Our clients appreciate the continuous contact from Viking Cruises once a deposit has been made on a cruise. Occasionally, Viking will send recipes of local favorites of the destinations to be visited. Here are a few desserts to try at home.
Simple and elegant, this is the quintessential French dessert. When you travel to France, no matter the region, you will likely be offered this “chocolate foam” (mousse means “foam” in French). Rich, creamy, dark and dreamy, chocolate mousse is not only a perfect gourmet treat, it also one of the simplest to make.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar; set aside. Place 1 C (237 ml) cream in a small, heavy saucepan over medium until bubbles just begin to show around edges. Slowly pour cream into yolk mixture, whisking rapidly until completely combined. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over low, stirring constantly until mixture registers 160°F (71°C) on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat; pour through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl; stir in vanilla.
Place all but garnish chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring between intervals, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Spoon yolk mixture into chocolate; whisk until smooth.
Place remaining cream in a large bowl and beat until stiff; spoon about one cup whipped cream into chocolate mixture, stirring to combine. Add remaining cream, folding in gently just to combine. Spoon or pipe into dessert glasses; garnish with shaved chocolate; chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
Pastel de Nata
You can find these delicious little bites all over Portugal, and once you have tasted them beware, as they are addictive. Easy to make, the rich, eggy filling is pure comfort food. Here, we have simplified the recipe by using puff pastry dough for the shell. These are best eaten the day they are made, still warm from the oven.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a 12-compartment muffin tin. Lay out one sheet puff pastry on floured board; cut into six 4½-in (12-cm) circles; repeat with remaining dough. Place circles in muffin cups, pressing into bottom and sides; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium, cook milk, cornstarch, sugar and vanilla, whisking constantly until mixture thickens; remove from heat. Gradually whisk half of hot milk mixture into egg yolks in a bowl; then add this mixture back into remaining milk in saucepan, whisking constantly. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into dough-lined cups; bake 20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling lightly browned on top. Cool slightly before removing.
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cook time: 20 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.
Made popular in the 1700s by the Hapsburg Empire, today apple strudel is considered the national dish of Austria. The oldest strudel recipe on record, handwritten in 1696, can be found at the Viennese City Library.
Combine water, oil, vinegar and salt in a large bowl. Mix in half of the flour with a spoon. Mix in remaining flour, first with a spoon, then with your hands. When dough becomes a smooth ball, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead vigorously for 10 minutes, slapping onto the surface every now and then. Dough should be moist but not sticky; add flour as needed.
Rinse a large bowl with warm water; dry and coat with oil. Form dough into a smooth, round ball and place in bowl, coating surface of dough with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature (or refrigerate for up to 3 days, bringing up to room temperature before proceeding with recipe.)
Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Punch air out of dough and transfer to a clean, floured kitchen towel. Lightly dust top with flour and roll out to about 14x17 inches (35x35 cm). Pinch any tears in the dough to seal. Dough will be quite thin; don’t over-handle. Keeping dough on towel; set aside.
Place sugar, walnuts, raisins, lemon zest and cinnamon in a medium bowl, stirring to combine. Peel, core and chop apples into small chunks. Add to bowl and toss to combine.
Lightly brush dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with dry breadcrumbs. Add apple mixture down center of dough leaving a 1-inch (2-cm) margin around the filling. Fold in 1 inch (2 cm) along 3 sides of dough, leaving one long side unfolded. Moisten all edges lightly with water. Using towel to assist you, roll dough toward unfolded edge to enclose filling. Press gently along seam and sides to seal.
Using towel as a sling, transfer strudel seam-side down to a cookie sheet. Gently remove towel. Brush lightly with remaining butter. Prick sparingly along top with a fork. Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut crosswise into 12 pieces.
Viking wants you to "Explore the world in comfort," and sample local cuisine while on vacation.
Share the knowledge
Scooter Tessari, MCC, owns The Cruise Center, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and operates the website Tasteful Journeys devoted to enrichment vacations with a culinary accent and featuring cruises, tours, and custom designed vacation packages.