Okay... so it tasted very good, but the coconut layer was way too loose thus the charlotte was fragile and a little difficult to serve. The sun had long set when I finally topped my dessert with whipped cream and soI had to use the flash to photograph it. It is not a great photographic achievement...sorry for that! I enjoyed the combination of all the different elements: the chocolate mousse, the vanilla cake, the coconut custard and whipped cream. The rum was barely perceptible. I must try it again and make sure that the loose coconut custard is not something I did wrong. I often make a dessert repeatedly until perfect and then I move on. For the original Martha Stewart recipe click here.
The brussel sprouts and cauliflower gratin recipe, that I gleaned from Epicurious.com, was quiet good. I changed the recipe considerably and I guess I can call it mine. I could not bring myself to add the several cups of 35% cream. Its not a diet thing but a 'I didn't want my guest to feel disgusting afterward' thing, especially considering I did not choose the lightest dessert to accompany the meal. This gratin is my last winter meal of the season in the hopes of encouraging spring.
I want great strawberries and tomatoes and all the goodness warm weather brings!
Here is the gratin recipe, I would put it away and use it as a side dish for a winter holiday meal. I hope to post some festively spring inspiring meals this coming week.
Cauliflower and brussel sprout gratin
- 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed, quartered lengthwise through core
- 1 1 1/2-to 1 3/4-pound head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small florets
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup 35% whipping cream
- 1/4 cup green onions
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1 cup croutons
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 3 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
Fill large bowl with ice and cold water. Cook brussels sprouts in large pot of generously salted boiling water 2 minutes. Add cauliflower to same pot; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain. Transfer vegetables to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well.
In a small container with lid combine the milk and cornstarch, cover and shake well to create a *slurry. Combine cream, shallots, and sage in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 3 minutes, then add the *slurry and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until cornstarch thickens. Season with salt. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.
Lightly brown pine nuts on a baking dish in a 325 F oven. Place croutons in food processor and pulse until mostly fine with some small chunks. Stir in pine nuts and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish; arrange half of vegetables in dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then 1 1/2 cups Cheddar. Arrange remaining vegetables evenly over, then sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups Cheddar. Pour cream mixture evenly over.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover gratin with foil. Bake covered 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle breadcrumb topping over and bake uncovered 15 minutes longer.
*What is a slurry? Here is a definition from Wikipedia. I learned the term in cooking school.