Welcome to my adaptation of the Daring Baker’s Challenge for April.
The challenge was to make a maple mousse in an “edible container”. The mousse was a snap to make…creamy with a nice maple flavor.
For my edible container, I wanted to make walnut ice cream cones, but I ran into some technical difficulties. In fact, even though this may seem like an odd thing to write at the beginning of a recipe, don’t make the cones at home. Although this tuile cone recipe does result in a tasty dessert, it is a major pain in the ass, so I can’t recommend it.
Of the 8 edible containers that I tried to make, I only was able to achieve two good cups, one of which I promptly broke. Definitely not worth the hour and a half it took to make the batter and to bake the cup/cones 2 at a time. Jeez, who thought of that stupid idea?! Oh right, it was me.
However, I will say that the mousse was a big hit with my family and very easy to make. So, if you are a fan of maple and would like to try it in mousse form, you might want to consider buying some ice cream cones from the supermarket to serve them in or just scooping the mousse into a bowl and sprinkling some toasted walnuts on top.
But, if morbid curiosity drives you to want to make walnut tuile containers the way I did, here is the harrowing tale.
FROZEN MAPLE MOUSSE
Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver Is Not My Boyfriend
- 1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine
- 1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content)
WALNUT TUILE CUPS and/or CONES
Adapted from thekitchn.com
- 1/2 cup walnuts, ground fine
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon water
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- pinch of kosher salt
- walnuts, toasted & chopped
- whipped cream…because why not?
HOW TO MAKE THE MAPLE MOUSSE
Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.
In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle). Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.
Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between) or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.
Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least an hour then freeze according to your ice cream manufacturer’s instructions.
Once the mousse is a soft-serve consistency (25 minutes in my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker), transfer to a cold container and freeze for 3 hours or overnight.
HOW TO MAKE WALNUT TUILE CUPS/CONES
OK, this is really the troublesome, don’t make at home, part of the recipe. The Kitchn made this look so easy! It isn’t.
They said…Cut a strip of parchment paper the same height as the foam cone. Wrap around the cone until completely covered in parchment; tape securely. This is my first major problem. Taping the parchment is a lovely theory except for the fact that parchment paper is nearly impossible to “tape”. It’s designed to be nonstick, and it is.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a heavy baking sheet with with parchment paper.
Grind walnuts in a food processor until they’re as fine as possible. Then add the flour, sugar and salt and process again until homogenous.
In a separate bowl, lightly whisk whites with water and almond extract, and add to flour mixture with butter. Pulse until combined well. Mixture should drip slowly off the end of a the food processor blade, and hold its shape for a heaping tablespoon. If it’s runny, put in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
Drop two heaping tablespoons of batter on opposite sides of baking sheet and, with back of a spoon, spread evenly into 6-inch rounds. Use the back of the spoon to push the batter outwards in a ring until nearly translucent; there should be no pools of batter, or wrinkles in the parchment paper.
Here is my second big problem, you bake these two at a time which is a major time suck. Bake in middle of oven, turning halfway through, until golden brown throughout. If using a thin baking tray, this will take 8-10 minutes. If using a lined pyrex pan or heavy cookie sheet, the cookie will brown more slowly and evenly, 14-16 minutes. You do this 4 times which equals at least an hour of baking time for 8 cups and/or cones. See why I’m not recommending this?
Remove tray from oven. Gently slide your spatula under the first cookie, and loosen from sheet, using a sideways back and forth motion.
Place your cone in the middle of one of the cookies. Use your spatula to lift one edge of the cookie, and fold over the cone. Using the spatula or your fingers (careful, it will be hot is an understatement), roll the cone until the seam is face down. Hold, seam side down, at least 10 seconds, until hardened. Return the second cookie to the oven for 15-30 seconds to soften, and repeat. They made this look so easy over at thekitchn, but I found this whole process to be challenging and frustrating. My cone didn’t look like a cone and everything got too brittle too quickly. And it hurt my fingers.
After major failure on the first batch of “cones”, I had slightly more success with my second batch by inserting the hot tuiles quickly into the cups of a cupcake holder. Slightly burned fingers, but also something that resembled a cup. If you are crazy enough to try this, this is what I recommend.
Make more cookies with remaining batter in same manner.
Making the maple frosting is a snap, just mix the maple syrup, powdered sugar and a pinch of salt until smooth. I garnished my two successful cups by dipping them in maple frosting and crusting them with chopped toasted walnuts.
Of course broken cones taste the same as whole ones, so who says you can’t just go ahead and eat the messy parts.