Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Edible Containers n Maple Mousse make me Curiouser and Curiouser! 1 year of being a Daring Baker

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at

It's been a year that I've been a part of this fabulous group of bakers... Curiouser is what I get on the 1st of every month when the challenge is unveiled by the Host/Hostess and Curiouser! on the 27th when everyone revealed their creations on their blogs.
I was introduced to this group by Deeba whose creations every month had me in awe... and encouraged by the really quick n accurate responses of Audax....
I knew my 1 year Daring Baker Anniversary would have lots of celebrations and had to have an element of magic, wonder and fun just like my 1 year as a daring baker....
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is one of my fav books as a kid... It's got everything magic, funny characters, different locales, wit, humour, crazy conversations... My favourite character from this book is the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar on a mushroom, the queen of hearts saying "Off with their head", the gardeners painting white roses, the pack of cards as soldiers and the MAD Tea Party. When I read this month's Daring Baker Challenge of creating Edible Containers filled with Maple Mousse.... I was inspired to have a Mad Tea Party.....

Alice becomes a guest at a "mad" tea party along with the March Hare, the Hatter, and a sleeping Dormouse who remains asleep for most of the chapter. The other characters give Alice many riddles and stories, including the famous 'Why is a raven like a writing desk?'. The Hatter reveals that they have tea all day because time has punished him by eternally standing still at 6 pm (tea time). Alice becomes insulted and tired of being bombarded with riddles and she leaves claiming that it was the stupidest tea party that she had ever been to.

There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and the talking over its head. `Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,' thought Alice; `only, as it's asleep, I suppose it doesn't mind.'
The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: `No room! No room!' they cried out when they saw Alice coming. `There's PLENTY of room!' said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.

`Have some wine,' the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.
Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. `I don't see any wine,' she remarked.
`There isn't any,' said the March Hare.
`You might just as well say,' added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, `that "I breathe when I sleep" is the same thing as "I sleep when I breathe"!'

A bright idea came into Alice's head. `Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out here?' she asked.
`Yes, that's it,' said the Hatter with a sigh: `it's always tea-time, and we've no time to wash the things between whiles.'
This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear: she got up in great disgust, and walked off; the Dormouse fell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took the least notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping that they would call after her: the last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.

`At any rate I'll never go THERE again!' said Alice as she picked her way through the wood. `It's the stupidest tea-party I ever was at in all my life!'
Just as she said this, she noticed that one of the trees had a door leading right into it. `That's very curious!' she thought. `But everything's curious today. I think I may as well go in at once.' And in she went.

The challenges put forth by this dynamic group have been a daunting task yet by the time I'm done... I've learnt a new technique, tried working with a new ingredient, the kitchen looks hit by a tornado, new props explored for pictures, made new friends and had loads of happy people arround me after eating the creations done for the Daring Baker Challenge. Most of my friends now look forward to the monthly challenge to get a bite of the yummy creations....

That's Leena aunty(my aunt's friend) who I had met as kid and had a blast at her farm in Hyderabad but became really thick during my cousin's wedding. She's an extremely warm person with a zillion watt smile which can handle even the most tense situations with ease. We were quite a giggly riot together despite being universally inverse when it comes to settling up stuff.... I'd be all over the place and she's happily be settling things up... Yupp... She's a Super Settler... just like my mom... :) Isn't she really pretty... Shared this Daring Baker challenge with her....

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¾ cup (165 g./5.5 oz) sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F/150 degrees C.
2. Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer beat for a few minutes until the whites become stiff. Now add the sugar, a little at a time, whisking until the mixture is stiff and glossy. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down and the mixture won’t fall out.
3. Place baking parchment on to a clean baking sheet. Using a spoon or a piping bag, dollop the meringue into circles that fit inside the rim of your edible cups. (See mine, I used metallic cookie cutters for shape, if you can pipe well, you can do this free form)
4. Put the tray in the oven, then immediately turn the oven down to 250 degrees F/130 degrees C. and bake for 45 minutes.
5. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool in the oven for a few hours.
6. Place meringues as decoration on your maple mousse which has already be spooned into your edible container.

Edible Containers
Spring Container
Collect the blossoms which you would like to use in your cup. You could use any of these edible flowers like Artichoke (flower bud), Chamomile (for tea), Chives (flowers or buds), Chrysanthemum (flower),Citrus blossoms (lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit), CloverDaisies (Bellis perennis quills),Dandelions(Taraxacum officinale leaves, roots, flowers, petals, buds),Daylilies (Hemerocallis buds, flowers, petals),Elderflower (blossoms for drink), HibiscusHoneysuckleJasmine (for tea), Lilac (salads), Moringa oleifera Nasturtium (blossoms and seeds), Osmanthus fragrans (flower), Pansies (Viola x Wittrockiana flowers, petals), Pot Marigolds (Calendula officinalis petals with white heel removed), Roses(Rosa petals with white heel removed, rose hips), Sesbania grandiflora (flower), Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus buds, petals, seeds), Violet ('leaf and flowers in salads, candied flowers for pastry decoration'),Zucchini blossoms (blossoms).

