April 27, 2011

Daring Bakers Challenge #5: Maple Mousse in Edible Cup

The second day of the long weekend was just as marvelous as the first.  Like Friday, it involved copious amounts of relaxation, but since the sun was out, lounging took place on the deck and gardening replaced vacuuming.  Also like Friday, there was really really good food.  It all started with my take on chicken and waffles for the Daring Baker's Challenge.
"The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!"

Several years ago, when E and I were lolling about on a Saturday morning, complaining about our respective hangovers, I mused that it would be really nice to just indulge in a piece of fried chicken wrapped up in a maple syrup-soaked pancake.  It sounded like the perfect hangover food, but in my wisdom, I knew it sounded both excessive and excessively unhealthy.  (Actually, despite thinking long and hard on it, we couldn't name a single place that would serve such a perfect dish and our alcohol-damaged bodies were not in any shape to be making it from scratch.)
Fast forward to the present, and our residence only a few miles from Dame's Chicken and Waffles in Durham.... I still haven't had chicken and waffles, or chicken and pancakes, or any type of fried poultry with dough and maple syrup.  So after musing for a few days on the Daring Bakers' Challenge, and coming up with several options, the idea of using the maple mousse in a chicken-and-waffles application won out. And I am sooo glad for that.  It was so tasty, perfectly sweet and salty, and grown up enough to be served to people at a dinner party who don't even have a hangover yet.  

Chicken and Waffles with Maple Mousse
Everything can made a day in advance.  The recipe here is enough for 6-7 waffle cups, but the maple mousse recipe should be at least halved if you don't want lots of leftovers.  The mousse is great smeared on a waffle cookie, though, so I would recommend making sure you have enough for tasting....
Waffle Cups
1.5 cups crushed waffle cookies
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.  Place waffle cookies into a plastic bag and crush with the back of a wooden spoon or your hand.  Measure out 1.5 cups and place into food processor, pulse until ground fine.  Melt the butter and add to the cookie crumbs, then stir in sugar.  Press about 1/4 cup of the mixture into a muffin tin to form a bowl.  Repeat with remaining mixture.  Bake for 10 minutes, then check- they're done when they're golden brown.  They will puff up in the oven, so you'll need to re-form the bowl with a spoon as soon as they come out of the oven.  

Fried Chicken
1 chicken breast
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper

Cut the chicken breast into 6-7 small tenders.  Pound lightly to tenderize and flatten.  Put the flour and bread crumbs into separate bowls.  Beat the egg in a third bowl.  Using your left hand, drop a few tenders into the bowl of flour and toss to coat completely, then drop into the egg bowl.  Use your right hand to coat the tenders with egg, then transfer to the panko.  Use your left hand to coat the tenders with panko and transfer to a plate.  Repeat until all tenders are coated.

Heat about 1/4 inch of vegetable or olive oil in a wide pan over medium to medium-high heat.  The oil should simmer, and panko dropped in should brown within a minute.  When oil is hot enough, add tenders and cook on each side until browned (about 2 minutes per side).  Remove and drain on paper towel-lined plate.

Maple Mousse
1 cup pure maple syrup (not maple-flavored syrup)
4 large egg yolks
1 package unflavoured gelatin
1.5 cups heavy cream (35% fat content)

Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle). Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.

Measure 1/4 cup of cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatin. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between), stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved. Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour before using it. 

Fill a waffle cup with two spoonfuls of mousse.  Slice a chicken tender and place on top.  Drizzle with just a little bit of maple syrup, and serve.  Keep in mind that if the chicken is still warm, it will melt the mousse.  This will not in any way affect the tastiness of the dish, only its photogenicity. 


  1. I just had chicken and waffles last night but your version looks waaay better. Looks fantastic.

  2. Hungover or not.. I would be VERY HAPPY to try this "dessert". Love the creativity and the story behind it.. very funny! You did a fantastic job! Yay! :)


  3. WOW, what an idea! Love it!! I'd love to get a bite of that :)