I’m going to show you the pic of this one right away, so that you can see what I’m talking about.
The first thing you notice, and the first thing the author suggests, is that you serve this on a $100 bill as a coaster. My Husband. Maybe. Otherwise….THAT ain’t happening. I wasn’t too sure why this one was rated so high in the difficulty scale at first…then I made the chocolate balls. Cute, but as my mother would say….puttsie. The recipe is a simple Moscato D ‘Asti Sabayon, pored over some cantaloupe balls, and served with Ladyfingers. And of course, the notorious chocolate ball décor. A sabayon only has 3 ingredients—the wine, egg yolks, and sugar. And here is where, (forgive me) I venture off course. This journey has led me to some emotional realizations, as of late. Like, for instance , what a phenomenal pastry chef my mother was, in her own right. As a child, I remember her making Eclairs and cream puffs (pate a choux), toffees, caramels, candies, custards, and baked goods of all types. For years she just had an old Mixmaster that barely worked, so most of her mixing was by hand. (I remember her telling me to whisk until my arm felt like it was going to fall off!) She either didn’t own, or didn’t use, a candy thermometer. She patiently taught me to cook by “feel”; to gauge soft ball or hard crack stages by dropping a small amount into a cup of cold water. So when I started this ….I thought I needed to learn the “proper” way to do things, carefully watching temperatures, measuring by the grams, dumping the hand mixer for the large Kitchenaid. Perhaps I need to rethink some of that, and remember my roots. This recipe really kind of drove that home. The recipe called for a lot of extra steps, heating the eggs and sugar to 131 degrees, then whisking , and then heating the wine to the same 131 degrees, and then slowly poring it down the sides of the bowl. A sabayon is NOT THAT HARD. Everything can be heated all together, and whisked till it becomes a rich and fluffy custard. I just HAD to drink some of the Asti as I made it !
The ladyfingers were a little tricky. They tend to spread, (as mine did) but there is nothing quite like them. Here’s how mine turned out….
The chocolate balls, as I said earlier, were the most time consuming. You had to make the outside shell, color the tiny chocolate pearls, stuff the shells, fuse them together, and then spray the balls with edible paint and glitter. I wouldn’t say this was a $100 dessert, but it was impressive.