Remember that dessert lasagna from Woodenheads that I was obsessing over during the school year? Well I finally got around to attempting to recreate it.
At the beginning of the summer my friend's dad challenged me to cook dinner for our two families and I excitedly accepted. It was a lot of fun menu planning and I eventually decided on a French dinner. To start we had phylo parcels filled with roasted tomatoes, spinach and goat's cheese. For the main course we had roasted chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and goat's cheese and smothered in a white wine reduction, along with roasted potatoes and sauteed green beans (heavy on the garlic). For dessert, which is quite often my favourite course, we had dessert lasagna.
I used Laura Calder's dark chocolate mousse recipe again (it really is the best!) and layered it with phylo crisps, strawberries, a strawberry reduction and a chocolate garnish. It was pretty and delicious, and that mousse... oh I love it so much.
Speaking of French food... I have exciting news. In one week I will be boarding a plane on a one-way ticket! Starting in the fall I will be working as an english teaching assistant at a high school in France. Yes, FRANCE. So why am I leaving next Sunday? Well before this whole work thing starts, I have a wedding to participate in - my sister and I are going to be bridesmaids in my cousin's wedding. So first stop (with the fam) - Liverpool, England.
Next, I'll be ditching the fam and flying to Barcelona where I'll be meeting up with friends that I met while on exchange in Australia and traveling around Spain. Beaches and endless sangria everyday all day!
After that, I'm headed to Bologna to stay with more exchange friends and travel around Italy for a few days. Hoping to see Florence Venice and Rome and all the beautiful art that resides there.
Then it's back to England to visit some friends in London, pick up my bags and finally hop over to France to find my new home and start work.
Packing your life into 2 suitcases is not easy my friends. But I'm slowly getting there, and learning what I'm going to have to live without - Sadly my cookbooks will not be making the trek :(
But oh the art I will finally see! After so many years of studying the paintings, the sculptures, and the architecture that I have come to fall in love with, now I will be able to experience them in the way one should! The Italian Renaissance remains my favourite era and I cannot express in words how incredibly excited I am to see the works of Masaccio, Ghiberti, Michelangelo, and of course Leonardo in all their glory.
And let's not forget the art of France. Hello Louvre and medieval cathedrals! Europe has been hoarding a large chunk of art history and I can't wait to get my hands on it.
It's a little overwhelming.
So anyways, that's enough about Europe for now (but OMG!!!) and onto the recipes:
Dark Chocolate Lasagna
Laura Calder's recipe: Dark Chocolate Mousse
(I chose to omit the Cointreau and orange zest)
4 sheets of phylo
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking tray with parchment.
Brush one sheet of phylo with the melted butter and sprinkle with a thin layer of icing sugar.
Lay another sheet on top of this, pat it down gently, and repeat with the butter and icing sugar.
Continue until you have 4 layers of phylo.
Next cut the phylo into triangles, whatever size you like.
Place the phylo triangles on the parchment paper and cover them with another sheet of parchment paper. To weigh it down place another baking tray on top of them.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Lay some sliced strawberries on a plate in a fan shape.
Place one phylo crisp on the berries and top with a spoonful of the mousse. Repeat with another layer of phylo and mousse.
Garnish with dark chocolate, a strawberry reduction or chocolate sauce, if desired.