A refreshing treatWhen I came across the shhh cooking secretly, I wanted to be a part of the group immediately. Firstly, because it would challenge me to cook with two complimentary ingredients or not so compatible ingredients. Secondly, it would give me the opportunity to get to know other food bloggers and become their blogging friends. Thirdly, it would give me the opportunity to go through my never ending jotted or bookmarked recipes. Its like you try out one and 2-3 get added! And lastly, which eventually we all want is an exposure of our blogs to the rest of the ever so competitive blogging world. I joined the group in July 2014 and have enjoyed being a part of it ever since. For a while no challenges were set as members were losing interest or had other priorities. The group has been revived and Priya Suresh's baby is slowly learning to walk. In order for this group to be active again we need more members to participate. Its a monthly challenge where each of us is allocated a partner. They give each other two secret ingredients to work with. To make it more interesting we have decided to add a theme to follow and the two secret ingredients are given accordingly. As soon as your recipe is ready, you can post a photo of your preparation without the recipe link. Members try and guess the ingredients. Some are easy, most are not. The reveal date is the end of the month. That's when you can link your recipe to the photo. Members come up with some very innovative recipes and try to hide their ingredients as much as they can. If you want to join this group, just leave your name,email address and Facebook url in the comments below.
For the month of February, the theme was Valentine. That means we had to work with the given ingredients keeping Valentine's Day in mind. My partner for this month was Priya Suresh of Priya's Versatile recipes.
She gave me strawberry and cream as my secret ingredients. Immediately strawberry mousse came to my mind. I've made a mousse which is both eggless and gelatin free. Its an easy to prepare recipe.The mousse doesn't look really pink in the photos as I didn't want to add any artificial coloring to it. Thank you Priya for the two very 'Valentine' ingredients.
1½ - 2 cups chopped strawberries
1 cup (200 ml) chilled whipping cream (fresh cream)
4- 6 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp agar agar flakes (2 tsp agar agar powder)
¼ cup water
For topping :
few chopped strawberries or chocolate shavings
- Soak agar agar in the water for 10 -15 minutes.
- Puree the strawberries in a blender.
- Whip cream and sugar together till it forms soft peaks.
- Put the whipped cream back in the fridge till required.
- Heat the water and agar agar mixture.
- Stir till the agar agar dissolves.
- Add it to the strawberry puree immediately and mix well.
- Add the puree to the whipped cream and fold it till its mixed.
- Spoon the mixture into 4 glasses or serving bowls.
- Chill the mousse for 4-6 hours.
- Top it with chopped /sliced strawberries, chocolate or both and serve.
- Keep all the ingredients ready before you dissolve the agar agar in the hot water. It sets very fast.
- If the agar agar mixture sets before you add it to the strawberry puree, just heat it up again.
- The amount of sugar required will depend on how sweet the strawberries are.
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