Passion fruit and white chocolate yogurt mousse. Photograph by Vared Guttman
(Haaretz) — Getting ready to ring in the New Year also means we have only one more chance to eat decadent food and drink champagne before a new season full of diets falls upon us.
To help you enjoy this time to the fullest, I’ve included two outrageously sinful desserts, both served in cups, which would do well at a cocktail party complete with bubbly drinks. One is an homage to the French Mont Blanc dessert of meringue, whipped cream and chestnut cream, here in a quick version with the addition of very dark chocolate (100% cocoa butter, to be precise). The second, my favorite, is a white chocolate and Greek yogurt mousse topped with fresh pureed passion fruit.
To make this dessert a quick one, use a prepared chestnut spread (available online and, at this time of year, at some supermarkets) and store-bought meringue cookies. Photograph by Vared Guttman
2 ounces 100% cocoa unsweetened chocolate (or the darkest you can find), broken to small chunks
1½ whipping cream, divided
½ lb. + 1 tablespoon chestnut spread (see note)
2 cups crumbled meringue cookies (in large chunks)
Zest of half orange or 1 teaspoon orange blossom water (mazahar, available at Middle Eastern stores)
1) Put chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring ½ cup whipping cream to boil in a pot over medium-high heat or in the microwave and pour over chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir quickly for a smooth cream. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a couple of hours.
2) Whip 1 cup cream with 1 tablespoon chestnut spread to soft peaks in a stand mixer. Fold meringue cookie chunks in. Divide between 6 dessert cups.
3) Transfer chocolate mixture to the same bowl of the stand mixer (you do not need to clean the bowl), add ½ lb. chestnut spread and orange zest and whip to create a smooth, airy cream. Transfer chestnut-chocolate cream into a piping bag, cut off the very tip of the bag and pipe a few layers in a nice pattern over the whipped cream. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 6 hours.
East-coast transplants are elevating the Bay Area bagel. [New York Times]
You can certainly get your fill of best-of lists this time of year. Top dishes of 2012 include bialys from NYC’s Hot Bread Kitchen [Serious Eats], Israeli cuisine [Serious Eats], best Shabbat chicken and homemade pop tarts [Nosher].
A post-New Year’s hangover cure: the kosher prairie oyster. [Kosher Nexus].
“There’s always been kosher champagne,” says Aron Riter, founder of the Kosher Wine Society. “Well at least for the past 30 years,” he clarifies. But, kosher Prosecco, the north Italian interpretation of a sparkling white wine, has only come into light in the past five years, he adds. A more affordable and equally palatable alternative to the French Champagne, Prosecco is the perfect wine to mix into a sparkling cocktail or punch to celebrate this year’s Shabbat-New Years Eve duo.
With both lightly sweet and very dry varieties, this Italian wine has a number of similarities to its French counterpart. Like Champagne, Prosecco’s name is protected by law. It must be made in northeastern Italy, near Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, the two towns that invented the drink to officially don the Prosecco name.