Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Are You a Man or a Mousse?

by Anna Campbell

Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!

This post contains at least 3,000 calories!

Ah, I love it when I get my just desserts! I mean the sort of meal where I just have dessert! Sigh. Swoon.

Whoops, there goes another 10,000 calores. Or perhaps I should say HERE COME another 10,000 calores!

But what a way to go!

Do you love desserts? Hmm, wonder if anyone will say no to that!

That burst of delicious sweetness that ends a perfect meal! The good bit with the chocolate or the lemon meringue or the cherries marinated in brandy.

For me, never strawberries.

It always shocks people but I can't stand strawberries. Kind of ironic as I grew up in Australia's strawberry-growing capital. We even had a strawberry festival every year which had contests like who could eat the most strawberries.
NOOOOOOOO! I'll tell you just where I hid the secret map with the microfilm if you don't make me eat the strawberries! Don't torture me anymore, you fruit Nazi! I don't care how big your banana is!

My family never really ate desserts although my mum could put together a great apple pie. My grandmother on the other hand used to be a dessert fiend, most of them the really old-fashioned varieties that hardly anybody makes anymore. Her baked rice pudding was nirvana and she used to tart up her apple pie (oh, no, that's a terrible pun) with rhubarb which was lovely.

Desserts are on my mind right now because I've recently had a wonderful weekend with my writing friends Denise Rossetti and fantastic Bandita Christine Wells. I love hosting the girls - I'm always sad when they go home!

One of the many things I love about these visits is that I get to play hostess with the mostess and put together some fancy meals. We always have a seafood feast with oysters and prawns and smoked salmon and Moreton Bay bugs (which are considerably yummier than they sound - a bit like a mini lobster). I do roast chicken and my roast potatoes which I have to say are a masterpiece of nature. Seriously worth visiting Australia to try!

And this time round, I did dessert. Last time Denise and Christine came, I took the easy route and just pulled out a big box of chocolates after dinner. Something that certainly happened recently. But I also went all out and made chocolate mousse - lots and lots and lots of it.

I have a couple of failsafe desserts that I tend to make until my guests are screaming with horror at the idea of yet another tiramisu.

Actually to be 100% honest, I've never actually had that happen but I'm sure it could.

Well, maybe not...

Anyway, chocolate mousse is one of those desserts. Easy, yummy, rich, and the perfect ending to any meal. And everybody loves it!

So let's talk about the sweet stuff! Do you have a favorite dessert? Do you have a dessert you always cook up when you get visitors? Are there any favorite family desserts? What's the best dessert you've ever eaten? And tell me, is chocolate mousse EVER the wrong choice?

110 comments:

Kirsten said...

Ice cream!! Never get enough ice cream!

Kirsten said...

Oh man, I was the first -- how about that! Now I get the chook to absorb my calories for me. How about that!

I have an empty ice cream bowl sitting beside me even as we speak. I can't eat chocolate, nuts, or citrus, so this limits my dessert habits. But I've been experimenting lately with mix-ins for my vanilla ice cream. Nilla wafers were fabulous. Tonight I tried a little maple and brown sugar granola. Also fantastic.

For real decadence I adore a rich apple/rhubarb/strawberry (or any combination thereof) crisp. Butter, brown sugar, and oats. Works for me every time.

I had a strawberry mousse at a work function last week that was just divine. I'm sure your chocolate was better, Anna, but this was pretty darn good.

Thanks for sending me back to the fridge -- now I want seconds!

Anna Campbell said...

Kirsetn, when's the last time you got the chook? Congratulations!

Oh, you're so right about ice-cream! Do you get Magnums in the States? I know Anna S gets them in England. They make a peppermint variety that's to die for. Thick Belgian chocolate around really creamy peppermint ice cream. OOOOOOH!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Kirsten, the dessert selection sounds great! Yum!

The really tragic thing about my mousse was that after all that boasting about it being a failsafe recipe, I got too impatient cooking it and it curdled. Whaaaaaah! Pride goeth before a fall!

Bronwyn said...

You can NEVER go wrong with anything chocolatey!

My mum is a chef by trade yet her fave and easiest dessert is apple crumble (yep with canned apples and crumble on the top. No pastry) which we all gobble up because it is good. I had a dinner for her birthday and bought the biggest deep dish apple and blueberry pie I'd ever seen from a local bakery. It was sooooo worth it. Best I have ever had hands down. And the pastry was the homemade kind you'd be happy to sit and eat all day as is! But my fave is lemon meringue. My dad doesn't eat much sugar so his are always with fresh lemons off the tree and sour to boot. The best way to eat it is when it bites back!!

All this delightful dessert talk is making me so hungry! Good thing I have drumsticks in the freezer for tonight. Taking the easy way out is my personal favourite dessert to do =)

Bron.

Laurie said...

Chocolate mousse is never the wrong choice!

I adore dark chocolate, anything with strawberries (we have those strawberry festivals too :) ) including chocolate covered strawberries, strawberries and cream, strawberry pie, strawberries over homemade vanilla icecream.

Every year at Christmas I get requests for my fudge, does that count? And I love making cookies.

My mom makes awesome frosted brownies that were the hit of every bake sale we ever participated in, baked apples, and creamy rice pudding with cinnamon and raisins. Yum!

Best dessert ever? I don't think I've ever met a dessert I didn't like but the best would have to be... my mom's homemade peach pie with my dad's homemade vanilla icecream. Or it could just be the memories of picking fresh peaches off the tree in our backyard and the neighbors coming over to make pies while the icecream was churning.

I just gained five pounds from this post!!

Serena said...

hi Anna,
How can anyone hate strawberries?? I could live on them!!

What a great topic. Desserts? Oh wow. Love them, though I only make them for special occasions. And can make a few mean ones, if I do say so myself: Dreamy Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake (a baked cheesecake with raisins and chocolate swirled through - on a chocolate biscuit base). YUM! Peppermint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake (like Kirsten said, you can't go wrong with ice cream! This is ice cream between cake - chocolate cake for the peppermint though and you can make many variations on that theme. And ice cream is low(ish) GI :)

And how can you ever go wrong with chocolate anything let alone chocolate mousse! I might have to go and whip us up some of that.

