Oh, my poor neglected little blog…I’m so sorry! How is it that whenever things get to be a touch hectic around my house, YOU are the one that suffers?
It’s food festival season here in Calgary. We do things a little different here in Cowtown…our favourite foods become the centre of attention for a whole week (sometimes more) and I’ve been working on each food festival in one capacity or another. I was so thrilled to have been invited as media to the annual ‘Gravy Bowl’ for CalgaryPoutine week, then I joined a team of taco lovers to create the first annual YYCTacoFiesta; an epic celebration of tacos across our city. This week is the largest festival for Calgary food enthusiasts…it’s Alberta Burger Fest! This year there are 105 restaurants participating and the rules are pretty specific: Rule number one specifies that each restaurant MUST use Alberta grown and raised ingredients in their burger (whenever possible), the goal being to showcase our Alberta producers to the best of our ability. The second rule states that the burger entry cannot be on the restaurant’s regular menu. This basically forces the participating restaurants to get as creative with their burgers as is possible. Being creative and creating a tasty burger is to their advantage because this festival is a competition. There are definitely a wide range of new and interesting dishes to try in all the festivals, but the best thing of all is that they all have a common goal: a portion of the sale of each item goes to a local or national charity. Some of the charities that have benefited are Mealshare, Kids Up Front Calgary, Calgary Homeless Foundation, Calgary Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, Kids Cancer Care, Missing Children Society of Canada, and Bullying Ends Here. Taking part in these festivals (whether it’s by eating or organizing) is a win-win for everyone.
Phew. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve had very little time to cook and when I have cooked, we’ll just say that it’s nothing to write about. I’m so glad I joined the other bloggers at Cook the Book Fridays (even though it’s Tuesday and I’m just writing this now) because when they picked the Salted Butter – Caramel Chocolate Mousse (page 258; My Paris Kitchen) as our first May recipe, I knew I would be making it for sure. I even had all the ingredients in my fridge AND I made it on Friday.
The recipe seemed easy enough as it really only called for basic ingredients; sugar, butter, chocolate, salt, cream, eggs. These basic ingredients are common components of any pantry but when you combine them in the way David did….they equal some kind of magic. I say ‘David’, because my experience was not so magic. I ran into some trouble while making the simple caramel when the whole thing seized up inside my whisk. I almost tossed the whole thing into the garbage bin, but I soldiered on and added the cream anyway. Eventually the cream got up to a hot enough temperature that the caramel released it’s death-grip on my whisk and became one with the cream. Once all the caramel chunks were gone, I was finally able to add the chocolate. At the time I wasn’t sure if the mixture would have the proper consistency, but it did fold into the beaten egg whites. In the end, it had the proper texture and lightness one would expect from a mousse.
I’m looking forward to a little quiet time after BurgerFest is over so that I can read how everyone else in the group enjoyed making and eating this mousse. If you would like to read about their experiences, the links to their posts are here. If you would like to make the Salted Butter – Caramel Chocolate Mousse on your own, I encourage you to buy a copy of My Paris Kitchen as it’s highly worth it. A quick google search will also turn up this exact recipe, reprinted with David’s permission but then you wouldn’t have access to all those other great recipes!