Tag Archives: Julia Child

Sugar Free Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse

Sugar Free Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com The frustrating thing about my food sensitivities has been the lack of ready made desserts. I have a sweet tooth and love a piece of chocolate after a meal. Unfortunately, almost all commercially made chocolate bars are made with sugar or cane sugar, which is on my “avoid this” list. There are a few companies making agave sweetened chocolates, but they’re prohibitively expensive. One brand I found at my local Whole Foods was $1/ounce. Another brand, Innocent Raw Chocolate, is even more expensive, especially if you figure in shipping costs.

The Melville Candy Company makes stevia sweetened dark chocolate, but at $32 per pound (plus shipping) I thought I’d want to experiment using agave, stevia and unsweetened chocolate on my own first.

In search of allergy free chocolate mousse

Julia Child’s recipe for Chocolate Mousse has been my favorite since I was a child. I “healthed it up” a bit when I made it last Christmas by using a vegan  buttery spread instead of butter and dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. However, I was stumped on what to substitute for the whipping cream.

I’ve read that you can take a can of coconut cream (not the light version or coconut milk) put it in the refrigerator overnight, then skim off the coconut cream from the coconut water. Supposedly, you can whip this cream with some success. Still, I wasn’t convinced that it would work in a mousse. 

Then I received a copy of Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well and found my answer – firm tofu.

This Mama’s tips

  • Use organic tofu whenever you can. I buy it at my local grocery store and surprisingly it’s cheaper than the non-organic tofu.
  • Terry uses orange extract, which is hard to find. Since I already had Triple Sec, an orange flavored liquor, I used it instead.
  • Terry uses maple syrup in her recipe. Due to my food sensitivity to it, I used Madhava Amber Agave Nectar instead.
  • I tried using powdered stevia to sweeten the melted chocolate, but ended up with a bitter mess.
  • I alternatively used Kraft’s unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate and Scharffen Berger’s Unsweetened Dark Baking Chocolate the two times I made this. Both chocolates worked very well.
  • Terry garnishes her mousse with slivered almonds and orange zest. To me, that’s like gilding the lily. The mousse is amazing enough on its own.
  • If you’re looking for a vegan or dairy free chocolate cheesecake, this recipe may be just about perfect. Double the recipe and make as above. Then pour into a vegan/sugar free/gluten free (or whatever your needs are) “graham cracker” pie crust. (Here’s a list of vegan, gluten-free or sugar-free pie crust recipes from About.com.) Refrigerate for several hours or even overnight.
  • I find this recipe really filling and have actually ate half at lunch and the other half at dinner. You may want to split into eight portions or serve in shot glasses to lower calories and Weight Watcher POINTS. You should find a small portion just as satisfying due to the amount of protein and fiber in this recipe.
Sugar Free Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Sugar Free Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse

Based on Terry Walter’s recipe from Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces extra-firm silken organic tofu
  • 1 teaspoon Triple Sec
  • 3 ounces dark agave nectar
  • 4 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 cup dark agave nectar

Directions

  1. Cut a slit in the tofu container and carefully pour out the water.
  2. Remove the block of tofu and carefully place it on a pile of plain paper towels – about 4 or 5 sheets. (You can also do this with a clean kitchen towel or plain washcloth.) Gently press the tofu into the paper towels to remove the excess water. You may want to turn the tofu block and “blot” it on the paper towels to remove the water. Do this until your paper towel pile is completely damp. If you want, create a new pile of paper towels and repeat. The more moisture you remove, the thicker your mousse.
  3. Place tofu in food processor and whip until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the Triple Sec and 3 ounces of dark agave nectar and pulse to combine.
  5. Melt chocolate and 1/4 cup of dark agave nectar in a double boiler or in a small sauce pan or pot over very low heat. You’ll find that the chocolate and agave, once completely melted, will “set up” and be the consistency of chocolate frosting.
  6. Remove the chocolate from the heat and add it to the tofu mixture. Process until blended and smooth. You’ll need to scrape down the bowl to make sure there are no white tofu streaks in your mousse.
  7. Transfer mousse to parfait or sherbet glasses and serve immediately. The mousse will be about room temperature and fluffy. (This recipe takes about 15 minutes to make. This will give your kids or spouse just enough time to clean up the dinner dishes while you whip up a batch.)
  8. Or you can refrigerate to cool. However, mousse will “set up” and be the almost consistency of cheesecake. Still delicious, but it a bit dense for some. (I love it either way.)
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4
  • Serving size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 385
  • Calories from Fat: 202
  • Total Fat: 22.5g
  • Saturated fat: 10.9g
  • Unsaturated fat: 11.6g
  • Sodium: 142mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 45.9g
  • Sugar: 1.8g
  • Fiber: 5.7g
  • Protein: 13.9g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Weight Watchers POINTS = 9 (Try a very satisfying half portion for 4.5 POINTS!)