Hugs
Serena
xoxox

PinkPeony said...

Okay, Anna, after reading this post, I'm practically sitting on my hands so I won't dive for the pantry and whip up some chocolate cream cheese brownies! That tiramisu pic is yummy and it's a great dessert for company. The Williams-Sonoma website has a wonderful recipe for tiramisu.

For the past twenty-five years, I've tried to replicate a dessert my mom made once. Her recipe book burned in a car fire years ago. It was a frozen dessert terrine layered with pineapple and coconut ice creams between layers of a rich pound cake with chopped mac nuts on a cream cheese frosting. I know it may not sound good but man, it was delicious. Maybe my "taste" memories are off kilter. Maybe I need to soak the cake with simple syrup. I'm still trying! Cheesecake is great too cause it's a great canvas for lots of different toppings!
Congrats on the GR, Kirsten.

Christine Wells said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! That chocolate mousse was DIVINE! Go the mousse!

Fo, I had just resigned myself to grim reality and now you remind me of that blissful weekend at your house. I wanna come baaack!! Anna is such a great hostess, her guests never want to leave!

I have a foolproof recipe for rich chocolate cake that I always pull out when I'm pressed for time. Team it with double cream and it's a great dessert and you don't have to leave your guests while you make it.

Donna MacMeans said...

Yay Kirsten - Congrats on the rooster!

I love desserts - a bit too much, I'm afraid. My dh and I belong to a group that visits each others house every other months for an organized sort of potluck. I'm always told to bring the dessert - mainly because my desserts ALWAYS contain alcohol. Last month I made a rich flourless chocolate cake with rum. I make a fuzzy navel cake in the fall with enough peach schnapps to give you a buzz, and a pecan pie for the holidays with just enough bourbon to make it addictive.

My son has requested a home made carrot cake for his birthday this weekend. I'm delegating the cake to my pastry chef daughter - no alcohol in the carrot cake, but it's yummy with the cream cheese frosting. Can't wait.

Becke Davis said...

Oh lord, I've gained ten pounds just looking at that array of mini-desserts. If it has whipped cream on it, I want it!! Those pictures look good enough to eat. Must . . . have . . . will power. Although I will admit I picked up a couple of Cadbury eggs at the grocery store today. Totally cancelled out the treadmill time.

Anna Campbell said...

Bronwyn, I must admit I went and raided the chocolate store when I finished writing this post. I'm still kicking myself for curdling that mousse - I got impatient and didn't cool the melted chocolate sufficiently before I put it in with the cream and the eggs. Also, I've decided good old Club chocolate is better for mousse than expensive Lindt. Lindt has too much fat in it, I think - definitely the texture wasn't right even before I put it all together to such disastrous results.

Anna Campbell said...

Bronywn, meant to congratulate you on getting a story into the Little Gems Anthology.

Every year, Romance Writers of Australia runs a short story contest and the top 16 stories get published in a book. Yay, Bronwyn! I think writing a good short story is such a difficult skill to learn.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, yum! Laurie, now I'm even hungrier! Although I can't say the strawberries thrill me, but the description of that fresh peach pie is absolutely mouthwatering. I've never had a peach pie. I do however remember a great big old-fashioned English-style hotel at Mount Tamborine behind the Gold Coast that used to do a traditional Sunday lunch. They made the most magnificent apricot pie with homemade custard. Oh, food of the gods! The hotel was really cool - they actually had their own waterfall! Not even sure if it's still there anymore.

Anna Campbell said...

OK, Serena, so when am I coming for dinner? Actually forget dinner! Let's just do dessert. Love the sound of those ice-cream cakes. Laughed at your strawberry love - people react with utter shock when I tell them I don't like strawberries.

Anna Campbell said...

Jen, I know what a fabulous cook you are so I had a feeling you might weigh in (no pun intended!) on this topic. I agree with you about tiramisu - would you believe the first time I ever ate that I was in Venice? Maybe that's why I love it so much. I used to call that fail-proof too but one time I made it, I used an automatic mixer rather than a handheld one and it turned the creamy cheese into butter. Very expensive mistake to make!

Anna Campbell said...

Christine, was it edible? I thought you were just being nice so I ended up throwing away the second serving. Wish I'd known! Christine, those easy recipes are just wonderful, aren't they? That chocolate cake sounds good. Who am I kidding? Just the words 'chocolate' and 'cake' and you've got me! Didn't we have a fun weekend? Actually the weather ever since has been absolutely awful so we timed it to perfection. We'll have to plan another one when the stars align.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Donna, once I'm finished at Serena's place, I'm heading over to visit you. All that alcohol and desert stuff? Yum. Hic. Yum! Actually it's amazing how a bit of alcohol can lift a dessert, isn't it? Either applied to the dessert itself or to the eaters! LOL. Must say I'm not crazy on carrot cake. Always makes me think I'm eating fingernail clippings.

Anna Campbell said...

Becke, can't go past a creme egg! ;-) I had a lot of fun putting this post together. Came up with the title first - perhaps because I was contemplating inflicting my cooking on Christine and Denise!

Virginia said...

Oh man who doesn't love desserts, love them! It seem I am always chosen to make desserts. You can't go wrong with anything chocolate! Then again around here banana pudding always goes well. I love a good Strawberry short cake! There is just not many desserts I don't like.

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Oh, Anna, you do know the way to my heart! I've been trying to wangle your chocolate slice recipe for years now, but I am just as happy for you to bake it for me. At least you've given me your fab choc mousse recipe, which has worked time and time again.

I work near a most glorious bakery called Sweet Infinity. Apparently Russell Crowe is a frequent visitor too, but I go there every day for their brownies, choc ganache hearts, strawberry (!!!) tarts and I never bump into him. Mind you, I'm more interested in the desserts than RC.

