Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Carnival of the Recipes- In Honor of Harvey

In honor of Harvey's Birthday, my entry this week is one of my favorites: Chocolate Mousse Cake from Southern Living. No nuts. Harvey doesn't like nuts. Lots of Chocolate. All he needs to do is add his Redi Whip and he's set!

Chocolate Mousse Cake
From Southern Living 1998 Annual Recipes

3 (3-ounce) pkg ladyfingers (3 ½ packages work better)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Cup of Sugar
2 Tablespoons hazelnut liqueur (optional) (I use Frangelico)
½ C whipping cream (I use heavy)
2 C whipping cream, whipped
¼ C butter or margarine (I use butter)
Garnishes: Chocolate leaves, powdered sugar, fresh berries
18 (1-ounce) semisweet chocolate squares, coarsely chopped

Split ladyfingers. Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with ladyfingers, placing close together.
Cook sugar, ½ cup of cream, and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 5 to 7 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add chocolate, vanilla, and, if desired, liqueur, stirring until chocolate melts. Cool slightly.

Fold in the whipped cream. Pour one-third of mixture into pan; top with half of remaining ladyfingers. Repeat layers, ending with chocolate mixture. Chill at least 4 hours. (Freeze up to 1 month, if desired. Thaw in refrigerator 8 hours.) Carefully remove sides of pan. Garnish if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

Chocolate Leaves
12-14 nonpoisonous leaves (such as rose or camellia leaves)
1-2 oz semisweet chocolate

Wash leaves, pat dry with paper towels. Melt Chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. (I use the microwave.) Cool slightly. Spread a 1/8-inch-thick chocolate layer on back of each leaf with a small pastry brush, spreading to edges.

Place, chocolate side up, on a wax paper-lined baking sheet; freeze until chocolate is firm (10 minutes). Grasp each leaf at stem; peel from chocolate. Chill until ready to use. (Handle carefully; chocolate will melt quickly from heat of hands.) Store in an airtight container in freezer. Yield: 12-14 leaves.

My note: I may only use 10 leaves, but I make all 14 ofthem since I habitually ‘burn a hole’ in 2-4 of them with the heat of my fingers. When I grasp the end of the leaf with my left hand, I take a thin bladed peeling knife in my right hand, and try to peel away the leaf with the blade. I try to place it on the cake using the knife too. It’s such a thin layer of chocolate, it takes 1/10 of a second for the heat of your hands to burn a hole into the chocolate leaf.

The picture in the book has the top and sides sprinkled with powdered sugar, then chocolate leaves fanned in the center with a big pile of raspberries. I also garnish with Straberries and Blackberries.

If you are garnishing with berries, after washing them, let them sit out and really really dry or they add too much moisture to the powdered sugar, melting it.


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