Sunday, July 20, 2008
Whip It. Whip It Good.
So, for the last two weeks or so, I've been on a (renewed) healthy eating kick, which basically means nothing good in the house to eat. But 100-calorie packs of Oreo crisps only feel like dessert for so long, so this afternoon, I decided it was time to get in the kitchen.
Of course, thanks to the aforementioned health quest, I didn't have much to work with as far as ingredients go. No chocolate, no cream -- just my baking staples and my wits.
I chose two new recipes from my recipes-in-waiting file: lemon-cornmeal cookies (which, since they're from Cooking Light, still count as healthy in my book) and frozen lemon mousse (because it is one bazillion degrees in North Carolina today, approximately).
I didn't have any lemons on hand, so I made orange-cornmeal cookies instead. I'd make them again -- and I think I'd try them with lemon next time. They've got ginger in them, and I really like lemon and ginger together. They bake down pretty flat (which usually is a bad sign, but the magazine photo shows flat cookies, too) but they're chewy and kind of grainy (again, not usually what you look for in a cookie, but I like it) and they're especially good with milk.
Now the mousse was another story. I've been waiting to try this recipe for a while because frozen mousse sounds like so much fun to eat. But something went wrong. For one thing, I used lemon juice from concentrate instead of fresh lemon juice (no lemons -- see above). I don't usually worry to much about that, but in a recipe with so few ingredients, and where lemon juice is so prominent, maybe fresh is best.
Second, I didn't have the heavy cream called for by the recipe. What I did have was leftover half-and-half. And I said to myself, hey, that will work.
Except that the recipe called for the cream to be whipped. Do you know what half-and-half looks like whipped? It looks like half-and-half. With a couple of bubbles.
The idea of the mousse is a rich, lemony base that gets fluffed up with whipped cream, then frozen. Without the whippedness, the texture (and the fun of eating it) just isn't there.
Also, it turned out tasting too buttery, I thought. Usually I'm a the-more-butter-the-better kind of girl (like Paula Deen, y'all) but it just wasn't working in the mousse.
So my tip for today is to keep cream on hand. If nothing else, you can dip your Oreo crisps in it.
The foods: Orange-cornmeal cookies and frozen lemon mousse
The verdict: Thumbs up on the cookies, thumbs down on the mousse