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, I must say anything with bananas in it, I really like. I think it takes me back to my childhood where banana pudding was such a treat. You know, I didn't really think anyone would react with horror to the idea of dessert ;-) In fact, I look forward to a Harlequin called The King of the Dessert's Overweight Virgin!

Anna Campbell said...

Vanessa, RC used to live down the road from me in the Woolloomooloo pier. Or at least that's what I was always told. I never saw him there either! I think he's an urban myth and he doesn't live or shop anywhere at all! Love the sound of your bakery. How come we haven't gone there? You're mad coz I won't share the chocolate slice recipe, aren't you? Snork!

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Next time you visit the old 'hood, Anna, I'll take you to Sweet Infinity. Doesn't that sound romantic?

Tawny said...

Oh baby. I'm going to have to post later. I'm having a nirvana moment right now just staring at all the dessert photos in this blog. That pie, or cheesecake, or whatever? Its starring in it's very own private fantasy.

Excuse me.

Serena said...

Oh Anna, you can come to dinner any time! You might have to fight Josie for the peppermint ice cream cake, but I'm sure she'll share.

And like Donna, I too am renown for my alcohol-laden cakes. (Try the Italian liqueur, Strega in a lemon sponge. YUM!) One of the lines coined about my cakes: "Honestly officer, I only had one piece of cake!"

BTW Anna, I leave you with one word: Brunetti's!

Huge hugs
Serena

Jane said...

The second pic looks like the dessert tray at P.F. Chang's. I've tried their Tirasmisu and it was delicious. Whenever we have a party we usually just make a cheesecake or have our friend make a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

Congrats on the GR, Kirsten.

Helen said...

Well done kirsten have fun with him

Anna
My mouth is watering really I love chocolate mousse actually I love deserts. As you don't like strawberries (I love them ) I cannot stand mangos so as long as the desert doesn't have any mango in it I will eat it.
My Mum was very good at deserts but the old fashioned kind baked custard rice custard her apple pie was to die for such beautiful shortcrust pastry.
I make a really nice apple sponge yes my Mum taught me how to make it. It is yummy served hot with cream or ice cream and I make a great caramel biscuit slice which goes down really well in my house.

Have Fun
Helen

Bronwyn said...

Ha, ha thanks Anna =) I'm very chuffed about it all. Last year I only missed out by three so this year I was even more determined and you're right about those short stories, they are hard to do! As to chocolate mousse... The only kind I've ever made came straight from a packet. You add milk and then use the wizzy stick to blend till moussey (whoa the english is going great-guns tonight). You should be cooking for us when you come to Adelaide. Sounds better than anything else I've heard of so far!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I am not a big dessert person, but I do love chocolate in just about any form, I am allergic to strawberries and you would be surprised at how many desserts involve strawberries. The family dessert that was most requested was my mother's German Chocolate cake.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Anna, with a name like Kandy I was born to have a sweet tooth!
I was at a TV shoot today to promote my "day job" magazine and I can assure you three layers of chocolate almond meringue joined with orange cream and topped with glace oranges (homemade, so more like caramelized), mini chocolate Easter eggs and dark chocolate curls is a fabulous Easter dessert! Yum!
Have you tried chocolate mousse made with Toblerone? Yum again!
OMG, how am I going to lose weight before Nashville?? I have made the fatal mistake of buying a dress I need to lose a few pounds for it to fit really well...

Robyn E said...

I think my ass expanded just reading that post. lol
I love good old tiramisu. And, out of interest, the one they sell at woolies by bonvita is AWESOME. I have this fantasy where i buy ten packets and just fill a big bowl with it, get me a spoon and...well, you know the rest.

Marisa O'Neill said...

Anna - we were separated at birth. I hate strawberries - yikes, keep them far away from me. And as for chocolate mousse - well, bring it on every day of the year after every meal and I'd be delightfully happy.

Speaking of strawberries;I love a good desert but I'm afraid that I hate cooked fruit. I mean fruit was meant to be eaten cold. So if a fruit has been any where near an open flame, well count me out. Unfortunately many times after a particularly great meal people try to get me to eat cooked fruit. They think it's a desert. I mean they try to disguise it in the form of pies, turnovers, danishes and the like. But I'm never fooled. Inside those beautiful puffed pastries and flaky golden brown crusts lie fruit that has been near an open flame! However I always say yes to anything chocolate. Except when people try to marry chocolate to a cooked fruit. Sacrilege! And yes, my two very favorite deserts happen to be chocolate mousse and chocolate chocolate chip ice cream. Hmmm... I feel a craving coming on; it's early morning here, but some where in the world it's dinner time. So perhaps I'll have to forgo the oatmeal this morning and grab me some chocolate.

Susan Sey said...

Kirsten, you are a girl after my own heart. ice cream forever!!!

Wonderful topic today, Anna! I have meet a few people who dismiss dessert. They always say something like, "Oh I just don't care for sweets."

And I'm always like, "Um, what?" I just don't understand that. I'd eat ice cream for dinner every single night if I could.

As for my very favorite dessert every, I have to say it's cookies with ice cream. I eat 'em like chips & salsa. Always vanilla ice cream, usually chocolate chip cookies but a really spicy gingersnap is always welcome.

Christie Kelley said...

Stressed is Dessert spelled backwards almost made me spew my coffee this morning.

Anna, I used to have a recipe for a chocolate mousse pie that was so decadent you could only eat a very small piece. It was a recipe from a restaurant in Virginia. Unfortunately, I lost that recipe in one of my many moves, but that was the best chocolate dessert I'd ever had.

But in my family, the usual dessert is ice cream. Every now and then, I'll bake something special like a fruit tart but not often.

Deb said...

What a delish post today, Anna! One can never go wrong with chocolate!

My fave dessert of the non-chocolate variety is my mom's cherry pie--dark cherries from her cherry tree and her melt-in-the-mouth pastry. Her peach pies are fab, too. (One year she threw in some black raspberries with the peaches--mmmm.)

