Recently a friend asked me to bake for an upcoming party she's having, so I've been researching all kinds of bite-sized dessert canapés. One recipe that caught my attention is from BHG; a rich mousse that is served in the bowl of a teaspoon. The mousse sounds inviting, but I'm not sure I want to commit a good portion of flatware to the project (32 spoons!). The idea of a disposable plastic spoon came to mind, but for a single bite - well, that would be environmentally unsound and just too wasteful. Then, it came to me suddenly. Edible spoons!
Do they exist? Can I make them? (google, google, google) Well. Yes and yes.
I've wanted to try stencil paste (or tuile batter) for some time, and now I had the perfect opportunity! I found the spoon stencil online (here) and decided to give it a try. I had so much fun while experimenting. There are so many shape and flavor possibilities!
The tuile batter recipe comes from my new favorite cookbook, Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cooking Techniques. I wanted my spoons to be chocolate, so I substituted out 1/8 cup of the all purpose flour used for dark cocoa powder.
I'm happy to say that the stencil paste is very uncomplicated. It took only a few minutes to put together. The batter will spread into the templates more evenly and precisely if it is a little cold. Use an offset spatula to spread the paste into the template openings. If your stencils smudge, you can take a damp paper towel and clean up around the edges.
These bake for only a short time. When done and still warm, they have a rubbery texture, so they are easily shaped. You'll have to work quickly when transferring these from the oven. They harden quickly, so I use my stove top as a workspace and leave the oven door open with the cookie sheet still inside. I transfer the cookies from the oven to the work surface above...
...and onto the curve of a rolling pin. This gives them a more realistic and interesting dimension.
As for the mousse, it is very simple and quite good by itself.
It is very rich and a little heavier than expected. I can now see why the portion size is so small.
My one complaint? These are fragile. Don't over-fill your spoons with mousse. They will become heavy at the bowl and snap off at the handle if you try to pick them up. Also, be careful not to over-bake. They will become dry and be extra brittle. I learned the hard way and had to dispose an entire dozen. With my oven set at 350 degrees, they baked perfectly at around 6 minutes, 30 seconds.
Perhaps you are just plain crazy about incredibly rich and decadent peanut butter mousse. If so, you might find the bowl presentation a little more to your liking.
I'm not certain that mousse-filled-spoons will make it on the menu for my friend's party, mainly because it is for her toddler's birthday. I'll probably find something a little less delicate, perhaps petit fours or a dessert on a stick (cake pops?). I'll be sure to file this idea away for a dinner party that needs a little fun and novelty. Grown-ups occasionally need a little fun and novelty too!
P.S. Many chefs/bakers make thier own tuile stencils Find out how here.