Molly Wilkinson cooking at home in Versailles! Vintage table, antique crockery, pastries to make Marie Antoinette swoon!
Guest: Molly Wilkinson
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Molly Wilkinson has loved pastry all her life. After a brief visit to France during her College years, & also after working 9-5 in the US for a number of years (which she loved by the way!) Molly decided to follow her passion for baking and explored options to go to the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris!
Initially the idea was quite scary and Molly thought there would be lots of obstacles but in reality, furthering her training in cooking was more economical in Paris than in the US! She could rent an apartment in Paris, go to the famous Cordon Bleu school in the steps of Julia Child and eat French pastries in Paris every day whilst she was learning to make French pastries herself! Not being fluent in French didn’t seem to be a problem so after moving to the 15th arrondissment in Paris, Molly settled into French life.
Since that time Molly returned to the US for a short time but has now been back in France for 6 years, living with her French partner in Versailles, teaching cooking classes online and authoring her brand new cookbook!
Now, hearing that Molly lives in Versaille filled me with amazing images of her swanning around the Château or living in the Trianons! But Molly assures me that the town of Versailles is a beautiful village in its own right and very worth exploring.
Molly teaches her cooking classes from her “salle a manger” with a divine large vintage table and beautiful cabinets, one filled with her ingredients for cooking and the other filled with Molly’s other passion: antiques! Now I’m completely with Molly about this. I am a little bit not quite right about antiques, especially vintage table wear and crockery. Molly posted a photo of a vintage Marie Antoinette half figurine in an antique cup filled with chocolate mousse. I love that whilst Molly is so knowledgeable about French pastry, she has a way of making French food so much fun!
For FrancoFilers who are into French pastry, following Molly’s adventures will not leave you disappointed! In fact Molly’s enthusiasm for everything she does is infectious! I loved seeing France through her eyes. Molly chatted to me about her visit to regional areas including the Dordogne and Normandy. She seems to visit pastry shops everywhere she goes with many regional areas having their own style of pastry. She thrilled me with the idea of digging into an apple tart with a wine jelly glaze in the Loire Valley region! This chat really transported me to France momentarily!
Thomas Dutronc – J’aime Plus Paris
Molly’s spotify list Oui Oui Let’s Bake coming soon!
Molly’s new book French Pastry Made Simple
(From Molly’s new book. This recipe is an example of how clear and user friendly Molly’s recipes in her book are! I’ve just purchased my own copy to cook up loads of French delights!)
- The Frenchman’s Chocolate Mousse
- Serves 6
- Preparation Time: 20 minutes
- Bake Time: n/a
- 6 large eggs
- 8 oz (225 g) bittersweet, dark or semisweet, good-quality chocolate (60 to 70%), chopped (see Notes)
- ¾ cup (180 ml) heavy cream
- Big pinch of salt
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- Your choice of garnish: fresh berries, whipped cream, a sprinkle of unsweetened cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, shredded coconut . . . there are so many options!
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites while they are cold, being careful not to get any yolk in the whites.
- Make the Ganache Base
- Melt the chocolate either carefully in the microwave or in a double boiler.
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream until simmering (watch closely!), then pour, all in one go, over the chocolate. Whisk at the center of the mixture. Once it starts to thicken, whisk more energetically to bring the two ingredients together and form a thick ganache.
- Whisk the egg yolks into the ganache and add the salt.
- Make the French Meringue
- Whip the egg whites on medium speed, using the whisk attachment, until they resemble foam. Increase the speed to medium-high. Gradually add the sugar, and whip until medium peaks form.
- Fold Everything Together
- Fold the whites into the ganache in thirds. For the first third, whisk in well to loosen up the texture. This will make it easier to incorporate the rest of the whites.
- For the next third, switch to a spatula and carefully fold until just a couple of streaks remain. Then, fold in the remaining whites. The goal here is to keep as much air in the mousse as you can!
- Transfer the mousse into the container in which it will be served: either small individual glasses or a large bowl that everyone can dig in to family style.
- Chill several hours or even better, overnight.
- Bring to room temperature before eating, for the most pronounced flavor. Decorate with your choice
- of garnish.