It's fun to make an ice cream dessert in the summer with Oreos, fudge sauce, caramel, and peanuts.

Carrot cake is yummy. Ever had Caramel or Chocolate Poke cake? (Poke holes in yellow or chocolate cake when cooled, pour in sweet condensed milk, and then pour either caramel or chocolate fudge topping over the top of the cake. Can add Cool Whip.) Whew, rich city!

limecello said...

I am a dessert fiend. I guess this is a safe post for me to confess... I'll go crazy. I made strawberry thumbprint cookies with the sugar cookie mix I got in my Bandita prize pack [thanks!] - and yesterday I had whipped cream, and sweetened it this time... and then dropped a few cookies in it. Cookies and cream and death by sugar. It was amazing, indulgent, and something like 50 million calories.
I love making whipped cream or meringue by hand. Chocolate mousse naturally follows since I love making ganache as well. I haven't perfected cheesecake, sadly...
The best dessert I've had? Well some restaurant week places were amazing... I do love cake. Panna cotta is good -and... I'm a huge fan of creme brulee. I really can't pick one. Ice creams, sorbets, gelato... Jeni's Ice Cream in Columbus used to have this strawberry marscapone ice cream - seriously. One of the best things I've ever eaten. And Argentinian Gelato at Dolce Zza in DC ... I'd go back to Georgetown just for that. :D

MsHellion said...

Chocolate Mousse is never the wrong choice. I'm more an ice cream fiend. And a caramel fiend. My favorite ice cream (currently) is Breyer's Triple Chocolate. There is a layer of sweet angelic white chocolate, a layer of boy-next-door milk chocolate, and a layer of bad boy with a motorcycle dark chocolate. Orgasm in a bowl.

I love making cupcakes right now. I have a box of cake mix right now to make some strawberry cupcakes because I thought they'd taste springy. (I was going to make them for my birthday, but people insisted on making cake for me and they wanted a different flavor so I haven't got to make my real cupcakes yet. The other cupcakes were good, mind, but not strawberry cupcakes. *LOL*)

I also love making rum cake; and this chocolate truffle cake. Apparently I like making cake...

Nancy said...

Wow, Kirsten! You get the rooster!

Anna, I love desserts. This is why I have weight issues. And no, chocolate mousse is NEVER wrong!

We go out on our birthdays, to the restaurant of the birthday person's choice. I always choose a local Italian place that serves tiramisu as big as my face. Seriously. If you take the area between my bangs (fringes for some of us *g*) and my chin and between the outer edges of my cheekbones, that's how big the tiramisu is.

And I don't share. I told the dh when we were married, "I'll share almost anything with you--but not dessert. Usually."

I seriously love hot fudge sundaes, but it's hard now to find places that serve real hot fudge, as opposed to chocolate sauce. I used to get a hot fudge sundae made with banana ice cream at one of the ice cream chains, but the last time I tried there, it was chocolate sauce masquerading as hot fudge. Not the same. :-(

A little place near us sells soft-serve ice cream, and I love to get a vanilla cone with a butterscotch dip. Mmmm.

However, all this has its consequences, especially when coupled with prolonged non-attendance at the gym. One of the current results is extremely limited wardrobe choices. So I've sworn off all of the above until I shrink back into my favorite clothes. I have one--exactly one, and I get someone else to remove it from the bag--midget Reese's cup for dessert at night. I'm in Day 6 of healthier eating, and if I make it to Friday without lapsing AND get myself to the gym before Friday dinner, I get dessert.

Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. Talk about incentive!

Margay said...

I just want you to know that I gained five pounds by reading this post. As for my favorite dessert, I love cheesecake - plain, chocolate, topped with fruit, I just love it.
Margay

MsHellion said...

P.S. I would LOVE to gatecrash one of your parties and have roast chicken, roast potatoes, and chocolate mousse.

Gannon Carr said...

OMG! I think I just gained 10 pounds reading this post and looking at the pictures.

I love dessert, but I don't make it on a regular basis--that would be dangerous. We usually have ice cream in the house--who doesn't like ice cream--but I try to limit myself.

Anything chocolate is perfect, of course. Your chocolate mousse sounds divine, Anna! My grandmother used to make a chocolate pie that was to die for. I do most of my baking around the holidays. My kids always request my double layer pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving (graham cracker crust w/ a layer of cream cheese). I love to make peach cobbler anytime. A couple of weeks ago I had made a blueberry cobbler--yummy! My hubby's favorite is coconut cream pie, and he'll tell you that I don't make it often enough. ;)

My MIL used to make Hummingbird Cake, which is amazing. I've made it a couple of times, too. It's a spice cake with nuts, pineapple and bananas and a fantastic cream cheese frosting. I think I just gained another pound thinking about it! *g*

Several years ago, when we were in Scotland, I had sticky toffee pudding for dessert, and it was one of the best desserts ever. To quote my sister, "totally orgasmic!" I searched the internet last year for a recipe and made some for Christmas. Ohhhhh! Just gained 5 more pounds! LOL

Julia Smith said...

'Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!' - already loving this post

'I'll tell you just where I hid the secret map with the microfilm if you don't make me eat the strawberries! Don't torture me anymore, you fruit Nazi!' - LOL!

'until my guests are screaming with horror at the idea of yet another tiramisu. Actually to be 100% honest, I've never actually had that happen but I'm sure it could.' - Stop! Stop! I'm crying now...

I love chocolate and would never consider a box of them for dessert as anything but heavenly. Besides chocolate, cherry pie is yum yum. I won't tell you that I adore strawberry rhubarb pie, because you might hit me *ducking*

Kim in Hawaii said...

Chocolate Mousse is never wrong.

In fact, why waste calories on anything but chocolate?.

When I lived near Aachen, Germany, we drove @ 1 hour to Brussels to have lunch or dinner. It was a commonly understood that one should consider dessert first as one does not know what will happen by the end of the meal (fabulous food but crazy drivers).

I enjoy serving Tiramisu as it reminds me of my Italian boss when I worked for NATO.

jo robertson said...

