It's hard to believe that 2012 is just a few days away. I'd like to say I'm ready to dive in head first, but I'm more the type of person to test the water with one toe. For me, easing into the new year means no high pressure resolutions. It's more fun to make up a few that are easy to keep. For example, this year I resolve to...
- Eat birthday cake without feeling guilty.
- Put sprinkles on everything.
- Sleep late whenever possible.
- Watch movies on rainy days.
- Tell more corny jokes.
For this year's NYE gathering, I whipped up a batch of champagne mousse. In spite of its light texture, it is completely decadent and full of champagne flavor. I decided to mold mine in a fancy pan, but you can use a regular loaf pan or just pipe it into champagne flutes. It's very versatile. The chocolate ganache was a last minute addition, and I'm including the recipe, but it can be enjoyed with or without.
And of course, it had to be decorated with sugar pearls, shiny dragees... all types of edible baubles.
I wanted to get a good picture of us wishing you a Happy New Year, but the pups weren't having it. As you can tell, Churro wanted to get off of my lap so badly, he wouldn't even look up at the camera.
Oh well. Happy New Year anyway!!
If you need a more portable New Year's treat, check out my Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes from last year.
Serves 8-10 [click for printable version]
Note: This can be made ahead and kept in the freezer.
1 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups champagne, prosecco, or your choice sparkling wine
2 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
3 tbsp water (or champagne)
- In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Place in refrigerator until ready for use.
- Place a saucepan filled 1/3 with water over medium-high heat until water is simmering.
- Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a stainless steel (or glass) heatproof bowl. Whisk until lightened in color. Add the champagne and whisk until combined. Place bowl over simmering water.
- Whisk mixture constantly. The champagne will cause the mixture to fizz and foam. Keep whisking! Mixture will begin to thicken. When the mixture is ready the mixture will have thickened and gained volume, and it will have lost its foaminess. Remove bowl from the simmering saucepan and continue to whisk for 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
- Place the 3 tbsp water (or champagne) in a small microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle gelatin evenly over the liquid. Let set until absorbed - about 5 minutes. Heat the absorbed gelatin mixture for 10 seconds in the microwave, or heat until the gelatin has completely melted.
- Whisk gelatin into the champagne mixture; fold in the whipped cream with a rubber spatula.
To mold: Lightly grease a loaf pan with white vegetable shortening. Pour champagne mousse into the loaf pan and freeze until solid. To unmold, run a dish towel under hot water and wrap the bottom of the loaf pan with it. Turn mousse out onto a serving plate. If mousse resists unmolding, run the towel under hot water again and wrap around upside down loaf pan. Repeat this step until mousse releases. Bring to room temperature. Slice and serve.
To pipe: Refrigerate mousse for 10-15 minutes, or until stiff enough to pipe. Transfer to a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe into champagne flutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: Make a half-batch of this recipe to cover the champagne mousse, otherwise you'll have too much ganache left over. Or make the whole batch and use it to make truffles. :)
Chocolate ganache *Optional1/2 cup heavy cream
9 oz. chopped chocolate
Sprinkles, sugar pearls and dragees
- Place heavy cream in a small microwave safe bowl, and place chocolate in another small bowl.
- Heat cream at 30 second increments, until very hot but not boiling.
- Pour cream over chopped chocolate and whisk until well incorporated. Let stand until cooled and slightly thickened, then pour over frozen molded champagne mousse. Decorate with dragees and sugar pearls before chocolate ganache sets.