I used my kitchenaid for the first time and cooked up a dessert storm!

Chocolate Mousse

I used an altered version of Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse as written by David Lebovitz, and it was not perfect. It set up nicely on the top, but the bottom was a goopy pudding mess. I do not think it was due to my alterations, but I did accidentally get some water into the custard which may have contributed. In addition, I am not sure if I got the custard to the right consistency. It may also be due to the chocolate I used being of poor quality/low cocoa (Wegman’s semi-sweet chocolate morsels). One thing I do know is that it wasn’t due to under beaten egg whites thanks to the kitchenaid.

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i don’t have any pictures of the final product, but here is one right before I popped it into the fridge to set up. Look at all the bubbles! I need to get better at taking these photos.

Liege Waffles

I also didn’t get a picture of the final product here, but it was delicious, reminiscent of waffles I ate in the Netherlands and exactly what I hoped for. And they totally resemble all of the photos of Liege Waffles on the blogging sites! Success! I mostly followed the popular Gaufre de Liege recipe, but I also read up on technique from Smitten Kitchen, Not Martha, and other (more complicated) more authentic Gaufre de Liege recipe.

It was a lot of work, and I don’t think there is much I would change about the process other than do it faster and maybe get a waffle iron with removable plates. Sugar balls are difficult to clean out of a waffle iron with fixed plates… I only ate 4 of the 8 I made and froze the remainder in parchment paper. Hopefully they defrost well!

Full ingredients and instructions below!

Chocolate Mousse Ingredients (I halved the Julia version)

  • 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 oz unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 2/3 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the water and extract sub for coffee in the original recipe)
  • 2 large eggs, seperated
  • 1/2 cup, plus 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat a saucepan one-third full with hot water, and in a bowl set on top, melt together the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring over the barely simmering water, until smooth. Remove from heat.IMG_2215IMG_2216
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
  3. In a bowl large enough to nest securely on the saucepan of simmering water, whisk the yolks of the eggs with the 1/3 cup of sugar, rum, and water for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick, like runny mayonnaise. (You can also use a handheld electric mixer.) Here is one place where I am not sure I did it correctly. I may not have mixed enough. It had thickened but I wouldn’t call it anything resembling mayonnaise. Picture is mid mixing.IMG_2217
  4. Remove from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks within the bowl of ice water and beat until cool and thick, as shown in the photo above. Then fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. Because my custard bowl was much smaller than my ice bath bowl, I accidentally incorporated some extra water into the egg yolk mixture. Note to self. Don’t do that again. IMG_2219
  5. 4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy. Continue to beat until they start to hold their shape. Whip in the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then the vanilla. Here is where I had a lot of fun! Look at that mixer go! I had a very dry meringue afterwards. In the future, I think I could mix less and the next step would be easier. IMG_2221IMG_2222
  6. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.IMG_2223
  7. Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.

Liege Waffles

There were so many steps, and my hands were covered in butter in many of them. I did not take enough pictures. Thankfully the internet bloggers did! I used volume measurements this time, but I will try by weight next time. Also, unlike the Gaufre de Liege recipe which made 5 servings, I made 8  waffle squares from this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup scalded whole milk at 110-115 degrees (I used 2% and it didn’t seem to matter)
  • 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. of water at 110-115 degrees
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 large room temperature egg, lightly beaten
  • 1Tbsp. + 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 1/2 Tbsp. soft room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup crushed sugar cubes (from about half a domino’s box. I can probably reduce the sugar in the future by a hair)

