Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dessert I Pasta di Cacao. Chocolate Pasta with Chocolate Soup and White Chocolate Mousse #DelMonteItalianEscapades #Indiblogger





Ok ok don't freak out, I'm not trying to kill you with a dessert that I pulled out of thin air. And as odious as it might sound, it's really quite delicious.

I know that most of us, don't think of pasta as anything but savoury, but trust me, this sweet version of the pasta will knock your socks off.

Chocolate Pasta or Pasta di Cacao is an Italian specialty that is made aplenty across Europe. Especially during the Eurochocolate Festival in Mid October.Yes, traditionally the chocolate pasta is handmade, with flour chocolate and eggs, I decided to see if the same could work with Del Monte Pasta  as well.  Plus this Indiblogger contest seemed to good to miss.

I boiled my pasta with a bit of good quality cocoa powder, some sugar and salt. The fusilli took on a beautiful brown colour as it simmered away and the pasta absorbed a delicious amount of cocoa and sugar, making me want to eat it just plain.

As odd as it sounds, chocolate pasta is quite a versatile treat, you can toss it in a bit savoury sauce, you can drizzle lemon curd with it, you can even do a mascarpone and sausage stir fry to make it a part of your main course.

I, ofcourse, decided to go the straight jacket way. For my sweet tooth, this just seemed the best bet. I couldn't find any fresh strawberries because I love the combination of strawberries and chocolate so instead decided to pair with a simple white chocolate mousse and some cold chocolate soup. Plus I had everything at home, so it just sort of worked out well.





The soup was simple to make, melt the chocolate, a bit of cream, a bit of milk, salt, sugar and vanilla and a touch of cornflour just allows the soup to thicken. Iadded a little bit of orange zest and a capful of Cointreau because, well, I love chocolate orange. You can totally omit the orangeyness.

The White chocolate mousse, was more to soften the dark chocolate tones. The sweetness of the white chocolate mousse worked beautifully against the slight bitterness of the cocoa. I made a shortcut version of the mousse, with white chocolate ganache and whipped cream.

So hows this pasta supposed to be eaten - cold, I say cold. There's a bit of texture in every bite and the smooth chocolate soup makes you want to slurp the dessert, making it quite a delicious and different dessert.




Chocolate Pasta with Chocolate Soup & White Chocolate Mousse
Serves 4

Ingredients

For the pasta

200 grams Del Monte Fusilli Pasta
4 cups of water
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder

For the Chocolate Soup

200 grams good quality dark chocolate
100 ml cream
100 ml + 4 tblsp milk
1 tblsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tblsp corn flour
 1 tsp vanilla / orange zest / Cointreau

For the White Chocolate Mousse

100 grams white chocolate
100 ml low fat cream
a pinch of salt
100 ml whipping cream

For the garnish

Chocolate flakes
Mint leaves

Method

1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add sugar, salt, cocoa powder and the pasta to it. Cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
2. Make the Chocolate soup by adding the chocolate,cocoa powder milk and cream to saucepan and allowing it to melt together.
3. Meanwhile mix the cornflour with the 4 tblsp of milk and make a thin paste. Pour into the chocolate mix.
4. Stir well, so that there are no lumps formed and add the sugar and salt and the vanilla or orange zest if using, to it. Bring to a boil. Turn off the gas and set it aside to cool.
5. To make the white chocolate mousse, chop the white chocolate into small pieces.
6. Bring the low fat cream and salt to a boil and pour over the white chocolate. Using a whisk, stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool.
7. Whisk the whipping cream until soft peaks and using the cut and fold method, whisk into the white chocolate ganache. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
8. To assemble this dish. Pour the chocolate soup into the desired bowl. Add as much of the chocolate pasta as you'd like to it. Top with a spoonful of the white chocolate mousse. Sprinkle with chocolate flakes and a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Frozen Treat I Pomegranate & Blueberry Lemon Popsicles




The heat this summer was incredible. The monsoons haven't been kind to less either, to be fair. So it's anyone's guess how the winter will be this year.

I have had an incredibly tiring summer/monsoon though. One a scale of 1 to 10, I am 11 exhausted. Which is ok. Good infact, better than how low I was feeling a few months ago. This has been a summer of lots of new things for me, and I suppose I am learning to embrace that.

For starters, it was the summer where we adopted two grown up dogs. Quite an adjustment it is to your everyday life, I must say. But most fun too. It was also the summer of my siblings. My brother came to stay with me for over a month, which was lovely, but my sister moved out to another city last month, which has been a bummer. 




So I ended up cooking plenty this summer. Hating a lot of the time, I stayed in the kitchen, but nonetheless cooking. The summer also saw me making a lot of desserts. With my brother vying for something cold and sweet all the time, I make a lot of popsicles. 

I made these delicious Nutella Fudgesicles, that I had to make some four times over. I made Lemonade Popsicles with Kiwis and Strawberries, Mango & Berries Popsicles which I don't think I could even manage to take a picture of because they disappeared so quickly. 

So when I made these Pomegranate and Blueberry Popsicles, I made sure I took a picture. Firstly, because they were so darn refreshing, that they were perfect to beat the heat and secondly, because they were awesome. 

Easy to make, almost no fuss, popsicles have become my new favourite go-to things. Ofcourse you can mix and match your berries, and see what works for me. This combination was just phenomenal and the mint ofcourse made it even better.




Pomegranate & Blueberry Lemon Popsicles
Makes 6

Ingredients

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup blueberries
1 lemon sliced
10-12 mint leaves
250 ml water
8 tblsp sugar

Method

1. Mix the sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the mint leaves and keep aside.
2. In the popsicle mould, drop in the pomegranate seeds until 1/4 full.
3. Top wit blueberries, distributing them evenly.
4. Drop in one slice of lemon in each mould and then top with the sugar water mint mix until it's till the brim.
5. Freeze overnight. Serve chilled.





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