Frozen Chocolate Nougat with Sour Cherry Coulis

 Nougat
You’ll make friends for life with this recipe!

This recipe is a frozen chocolate mousse filled with some soft candied fruit, sour cherries and nougatine, a caramalized mixture of sugar and flaked almonds- a truly delightful dessert!

When you hear the word nougat (pronounced Nu-gah), you may think of the candy made of honey, sugar, candied fruit and flaked almonds- something I wasn’t particularly attracted to as a kid growing up. However, in recent years, chefs have been incorporating the concept of nougat into a frozen chocolate mousse made from whipped cream and meringue- now you can count me in!

When you bite into the frozen dessert, your senses are further awakened by the bright red cherry sauce and the sprigs of fresh mint accompanying the dish.

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A few words about making the Nougatine filling:

First, melt 1 tbsp. butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the 1/2 cup (115 g) sugar and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Watch carefully as the sugar can easily burn.

Nougat

Next, add the 1/2 cup (50 g) slivered almonds to the pan and stir until they turn golden brown. Transfer the mixture onto parchment paper that has been brushed with some vegetable oil and spread evenly using a spatula.

 Nougat

Let the nougatine cool, then place another piece of parchment paper on top of the mixture and crush coarsely using a rolling pin, rolling the pin back and forth across the mixture.

Nougat

Note: the recipe calls for filling the chocolate mousse with the nougatine, candied fruit and sour cherries, but you can reduce or eliminate some of the components if desired.

 Nougat

Frozen Chocolate Nougat with Sour Cherry Coulis
Serves 6
A delicious chocolate mousse filled with candied fruit, crushed nougatine and sour cherries.
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For the Nougatine
  1. 1 tbsp butter
  2. 50 g (1/2 cup) flaked almonds
  3. 115 g (1/2 cup) sugar
For the Italian Meringue
  1. 200 g (3/4 cup + 3 tbsp) sugar, cooked to 118 C (245 F)
  2. 2 tbsp water
  3. 4 egg whites
For the Frozen Chocolate Nougat
  1. 180 g (3/4 cup) dark cooking chocolate
  2. 450 (3 ½ cups) ml thick cream, whipped
  3. 80 g (1/2 cup) candied fruit, diced
  4. 40 canned sour cherries (‘Morello’ or other kind of sour cherries)
For the cherry coulis
  1. 125 ml (1/2 cup) juice from the canned sour cherries
  2. 2 tbsp sugar
  3. Dash of balsamic vinegar
For the decoration
  1. Fresh mint leaves
  2. Sour cherries
  3. Flaked almonds
  4. Crushed nougatine
To make the Nougatine
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until the mixture turns golden brown. Add the flaked almonds and stir until they turn golden brown. Transfer the mixture to a piece of parchment paper that has been lightly brushed with vegetable oil and spread evenly with a spatula. Let cool, place another layer of parchment paper on top of the mixture and crush coarsely using a rolling pin.
To make the Italian Meringue
  1. Place the 200 g sugar in a saucepan along with 2 tbsp water. Over medium high heat, stir the sugar until it comes almost to a boiling point, reaching a maximum of 118 C (245 F). In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Gradually pour the hot sugar mixture into the egg whites while continuing to mix with the electric beaters. Continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and shiny, with soft peaks forming.
To make the frozen Chocolate Nougat
  1. Whip the cream with electric beaters until soft peaks form and set aside.
  2. To melt the chocolate, place it in a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over a pot of simmering water. Heat until chocolate is completely melted. Remove bowl from heat, stir in the candied fruit and sour cherries. Now gently fold in the Italian meringue, whipped cream and crushed nougatine into the mixture, keeping the mixture light and fluffy.
  3. Pour the mixture into ring molds that have been placed on parchment-lined baking trays and place in freezer for several hours. Alternatively, you can transfer mixture into several loaf pans (7 inch by 3 inches). Before serving, prepare the sour cherry coulis: heat the juice from the canned sour cherries in a small saucepan, add the sugar and dash of balsamic vinegar, stir for several minutes until the mixture thickens.
  4. To serve, remove the frozen mixture from the ring molds by running a sharp knife around the edge of the mold and ‘push through’ the mixture onto a serving plate. Place some flaked almonds and crushed nougatine on top of the frozen nougat, a sour cherry and a mint leaf. Decorate the edge of the plate with some of the cherry coulis, sour cherries and mint leaves.
Adapted from Le Cordon Bleu
Adapted from Le Cordon Bleu
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Smoked and Fresh Salmon Roulade with Leeks

 

Smoked Salmon Mastering Seafood II

This recipe was adapted from my Superior Cuisine Class at the Paris Cordon Bleu School and even though it came from the advanced class, it is pretty easy to prepare, but still mouth-watering delicious. It combines smoked salmon with raw salmon that is first marinated in lemon juice; the citric acids in the juice wind up ‘cooking’ the salmon, so there should be no worries about eating it. All the flavors infuse together nicely: the smokiness of the salmon, the lemon juice, shallots, capers, chives- making this either a nice appetizer or mains for lunch time.

