What exactly is a verrine? Well, the idea is to display dishes that would normally be served on plates, in vertical and transparent containers. Like layers of trifle in a glass (verre in French). I’ve been eyeing these multilayered colourful desserts and growing ‘curioser and curioser’ as Alice would say in Cake Wonderland. Upon investigation I discovered they were invented not so long ago in 1994 by one of the figureheads of French patisserie, Philippe Conticini. So how about an experimental verrine with avocado mousse, rumoured to be delicious, complemented by sharp fresh raspberries and the crunch of salty pistachios? Throw in some other bits and pieces and ‘Eureka!’ This verrine is a delicious feast of flavours, textures and colours yet fast and simple to make! Yay! 🙂
The layers, according to the original verrine concept, are supposed to involve initial acidity, the main body of taste and a smooth finish, which is where the greek yoghurt comes in.
And how was this particular verrine born? Let me set the scene. It was a very rainy day as you can see from the photograph below. Can you see the blurry figure with the umbrella? This is my attempt at an arty water photo… ahem. Anyway, there I was thinking ‘Well at least I have a ‘water’ shot for my photo101 blogging course’ and ‘water is very important here in drought-ridden Spain so you could see it as symbolic if you try hard.’ And again the coursework was done without moving from my balcony! 🙂
‘Then I started wondering where my next cake would be coming from since I’d just finished a slice of raspberry charlotte from the freezer. ‘Ting!’ (that’s the sound of a brainwave): I would use my leftover sponge fingers from the charlotte, my meringue nests and Quark from the pavlovas and construct a verrine! Then ‘Ting! Ting!’: why not make an avocado mousse with the quark? Oh and must have fresh fruit: raspberries from the freezer.
Here are the ingredients for two small wine glasses.
For the avocado mousse whisk all these ingredients together in a bowl:
- 65g avocado, fairly ripe and mashed (1 medium-sized)
- 35g quark or fresh cheese/mascarpone/ricotta (about 2-3 tablespoons)
- 10g freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (about a quarter of the fruit)
- 20 to 25g honey – 1-2 tablespoons (to taste)
To construct the verrine:
- 6 small sponge fingers or cake broken up into pieces (shop-bought or use my recipe for Charlotte sponge fingers here)
- a few teaspoons of Kirsch liqueur, brandy or orange juice
- 1 small meringue nest broken up into smallish pieces (shop-bought or use the recipe for my meringue nests here)
- 1 pot of natural greek yoghurt (112g)
- 10-12 pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
- a handful of raspberries
And this is the drawing to demonstrate layer construction:
Easy-peasy, with arty uneven layers!The hardest thing was not eating the second verrine immediately and keeping it till next day to see how it survived in the fridge. It made it to breakfast: scrumptious but not as photogenic because it sinks a little and leaves a transparent while line around the top edge. So if serving to guests, make a few hours before or on the same day. Better be quick going to Fiesta Friday now at Angie’s place!
I’ll definitely be making verrines with yummy avocado mousse again as they are so relaxing, fast and easy to make. And delicious with all the different textures and flavours! So though you could argue trifle in pots and knickerbocker glories have existed for yonks, I say thanks again Mr Conticini for your invention!
And what are your favourite verrines? Are you inspired to make your own? What would you put in them? If you’d like to see some more sweet and savoury ones for ideas, you can look here.
Well, must dash and maybe do something other than baking! 🙂 Farewell sweet reader and hope you’ve enjoyed our time in the world of les verrines. Thanks for dropping by again and I wish you sweet day dreams! 🙂