Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Recipe Tuesday with Merry Holly

No, your eyes don't deceive you. It's July, not December. But my guest Merry Holly is here today with a recipe from book three of her contemporary romance series MORE THAN I WISHED FOR so we're celebrating Christmas in July. Season's Greetings and happy Chocolate Mousse everyone!

Thank you, Jana, here is the Chocolate Mousse Recipe from Noelle’s Surprise (3rd book in More Than I Wished For.) Chase has been wrapped up in his latest project leaving Noelle alone a lot in an unfamiliar place. She’s questioning her decision to marry a man she hardly knew. Chase fixes Noelle a romantic dinner to let her know she’s the most important person in his life. And promises to spend more time with her even if it puts him behind schedule.

Chase’s Recipe (Taken from American Cookery by James Beard)
Roulage Leontine or Chocolate Roll (Soufflé baked like a roll)

6 eggs
½ cup sugar
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 teaspoon of vanilla
¼ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of tartar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped, sweetened and flavored with vanilla, Cognac or 1 or 2 tablespoons sherry or kirsch.

Prepare the pan first; it should be an 11 x 16 x ½ inch pan. Butter it well, then fit wax paper in the bottom of the pan and butter the wax paper (only wax paper will work with this.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Soften the chocolate over hot (not boiling) water and let cool to room temperature. Separate eggs and beat the yolks until very light and lemon-colored. Add the sugar gradually, and continue beating until very light. Stir in the chocolate and beat again until the mixture is very light, adding the vanilla and salt, while beating. Beat the egg whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar, and beat until the whites are light and hold a soft peak. Fold into the chocolate mixture with a rubber or plastic spatula. Turn the bowl as you do this to incorporate the two mixtures evenly and retain as much air as possible.

Spread lightly into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated 350 degree oven approximately fifteen minutes (15) or until the roll pulls away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a rack, put a damp towel over the pan, and leave for ten minutes (10). Take off the towel, loosen the sides of the roll, and turn onto wax paper sprinkled with cocoa or powdered sugar. Cool. Fill with the whipped cream, but do not spread it out to the edges. Lift the wax paper on one side, which will cause the cake to lift also and roll inward. Continue to roll, and roll off the paper onto a serving plate or onto a Roulage Leontine or a special chocolate roll board. This roll will often crack, but it does not matter. Serve cut in diagonal slices.

It will freeze, but not well, it’s best eaten fresh. It will hold perfectly at room temperature for 4 or 5 hours.

To make it a Chocolate Soufflé, follow these instructions:

Instead of spreading in a pan, turn the mixture into a buttered and sugared 1-quart soufflé dish and bake for about 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Serve with whipped cream. Soufflés are delicate, no bouncing on the floors while it’s baking. Large vibrations will cause it to drop.

Excerpt: Noelle’s Surprise by Merry Holly

The groceries, handbag and appointment book hit the floor.

Chase stood by the stove stirring something with her ‘Kiss the Cook’ apron on, and nothing else. Grinning, he walked to her, kissed her on the lips, and bent down to pick up everything she dropped. Turning her wrist, she checked the time. Four o’clock in the afternoon. It was the first time since they’d come to the island he was home this early.

“Hello, darling.” He put her things on the counter.

Staring, she couldn’t find the words to express her joy. “Chase…” Rushing to him, she wrapped her arms around him, pressing her body close to his, kissing him thoroughly.

“If I knew that would be my greeting, I’d leave work this early every day.” Tilting her head up, she let him work his way down her throat.

“Mmmm. You keep this up, and whatever you’re cooking will burn.”

He almost let it burn but thought twice about it. “I want you to sit right here, and I’ll serve you.” He pushed back, took her by the arm, and led her to the dining area off the kitchen, a room they rarely used. The table dressed in linens along with the Waterford candlesticks her mother had given her as part of her shower gift, created a lovely and romantic atmosphere scene. The hutch stood floor-to-ceiling the glass doors glistened as the waning sunlight bounced off the crystals. Framed in black, a couple entwined, eyeing each other, graced the wall. Painted in dark, mysterious colors, the picture evoked images of sensuous love. Tears swam in her eyes, but didn’t fall. Her heart soared at his effort.

