Thursday, November 02, 2006


I took the recipe for these little ghosts dancing in the night from the Traditional Piemontese cookbook that I already mentioned. Of course, they were not originally ghosts.. they were called 'dolci uova in barca' (sweet eggs on the boat).

To make the ghosts, bring 1 l of milk and 4 tbsp sugar to boil. Beat 6 eggwhites till very firm, add 200 g sugar (this is less than the original dose!!!) and some vanilla powder or flavor. Beat again until a very thick and firm cream is obtained. Spoon this cream in the boiling milk and let cook for a few minutes on each side. The eggwhites will raise and become fluffy.
To be honest, it's really hard to keep the milk boiling and not have it overflow. So I was keeping it a few degrees below the boiling point. When you have cooked the eggwhite-clouds on both sides, take them out and put them on a plate. They will deflate a bit.
Prepare the chocolate sauce. The cookbook proposes a recipe that I tried, but we all liked better the second time I made it according to my old favorite hot chocolate recipe.. so I'll give you mine. In a pan, mix 6 tbsps dark cocoa powder, 3 tbsp sugar (more or less according to your taste), and 2 tbsps flour. Very slowly add the milk that you used to cook the ghosts. Add a little bit, stir until the flour/cocoa sugar has absorbed it, then add more, and so on until it's all liquid. Then put on the stove and bring to boil. Stir from time to time, and then constantly when it boils. Let it boil until it gets to the consistency that you want. If you want to drink the chocolate it must be a bit liquid. If you want to use it to make this dessert, it must be thicker. It will thicken more when it gets cold anyway.
Spread the chocolate sauce on a wide dish and once it's cold put the eggwhites on top of it. When everything is cold decorate with black edible color to make the eyes and the mouths. I noticed it's actually better to keep the eggwhites in a closed container in the fridge if you're going to eat the dessert the day after, and assemble it at the last moment.
The ghosts are like 'spumoni' (not sure how to say it in English. Kind of like marshmellow consistency), and they taste like milk and vanilla, so they're very good. The chocolate is also good, so I'd say, it can be a success :)

NOTE: these doses make a huge amount of fantasmini. I cut it to 4 eggwhites last time I made it and there was still plenty (that whole dish in the picture on top + 5 little ones that we ate the day after :) )

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