Cookbook review: How to Boil an Egg (+video)
At first glance, 'How to Boil an Egg' by Rose Carrarini seems simple, but the cookbook is packed with sophisticated and unusual recipes. It's also beautifully illustrated by award-winning botanical artist Fiona Strickland.
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So I started with something simple, "Egg in the Middle" also known as "Toad in a Hole" or "Eggs in a Basket," a fried egg cooked in the middle of a piece of toast. With clear instructions I also managed to master the perfect omelet, or ("omelette, in British-speak) and subsequently, the omelet sandwich, my new weekend lunch-time favorite. I worked my way up to to the pudding section, and then picked something I felt was both sophisticated and accessible to the average American: chocolate mousse.Skip to next paragraph
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A disclaimer: This recipe contains raw eggs, which made me really nervous. The eggs whites and egg yolks are beaten separately, but neither are cooked or baked in any way. After chilling, this makes for an extremely rich and fluffy mousse. My only other experience knowingly eating raw eggs has been in the form of cookie dough, so this recipe felt like a bit of a risk, but well worth it. I taste-tested it a few hours before serving it to others, and then felt comfortable with small bowls. I topped my mousse with strawberries and bananas, but after its debut night, the leftovers were simply divine scooped spoonful by spoonful from the bowl in the fridge.
Rose Bakery chocolate mousse
11 ounces semisweet chocolate (Ms. Carrarini recommends a specific brand called Valrhona's Guanaja 72 percent, I used regular Baker's Chocolate from my grocery store.)
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 eggs, separated
1-2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
Optional add-ins and garnishes:
3 tablespoons hot espresso coffee
1 tablespoon whiskey, dark rum or Grand Marnier
chocolate beads, or shavings
strawberries, bananas, or other fruit
1. Melt the chocolate completely on the stove or in the microwave. Ms. Carrarini recommends using a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool.
2. Get out three large mixing bowls and two smaller bowls. Carefully separate your eggs into the two smaller bowls. In one of the large bowls whip the cream until soft peaks form.
3. Beat the egg whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form, then add the sugar, and beat for a few more minutes. (You may want to take it easy on the sugar depending on how sweet you like your mousse. You can always add more later.)
4. In the last large bowl beat the egg yolks well. Beat in the espresso, whiskey, or rum (if using). Stir the melted chocolate into the yolk mixture. The mixture will thicken up a lot. Fold in half the egg whites, then all the cream. Finally fold in the other half of the egg whites.
5. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before decorating and serving.