Not sure what it is about green food that makes it mandatory to think of St. Patrick's Day. If you look at my St. Patrick's Day Pinterest board, it's full of food that isn't Irish at all...it just happens to be the color green. This is one of those dishes that is far from a traditional St. Patrick's Day dish, but none the less, I feel is perfectly suitable for the occasion.
The recipe came from the Eating Royally cookbook. This was originally to be made for the London Olympics since it called for two ingredients I had picked up for that occasion...McVities Chocolate Digestives and a Peppermint Chocolate Aero Bar (substitutes for these English goodies are listed). The recipe is considered a cheesecake but there is no cheese whatsoever in this dish so I'm not sure if that designation means something different in England than it does here. The dish was supposedly named after the village next to Balmoral Castle in Scotland where the Royals vacation from August until early October.
I'm not really a mint or peppermint person, but most folks that tried this liked it. My concoction didn't look nearly as nice as the photo in the cookbook...my filling didn't seem to be as fluffy as the authors, but it still looked okay.
1/2 pound (8 ounces) McVities chocolate digestives or 1 cup ground graham cracker crumbs mixed
with 1/2 cup grated bittersweet chocolate
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons creme de menthe liqueur
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 packets unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 peppermint chocolate Aero Bar or 1/3 cup grated chocolate
Grind the cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Place in a large bowl and stir in the melted butter. Firmly pack the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Place the egg yolks, creme de menthe, and sugar into a large mixing bowl over a pan of boiling water, and whisk for about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat, and continue whisking until the mixture is cold.
Soften the gelatin in the 1 tablespoon water in a small pan, and place over low heat to warm and dissolve the gelatin. Whisk the gelatin into the egg mixture.
Whip the egg whites until stiff, and fold into the egg mixture. Spoon this onto the tart crust, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until stiff, and spread onto the top of the now-set egg mix. Chop the mint chocolate bar, and decorate with it or the grated chocolate.
Makes 8 servings.
Note: I found the McVities Chocolate digestive biscuits and the Aero Bar at Cost Plus World Markets. Digestive biscuits is just the British word for thin cookie like crackers. Wonderful things. Buy extra of the McVities. Trust me, more will go in your mouth than in the crust.
Note: I had no idea if packets of unflavored gelatin are the same size in the US as they are in Britain. I just used two of the small ones that come in a Knox Gelatin box. A difference might explain why my filling didn't get as fluffy and set as I'd like. Of course it could just be my cooking technique but I'd like to be able to blame it on someone else.
Note: I slathered the whipped cream on which didn't make for the best presentation. I think next time a piping bag would work out better.
Note: The Aero bar is kind of interesting looking...lots of little holes in the green part of the candy bar (see below).
All in all not a bad dessert, but not sure I'd make it again. Though if I needed something green, this would be kind of cool to show up with. That is if there were actually any McVities Chocolate Digestive Biscuits to actually make the dish since they seem to disappear quite rapidly in my house.