“Everything is beautiful. What’s the occasion?”

“I love you. This is my apology for last night. I didn’t mean to start a fight or express distrust. You are my world, Noelle. Nobody else matters. And I trust no one more than you.”

“You’re my everything. I can’t stand the pettiness of some of the people here. When it starts to push into our relationship, it gets me crazy. Promise to never let it interfere with us again.”

“I promise.”

He started serving the first course. She patted him on his bare bottom as he turned back to the stove.

“A little chilly?”


It melted her heart more when he placed one of her favorite dishes, prawns in a garlic and butter sauce, in front of her. “I didn’t know you could cook like this.”

“I had to learn to cook in the early days or starve. Wait until the main course.”

“How long have you been home?”

“A couple of hours.”

“Why didn’t you call me? I would’ve loved to have helped you.”

“That’s the point, isn’t it?  I wanted to treat you.” Before sitting down, he kissed her on the forehead. “You’re always taking care of me. I wanted to take care of you for a change. I hope you’re hungry.”

“I am. This looks wonderful, great presentation by the way.” He had circled the prawns around the plate with two different sauces, a remoulade and a hot cocktail sauce in the middle with a sprig of parsley on the side. Not only did it look beautiful it tasted delicious.

“So how did the doctor’s appointment go today?” he asked when he sat down.

“I missed the appointment. I got so involved at the orphanage, I lost track of time. In fact, once I put an idea together, I want to run it by you.”

“You missed your appointment.” He put down his fork, steeple his fingers. Not a good indicator.

“Yes, I’ll see him tomorrow at the same time. I’m feeling like my old self, so I really don’t see the need, but I’ll go to ease your mind.”

“It’s not for me. It’s for you and your health that I want you to see him. What idea?” And just like that the crisis is avoided, she thought.

“This island is so rich, but the kids at the orphanage don’t have clothes that fit them properly. Besides the Christmas in July event, I want to start a clothing drive that will go on all year long. Some of the children from rich families only wear an outfit once. I’m going to ask their parents to start donating them to the orphanage. This way the kids will fit in at school and social functions. Plus the rich kids go to private schools so someone showing up in one of their outfits won’t be a problem. What do you think?”

He stopped eating, put down his folk and picked up her hand and started nibbling on it. “I think you’re perfect. It’s great. What gave you the idea?”

“I took this little cutie out for ice cream today. She just stole my heart, Chase. So inquisitive, happy, she followed me around while I visited with the nuns. After ice cream, I bought her an outfit. When we got back to the home, Mother Superior told me it was a lovely gesture, but unfair to the other children. I was mortified I hadn’t noticed. I haven’t spoken to Sister Mary Catherine yet. I wanted to outline a plan first. What do you think?”

“I think it’s a grand idea. And I’m very proud of you for thinking of it.”
“I hope she thinks so too.”

“She will.”

Looking down, she couldn’t believe she had finished the appetizer.

Chase collected the plates. Noelle’s mind checked off everything she’d need to do to convince everyone else it was a good idea. Lost in thought, she jumped when he put the soup in front of her. Its fragrance filled her head.

Vichyssoise, another of her favorites—her man certainly knew what she liked. Spooning it up, she savored the flavor.

“I’m glad you like it. It’s the first time I’ve made that.”

“It’s the best I’ve ever had.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because you made it especially for me and served it up in that getup.” She took his hand, squeezed it while she continued to scoop it up. “After these two courses, I don’t know if I’ll have room for anything else.”

“We can always take a break.” He rubbed his hands up and down her arms then winked. “The main course will hold. It has to be grilled when we’re ready. And dessert goes into the oven when the steaks go on the grill.”

“What’s for dessert?”

“It’s a surprise.”

Noelle helped herself to a second bowl of soup before Chase danced her off to the bedroom, but not before he cranked up the violin concerto on the stereo.

Buy links:

Marian Lanouette/Merry Holly

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