Tag Archives: chocolate mousse

A French Menu – MyDish menu #21

A guest blog from Golearnto- who specialise in cooking holiday experiences.  They work with a number of different chefs and have chosen a French menu.

French cuisine is great for providing plenty of wow factor at a dinner party to impress, but this menu will hopefully avoid the hassle of spending too much time in the kitchen as lots of the preparation can be done in advance, leaving you more time at the table. This dinner serves 6 – or 4 hungry people!


Potage de deux poivrons (Red and Yellow Pepper Soup)

Main Course



Chocolate Mousse

This starter is a simple soup but the colours and flavours really come into their own in the presentatio.  The key is to  keep the different colour peppers separate when making the soupand how you combine them in the bowl is up to you!

The main course needs to be prepared a day or two in advance to allow everything to soak up all the delicious flavours, but it’s worth the effort and the end result will be something really tasty. Use  a large deep pot and cook slowly for a delicious rich French casserole.

Chocolate mousse uses few ingredients but the way it’s made is the key to its success. Tips for a good mousse: Use really fresh top quality free-range eggs. Never over-heat chocolate as it will ‘seize’ i.e. split and turn grainy. When whisking the whites, make sure that all the equipment is spotlessly clean and make sure that absolutely no yolk finds its way into the whites. When combining the chocolate and meringue use a large sharp-edged metal spoon as this helps with the ‘cut and fold’ technique. A wooden spoon will bash out all the air you’ve taken so much trouble to retain.

We are on week 21 of 52 in our years challenge to find the best dinner party menus.  Have you got a formula for success you can share with us?


Fancy learning to cook fresh pasta in Tuscany, making tarte tatin in France or tapas in Spain? www.GoLearnTo have a variety of cookery holidays in destinations worldwide, all hand-picked for quality, authentic, inspiring cooking experiences, great flavours, fun and friendly chefs and wonderful settings in some of the world’s best culinary locations.

www.GoLearnTo.com are specialists with a great range of inspiring holidays around the world where you can learn a new skill or pursue an existing hobby from dancing, photography, painting or jewellery making to cooking, wine tasting, yoga, Reki, guitar playing, language courses, horse riding and much more.


New Year’s Eve menu- MyDish Menu 12

Is it dinner for 2 – a sit down dinner for 8-12 or a buffet for more than 20?

Whatever your plans this New Years Eve most people I have spoken with will be making a celebratory dinner of it.  So I have decided to pull together 3 different menus for New Year’s Eve depending on your plans.

I have searched our site and chosen dishes that go together – these aren’t my recipes but they are my chosen favourites for the big night!


Romantic meal for 2



Tiger Prawns with Garlic

Main Course

Cabernet Filet Mignon

Honey and Thyme Roasted Carrots

Potatoes Dauphinoise


Deborah Meaden’s Champagne sorbet

I like this because it is light and quick and special – it reminds me of going away for a weekend with my husband for our anniversary and he made me a romantic dinner with this for starters – sure to impress – just make sure you have all the ingredients prepared before you start!

This recipe uses a little crumbly cheese to add a kick and a bit of red wine to finish off the steaks.  It can be served with a baked potato dish and asparagus with parmesan.

To finish I like to have something made in advance – and to make it a really speacial meal I have chosen Deborah Meaden’s champagne sorbet


Special New Year’s Eve sit down dinner for 8-12 people.

If you are having a celebratory sit down dinner then you don’ want to be rushing back and forth to the kitchen whilst everyone else is enjoying the party.  So my advice is make dishes that are special but that you can make today and tomorrow before the dinner party.


Smoked Mackerel and Cranberry pate

Main Course

Chicken in Champagne and Mushroom Sauce

Le Fabulous Parmesan Asparagus



Chocolate Mousse


This is a great way to use up any of those cranberries left from Christmas dinner.  It is easy to make in advance and prepare by making up the plate and lating on the table in advance of the guests arriving.

The main course can also be par cooked in advanced and finished off in time to serve.  The rice can be put on whilst you are eating hors doeavre and the Asparagus can be pan fried and then baked in the oven.

For dessert a choice of individual chocolate mousse pots or a special New years eve treat of Tiramisu which means pick me up – just in time to keep you going till midnight.

New Year’s Eve buffet

Cocktail party canapés

Party dates

Roasted carrot and hummous dip with pita

Marinated Salmon

Roast new potatoes

Crunchy coleslaw salad

Saute beans

Leg of Lamb

Vegetarian Moussaka


Chocolate Mousse


Champagne Sorbet

Cheese plate and biscuits

For starters I love the different selection of canapes that people can just snack on.


Followed by a choice of salmon or lamb with buffet style sides such as crunchy coleslaw, roasted potatoes and saute beans.  The lamb dish I have chosen as it is a little different and the owner of the recipe Annabel says this is great for lots of people – so if you like something with a bit of spice – give it a go!

I have chosen these recipes from our collection but I am looking for your menu combinations for 2012 – we are still on our challenge to get a different  menu for each week – I have some great ones ready for January but if you have a special menu that you love and you know works well – please send it to me to share with our members




Let's celebrate chocolate

This week it’s chocolate week so I thought I would pull together some stuff about chocolate, some useful, some interersting and some downright silly.

I made a chocolate fountain one year at home for New Year’s eve.  Most of you probably already know this but I didn’t…when melting chocolate, if you want to add cream – don’t mix cold cream into warm choclate because it will just curdle and clump up.  Chocolate fountain a nice idea that didn’t materialise that year.  I only found out later that you have to warm the milk or cream first before adding it to the chocolate!

Chocolate Fountain when it works!
Chocolate Fountain when it works!

Chocolateis produced from the tress of the tropical Cacao tree and has been cultivated for thousands of years with it first documented use in 1100BC.  The origins of cooking with chocolate can be traced back to Aztec times when it was enjoyed as a hot drink before being brought to Europe where it was immensely popular with the upper classes. It was extensively refined and by 1819 a Swiss manufacturer made what is thought to have been the first chocolate bar. Since then chocolate has been infused into our  chocolate recipes and savoured as a much-loved treat with the average Britain alone consuming 8.6kg a year.

We have tons of recipes for chocolate mainly for desserts, biscuits and cakes.

Choc chip cookie helps sign up new members to MyDish
Choc chip cookie helps sign up new members to MyDish

One of my most popular is New York chocolate chip cookie recipe – I love the recipe and the story that goes with it.  It is the recipe we always use at exhibitions and this week at university freshers fairs to give people a taste of great homebaking so they can see what we are all about before they sign up to be a member.  We tried university freshers fairs for the first time to get people who are setting up their own home for the first time, to swap their favourite recipes with their friends and in 3 days we signed up over 1500 new members.  Hooray for the choc chip cookie!

Other favourites of mine are chocolate mousse, chocolate brownies, chocolate crispies and of course chocolate cake.   In fact i was trying to lose some weight over the last few months and after a month of healthy eating I was craving for some chocolate and made myself a chocolate refrigerator cake bar – yum yum that cured the craving straight away.

But the best cake shared on MyDish in my opinion is the 5 minute chocolate mug cake - I think the title speaks for itself wouldn’t you say?  And in my humble opinion, the funnest is one for chocolate Pizza