Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Avocado Madness Round 2: Salad/Ceviche

Tropical Fruit Salad in Almond Praline Baskets
with Key Lime Avocado Mousse

 It's Round 2 of the Avocado Madness Tournament!  This round was for salad/ceviche, so once again, I took the sweet route!  These praline baskets are so much fun to make!  Once their cool enough to handle, you can twist and turn them into just about any shape you wish...and they're delicious!

The mousse is of course the star of the show here, with a smooth, creamy texture and beautiful avocado and citrus flavor!  These are great for a dinner party where you're trying to keep the food fairly healthy!

Tropical Fruit Salad in Almond Praline Baskets with Key Lime Avocado Mousse

Tropical Fruit Salad in Almond Praline Baskets
with Key Lime Avocado Mousse
Almond Praline Baskets:
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 corn syrup
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with a silicon baking mat.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat.
Reduce heat to low and stir in the sugar and corn syrup.
Remove from heat and stir in the flour and chopped almonds.
Allow the batter to cool. Roll the batter into 2 tbsp. rounds and set them aside.
Place two of the rounds onto the silicon baking mat, about 6 inches apart from each other.  Bake them in the oven for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees, until dark golden brown.
Remove from heat and place the silicon mat on a wire rack.  Allow it to cool for about 2 minutes, until it is cool enough to stay together.  Using a flat spatula, remove the praline from the mat and place it into a ramekin, small bowl or muffin tin to set the basket-like shape.  Allow the basket to cool and set for about 5 minutes.
Repeat steps with the other batter rounds until you have the desired number and shapes of baskets.

Key Lime Avocado Mousse:
2 ripe Avocados From Mexico, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 egg, 1 egg yolk
1/2 stick butter, cubed
1/4 cup key lime juice
1 tbsp. key lime zest
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. corn starch

Whisk together eggs and sugar, key lime juice, key lime zest and corn starch in a small saucepan.
Cook on medium heat and whisk continuously until thick and bubbly and coats the back of a spoon.
Run it through a strainer and add butter, mixing until melted and combined.  Transfer to a glass bowl and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
Add the avocados to a food processor and mix on high speed smooth and creamy.  Use a spoon to smash or remove any lumps.
Transfer the avocado puree to the bowl with the lime curd and stir until combined. Fold in the whipped cream until mousse is combined and smooth.  Transfer the mousse to the refrigerator and allow it to set in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Tropical Fruit Salad (Makes 4 Servings):
1 Avocado from Mexico, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
1 Papaya, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
1 Mango, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 Chrerimoya, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 Passion Fruit, center seeds only
8 whole, ripe raspberries
1 cup Key Lime Avocado Mousse
4 Almond Praline Baskets
4 fresh mint sprigs (for garnish)
4 edible tropical flowers (for garnish)

To Build the Salads:
Place each Praline Basket on a serving dish.
Pipe about 2 tbsp. of the Key Lime Avocado Mousse into the bottom of each basket.
Arrange the sliced avocado and papaya onto the side of the basket, so they stand up against the side.
Arrange the mango, cherimoya and raspberries across the rest of the basket and spoon the passion fruit seeds in front of the other fruits.
Pipe 1 tbsp. of the remaining mousse on the serving dish in front of the basket.  Drag a spoon through the mousse, leaving a small trail.  Arrange the final raspberry at the end and garnish with a mint sprig.
Garnish the fruit salad and basket with an edible tropical flower.  Serve immediately.

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