Nolen Gurer Mousse with Chocolate Chips and Chunkies Crumbs

I think midlife crisis is setting in. Never before in my life had I been so bogged by one hiccup after the other. First it was my neck- and back-pain that gave me sleepless nights. After neglecting the issue for 4 months, I was forced to visit an orthopaedic who prescribed a 10-day session of physiotherapy. Just as I had finished my fourth day and was gradually getting slightly better, Tamil Nadu and Kerala went to polls. I know the two events are completely unrelated. But on days when two of your neighbouring states vote, the newsroom remains a crazy place to be in. It didn't help that on that particular day several people were off and on leave, leaving three poor souls to bring out an entire edition. I happened to be one of the three and by the time I came back home at 2 in the morning, both my hands had gone sore. I did what I do on such days: apply some volini and go off to sleep.
By the time I woke up next morning, my right hand was perfectly fine. But my left hand was worse. The pain started from my palm, gradually trickled down to my fingers and finally attacked my finger joints. I realised I couldn't grip my coffee cup, couldn't tie my hair, couldn't open spice jars in the kitchen, couldn't turn the doorknob. Thank heavens I was still going to the hospital for my sessions and I immediately asked my physiotherapist to intervene. So for the last 7 days, my left hand has joined my back and neck for electro therapy. However, the improvement has been almost negligible to the point that my doctor suggested that it might be early stages of arthritis. See, I told you. Midlife crisis!
I had taken a couple of days off from work and all that I had been doing were watching the current season of Masterchef Australia on my laptop and ambling down the aisles of the supermarket right next to my apartment. (In an unprecedented situation, I had to ask one of the store boys to get my stuff delivered because guess what? I couldn't even carry my grocery bags.) What I did carry back with me however were a couple of packets of Britannia Chunkies. I got back home, went back to the MA episode from where I had left it off and took my first bite of Chunkies. I have had quite a few cookies in my life and time, but this, my friend, is one helluva crumbly cookie with melt in the mouth chocolate chips. In fact, it's so good that I can't call it a cookie — it is honestly a CHUNKIE.
Even though I was in tremendous pain, my hands were itching to conjure up something sinfully delicious with my newly-acquired Good Day Chunkies before all of them found their way into my tummy. Now let me be very honest. This was intended to be an ice cream. I had made the base and freezed it 48 hours before I intended to photograph it. But as luck would have it, there was a power cut through the night before and by the time I got down to shooting it, my ice cream was no longer an ice cream. :( But if there's one thing I've learnt from Masterchef, it is the wise words: "Stop thinking what your dish was meant to be, make the best of what it is." And that is where this mousse comes in. For us Bongs, nolen gur is the answer to all of life's problems, but in this case, it were the crumbly Chunkies that stole the show.
If you too are a die hard fan of Masterchef Australia, and like me, cannot wait to meet George, Gary and Matt in person, all you need to do are the following:
Step 1: Make an amazing dish with Chunkies Step 2: Upload a picture of the dish with a Chunkies pack on your FB/Twitter/Instagram account with #ChefsWithChunkies. Also, put up your recipe as a note on FB or on your blog and share the link in your entry. 10 lucky winners stand a chance to meet the Masterchef Australia hosts in person on the 4th of June, 2016! For contest terms & conditions, visit https://www.facebook.com/BritanniaGoodDay/?fref=ts
Now, here’s my Chunkies recipe: Nolen Gurer Mousse with Chocolate Chips and Chunkies Crumbs
Serves: 8
Ingredients:
For the mousse:
Heavy cream: 1 litre
Nolen Gur/Date Palm Jaggery: 400 gm (or depending upon the kind of sweetness you prefer)
Milk: 4 tbsp
Cornflour: 2 tsp
Chocolate Chips: 1/2 cup
Britannia Chunkies, crumbled: 6-7 cookies

For garnish:
Britannia Chunkies: 5-6 cookies
Caramel sauce

Method:

1. In a deep-bottomed pan, melt the jaggery on low heat. If it's unyielding, add 1-2 tsp of water to help it melt. Wait till the jaggery turns into a caramel colour, at the same time ensuring that it's not burnt. Set aside. If you're using jhola gur (liquid jaggery), you can skip this step altogether.

2. In a small bowl, mix the cornflour with the milk till no lumps remain. Set aside.

3. In another deep-bottomed pan, bring the cream to a very light boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or till the cream thickens a bit, stirring continuously. Now add the milk and cornflour mixture and stir well. Simmer for another 5-6 minutes. Take off from the heat.

4. Gently fold in the previously melted jaggery. The mousse base is almost ready now, but here comes the fun part.

5. Take the Chunkies crumbs and chocolate chips by handfuls and throw them into the base. Swirl to blend everything uniformly. Tip the mixture into a metal loaf pan or tray, tightly wrap with a clingfilm and tuck away in the freezer. Allow to rest for 4-5 hours or overnight.

6. 30 minutes before serving, bring it down to the refrigerator from the freezer.

7. Serve with more Chunkies crumbs on the top and with a generous drizzle of caramel sauce.
PS: In case you're wondering how I managed to write an entire post with a defunct hand, let me tell you, I typed every letter with my right hand and it took me a whopping 2.5 hours to do so! As for the photographs, my husband had set up the tripod and camera before he left for work so that my weak hand didn't have to deal with the weight of either.
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