Saturday, February 11, 2006

SHF#16 - Recipe for Love

It's my first entry for Sugar High Fridays! The brain child of The Domestic Goddess, it's a once a month event, where food bloggers the world around are invited to take part and post about their experience, making the dessert that revolves around the theme.

For this month, Jennifer Olsen of Taste Every Thing Once hosts this event. (Thanks Jennifer!)
And for this month, it's all about the love, baby.

Say "luuurve" in a low manly voice, and it makes me feel bittersweet.
For one, it's overated. But it's, well, love. That silly little thing that everyone pines for, at some time of their lives. Well, almost everyone I guess.
Love oughta be celebrated 24/7 anyways, Valentine's day is so, passé.
That's enough bah humbug from me now. On to the recipe for love!

For this round of Sugar High Fridays, we're tasked to find and use an ingredient that is reknown for its aphrodisical effects and build a seductive dessert around it.

Hmm, yea okay, dark chocolate it is.

Two doctors once discovered that chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a chemical that releases "feel good" endorphins. But later studies have proven that even though chocolate has this ability, it does not significantly affect the brain in any way.

However, if you've watched Chocolat, it will leave you convinced that chocolate really does the trick.
Whatever it is, dark chocolate taste really, really good.

There isn't anyone to share this little creation of mine with, but I was fortunate enough to find some people to enjoy it. There was a ladies meeting at church earlier on, and I thought it'd be fun to make the dessert for them.

For this dessert, I've toyed with the idea of using roses. I thought it might be rather "anti valentine's day" to eat rose petals, but they do look really pretty, and using them as a garnish against the white mascarpone would be awesome.
The only problem was getting roses, that weren't grown with harsh chemicals, which would totally render eating it a risk. Sure, I could wash it out with chemicals to cancel it's effects, but the whole idea of using chemicals makes me wanna curl.

Stawberry White Zinfadel Jelly with Cream
I recently tried using gelatine, and I'm pretty happy with the results. This was my first try working with gelatine. I love the idea that you can turn any liquid into a gelatinous blob. It makes the perfect base to build desserts in a cup.

To build this dessert, I started with a rose tea infusion and a bottle of Jacob's Creek Sparkling Rose Champagne and turned it into jelly. Then, a dark chocolate ganache, makes the second layer. This bit gets abit tricky. Anything made with gelatine turns back to liquid when it gets warm, so I figured it will be best to cool the ganache first, before pouring in a layer. The third layer is filled with mascarpone, which is simply luscious and indulgent, sweetened slightly with some honey. And finally, a strawberry with such an intense red colour, that screams: "Quit taking photographs of me and pick me up already!"
As for the ladies meeting however, I left them with whole strawberries and some cream, whipped with a trickle of scotch whisky and vanilla.

I haven't really thought of a name for this "naughty contribution" as Jennifer puts it.
I guess I could call it, "Simply Loving It". Or something like that.


Jennifer said...

Yum! I'm sure you had the Church Ladies swooning!

Thanks for taking part in Sugar High Friday this month. Look for a round up in the next few days.

Christine said...

I love the idea of a rose petal jelly.

Nicholas said...

Jennifer: I'll keep a look out for the round up. Thanks again for hosting!

Christine: I totally would have used roses! It's a shame I couldn't get them.

Haalo said...

Hi Nicholas

I'm "simply loving" this dessert - excellent combination of flavours and textures, it's truly gorgeous!

keiko said...

Hi Nicholas - the recipe sounds really intriguing (and romantic), it looks absolutely beautiful!

Anita said...

Hi Nicolas,

I really like the pictures - your dessert looks so delicate and pretty! Totally says "love"!

Nicholas said...

Hey you guys!
Thank you all for the comments!
I really did enjoy making them, and I'm glad you enjoy looking at them too!

J said...

hi nicholas, it looks really gorgeous; i can only imagine how beautifully all the flavours must work together!

Nicholas said...

Hi J, thanks! Honestly, I didn't really try it with the full comliments!
I had it with just the jelly and chocolate.