Instructions

  1. Place yeast, milk, and water into the workbowl of a stand mixer. Stir for a few seconds to moisten the yeast. I accidentally did this with the honey in double the amount this recipe calls for because I originally started off by following Smitten Kitchen. I realized my mistake and poured off half of the mixture. 
  2. Add the egg and 2/3 of a cup of the flour. Mix to blend. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  3. Sprinkle remaining 1 and 1/3 cups of flour over the mixture, but do not stir it in. Cover and let stand 75-90 minutes (at the end of that time, you’ll notice the batter bubbling up through the cover of flour). I definitely saw bubbling. IMG_2226
  4. Add the brown sugar and salt to the workbowl with the other ingredients. Mix on low speed (speed #2) – just to blend. So I actually had some trouble with this part of the recipe. I tried using the dough hook and it wasn’t mixing well. I switched to just hand kneading the dough here and loosely combined it because of the “just to blend” part. I probably should have incorporated it more. Reading up on the more authentic recipe, I believe I should have mixed this with the paddle attachment for 9-11 minutes WITH the vanilla and honey (added in the next step here). IMG_2227
  5. With machine on low, add honey and vanilla. Then add 2 Tbsp. of butter at a time. Mix 4 minutes at medium-low speed; scrape down sides once or twice in that period. Let the dough rest for 1 minute and then continue to mix for 2 minutes. If you measured your ingredients perfectly, the dough will be sticking to the sides of the bowl in the last minute of mixing and then, in the last 30 seconds of so, will start to ball-up on the paddle. If this does not happen, let the dough rest for 1 more minute and mix for another 2 minutes. This part was a problem. I over melted the butter so everything was very oily. I also tried to do this step with a dough hook (as per smitten kitchen) and it just wasn’t balling up on the hook because the volume was so small. It was a slimy mess. USE THE PADDLE like it says! After I had incorporated 8 tbsp of butter, I reread this line and realized my mistake so the last 1/2 tbsp was incorporated with the paddle. It was much better after that and resembled a sticky but well mixed dough that balled a little. 
  6. Scrape the dough into a large bowl, sprinkle lightly with flour, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 4 hours. This step is crucial for developing the flavor.
  7. REFRIGERATE FOR 30 MINUTES BEFORE PROCEEDING TO STEP #8. This is essential. The yeast respiration must be slowed before continuing. I did 90 per the more authentic instructions. 
  8. Stir the dough down (meaning: gently deflate the gases from the dough, by pressing on it with a rubber spatula), scrape it onto a piece of plastic wrap, and then use the spatula to press the dough into a long rectangle. Fold that rectangle over on itself (by thirds – like a letter) so that you have a square of dough. Wrap it in plastic, weigh it down a bit (two heavy plates were suggested, I used a jar of yogurt) and refrigerate overnight. I wrapped it too tightly or with too little saran wrap. The dough rose a little and actually split the plastic wrap and developed little crusts where the tears were. Double layer in the future. 
  9. Before the next day, I also crushed the sugar cubes in a ziplock bag with a hammer. I only picked out the larger chunks to use as pearl sugars, and dumped the rest into my cooking sugar jar. IMG_2228
  10. The next day, place the cold dough (it will be quite firm) in a large bowl and add all of the pearl sugar to a bowl. It will seem like a lot of sugar, but it’s supposed to be 🙂 Mix it into the dough by hand until the chunks are well-distrubuted. Once mixed, divide the dough into 8 pieces of equal size. It might be better to divide the dough and then mix in 1/8 of the sugar to make kneading easier. IMG_2238
  11. Shape each chunk into an oval ball (like a football without the pointy ends) and let it rise (covered loosely in plastic wrap) for 90 minutes.
  12. I cooked two at a time in James’ waffle maker at what I think may have been around 360 degrees for 2-3 minutes. I was just careful to watch to make sure there was a good amount of browning and that the sugar wasn’t burning. I controlled the heat by pulling the plug on the waffle maker anytime I heard a lot of sizzling, and plugged it in again if the waffles came out lighter than I expected.

    ** Give each waffle a few minutes to cool slightly before eating. No syrup or toppings are needed, unless you’d like to add some fruit or a dusting of powdered sugar; they’re quite sweet on their own.

    ** If you have a regular waffle iron, heat the iron to 420 degrees (hint: many regular waffle irons go up to and over 550 degrees at their highest setting) , place the dough on the iron, and immediately unplug it or turn the temp dial all the way down. Otherwise, the sugar will burn.