It was nice when I could park my car in the garage instead of three blocks away because the "powers that be" decided we needed curbs. (I need carbs - not curbs!) I no longer go to the grocer with a list of ingredients for a dinner to soothe the frazzled day. No. I go to the grocery store looking for light ingredients - light in terms of - how much weight do I want to carry for three blocks? On muddy roads with clean-looking curbs that must be carefully stepped over.
Lest you think I am complaining (I am) - I am pretty indifferent to the boxes - for that means my children are home. I am a bitter little bird when it comes to these curbs! By the time I get home, I want a healthy light salad, some brie on sesame rice crackers, a glass of wine and then some decadent, rich, smooth, stick-to-your-hips chocolate. Chocolate is my balm, my consolation, my teddy bear, my heart.
I intended to post a trio of desserts. I thought I would have a lovely blog proclaiming the value of doing things in threes - was ready to quote Macbeth's three witches and then: I found I could not find the recipes! They are buried. So I shall make do with the chocolate one - because I found it.
BLACK FOREST CHOCOLATE MOUSSE (from March 2002 PASTA)
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1 can (16-1/2 oz - just buy a can!) pitted Bing cherries in syrup
1-1/2 T Kirsch (cherry brandy)*
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Grated chocolate for garnish (optional)
Mint leaves for garnish (optional)
In deep 2 quart bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks. Reserve 1/2 cup and refrigerate. Set aside larger bowl of cream.
Thoroughly drain cherries (this takes a bit!) in strainer, reserving 1/4 cup of syrup in small saucepan; add Kirsch. Place chocolate chips in container of blender. Bring syrup mixture to boil and reduce slightly to 1/4 cup. Immediately pour over chocolate chips and blend till smooth. (Scrape sides of blender with spatula as needed.) With rubber spatula, scrape chocolate mixture into larger portion of reserved whipped cream and fold until streaks disappear. I loved doing this - it was so pretty and relaxing .... but I am veering off track. Maybe it was the wine that was relaxing but methinks it was the folding. Fold in cherries - reserving four for garnish. (I used about 3/4 of the cherries as I thought it might be too sweet with the entire can. Cover and refrigerate for 2-6 hours.
Spoon into dessert dishes (stemmed are pretty!). Dollop with smaller portion of whipped cream and garnish with remaining cherries , grated chocolate and mint leaves.
Makes 4 servings (mine made six)
*Note: You can eliminate kirsch and use a total of 1/3 cup syrup from cherries - bring to a boil and reduce to 1/4 cup.
"Summer time - and the living is easy!" Gershwin had that right and the dessert is easy, foolproof and the perfect antidote when your street gets repaved with curbs.