International Lifestyle Magazine Issue 49 - Page 30

The temperatures in the valley reached BBQ proportions themselves as 43 dgr beat down upon my brow, and whilst the Spanish sensibly kept out of the midday sun to feast upon delicious local and regional ingredients such as torta de la Serena cheese, torta del Casar,( both as soft and as creamy as a fondue !) or the spicy Morcilla Patatera ( a soft spreading Chorizo ) and not forgetting the delicious Iberian ham, all rounded off with a large bowl of local juicy cherries of course, it`s the mad dogs and Englishman that were out producing, presenting and filming a youtube and website promotional film !. Small towns and villages are scattered around the Valley such as Plasencia and Caceres and are full of historic buildings and monuments dating back to the Roman and mediaeval periods. The cobbled streets are deserted during the four hour lunch break, so a perfect time to capture stunning scenery , ancient architecture and the natural environment that this area has to offer with nothing more than a church bell or chime to interrupt proceedings. My accommodation during the stay was recommended to me by the Spanish tourist board and regional tourist office that proposed the Paradore of both Caseres and Plasencia to rest my tanned weary head!, and certainly a great choice and experience. Paradores are historic buildings such as 15th century convents or 14th century Palaces, all beautifully developed to retain the historic original period features, but incorporates first class modern amenities for the discerning traveller. Alas, despite the heat and all in the line of duty , I fired up my BBQ to knock up a light chocolate mousse topped with a flamed cherry casserole. Chocolate is often a lure to most people in most countries ,but when you add a few hot succulent cherries into the occasion even the locals gave up their siesta to try my recipe. Hope you can have a go yourself and f or now, Adios ! x Alan Coxon`s Dark Chocolate Mousse with Hot Picota Cherry Casserole Serves 4-6 Ingredients For the chocolate Mousse 250g Dark Chocolate ( 70%) 1 tbsp Strong Coffee 3 tbsp Spanish cognac or Cherry liquor 2 free range fresh egg yolks 25g Caster sugar 150 ml whipping cream 2 egg whites For the Hot Picota cherry casserole 250g Picota cherries ( stone removed) 50 gr castor sugar 75ml Light red Wine 75 ml Spanish Brandy or Cherry Liquor 50g Castor sugar 1 small cinnamon stick 1 tsp cornflour dissolved and blended with a little water or orange juice Method Method for the mousse 1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler with the coffee and the Brandy. 2. Whisk the egg yolks with the 25 gr sugar until pale, then add to the melted chocolate, folding gently. 3. Whisk the egg whites with the 50g sugar until a stiff snow. 4. Whisk the cream then fold the cream into the chocolate, followed rapidly by the egg white. 5. Pour into serving glasses and leave to chill and set. When ready, pour over the hot cherry casserole Method for the casserole 1. Heat the sugar in the pan and add the cherries. 2. Add the brandy or cherry liquor and flame . 3. Add the cinnamon stick and the red wine and bring to the simmer. 4. Dissolve the cornflour and add to the pan stirring until it thickens. 5. Serve with the chocolate mousse www.alancoxon.com UK + 44 (0 ) 1386 830299 www.internationallifestylemagazine.com