Monday, December 31, 2018

snatched from the jaws of defeat!

Because yesterday's failure wasn't bad enough, I decided to double the recipe this time. It was a near failure. I melted the chocolate, added the boiling water, 

'cooked' it down to a 'paste' which I still had no idea what the consistency was I was looking for having never watched my mother make this and as I was stirring it I thought that perhaps the consistency of the melted chocolate might be what they were thinking to which I thought, so why add the water just to cook it down. As it was I went on to the next step before it got that thick, more like soft peaks that held their shape, adding the sugar and the evaporated milk at which point I was supposed to continue to cook it for 2 – 3 minutes, except that adding the not hot evaporated milk pretty much put an end to any cooking so I turned up the heat til it got warm again and then cooked it for a few more minutes. Added the soaked gelatin which was now a solid gooey mass, stirred until it had all dissolved (as far as I could tell). OK, so far so good. I set it aside to cool and start to thicken as instructed before folding in the remaining whipped evaporated milk and some time later it is still faintly warm and still runny.

I'm on the phone to my sister, by cool do they mean set it out on the counter til whenever or put it in the fridge?

Set it on the counter, she says.

Impatient me says, but it's still runny.

Well, stick it in the refrigerator, she says.

I already had. However many minutes later when I looked at it I'm on the phone again. OK, it's thickening around the edges but still runny.

Getting there but not ready yet, she says.

Do you think I have 20 minutes to walk the dog.

Yes, she says, probably.

I got back and sat around for a few more minutes (it was a short walk, cold and damp and we weren't gone long) and then went to check on it and oh shit! it was completely thickened. I could have stuck a spoon in it and the spoon would have stood up. Great. No folding whipped anything into that so I stabbed at it with the spoon, mashed it up, stirred it around into gooey lumps and added about 2/3 of the whipped evo-milk, stirring and folding and stirring and folding and stirring and mashing and nothing was getting blended. Well, fuck. All that time wasted. I wonder if the mixer would help. I figured it was already ruined so it couldn't get worse, grabbed up the mixer and blended the shit out of that stuff, folded in the last third of the whipped evo-milk and spooned the gloppy mess into the pan lined with lady fingers. Gave it a good shake or two and stuck it in the fridge to finish chilling.

OK, so maybe I didn't exactly snatch success from the jaws of defeat. Let's just say it wasn't a total failure. 

It tastes good but the stuff never set as a whole. There's no real slicing and serving because it has no body to speak of, the mixer having whipped tons of air into it and it didn't settle back down.

It would have been more efficient to serve it with a spoon than the spatula I had used.

edit:  it was a little firmer the second night


  1. Chocolate mousse was a chocolate mystery. That's the same as snatching victory. I used to mention snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but I generally saved that for football games.

  2. need a candy thermometer , I try like my mom with mixed results.

  3. Well there is another year to give this a shot and it does look good to eat.

  4. Well, I'm glad it got firmer. Now you know a little more about how (and how NOT) to make it properly. It's all a learning experience, right? I think it looks pretty darn good -- definitely better than I could ever do.

  5. Who cares? It is chocolate and looks delicious!

  6. I really think you need to keep making this until you've perfected it. :)

  7. I am pretty sure that I would eat as much of that as you would let me.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.