OMG, Anna, my favorite topic -- DESSERTS!!! Can't get enough of them and have no compunction about substituting a dessert for the traditional breakfast fare.

Terribly unhealthy, of course, but I console myself by diligently brushing my teeth afterward.

Yay, Kirsten, another Bandita scoops the prize! Hmmm, maybe the rooster will bring a nice chocolate dessert with him.

What also works, Nara, is any of those delicious Girl Scout cookies crumbled up in vanilla ice cream!

jo robertson said...

Can't believe you don't like strawberries, Anna! I tend to think people who don't like strawberries have never had a really good, juicy SWEET one, but if you've grown up near strawberries, that's not likely.

I hated strawberries as a child and finally figured it was because my mother always bought them off season -- yuck! We have a long growing season for strawberries here in California, about late March to late October. Can't wait!

jo robertson said...

Here's a great recipe that my daughters like to serve because it's so easy. Even the kiddies can make it.

MOCK CHOCOLATE ECLAIR

2 wrapped packages graham cracters

2 (4 oz servings) vanilla instant pudding mix

3 cups milk

1/2 container whipped topping, thawed

CHOCOLATE TOPPING

1/4 cup cocoa
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 TB vanilla
1 TB margarine

Layer the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with one third of the graham crackers (break them as need to fit in pan). Mix pudding mix and milk until thickened; let stand a few minutes. Fold in the whipped topping. Spread half of the pudding mixture over the graham crackers. Repeat layers, ending with graham crackers. Spread with chocolate topping.

CHOCOLATE TOPPING

Combine cocoa, sugar and milk in saucepan. Bring to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla and margarine. Cool slightly and pour over the top layer of graham crackers. Refrigerate dessert until ready to serve (can be made the night before).

15 SERVINGS.

Dianna Love said...

I should have known better than to stop by today - 3000 calories? I think that's way underestimated. ;)

I love those new trays of mini-desserts. Those are the best. I make things like creme brulee sometimes, but my husband does all the cooking so it's rare when I start making things. I do make his favorite - banana pudding - from scratch during the year.

My favorite are things that aren't real sweet like pumpkin pie and pound cake.

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew said...

I might as well just spread chocolate frosting on my meaty thighs right now, 3000 calories in this post? *running for the exercise bike* First, I need to take the laundry off it and dust the cobwebs.

You can never go wrong with chocolate in anything. But I don't like Chocolate ice cream, go figure.

Best dessert? I had a Skor cheesecake once in a restaurant,(drizzled with Chocolate of course) I thought they were going to ask me to leave for all the moaning and groaning I was doing.

Minna said...

I love anything that contains chocolate!

Aaron Carter on Lizzie McGuire - I Want Candy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt1HmuXw08E

denise said...

You can never go wrong with brownies.

Anna Campbell said...

V, you have a deal! Now, where's the Virgin Blue website? ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Ha ha, Tawny! You and your fantasies! Is it that dribble of chocolate sauce over the top? As you can imagine, looking for illustrations for this blog was HUGE fun. And I use the word 'huge' advisedly ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Serena, ah, Brunetti's! Wanders off into a sugar-laden fantasy. Last time I saw Serena, she took Annie West and me to this wonderful Italian cake shop in Carlton in Melbourne called Brunetti's. This place has acres of glass cases all full of amazing Italian cakes. Needless to say, we were there for hours. And the coffee is fabulous too. I thought I'd died (clearly of a heart attack!) and gone to heaven. And you're on for din dins - and if that Josie thinks she's getting all the peppermint ice-cream cake, she's got another think coming!

Anna Campbell said...

Jane, so you know where I can track down that dessert tray? Thank you! Actually I had a dream about my mum's cheesecake last night - which is funny as I didn't particularly like it. It was basically philly cheese with lemon juice in a biscuit crumb base. Always too sharp in flavour for me. Cold and stuck your teeth together too. But I must say I do like a baked cheesecake which I think most of your American ones are, aren't they?

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Helen, the apple cake and the caramel biscuit slice sound heavenly. Yum! Actually baked rice pud is a fabulous dessert. Another one I haven't made for ages but which was always a hit was whisky bread and butter pudding. Yum too. Isn't it funny about mangoes? I absolutely love them - mind you, I'm a Queenslander. It's kinda in the code that you love mangoes. I had a Canadian friend at university who hated them with a passion. Even the smell made her feel sick. Which was rather hard in Queensland in summer when the trees everywhere are laden with ripening fruit. I think she didn't grow up with them so never really got the taste.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Bronwyn, I'm expecting to be treated like a delicate little glass dish when I come to Adelaide. You know, you fill me up with good things and you approach me with care and I just get carried from place to place ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, what does a German chocolate cake involve? Actually my mum was a great cake maker - I can't make them for quids although I'm pretty good on biscuits/cookies. Mum made a beautiful sponge that could float away, it was so light. Hey, looks like we'll be sitting together on the no strawberry table. The other thing about strawberries is that people persist in bringing them as a nice present. Sigh. Nice thought, but...

PJ said...

Anna, I've been trying so hard to be good and you've gone and tossed me right off the wagon! How could I not have dessert after reading that delicious post? ;-)

Chocolate mousse is always the right choice. I make it with Kahlua and would have no problem whatsoever eating the entire thing by myself.

The best dessert I've ever had would have to be the tiramisu at Vito's, a small neighborhood ristorante in Rome. Apparently, I was quite vocal in my appreciation of the confection (as in When Harry Met Sally). I didn't realize I was making noises until I noticed that the friend I was dining with had stopped eating her dessert and was watching me with her mouth hanging open. What can I say? It was really good! Btw, the tiramisu sold out that night. *g*

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, I've seen those pictures in your mag and they're evil, I tell you, EVIL!!! That cake sounds absolutely delicious. Actually I don't think I've ever met a writer who doesn't like chocolate. It's tragic, isn't it? This lifestyle is hard enough on our figures anyway without us seeking out the choc cupboard!

Anna Campbell said...

