Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Big C's in my life: Curbs, Chocolate and College Kids

It was nice to be organized. It was simply grand when I had my recipes ready to go by the computer. It was absolutely splendiferous to have menus planned. But that was before two college children came home complete with bags and boxes and furniture and found - we have no storage! So belongings lay all over the house.
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.
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.


Lyndas recipe box said...

Oh yes, bring on the chocolate! This is a delicious looking dessert and a perfect ending to any meal!

Katy ~ said...

You are too funny, but I wouldn't want to walk 3 blocks with armfuls of groceries either.

This looks amazing. I am definitely saving this one! I even have the kirsch, wondering what I as going to do with I know! thank you!

Donna-FFW said...

Oh Claudia.. the chocolate cousse sounds delicious with the cherry brandy. I run to chocolate for my catharsis. It seems to make evrything a little better.

unconfidentialcook said...

LOVE that chocolate mousse!!! I just made mousse and added caramel--so yummy and easy!

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking of doing a black forest something for my hubby's birthday tonight - this will be just perfect! I have fresh cherries but I'll make them into a compote with sugar and what do you think would be the best substitute for Kirsch?

Jackie said...

oh you're killing with with your Kirsch-flavored chocolate mousse. I want to taste some. (gotta make some for my 4th of July party :P)

Claudia said...

5 Star Foodie: I would just use a little extra compote in the boiling down process. The alcohol in the Kirsch burns off - so you just want a wee bit extra cherry flavor.

Anonymous said...

It worked perfectly - we loved it! Thank you!

Claudia said...

Five Star Foodie: Glad the mousse worked for you. Hope hubby had a grand birthday!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that looks delicious - definitely insulin worthy for me!

Too bad I just started south beach! :D

Happy Friday!

OhioMom said...

When I am stressed I NEED (not want) chocolate .. it is my medicine :)

Hope your street/curb woes are over soon...