recipe will either cure you from your obsession with chocolate for the next few months, OR it'll KILL YOU before you've finished licking the spoon!

You will require:

350g dark chocolate, chopped into bits-made-easy-to-melt
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
1tsp instant coffee dissolved in 10ml warm water
1tbs cocoa powder
300ml thickened cream

Additionally, you should have 6 ramekins (or 4 larger ones for the daring).

The method is simple enough:

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl either in the microwave OR (and this is the better way) rest the bowl of chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water ensuring the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir the chocolate until melted. Set aside to cool.

In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, cocoa and coffee. Beat until the mixture is well combined ~ 5minutes. Add this mixture to the melted chocolate. This should look dark and smooth! Beat cream in a bowl and gradually spoon it into the chocolate, stirring gently as you go.

In a clean bowl (sorry about all the bowls; your kitchen must be a mess by now), beat the egg whites until they form peaks. With a plastic spatula or spoon, gently fold in the beaten egg whites in the chocolate mixture. This will make the mousse light and airy. Just be careful not to mix and fold too much because this will release all the air (no one wants a mousse that feels like a lead weight in their gastrointestinal system).

Spoon mousse into ramekins/glasses/dessert bowls and place on a tray. Put tray in the fridge and leave the mousse for an hour. You can check on it if you like, but I find that the wait is made longer every time you open the fridge and stare at them... I also add a little dissolved coffee to 100ml of cream, whip it and whip it good, then dollop it on top - because my arteries can take it!!!

Enjoy!

Don't worry, my heart doesn't really pump rich chocolate mousse ... or lumpy custard for that matter. I'm sorry if this may have shattered some dreams...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Parenting WIN

This is fantastic!

A definite parenting WIN in my books!
(reminds me of my brother and myself)


video

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nicolas Steno: You old dinosaur

Today is Nicolas Steno's 374th birthday. For those of you who are unsure of who Steno is/was... I shall enlighten:

Steno was a scientist, but more importantly he was a geologist (and palaeontologist). He identified the relationship between glossopetrae (tongue stones) and the teeth of sharks to be one and the same, adding to an argument established by the late Fabio Colonna; the difference being, Steno noted differences between living shark teeth and those known to be glossopetrae (Owen, 2009). He is the father of the law of superposition, the principle of original horizontality, and the principle of lateral continuity; a basis for stratigraphy.


So, happy birthday, Nic! You old dinosaur.

Owen, D. 2009. Shark: In peril in the Sea, Allen & Unwin, Australia


In Dinosaur News:

PLoS ONE shared "New Ophthalmosaurid Ichthyosaurs from the European Lower Cretaceous Demonstrate Extensive Ichthyosaur Survival across the Jurassic–Cretaceous Boundary".

In brief, a 130 MY old ichthyosaur (
Acamptonectes densus) was discovered in Braunschweig, Germany. The sparkling, diamond-in-the-rough snippet of information you should dust off and take home should be that ichthyosaurs are "traditionally" from the Jurassic period; this specimen dates to the Cretaceous. How the ichthyosaur survived the JK event (mass(?) extinction) is beyond me... Oh, but wait! A.densus didn't survive the JK event... essentially, it, among other ophthalmosaurines and platypterygiines continued to thrive: "...diversity and disparity was reasonably high".

Anyway, to clarify what's so important about the "re-writing of pre-history" and what part this ichthyosaur played, I'd recommend reading the excellent ramblings of Darren Naish's blog post (co-author of the PLoS ONE article). There are some wonderful diagrams and anecdotal tidbits within.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

These boots are made for nomming...

I baked vanilla "shoe" cupcakes for Kass' birthday (albeit a week late). I decided to surprise her with them when she got home from work... the squeal was mind-shattering! I got the idea from a random Google search of "shoe cakes"... Kass loves shoes; her collection rivals Imelda Marcos!! (haha... not that bad, otherwise we'd need another house just for her shoes :|).

This image sent me to a wonderful blog, Hoosier Homemade, which after subscribing to the vast range of helpful and inspiring newsletters, I received the information I required to make my own edible mini shoe replicas!

Here's my version:




Monday, January 2, 2012

Cupcake happiness (and rainbows)

My friend, Alex, posted some amazing looking cupcakes on my Facebook page in hope that I'll make them sometime in the near future. I can't say no to this... a) they're really cool cupcakes, and b) he demanded "MAKE THESE!" in capitals.

Without further ado... I shall share the image with you:


This piqued my interest, and I found myself looking through Google Images for some more cupcakey inspiration. I found a whole array of detailed, very geeky and very delicious looking goodies. The people who have made these are clearly kitchen gods/goddess'. I have a LOT to do and try before I can even scrape the bottom of the bakery bowls with the complexity of some of these cupcakes!!

Self-explanatory...


Coffee cups of noms!


Futurama Brain slug

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Beginning of the End

So... 2012...

End of the World in December? Unlikely...

But I did start the New Year off with a chipped calcaneus (heel)... Not too bad. Could have been worse... could have severely broken it. Anyway, I found these;


Layered rainbow jelly... YAY!!
Either way, I'm going to make them... sometime...