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If you have Nutella but no chocolate mousse, dnt panic. We can fix that right away. All you need is a brilliant recipe for Nutella mousse like this one from Purewow. To use what I had on hand, I substituted the cream cheese for a tub of mascarpone and used only a quarter of the amount of sugar stated. I can imagine that you can totally go without any added sweetener as the Nutella should be enough for any seasoned sweet tooth. If you are patient enough, leave it to set in the fridge for a couple of hours to achieve the distinctive mousse-like texture but if you cannot keep yourself waiting for so long, grab a dessert spoon and simply dig in after topping with fresh cream and chocolate shavings [from the photos you can guess this is exactly what I did!]

NUTELLA MOUSSE

Ingredients:

250g mascarpone, room temperature

3/4 cup Nutella hazelnut spread

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts

2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate

Whipped cream, for topping

Method:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese with the Nutella.

  • Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer it to a medium bowl.

  • Wipe out the bowl. In the bowl of the electric mixer, fitted with whip attachment, whip cream to soft peaks.

  • Add sugar and vanilla extract, and whip to medium peaks. Add a third of whipped cream to Nutella mixture.

  • Fold with a rubber spatula to combine. Add another third of cream and repeat, folding it until incorporated.

  • Add the final third and fold to combine. Divide mousse among serving dishes and chill for 30 to 45 minutes.

  • Top mousse with a dollop of whipped cream, garnish with chopped hazelnuts and dark chocolate. Serves 4.

As you might have noticed, I am getting into salads and healthy eating since the start of this year. Though my New Year resolution every year is this huge struggle to cook and eat stuff that does my body good, it is a never-ending tug-of-war between the mind and the heart to actually make it happen. I am really excited to share with you this deliciously fresh and nutritious salad from How Sweet Eats, which is now my regular pick on days when I have to go 100% vegetarian.

SUMMER CHICKPEA SALAD

Ingredients:

For the Chickpea Salad

3 cups boiled chickpeas

4 green onions, thinly sliced

2 ears grilled corn, cut from the cob

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

1 large English cucumber, chopped

1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Honey Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 lime, juiced and zested

Method:

  • In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, onions, corn, tomatoes, basil, cucumber and sprouts.

  • Toss with salt and pepper. In saucepan, add oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, lime juice and zest.

  • Heat over low heat and whisk until the mixture is warm and garlic cloves are sizzling a bit.

  • Pour the liquid over the chickpeas and toss well to coat. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap.

  • Refrigerate salad for at least 30 minutes before serving. This salad tastes better as it sits.

  • Serve with toasted baguettes spread with coconut oil or whipped feta. Makes 4 servings.

Summer Chickpea Salad with Vinaigrette

While most of us tend to pile ketchup or mayonnaise on stuff we eat, I have a strong aversion to these somewhat artificial condiments. The term ‘condiment’ was originally coined to designate anything that imparts a particular flavor to enhance or complement a dish but I unfortunately find that it detracts from the authentic flavors so much so that I usually go without them most of the time. Pesto alla genovese, however, steers clear from this group as it retains its fresh, bright green colour as long as you take the trouble to make it from scratch all by yourself.

Not well known by the average Mauritian, this Italian preparation is traditionally made by grinding basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and olive oil [ideally by hand in a stone mortar or on your faithful roche carri]. You can now find jars of the readymade sauce in large retail stores but they are only weak imitations of the real thing. It does take a bit of elbow grease to pound everything into a smooth paste, as per the recipe from David Lebovitz, before you can enjoy your homemade pesto in a grilled sandwich or spooned over fresh pasta but no doubt well worth the effort.

HOMEMADE PESTO

Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

3/4 teaspoon coarse kitchen salt

1 cup (20g) loosely-packed basil leaves

5 tablespoons (75ml) best-quality olive oil

2 ounces (60g) grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup (30g) pine nuts, lightly toasted

Method:

  • Smash the garlic and salt together in a mortar and pestle until smooth. Coarsely chop the basil leaves.

  • Then add the chopped basil leaves to the mortar and pounding them into the garlic as you add them.

  • Once it is well-mashed into a fairly smooth paste, pound in the olive oil, adding it a spoonful at a time.

  • The olive oil should be well-incorporated. Lastly, pound in the Parmesan cheese, then the pine nuts.

  • Continue mashing for a few minutes until pesto is as smooth as possible. Makes about 1 cup of pesto.

  • Fresh pesto should be served within a day or two after it is made or it can be frozen for a few months.

Homemade Basil Pesto

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PrerrnaMirchi
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