Stir in bloomed gelatin into water and add the blossoms and set in a bowl with a smaller container making a hollow in the bowl.

Jelly Container
Dissolve jelly/jello as per instructions on the box. (Since it's very warm in Delhi, I added a table spoon full of gelatin to the mix) add the fruits to jewel the jelly and let it set in the refrigerator with a smaller container creating a hollow in the cup for the mousse.

Chocolate Cups
Melt some chocolate in a double boiler till it's smooth. Leave it to cool a bit. Wrap a small bowl in cling film. Dip the cup straight side up to coat the outside of the bowl with melted chocolate. Shake of the excess gently. Invert the cups on a tray lined with butter paper/foil. Put the tray in a cool place till this chocolate layer sets. Give the cups a 2nd coat of chocolate and invert on the tray. Should store well upto 7 days if refrigerated.

Maple Mousse

Ingredients (I used 1/2 this quantity)
1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
4 large egg yolks
1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine
1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content)

1. Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle).
3. Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.
4. Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between) or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.
5. Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.
6. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
7. Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour.
8. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.

Unmould the edible containers... Chocolate, Jeweled Jelly and Springfield... Pipe the Mousse into them... Mine kept melting due to the heat in Delhi.... Sprinkle with confetti... pair with the meringues...

Party Time at 6pm
A few tips
Key elements which can be used for relating to the book's narrative... Rabbit hole, Golden key, Tiny door, Garden, Bottle marked DRINK ME, Cake marked EAT ME, Little cakes, Mushroom, Mad Hatter's Watch, Door in tree, Rose tree, Croquet ground and equipment, Letter and Pack of cards amongst many other things

You can go dressed up as any of the diverse characters like Alice, White Rabbit, Caterpillar, Duchess, Cheshire Cat, March Hare, Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, Mock Turtle, Gryphon, Dormouse, Three Gardeners, King of Hearts and Knave of Hearts would have you looking just out of the storybook....

Tea pot shaped invitations and put a tag saying 'Read Me'

Add mis-matched chairs around the table so the kids sit at different heights.

Make a sign that says "This Way, That Way and The Other Way" with large arrows pointing in different directions. Make the arrows swirly

Stuff a big doll into a smaller dollhouse.
Check out some more stuff at and


hailey said...

Wow! you are very talented and creative, i love how you worked Alice in Wonderland into your amazing desserts! :) fabulous work!

Bourbonnatrix said...

very cute execution of the challenge! love the alice quotes... makes me want to read it!

Renata said...

What an array of splendid creations! Amazing job on the challenge!

Anonymous said...

Wow! that is one amazing party and some wonderful creations..happy first daring baker anniversary

Not Quite Nigella said...

I love the Alice theme you have there-so clever! And congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! :D

Jane said...

What a lovely, lovely presentation! The whole tea party theme is delightful. Happy Anniversary and cheers to more great baking!

Catalina said...

I'm amazed at how many different containers you've made! My favourite one is the jelly container :)

cakewhiz said...

wow! that was very creative... great work on the challenge! and happy anniversary :)

Anonymous said...

That flower bowl is gorgeous and I love the shaped meringues. So creative!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Congratulations on a year of Daring baking! :)
The Tea Party is a wonderful theme for this challenge. And you've got so creative with edible flowers!

Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane said...

I LOVE how you've set out this post, it's so cute to read and really pretty presentation too, so cute! I like the cookie cutters, those are my favourite :) I did like Alice in Wonderland even though it freaked me out a little as I was about 7 when I first watched it, and the Cheshire cat's smile was scary. But now I love it :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nachiketa,

You hav an awesome blog. Need some suggestion from ur site. Besically i need to buy a microwave oven as my old one is not wrking. Can u suggest me a good one?plssssssssss.- Rajasree from Bangalore.

Nachiketa said...

A huge thank you to all you lovely people for the wishes.... :)
Loved being a part of the Daring Bakers...

Nachiketa said...

Hi! Rajasree,
Thanks :)
I use an old fashioned round electric oven for baking.
For a suggestions about ovens, you could read a few articles posted at There is one on
Types of Ovens,
Samsung CE1031L Convection Oven and a review of
LG Convection Microwave.

Hope that helps.

Happy Baking :)

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for all your help....


Torviewtoronto said...

delicious bakes and lovely post

Evelyne CulturEatz said...

What a fabulous post combining this challenge and a fabulous story indeed. Love your creativity! Evelyne

Anonymous said...

Hi nachiketa,

Thanks for ur help, besically i already hav an OTG, but need to buy a solo microwave oven. need help. Pls suggest somethng.- Rajasree from bangalore.