Robyn, how interesting about the bought tiramisu being good. I've never actually got one from a supermarket. Must try it. Hold on, must NOT try it! Actually bought chocolate mousses are pretty good too but I've never had one that was as rich as a good homemade one.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Marisa, how absolutely lovely to see you! I know how busy you've been lately. You know, we still miss RNTV. You girls really did something special with that site.

Hey, the non-strawberry table is turning into the place to be! Laughed at your horror of cooked fruit - it's like my hatred for Woody Allen movies. You can disguise them all you like, you can tell me it's not really like a Woody Allen movie, but I know under that pastry, it's a Woody Allen movie. No fooling me! Chocolate chocolate chip ice cream? I'm coming over for breakfast, hon!

Gannon Carr said...

I didn't realize I was making noises until I noticed that the friend I was dining with had stopped eating her dessert and was watching me with her mouth hanging open. What can I say? It was really good! Btw, the tiramisu sold out that night. *g*

LMAO, PJ! I've been known to make noises like that myself with dessert a few times. *g*

Anna Campbell said...

Susan, I have exactly the same reaction when people say they don't eat sweets. Huh? What alien planet did these beings spring from? Surely not from good old planet Earth! Ooh, ice cream and cookies. That sounds both easy and delicious. I must give it a go. Actually around the time I left Sydney five years ago, there was a huge fashion for Italian gelaterias with handmade ice cream. The ice cream was expensive but man, was it good! And they had all those wonderful flavours I remember from visiting Italy, you know, stracciatella and pistachio. Yum! Oh, dear, I've just had cookies for breakfast. I can see me having ice-cream for lunch at this rate!

Anna Campbell said...

Christie, a chocolate mousse cake? How decadent! How delightful. Actually I cut a great recipe out of a mag for a chocolate cream pie that's basically chocolate mousse in a biscuit crust. Oh, man, is that fabulous! Haven't made it for years. Was always a hit when I did. Actually I think the best chocolate dessert I ever had was one my mum made with Tia Maria and cream and melted chocolate on a biscuit base. Sadly, she lost that recipe too! But this was heaven on a stick, seriously!

Anna Campbell said...

Deb, that cherry pie sounds fabulous. Did anyone else watch Twin Peaks? Dam' fine cherry pie! You American girls sure know how to party when it comes to desserts! Still not convinced on the carrot cake. Sorry!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Lime, why do I feel this post was just made for you? Snork! Wow, those desserts sound fabulous. I've never made meringue by hand although I have made macaroons and it's very similar. I love creme brulee and back in my serious cooking days, I made it a few times. It's a heart attack waiting to happen, though, isn't it? All that full cream! But what a way to go! I must admit I tend to order it when I go out.

Anna Campbell said...

Hello, my name is Hellion and I'm a cake addict! ;-) Hellion, if ever you need a taster, I'll come round quick smart. I used to love licking the bowl when my mum made cakes. As I said, sadly, cakes and I do not mix. They always coming out looking like a weird modern sculpture and burnt on the outside and wet in the middle. Sigh. Although I really don't need to start baking cakes. I really don't!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, good luck with the fitting into the clothes. You're so impressive - I remember cheering you on (very much from the sidelines) when you did that post on Trish's healthy writer blog. Then I went and had a Belgian chocolate. Snork! Love the sound of that Tiramisu! Wow, as big as your face? That's fabulous!

Anna Campbell said...

Margay, I think we're all putting on weight. And the extra sugar isn't doing a lot for the decorum of the cabana boys' behavior either, believe me!

Anna Campbell said...

Helly, wouldn't we all have a ball? Actually this is a great house for parties and visitors.

Anna Campbell said...

Gannon, I think I should have called this post The Mousse Trap! We all seem to be addicted to our desserts, don't we? Oh, I love that list you provided. What's a cobbler? Is it like a crumble? Coconut cream pie always makes me think of Gilligan's Island. I wonder how they got the other ingredients!

Anna Campbell said...

Julia, I have to say all this fat and sugar and good stuff have left me feeling VERY mellow. The only thing I'd hit you with is a jelly snake. Do you have those in America? They're kind of long and skinny and made of squishy sugary stuff. Hey, thanks for laughing at the jokes! Always laugh at someone laughing at my jokes - which sounds kinda odd now I read it! Actually I think rhubarb is a highly underrated ingredient (sorry, Marisa, but it's true!). But no, never with those awful red things that taste so sour!

Anna Campbell said...

Kim, on my next trip to Europe (hopefully next year), I'm going to Belgium. I've never been there. I tell people it's for Waterloo but REALLY it's for chocolate! I love that Belgian chocolate. Man, you've had an interesting life! I'm really looking forward to meeting you in Nashville. Perhaps we should confer over some hot chocolate! And some cold chocolate. Oh, and there's always lukewarm chocolate!

Anna Campbell said...

Yeah, I've ahd the "you just haven't had a good one" talk ever since I was a little girl. Seriously, growing up in Redland Bay, it was like high treason not liking the horrible little things. I even weakened to stage of swallowing small ones because they'd go down without me having to bite into them. And then I realized what was the point? Snork! Hey, Jo, I'm noticing that we're all dessert fiends here. Isn't it fun?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Jo, love the recipe! Wonder who's going to try it.

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, another banana pudding fan! Yay! I love those tasting plates too - love them for starters which we call entrees here in Oz too. By the way, I always get completely confused when I eat out in the US - an entree for you guys is a main course for us. Have you noticed with entrees (Oz) and desserts, there's always about four things you really, REALLY want? And the taster plate lets you sample a few different things. Yum!

Anna Campbell said...

Drew, laughed at the moaning and groaning. Now I'm not thinking Gilligan's Island, I'm thinking When Harry Met Sally! Wow, I've never met anyone who doesn't like chocolate ice cream. I think it's food of the gods - which is great as it means there's all the more for me. Except I think some of the other girlies might come in and fight me! Ice cream scoops at 20 paces!