I garnished my plate with several dots of reduced balsamic vinegar and some caviar placed on top of dried coriander leaves- this helps to dress up the plate a bit.

My last post Calamari and Prawn Thai Salad, revealed that I’m in the midst of teaching a class called ‘Mastering Seafood’, so I’ll be teaching this Salmon Roulade recipe to the class. Last week, I gave the class a preliminary taste of this recipe and there were lots of ‘oohs and aahs’ being emitted! It was also great to see some of the students taking their Whole Baked Snappers out of the oven and learning new techniques of making Crab Bisque using the shells of the crabs.

 

  • Smoked and Fresh Salmon Roulade with Leeks (see printable recipe below)

 Ingredients

  •  100 g of smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 200 g fresh raw salmon, thinly sliced
  • Juice from 3 lemons

 Filling for the salmon roulade

  •  2 hard-boiled egg whites
  • 2 tsp chives, diced
  • 2 tbsp shallots, diced
  • 3 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 leek (white part) sliced into julienned strips
  • 1 tbsp butter

Directions

  • Slice the fresh raw salmon into thin strips of about 2 mm or 1/8 inch thick. Marinate the salmon in the juice of 2-3 lemons for at least 30 minutes until the flesh turns a light pink. This marinade will ‘cook’ the salmon.
  • To prepare the filling, roughly chop the egg whites from two hard-boiled eggs. Add this to the bowl of a food processor along with the chives, shallots, ricotta cheese, olive oil and capers. Process until smooth and set aside. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Slice the white part of a leek in half lengthwise, then cut into thin julienne strips. Soften the leeks in a little butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop.
  • To assemble the roulade, place the thin strips of smoked salmon on a large piece of plastic wrap set on a work surface, overlapping them to form a rectangular shape about 9 inches wide (23 cm) and 5 inches long (13 cm).

Smoked Salmon

  • Spread the ricotta cheese filling in the center of the smoked salmon rectangle, leaving a margin of about one inch on the sides. Now add the thin slices of marinated fresh salmon on top of the filling, followed by a thin strip of leeks.
  • Lift the edges of the salmon mixture and begin to roll it up into a tight sausage shape, with the plastic wrap remaining on the outside of the roulade. Hold the two ends of the plastic wrap close to the salmon mixture as you roll it into the sausage shape. Tie each end tightly with some kitchen string.
  • Place the roulade in the fridge for at least two hours until the it becomes firmer and the flavors start to infuse together. Slice into rounds about 1 – 2 inches thick and serve on top of a small bed of mixed greens. Decorate the plate with some dots of reduced balsamic vinegar and dried coriander leaves, if desired.

 

Smoked and Fresh Salmon Roulade with Leeks
Serves 6
A lovely combination of fresh and smoked salmon flavors will leave you wanting more!
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Ingredients
  1. 100 g of smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  2. 200 g fresh raw salmon, thinly sliced
  3. Juice from 3 lemons
Filling for the salmon roulade
  1. 2 hard-boiled egg whites
  2. 2 tsp chives, diced
  3. 2 tbsp shallots, diced
  4. 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  5. 3 tbsp olive oil
  6. 1 tbsp capers
  7. Salt/pepper to taste
  8. 1 leek (white part) sliced into julienned strips
  9. 1 tbsp butter (to cook the leeks in)
Instructions
  1. Slice the fresh raw salmon into thin strips of about 2 mm or 1/8 inch thick. Marinate the salmon in the juice of 2-3 lemons for at least 30 minutes until the flesh turns a light pink. This marinade will ‘cook’ the salmon.
  2. To prepare the filling, roughly chop the egg whites from two hard-boiled eggs. Add this to the bowl of a food processor along with the chives, shallots, ricotta cheese, olive oil and capers. Process until smooth and set aside.
  3. Slice the white part of a leek in half lengthwise, then cut into thin julienne strips. Soften the leeks in a little butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop.
  4. To assemble the roulade, place the thin strips of smoked salmon on a large piece of plastic wrap set on a work surface, overlapping them to form a rectangular shape about 9 inches wide (23 cm) and 5 inches long (13 cms).
  5. Spread the ricotta cheese filling in the center of the smoked salmon rectangle, leaving a margin of about one inch on the sides. Now add the thin slices of marinated fresh salmon on top of the filling, followed by a thin strip of leeks.
  6. Begin to roll-up the salmon mixture into a tight sausage shape, with the plastic wrap remaining on the outside of the roulade. Hold the two ends of the plastic wrap close to the salmon mixture as you roll it into the sausage shape. Tie each end tightly with some kitchen string.
  7. Place the roulade in the fridge for at least two hours until the roulade becomes firmer and the flavours start to infuse together. Slice into rounds about 1 – 2 inches thick and serve on top of a small bed of mixed greens. Decorate the plate with some dots of reduced balsamic vinegar and dried coriander leaves, if desired.
Adapted from Cordon Bleu Cooking School
Adapted from Cordon Bleu Cooking School
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Grilled Calamari and Prawn Thai Salad