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Disclosure: I received a review copy of Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well. Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Soft Tofu on Foodista

Julia Child’s chocolate mousse

Julie Child's Chocolate Mousse at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com Was junior high fun for you? For me, not so much. Sure I had good friends like Suzanne who I’d walk with back and forth to school. Or Lauren who loved the Beatles as much as I did. Yet there were the days that I was mercilessly teased about my not-so-cool Levi’s corduroys. Or maybe one of the older boys called me Big Nose Barnett once again. (So original those older boys.)

While it wasn’t quite Lord of the Flies, to have good day meant being stealthy enough to fly underneath the seventh grade radar, usually by hiding in the school library during recess.

I looked forward to the three o’clock bell and returning home to the quiet support of my family. After being greeted by Mom at the front door, I’d put away my jacket, and stow my books in my room. Then it was off to the kitchen for an afternoon snack.

Usually, I started my search for the perfect treat by staring into the pantry and opening drawer and cupboards. Did my sister eat the rest of the Chips Ahoys in the cookie drawer? Was there any Ovaltine left?

I opened the refrigerator door figuring I could have a Dannon coffee yogurt. Then I gazed upon a large glass serving bowl covered in Saran Wrap. Immediately, the small hurts and anxieties of the day vanished. While I was at school, Mom cracked open her worn copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and graced our family with something special - Julia Child's chocolate mousse.

That cheap, faux crystal bowl contained a luxurious concoction of scrumptious contradiction – heavy but fluffy, bitter but sweet, rich but light as air. It was dark chocolate, sugar, butter, eggs and cream – plus maybe a little rum – whipped up into a frothy, edible pillow of afterschool comfort.

Who cared if my nose was a smidge too big or I needed to pay closer attention to my wardrobe? Every delicious spoonful eliminated the bitterness of the day and showed me that the world could be a sweeter place, at least for a little while.

This Mama’s tips

  • You can use sweet or semi-sweet high quality chocolate chips instead of the baking chocolate. They’re much easier to measure and melt.
  • If you are concerned about raw eggs, use pasteurized egg whites. Look on the container to make sure they are suitable for whipping.
  • You may wish to serve the mousse with dollops of whipped cream. But why challenge perfection?
  • On a healthy note, I recently cooked up the recipe using I Can't Believe It's Not Butter instead of real butter, stevia instead of sugar, and Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate since it's higher in cocoa and lower in sugar. It turned out GREAT! But don't tell Julia as she's probably rolling in her grave about the lack of real butter and sugar.
Julie Child's Chocolate Mousse at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Julia Child's Chocolate Mousse

With apologies to my healthy and weight loss readers, here’s Julia’s recipe as my mom made it. It’s worth every decadent calorie.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces sweet or semi-sweet, high quality baking chocolate
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons rum or an orange, coffee or vanilla-flavored liquor
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup instant (finely ground) sugar
  • whipped cream (optional)

