Mousse au Chocolat

This creamy and absolutely mouthwatering recipe is from the time of my exchange student year in France. French people just happen to know what is delicious and delicate. I think it is due to a fact that they don’t think about calories or low fat products. The flavour seems to be everything to them. Occasionally I thought that French people, particularly men, seemed to boast how much they have eaten at Christmas time and how big their belly has become. It meant that their cooking has been a succes and that they are not bungling amateurs in the kitchen!

I also learnt that the delicious sauce made of light cream doesn’t exist..or if it does, it can’t be good. If I try to put their attitude to words it would be: ”Low fat is cheating”. Be that as it may I learnt a lot of French kitchen during my time in there. In Finland how one advertises a good recipe is dependent on how healthy and low fat it is. You have to think that lentils in tomato sauce with wholegrain pasta is good -of course it must be good for god sake, it is healthy. The pleasure of eating is secondary in this northern country or at least it looks like it if you build up your image of Finnish eating habbits according to the recipes in the magazines and our cooking books. Whereas in France a good recipe is a delicious recipe. I have found the same attitude and appreciation of cooking in many other countries – in Australia too. Maybe it is stemming from the European immigrants -Greek, British, Italian- and their appreciation of kitchen that they brought in the middle of Pacific Ocean.

It has been a new experience for me that my dear Aussie man thinks that the bigger his belly is the happier he is. The belly tells that the food served at home is tasty and irresistable. This is exactly the same attitude I found in France. I wish Finns would discover and adopt that attitude one day too and give up their Winter War frame of mind that admires simple and modest eating and living habbits. Maybe this is wishful thinking but I can start to put it into practice by serving this fantastic but simple chocolate mousse recipe for all my guests.

When I tasted this mousse for the first time I was wondering what is in it -I should have guessed that nothing tastes so creamy as full cream beated with chocolate. This is an excellent and handy recipe because it doesn’t include any eggs. This full cream chocolate mousse doesn’t try to get its fluffiness from beated eggs, but cream makes it soft and pleasant. Try it. One can definitely apply the saying: KISS -”keep it simple stupid” – to this recipe.

Preparation: 20min, Cooking 6min, In the fridge 2 hours. In total 2 1/2 hours.

For 4-6 persons

200g chocolate

2 1/2 dl cream

1. Melt the chocolate.

2. Mix the cream (non-whipped) and the melted chocolate together.

3. Let the mixture rest in the fridge for 2 hours.

4. Take the mixture out from the fridge and whip it with the electric mixer. It will turn into a beautiful mousse.

5. Serve it and enjoy its smooth and flavoursome taste!

I however have to admit that as much as I admired and enjoyed French kitchen during my exchange year: full cream, butter and amazing treats -yes, lovely -but a paradox of skinny beautiful French women stayed as a mystery for me!

Heavenly Chocolate Cheesecake

For the following recipe I thank my friend Päivi, who is a master chef particularly regarding to desserts! Just before last Christmas we had girls sauna night and she served this heavenly chocolate cheesecake for dessert. After one bite I was already in love and demanding the secret recipe to surprise my Aussie man -who bye the way LOVES cheesecakes -! I also wanted to make it up to him that I blew up the New York cheesecake by baking an eggy omelette instead of smooth sweet cheesecake only a few months before.. Here I want to share for you all this magical recipe with which you can surprise your darling anytime…if any man is reading my blog I warmly recommed you to bake this cake for your sweet heart tonight..The recipe is so easy that even a clumsiest chef manages to prepare it perfectly. To bake this cheesecake requires  zero pre-knowledge of cooking or baking. That’s why there’s not even a chance to be like me with my New York cheesecake and end up eating an omelette!

For base you need:

150g Domino/Oreo biscuits

50g melted butter

For the cheesecake:

400g cream cheese

1 3/4dl caster sugar

2 tsp vanilla sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 dl cream

200g dark chocolate

1. Heat up the oven for 160 degrees. Melt the butter. Crush the biscuits. Mix them and prepare the base. You can use a round baking dish approximately 20cm in diameter.

2.  Whisk the cream cheese before adding any other ingredients. When it is running add the sugar, then the vanilla sugar, then the eggs once at a time and in the end add the cream (non-whipped).

3. Take half of the cream cheese mixture and put it on the top of the base. Add the melted chocolate into the other half of the cream cheese mixture and put this chocolate cream cheese mixture on the top of the white layer in a baking dish. Then mix the white and brown mixture with a spoon so that the surface  starts to look marbled.

4. Put the cheesecake into the oven in 160 degrees for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes turn the heat off and letthe cake stay there another hour or so.

5. Leave the cake rest in the fringe for at least 2-4 hours. It is actually at its best on the following day!

ENJOY with some amazing red wine!

Creamy Chocolate Ripple Cake for a Lazy Cook

This dessert is easy, but heavenly tasty.  It is also very handy if you happen to hear in the morning about the coming guests. Chocolate ripple cake takes only half an hour to make and then it can sit in the fringe until the guests arrive.

When my dear aussie man asked me to make some Chocolate ripple cake and showed me a picture on the internet how it should be formed, I have to admit that it made me smile at first. This recipe, I think, is one of the most striking example of the fast-food culture we are living in. Luckily that culture hasn’t spread its wings to Finland, not yet! Or should I say unfortunately not yet…poor Finns have no idea what they have missed by not experiencing the tremendous taste of this cake…

As a Finn, I am used to do everything from the beginning to the end by myself and I try to avoid all the premade products…however I would say this is a dream recipe for a lazy cook! Perfect for busy people who don’t want to give up treats or taste!

2 cans of cream, 2 x 2dl

20-25 chocolate cookies

50 g chocolate

Whip the cream. Then follows the building of this delicious cake. The point is to buil a log of those cookies, actually to logs that are next to each other on a plate. You start by spreadin some cream on the other side of on cookie with a knife. Stand the biscuits on a serving plate one after another. Press them together so that  they form a log. Build another log right next to the other one. Cover the log with cream. Flake some crushed chocolate on top. Let it rest in a fridge for few hours or even overnight. The point is that cookies get softer and a bit soggy. So easy but soooo delicious!

WARNING AND A TIP : This is NOT for the people who are ON DIET!!! I don’t recommend to use light cream because it doesn’t get thicker in the frridge but in fact it usually gets watery when sitting in a fridge for many hours. There is a high risk for an unsuccesful result!