When I think about the next dish or recipe, I sometimes feel like a kid in a candy store, I want it all but can’t make up my mind what exactly I want. I find the decision process in fact harder than the actual cooking. So a typical picture would show me in a German grocery store pondering my options, restructuring my shopping list on the fly, probably ending up buying too much of this and that but overlooking the essential items.
After a hilarious photo shooting in our kitchen with a lot of smashed cherries on the floor and a notable thin layer of flour pretty much everywhere (more juicy details in a later post), I had to rush out to a close by supermarket, because all our fridge had to offer was a yawning void – why rush you think?
Well, Germany still has those ridiculous shop opening hours and Sunday was approaching fast. I was planning on shopping for basics only, but couldn’t for the life of it come up with an idea what to do with the butter, sugar, olive oil, curd, fruits or trash bags. Forget the trash bags. So I was ambling through the different isles hoping for that magic spark of inspiration to hit me. Something else hit me.
Have you ever wondered, what kind of people go shopping on a Saturday 30 minutes before the supermarkets close? Desperate people! Next to the pre-packed soups and sauces I had to stop and listen, because I couldn’t help but overhearing a conversation between a customer and a female shop assistants: He wanted to surprise his woman with beef olives, but didn’t have a clue how to make them and – so it seemed – about cooking in general. To my surprise the shop assistant began to describe in detail how she prepares them in simple steps – sweet, that’s what I call proper customer service. But when he interrupted her monologue with the remark: “But my wife hates onions!“, my countenance was gone, I failed to cover up my giggling any longer and headed for the next isle. And bumped into Justin, a friend who lives close by. Could it be shopping bag envy or why is it that both our eyes right away went for the other’s basket? Inspiration of course. We broke out in laughter noticing we’re both standing there still searching for ideas on what to cook. What a relief – I wasn’t the only one struggling!
To make a long story short, no inspirational spark hit me, at least not while shopping. Instead, we opted for a restaurant and enjoyed not having to cook. Sunday morning then on second sight, the groceries I walked home with the day before finally gave me the idea: Curd mousse with fresh fruits. The dairy product curd is quite common in Bavarian kitchens and depending on its amount of fat, is being used for different purposes, including a variety of desserts such as Topfenstrudel, Topfenpalatschinken etc. Being done in 10 minutes probably makes the curd mousse the quickest dessert I can pull from my sweet tooth repertoire, at least when neglecting the time to strain and chill the mousse. The strained curd cream not only makes a delicious and slightly tangy mousse, but a perfect companion for seasonal fruits or fruit purees. THE choice for upcoming hot summer days!
In a big bowl cream together curd, scrapped out vanilla seeds, lemon zest and sugar for 2 minutes or until (most) sugar crystals have dissolved.
Use a another bowl to whip the heavy cream until just stiff, then fold it carefully in the flavored curd cream.
The next step is the real clue of this recipe: Line a big fine mesh sieve (mine was ~15cm/6 inch in diameter) with a cheese cloth or muslin. I used stripes of a regular muslin bandage, which worked well. Put the sieve in a larger bowl, fill in the curd cream mix and use a spatula to make a smooth flat surface. Then place in the fridge to drain and chill for at least 6 hours or even overnight.
Flip the curd mousse on a plate, carefully remove muslin and decorate with fresh fruits or fruit puree. Or – using a wet tablespoon – cut off little pieces for individual servings.
Curd mousse with fresh fruits
Recipe source: own creation
Prep time: 10min., chilling: at least 6 hours
500g curd, quark (20% fat), may be substituted with unflavored yogurt
50g fine white sugar
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped out
zest of 1 untreated lemon
200g heavy cream, whipped
serve with fresh fruits or fruit puree