Calamari Salad

Mastering Seafood

I’ve just started to teach a cooking class for adults called ‘Mastering Seafood’ and this is one of the dishes I taught in the first class. It’s an easy dish but it let’s you brush up on your technique of how to cut open a calamari (squid) tube, score it and fry it lightly on the stove top.

When you cook with calamari, you can buy a ‘tube’ that has already been cleaned or you can ‘go for broke’ and clean one yourself, slicing off the head, removing the ‘beak’ and cleaning out the innards, etc. I showed the class how to do both techniques but I believe most people would prefer to buy an already-cleaned calamari.

This recipe oozes with flavours: the prawns and calamari are first marinated in a chili, garlic and ginger marinade; then lightly sautéed on the stovetop. They are then layered on top of salad greens that are mixed with some mint and basil; avocado slices and  toasted sesame seeds and peanuts are also featured in this dish.

I also showed the class how to bake a whole Snapper and how to make Crab Bisque (see my previous post ‘Crab Bisque and my blog 1-year anniversary’ for the recipe). I’ll be featuring some more recipes from my ‘Mastering Seafood’ class, so please stay tuned!

(P.S. When I sat down to eat this dish for my dinner, the whole plate fell face down onto the floor- prawns, calamari and everything went ‘splat.’ I remembered something about a ‘5-second rule’ and scooped everything up. It was still delicious! I guess even culinary teachers make mistakes).

 P.S. Would LOVE it if you’d Like my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page!

Calamari and Prawn Thai Salad
Serves 4
Delicious prawns and calamari marinated in a garlic, ginger and chili sauce; served on a bed on mixed greens with Thai flavors
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Ingredients
  1. 2 calamari tubes, cleaned
  2. 12 raw prawns or shrimp
For the Ginger and Chilli Marinade
  1. ½ fresh red chilli- chopped finely
  2. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 tbsp fresh peeled ginger, chopped
  4. 25 ml olive oil
  5. 25 ml vegetable oil
  6. Salt to taste
For the Salad Dressing
  1. 30ml lime juice
  2. 30ml rice wine vinegar
  3. 30ml fish sauce
  4. 30g palm sugar
For the Thai Salad Greens
  1. Salad Greens to serve 4
  2. Coriander
  3. Thai basil (or ‘regular’ basil)
  4. Mint leaves
  5. 1 spring onion, sliced lengthwise in 3 cm strips
  6. Bean shoots
  7. 1 avocado
  8. 20g toasted peanuts, diced finely
  9. 20g sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. To make the marinade, finely chop the chilli, ginger and garlic, then lightly sauté the mixture in a little olive oil on the stovetop for about one minute. Transfer to a food processor bowl and purée with the olive and vegetable oils until smooth.
  2. Cut through one side of a calamari tube, open it out and score the inside of the flesh using a diagonal criss-cross pattern (spacing the cuts about 2 mm apart). Peel and de-vein the prawns, leaving tail on. Add the prawns and calamari to the marinade and let set for 10-15 minutes to marinate.
  3. Dry roast (at 180 C) the sesame seeds and peanuts until golden brown- about 5-6 minutes.
  4. To make the dressing, combine the palm sugar, vinegar, lime juice and fish sauce in a small saucepan. Over medium high heat, whisk the ingredients until the sugar dissolves, continue to whisk, then reduce the heat and let the mixture reduce until it thickens a little. Let cool.
  5. Pan-fry the prawns and calamari in a little oil and butter, turning to cook on both sides. Only cook for a few minutes to avoid over-cooking.
  6. To prepare the salad, cut spring onion into 3cm batons and slice lengthways; add to salad greens along with some mint, basil and coriander and toss with about 3-4 tbsp. of the salad dressing (careful not to add too much dressing).
  7. To plate, add a bed of the tossed greens on a plate, add a few bean shoots on top, then several avocado slices. Arrange some calamari slices and prawns on top, sprinkle with some of the toasted sesame seeds and peanuts, then add a few more greens on top.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/