Welcome Back to Easy Desserts,
Well here we are with yet another year down, and this being the last blog post of 2017. I hope it’s not just me, but time is going by faster than ever. I do hope you have enjoyed making the desserts with me and learning about some of the histories behind them. It has been fun trying new things, learning with you too, and there are a lot of new things to look forward to in 2018.
As 2017 comes to a close, I wanted to make another fun champagne flavored dessert with you. As I looked through my recipes, I found my Black & White Parfait recipe and decided to fill SupaCute’s Joli cups with a cookie crumble and champagne mousse. As I looked for my cups I wondered, “Why do we celebrate with champagne?” So before we start creating let’s pop the cork and learn some history.
photo credit: Pinterest
Popping the cork and toasting with sparkling, fizzy champagne as the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve is a tradition in many households around the world. The bubbly, light-colored wine has historically been associated with luxury and the parties of the royal courts and aristocracy of Europe.
The history of Champagne has seen the wine evolve from being a pale, pinkish still wine to the sparkling wine now associated with the region. The Romans were the first to plant vineyards in this area of northeast France, with the region being cultivated by at least the 5th century, possibly earlier. When Hugh Capet was crowned King of France in 987 at the cathedral of Reims, located in the heart of the region, he started a tradition that brought successive monarchs to the region, with the local wine being on prominent display at the coronation banquets. The early wine of the Champagne region was a pale, pinkish wine made from Pinot noir.
The tradition of drinking champagne to mark celebrations originated in the royal courts of Europe prior to 16th century, where the expensive drink was viewed as a status symbol. Royalty loved the novelty of sparkling wine. It was said to have positive effects on women's beauty and man's wit.
Champagne was originally produced in England, where the technology for bottling and corking drinks containing carbon dioxide was developed in the latter part of the 1500s, according to "Wine Science: Principles and Applications".
In 1662, scientist Christopher Merret reported to the Royal Society of London that adding sugar "promoted effervescence," lending champagne its signature sparkle.
While the French preferred their Champagne to be pale and still, the British were developing a taste for the unique bubbly wine. The sparkling version of Champagne continued to grow in popularity, especially among the wealthy and royal. Following the death of Louis XIV of France in 1715, the court of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans made the sparkling version of Champagne a favorite among the French nobility. More winemakers attempted to make their wines sparkle deliberately, but didn't know enough about how to control the process or how to make wine bottles strong enough to withstand the pressure.
In the 19th century, these obstacles were overcome, and the modern Champagne wine industry took form. Advances by the house of Veuve Clicquot in the development of the méthode champenoise made the production of sparkling wine on a large scale profitable, and this period saw the founding of many of today's famous Champagne houses.
After the French Revolution, it became a part of the secular rituals that replaced formerly religious rituals. You could 'christen a ship' without a priest, for example, by using the 'holy water' of champagne. Today, it's often used to commemorate joyous occasions, from smashing bottles against a ship before its maiden voyage to throwing champagne glasses on the floor at weddings. In society, we want to mark both the joy and sanctity of the occasion. Champagne does this symbolically, but also visually, since it overflows in abundance and joy.
photo made by Dessert Girlie
Fun Champagne Facts:
photo credit: http://jamesbond.wikia.com
In the movie adaptations, James Bond drinks Champagne more than any other beverage, so much for having Martinis “shaken not stirred”.
photo credit: Pinterest
Actress Marilyn Monroe was known for taking a bath with 350 bottles of Champagne.
photo credit: http://expatmumma.com
The longest recorded flight of a Champagne cork is over 177 feet (54 meters).
photo credit: Pinterest
There are approximately 49 million bubbles in a standard sized bottle of Champagne.
Now that’s a lot of bubbles.
Champagne Fun Date:
It was no surprise to me to learn that …
December 31st is National Champagne Day
What You’ll Need:
1 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup and 1/8 cup granulated sugar; divided
1 1/3 cups champagne
1 packet unflavored gelatin
Oreo’s (without the filling), crushed
1 package of blackberries or a small bag you can find of frozen
Champagne Mousse Layer:
In a medium bowl, whisk the heavy cream with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.
Fill a saucepan 1/3 up with water and bring to a simmer, on a medium-high heat.
Combine the egg yolks and the 1/4 of a cup of sugar in a heatproof bowl. Whip until lightened in color then add the champagne. Mix till everything is well combined, then place the bowl over the simmering water.
Whisk the mixture constantly, since the champagne in the mix will fizz and foam. After a few minutes, the mixture will start to thicken. When it’s done it will have gotten thicker, gained in volume, and it will have lost its foaminess. Once this happened, remove from heat and whisk for another couple of minutes and set aside.
Dissolve the gelatin in 3 tablespoons of water. Heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds, just enough to heat the gelatin and help it thicken. After a few minutes, add the gelatin to the champagne mixture and mix well. Pull out the whipped cream and gently fold into the gelatin champagne.
I wanted to set the mousse on an angle again, but I wanted this one to have a steeper slant than the Italian Lemonade. You don’t have to, but I think it gives the finished product for a more exquisite appearance that will impress your guests on New Year’s Eve.
Blackberry Coulis Layer Part 1:
As you mousse sets, place 1/8 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of water in a saucepan and allow to simmer over medium heat
Place blackberries (set some of the blackberries aside to top the dessert with when finished) a food processor, slowly pour the sugar water of the berries and purée until smooth. Strain through a sieve to separate the seeds, pushing on the mixture with a rubber spatula. Set aside to cool.
Once cool, add a thin layer over the mousse. Don’t make it too thick since more of the coulis will be placed to the top of the dessert too.
Set the remaining coulis to the side.
(Please note: if you plan on using frozen fruit, simply defrost the fruit in the fridge overnight and discard some of the juice so that the coulis isn't too thin.)
Oreo Crumble Layer:
Twist the Oreo’s apart and remove the filling. Smash or use a food processor to make a crumble, then gently, spoon the crumble into the cups.
Blackberry Coulis Layer Part 2:
Divide and place the remaining coulis over the parfaits. Fill the cups leaving a couple inches from the top. Top with blackberries and place inside the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Enjoy these treats up to a week when covered or unless the dairy expires before.
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Until next time …
Have a blessed and safe New Year and see you in 2018!