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, chocolate seems to be the flavour of choice. Very good choice, I think!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Denise, brownies! The first time I heard about brownies was on My Favorite Martian. The landlady used to make them all the time. They weren't really something people made in Australia when I was growing up - we had a very English selection of sweet treats. Many of which were fabulous, that's not a complaint. But now I've had brownies - yum!

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, they should pay you to eat tiramisu there EVERY night! Snort! I remember the first time I ate tiramisu. It was 1985 and I'd never tasted anything like it in my life. I bought it in a tiny little cafe on a side street off the Grand Canal in Venice and I just wandered off into heaven. It then of course became so fashionable - you remember the tiramisu line in Sleepless in Seattle where the guy who has been dating tells Tom Hanks he has to know what it is and TH thinks it's some sort of weird sexual practice! Glad I inspired you to go and eat something sweet. Why should I suffer alone? LOL!

Anna Campbell said...

Gannon, it's inescapable sometimes, isn't it? Like that orgasmic toffee pudding!

limecello said...

Anna - it's kind of ridiculous, I've never made creme brulee! I need to remedy that! Especially since I'm pretty sure we've got blow torches... :X

I've made macaroons too - aren't they fun? My dad really likes them, so I sometimes make them for him.

Heh! And yes, with or without snork, this really is "my" post :P Might as well have slapped my name on the title! :P

Anna Campbell said...

I used to make a lot of stuff that needed egg yolks, Lime. So the macaroons came in handy for the whites. They're so easy! I didn't have a blow torch. Had to try and get the burnt sugar in the grill and it never QUITE worked out right. Which never seemed to stop people noshing down on the final product!

Linda A. said...

Bugs...would those be shellfish of some kind? I'm a seafood lover too. We get some of the best in the world here in Nova Scotia.

Desserts - did I ever meet one I didn't like? There's a restaurant in Halifax that makes a Belgian Chocolate Torte that is absolute heaven - dark chocolate, not too sweet. I make a mean deep-dish apple pie, if I do say so myself, and pumpkin-maple custard is another favorite of mine. In the spring, rhubarb pie or rhubarb crumble. Oops, I think my jeans just got a little tighter.

Linda (AKA Jennie Marsland)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I'm practically in a diabetic coma after reading this post and all the comments!

Favorite dessert ever? One word: GELATO! But it must be in Italy. I've never yet tasted gelato anywhere else that want anywhere near as good as the stuff found everywhere in Italy... and heaven knows I've TRIED!

And Say it isn't so, Fo! You don't like strawberries?!?! I'll happily take yours. :-) But then, I don't like anything with a coffee flavor, so I'll pass on the tiramisu. I know, I know, sacrilege! That is also the only way I won't eat chocolate, if it has a coffee/mocha flavoring in it. :-P

Congrats on the chook, Kirsten! Maybe he'll share a lovely egg custard with you! LOL!

AC

PJ said...

AC, I'm with you on the gelato but, you're right. It must be in Italy! I've tried it many other places and nobody has yet been able to match the creamy consistency of the gelato in Italy.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Jennie, great to see you here igcognito! Actually we've talked abotu the great seafood in Nova Scotia. I've always wanted to visit there - I love wild, windswept landscapes and NS sounds pretty W and W! Oh, those desserts you mention sound delicious. It's not fair - now I just want to leave my computer and take off for a cafe in town and eat myself silly. And anyone who says that won't take long gets a jelly snake in their bed tonight!

Anna Campbell said...

Cindy, you don't like coffee flavour? I LOVE it. I love an espresso-flavored ice cream. Yum, yum, yum. I think the ice cream in Italy is so good because of the milk. The raw products really do come into play. I think that's why the chocolate in Switzerland is so good - all those fat cows producing VERY fat milk. However I will say that given a trip to Italy isn't on the cards on a regular basis, these gelato places in Sydney make an acceptable substitute.

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, it's that creaminess in the Italian gelato, isn't it? Why am I hungry?

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Anna Campbell said...
Dianna, what does a German chocolate cake involve? Actually my mum was a great cake maker

Anna, The chocolate used is actually called German chocolate, to me it is a cross between milk and semi sweet.
There are 4 eggs in the cake so you can imagine the richness. The whites are separated and whipped into a stiff peaks then folded into the batter.
The icing consists of butter, coconut, and chopped pecans. Personally, I don't care for coconut so I would scrape my icing off or worse, try to make the cake fall so I could have it.

Here is very close to the recipe my mother used, plus a picture of the cake.

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/original-bakers-germans-sweet-51120.aspx

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Dianna, that sounds amazing! And I like the idea of the semi sweet chocolate. No wonder the family goes wild for this! Thanks for putting up the info.

Nancy said...

Anna, thank you. Yeah, the tiramisu really is as big as my face. And seriously fabulous.

There used to be a restaurant here that made fabulous chocolate silk pie. When I developed gestational diabetes, I couldn't eat it. However--when Mark came home to check on the dog after the boy was born, he asked if I wanted him to bring anything back. I said yes, to go by that restaurant and please bring me a piece of chocolate silk pie.

The restaurant threw in a piece for him, too, and a gift certificate for dinner because we'd eaten there so much. (We remodeled our aged kitchen because it was in no way baby-safe, and the job took three weeks longer than expected--AFTER they ripped out everything.)

The restaurant closed, but I do remember that pie. Their caramel apple pie was pretty fabulous, too!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, yum, Nancy. Chocolate silk pie (which sounds like it might be a bit like the one I used to make) and caramel apple pie both sound fabulous. Actually I love a good tarte tatin - you know the French apple pie with the creme anglaise and the lattice top. YUM!!!! How nice that the restaurateur sent you that pie and that voucher. What a pity the restaurant ended up closing. Sounds like a great place.

Joan said...

I visit after wolfing down the only dessert I have...dark chocolate kisses!

Mousse is a must and actually, not super easy to make. You have to have the right conditions. I once created a chocolate mousse torte to enter in the State Fair. Dragged that puppy out in a well iced cooler through 95 degree weather THINKING I'd be able to refrigerate it before the contest...

