Look everyone, I made a dessert! Try not to faint. A fellow George R. R. Martin fan showed me Inn at the Crossroads, a blog about the food in Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series. If you haven't read the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones, buy it immediately! HBO made A Game of Thrones into a mini series and I've been watching it live every Sunday night like a good little nerd. While browsing Inn at the Crossroads, I came across a dessert that sounded fabulous. The list of spices reminded me of mulled wine, which I've always associated with the Middle Ages. I was inspired to make it last night to eat while watching Game of Thrones.
This plum and honey mousse was insanely good and easy to make. It smells wonderful! The spice mix of ground cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper definitely made this taste like sweet mulled wine. I used purple plums and loved the resulting color. I am definitely making this again! The dessert glass is frosty because the mousse was taking a while to cool so I put it in the fridge for a little bit. I used star anise as a inedible garnish because it looks cool and the original recipe suggested candied anise seeds.
I made three small deviations from the original recipe. First, I used all purpose flower instead of rice flower because I didn't have any and forgot to buy some when I bought the plums. If they cook differently, I didn't notice a difference. I also added probably 1/8 tsp of the spice mixture instead of just a pinch, it smelled so good that I couldn't help myself! I also chopped the plums into pieces before cooking them because I thought it would make it easier to push them through a sieve later.
The recipe requires that the cooked plums be pushed through a sieve. I used a colander, and it was very labor intensive to squish enough of the plums through to make a decent puree. I used my big ladle to push the plums through, and discarded the peels once they had no plum flesh left on them. Tossing out the peels made it easier to push more of the plum pieces through the holes in the colander.
To cool this dessert, I let it sit out for a while, but then I put it in the fridge to cool it more quickly. It definitely got thicker as it cooled, so let it cool completely before serving.
Spiced Plum Mousse with Honey
From Inn at the Crossroads
Serves 2 (I filled two dessert glasses about halfway)
1 lb plums (I used purple plums. 4 of them were about 1 lb).
1 1/3 cups wine (red for purple plums, white if using yellow plums) - I used Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon, my go to cheapo wine for cooking.
4 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp rice flour (I used all purpose flour)
pinch of salt
two pinches of Powder Forte
1 Tbsp candied anise seeds or 1 star anise per serving
1) Cook the plums. Bring the wine to a boil in a nonreactive pot. While the wine is heating, wash, halve, and pit the plums. Then cut them into smaller pieces. Put the plums in the pot and simmer them until they are very soft, this took me about 8 minutes.
2) Mix the Powder Forte by mixing equal parts nutmeg, ground cloves, and black pepper. Long pepper (aka Indonesian pepper) may be used in place of black pepper.
3) Make the plum puree. Drain the plums, but reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking wine. Press the plums through a sieve into a sauce pan. Be patient and make sure you get as much plum puree as you can.
4) Cook the plum puree with the other ingredients. Put the pan over low heat and stir the honey into the plum puree. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the 1/4 cup of wine. Then stir the wine/flour mixture into the pan. Add salt and Powder Forte. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until thickened. This took me about 15 minutes.
5) Pour the mousse into serving dishes and allow to cool before serving. Garnish with candied anise seeds or star anise.