Directions

  1. In a double boiler, slowly melt the chocolate with the strong coffee over barely simmering water.
  2. Gently beat the butter into the melted chocolate. Then one by one, beat in the egg yolks.
  3. Remove from the saucepan from the heat.
  4. In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, beat the cream (and optional liquor) until it leaves light traces on the surface.
  5. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
  6. While beating the egg whites, sprinkle in the sugar by the spoonful. Continue beating until stiff shining peaks are formed.
  7. Scrape the chocolate mixture down the side of the egg-white bowl, and delicately fold in the whipped cream. Do not over fold the mouse or it will lose volume.
  8. Transfer the mousse into attractive serving bowls or one large serving bowl.
  9. Cover and chill several hours until firm.
Prep Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 4 Hours
Servings: Serves 8
  • Serving size: 1/8 of recipe

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Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Food Blog of the Week – Cooking with Amy

Cooking_with_amy_header_1

We finally visit the West Coast with today’s choice of Food Blogger of the Week, Cooking with Amy. Based in San Francisco, Cooking with Amy publishes original food writing including recipes, restaurant and product reviews, contests, essays and insight into culinary news.

This week she’s reporting on the Bay Area Food Bloggers Second Annual Picnic with oodles of links to attendee’s blogs, and meeting up with other food bloggers in Seattle. I’m a bit jealous of all these food blogger get togethers. It’s not that there isn’t a lot of great food in Colorado, there’s just not many bloggers out here writing about it. (Plus, how could we compete with The Denver Post’s food section?)

And when she’s not writing about food bloggers, she’s teasing me with rants about Trader Joe’s (boy, I miss that store) and posting one of my favorite recipes of all time, Julia Child’s crepes:

Julia’s Crepes
makes 6-8 crepes
(double recipe for a full batch of 12)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons previously melted butter

Directions:

  1. Whirl all the ingredients together in the blender. Julia suggests straining through a sieve but I just refrigerate the mixture overnight instead. In either case, do refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flour particles to swell.
  2. Ladle approximately a quarter cup of batter into a non-stick crepe or omelet pan (I use a 10 inch pan, but 8 inch would be fine too) and tilt the pan to cover the bottom with a thin, even coating.
  3. Cook the crepe until small bubbles form on the surface and it is barely firm, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Flip and repeat until crepe is done.
  5. Use crepes immediately or wrap well and freeze for up to one month. Thaw while still wrapped at room temperature.

I’ve used this recipe since childhood and it’s terrific with a little brandy or Triple Sc added to it. Spread on some jam or try a little powdered sugar and lemon juice on the crepes – yummy! Bon appetit Cooking with Amy!

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More tributes to Julia

julia0818mainThe Denver Post turned Wednesday's food section into a wonderful tribute to Julia Child. Many present and former Denver writers reminisced about their interviews and meetings with the great lady. If you are a fan of Julia's, please take the time to read their stories and print out a few excellent recipes.

Here's a sample from Kyle Wagner's story "She put heaven in a dish" that I could really relate to:

Julia Child rocked!

(file picture from Knight Ridder)

The message I have returned to the most over the years, though, comes from her opening paragraph in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I." Amazingly, this was written in 1960, a couple of years before I was even born, but here we are dealing with the same issues 40 years later.

She wrote, "This is a book for the servantless American cook who can be unconcerned on occasion with budgets, waistlines, time schedules, children's meals, the parent-chauffeur-den-mother syndrome, or anything else which might interfere with the enjoyment of producing something wonderful to eat."

(This originally appeared on my other blog, A Mama's Rant).

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Julia Child dead at 91

As you’ve probably heard Julia Child passed away on Friday. I’m a huge fan of cooking shows and at our house the Food Network is on almost as much as Noggin/Nickelodeon/PBS Kids and ESPN. We occasionally catch Julia’s shows on PBS as well.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One was my mom’s main cookbook when I was growing up. She often made the chocolate mousse, which is unbelievably decadent and not that hard to make. As a child, I liked to make Julia’s recipe for crepes and still use Mastering the Art of French Cooking as well as The Way to Cook today.

We’ll miss you, Julia. Bon appetit!

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