Not!

So it sat out for over an hour before judging. It did not win because the judge said "It's too soft"....Yeah? (grumble)

No one has mentioned cheesecake. Especially a chocolate and caramel cheesecake. Yummo.

And I HEART Tiramisu!!!

Anna Campbell said...

JT, cheesecake was getting lotsa love earlier in the piece. And I was talking about how awful my mum's cheesecake was ;-) Oh, bummer about that mousse cake. It's so unfair when that stuff happens, isn't it? And there's no way you can rewind and do it all again, is there? Hope you enjoyed your chocolate kisses! I must say chocolate seems to be getting even more love than cheesecake in this blog!

Gannon Carr said...

Anna, yes, cobbler is like crumble. Very yummy!

I'll chime in here about gelato. It never tastes as good as it does IN Italy! I miss the real thing. :-(

Louisa Cornell said...

Goodness ! I come home from work to find the entire population of the Lair in a SUGAR COMA !! And that explains why the GR is bouncing off the walls. He's your problem tonight, Kirsten! Try some valium!

You had me at roasted potatoes, La Campbell !!

I must admit to being a bit jaded these days when it comes to dessert as I spend every work day dealing with nothing BUT desserts and bread!

The current favorite bakery creation with our customers is the Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Cheesecake. It is as rich and sinful as Richard Armitage on the half-shell !!

We're about to revamp for our Spring desserts which will be tarts and cheesecakes dressed up with strawberries or mixed fruits, oreo cookies or Reese's cups.

My Mom makes the most delicious divinity, but she only makes it at Christmas. She makes peanut butter balls for her grandchildren, but turns a deaf ear to her children when we ask for them!

My grandmother's chocolate pie - made completely from scratch from the old family recipe is the all-time favorite of the ENTIRE extended family. Mom is BEGGED to make it every year for the family reunion. That, along with her Japanese fruit cake and her Lane cake are TO DIE FOR !!

She used to make trifle from out next door neighbor in England's recipe, but now my brother has taken over the making of that one.

The one thing everyone asks me to make is my French silk pie - made from the traditional recipe passed down by the cooks at Judson College where I got my bachelor's degree. The recipe pre-dates the Civil War and OMG, it is heaven on earth, if I do say so myself.

Gannon Carr said...

Louisa, my grandmother used to make divinity. :-)

Suzanne Welsh said...

I am a sucker for a nice slice of chocolate cake with layers of chocolate butter cream icing....and a glass of cold milk.

IF that is unavailable, I'll take a thick chocolate brownie and milk.

If that is unavailable...hot apple pie with vanilla or cinnamon icecream.

IF that is unavailable...a nice thick slice of dulce de leche cheesecake with toffee chips and real whipped cream.

And after that anything with cobbler attached...bubbling hot and with ice cream.

Sigh...no, I don't like desert much! hehehe

Suzanne Welsh said...

And Anna, strawberries? Oh my dear, the things one can do with a nice cold, juicy strawberry...

oh, we were talking about deserts, weren't we?

Anna Campbell said...

Gannon, clearly I need to visit and clearly you need to cook for me ;-)

Marnee said...

Anna, these desserts killed me. I want every single thing I saw pictures. As soon as possible.

Favorite dessert? Anything with chocolate, particularly when paired with vanilla. Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Cheesecake of any sort. Warm brownies with ice cream. All of it. Yum....

And there's never a bad time for chocolate mousse.

Gannon Carr said...

Gannon, clearly I need to visit and clearly you need to cook for me ;-)

Anytime, Anna. :-)

Cassondra said...

STRESSED IS DESSERTS SPELLED BACKWARD!!!!

I never realized that before. How could I have missed this?

Oh, Fo, I'm such a sucker for anything sweet.

My favorite dessert is.....all of them.... :0(

These days, since I'm not allowed refined sugar (diet from hell) I have a glass of wine for dessert, or better yet, a glass of port when the cravings get overwhelming. Those pics of yours...Oh my LORD. You're in cahoots with the devil, aren't you.
And no, there is NOT a question mark at the end of that sentence.

Kirsten, congrats on the bird! YOu should trie strawberries and bananas on top of your vanilla. Yummm...

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, actually everybody in the lair is going to bed early. They've worn themselves out running around like loonies on sugar highs.

What's divinity? I suspect it's quite divine!

Love the sound of the pre-Civil War recipe. Oh, man, I just want to get into some form of transport - preferably an old Bentley chauffeured by Richard Armitage - and visit you all to try all these treats!

Anna Campbell said...

Suzanne, I can tell you're a woman with no interest in desserts at all. Snork! Those all sound absolutely delicious. And aren't you naughty with your strawberries!

Louisa, I have to tell you, my mum made the most wonderful sherry trifle!

Anna Campbell said...

Marnee, I've noticed a few of you have mentioned velvet cake. What's that? What's the red? Pink icing? I must say I've had quite a delicious day hearing about all these fabulous things I can eat. Even the things I don't recognize, like divinity and red velvet cake, sound delicious!

Anna Campbell said...

Ah, Cassondra, only you could manage to chide me with special puncuation ;-) And no, that's not question mark at the end of that one either. I've always had a terrifically sweet tooth. I remember when I visited France in 1985, I used to hang around the cake shops like I was a crack addict and they were my local drug dealer. Seriously, those French cake shops have to be seen to be believed. I remember in particular the shops in Angers in the Loire. That's where they make Cointreau. Guess what's in EVERYTHING they sell in their local cake shops. Oh, hubba hubba! And the pastry's so light, you can kid yourself it's not really fattening. Yeah, right! I was naive back then!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, nothing like a day talking about desserts to make a girl crave...DESSERT!!!! Thanks so much for a great day here. It's been huge fun. Glad you liked the stressed/desserts thing. Gave me a giggle when I found it too.

I think we can say today's blog has been the Mousse that Roared!

Yeah, I know, rodent puns. How many more can I come up with?

I suspect more than your RAT-ional person can!