Doing some entertaining this summer? Check out these little beauties. These are cornets filled with parmesan mousse, topped with tomato powder and finished with fried basil leaves.
For the parmesan mousse, it will only be as good as the parmesan that you start with. Please do not use the grated junk that comes in a bag. It’s only good for table tops in greasy pizza shops. You want Parmesan-Reggiano.
Parmesan-Reggiano is a hard cow’s milk cheese that originated sometime in the 13th Century and hasn’t changed much since. If you find it in at the local grocer and balk at the price, consider this: It takes twelve gallons of whole milk to produce one pound of Parmesan-Reggiano. When you taste the saltiness of the cheese, you taste Mediterranean sea salt, the only salt allowed to be used in production or the twelve to twenty four month aging process. It is such an honored product of Italy that the name is a protected designation of origin, much like Beaujolais wine in France. Less expensive imitations are labeled merely “Parmesan”.
Still think it’s too expensive? The Italian government didn’t think so last year during the recession. When world-wide consumption of Parmesan-Reggiano dropped and threatened the solvency of the families that produce it, the Italian government stepped in to help. Italy purchased 100,000 wheels of Parmesan-Reggiano and donated them to the poorest of their population. THAT is the kind of bailout I can get behind.
Here’s the recipe for Parmesan Mousse:
1 lb of Parmesan-Regianno
5 cups of Heavy Whipping Cream
-In a double boiler, slowly melt the cheese.
-Slowly add the heavy whipping cream, and stir until it has blended with the cheese.
-Run the cheese and cream mixture through a fine sieve and let it cool to room temperature.
-While the mixture is cooling, whip the remaining two cups of heavy cream until you get soft peaks.
-Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture.
-Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight before serving.
I served the mousse in a cornet, which is French for “trumpet”. I topped it with a sprinkle of tomato dust that I prepared in a dehydrator and finish the hors d’oeuvre with a tiny fried basil leaf.
This little guy has it all…nice presentation, varying textures and most importantly, it tastes great. Enjoy.