Some incredible things happened last week.
One of my closest friends, Shikha, delivered a baby girl. I went to see her in just a couple of hours. Initially I was reluctant to hold such a newborn baby. But at my friend’s insistence I took her in my lap. It was one of the most amazing feelings. The first thing that occurred to my mind was ‘It is so real’. I didn’t realize I had said it out aloud till my friend said ‘Of course she is! What did you think?’. I had no idea a little baby would be so full of character. A baby who can’t yet talk, walk, sit up, or do anything on its own, it was a full individual. She had those distinct eyes, those gorgeous full of color lips, that smile on her face, her delicate little hands. It was a miracle. A miracle of life.
Till now, I always thought of babies as a group. All of them alike. But I was so wrong. Right from the minute they are born, or even before that, they are so unique. All those who came to see her tried to guess if she looked like her father or mother. She looked like both of them and still like none. She looked like herself. 🙂
Another thing which baffled me was the immense responsibility put in your hands when you are holding a baby. It is so fully dependent on you, that it is scary. Believe it or not, but the whole 30 minutes that I was holding her, I was sitting still like a statue. Lest, she would get disturbed if I move.
Incidentally, later that week, another of my closest friends, who is 5 months pregnant, had come home. As usual, we were talking about latest gossip and life hacks. And on particularly interesting subjects, the baby would kick. Not a meager flicker of a heartbeat, but like a genuine kick high-five. I had to keep my hand on my friend’s stomach for a long time, to feel the baby kick. That little whimsical darling, it is loved so much even before it is born.
And thirdly, my sister-in-law had a beautiful, beautiful baby girl. But they are far away in the US, and all we get to see is her photos and videos. But in one single day, we must have seen her video at-least 40 times. My heart aches to not be able to hold her, smell her and feel her in my arms. Such a sweetheart, I have never felt so much connection to a family member who I have not even seen yet. Those big radiant eyes looking at the camera are etched in my memory for now. 🙂
Now celebration time, we are having big family dinner today and on the weekend.
This is a chocolate genoise with chocolate mousse. Specially for these wonderful babies, so that they grow up loving chocolate. Because there is none other purer love than the love of chocolate 😉
Mogador- Chocolate Genoise with Chocolate mousse
What you will need:
Chocolate Genoise sponge:
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 120 gm sugar
- 100 gm flour
- 20 gm unsweetened cocoa powder
Chocolate Mousse :
- 75 gm egg yolks
- 35 gm sugar
- 35 ml water
- 150 gm chocolate
- 300 gm heavy cream
- 100 ml water and 80 gm sugar for the imbibing syrup
- 100 gm raspberry/strawberry jam for decoration
What to do:
- Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
- Take eggs and egg yolk in a bowl. Add sugar and whisk together till pale. Put it over double boiler over a saucepan and warm it.
- Once the mixture is hot to touch, take it off the double boiler and whisk continuously till it cools down completely and gets a ribbon texture when you lift it up with a spoon.
- In a separate bowl, mix cocoa powder and flour.
- Add half of these dry ingredients to the egg-sugar mixture. Fold with a spatula, start in the centre and fold out while rotating the bowl. Then add the rest half and stop once there are no streaks of flour.
- Grease a 8-9 inch mousse mold or a spring-form pan.
- Put the mixture in the mold and fill upto 4/5th of the mold.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes , till a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Bring 100 ml water and 80 gm sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Then take it off heat and you may add some fruit brandy or cherry essence if you wish.
- Once the cake is baked, let it completely cool on a wire rack before unmolidng.
- Once cool, cut the cake horizontally into half with a sharp serrated knife. Place the lower half of the cake in the mold or springform pan and refrigerate till you make the mousse.
- For the chocolate mousse, put the 35 gm sugar and 35 ml water in saucepan and let it come to a rolling boil. then take it off heat.
- Take egg yolks in a bowl. Then add the sugar mixture to the egg yolks while whisking continuously. Continue till the egg yolks fluff up as they cool down.
- In another bowl, whisk the cream till it has soft peaks and put it in the fridge.
- Melt the chocolate (chopped pieces) on a double boiler or in a microwave and keep it molten.
- Now mix the whipped cream with the sugar and egg mixture. Fold it evenly and gently. Add 1/3rd of this mixture to the chocolate and whisk till it is completely incorporated.(# See note)
- The take the rest of the cream mixture and add it to the chocolate bowl. Mix gently with a whisk. The mixing has to be done very quickly, or the chocolate will seize.
- For the assembly, take the cake (the lower half in the mold). Imbibe the cake with the sygar syrup. Then spread a thin layer of raspberry/strawberry jam on the cake.
- With a slotted spoon, start adding the mousse on the cake from the outer edge. Add more mousse int he centre. Spread it from the centre towards the edge, first with a plastic scraper and then with a spatula. Smooth-en the top with a knife and then put it in the fridge to set for an hour.
- Decorate with cherries or pomegranate seeds and some chocolate shavings on top.
- Once you add the whipped cream to the chocolate, it has to be mixed rapidly, yet gently so that the chocolate does not seize and harden. For this it is essential that the chocolate is totally molten before mixing.
- And by chance, if it seizes, worry not, it will still taste spectacular,
- If you wish you can use a plastic mousse holder inside the ringmold to be able to unmold, but it is not essential. I did not use it.
- For the chocolate mousse, the hot sugar syrup will cook the egg yolks, so it is very safe to consume.
Bon Apetit! And cheers to new lives.