Including Featured Recipe by Soft Peaks: No Bake Chocolate Mousse & Biscuit Cake
While checking out Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles, I came across an exquisite French Macaron shop called Soft Peaks Confections. Soft Peaks is a small boutique business selling all natural, handmade macarons, not to be confused with macaroons (they are two completely different types of cookies). The Soft Peaks macarons are gluten free, containing all natural locally-sourced ingredients, without any preservatives or artificial colors. I met the Co-Founder, Limor Makmal who shares delicious details about her creations.
A macaron is a meringue based confection, with a tasty filling such a jam, ganache or butter-cream sandwiched between two cookies. Soft Peaks creates these very delicate dessert bites made of almond flour, egg whites, and other natural ingredients, “When you bite into a macaron, the outer cookie shell should be crisp, and as you bite into it, it should all melt in your mouth,” Limor also explains that this dessert has a short shelf life, “The best time to eat it is one to four days after baking them.”
Limor’s love for baking began at young age. Growing up, Limor baked with her mother every single Thursday, making cakes, cookies, and other sweet treats for the weekend. Since then, baking became her passion. One day, her husband brought Limor macarons when he returned from a trip from France. Her first encounter with this French cookie was so moving that she later quit her corporate job and followed her dream to bake and create something of her own. About a year and half ago, Limor and her mother partnered together and launched Soft Peaks Confections.
This mother and daughter team create and maintain high quality standards for their products. They have worked diligently to perfect their macarons. Limor shares that they gather all of the natural ingredients from community sources. They omit artificial colors and preservatives and Limor explains, “It isn’t necessary to add artificial colors as yellow coloring to a lemon flavored macaron. I use lemon and lime zest in my lemon acai macaron (see image on the left)… you can smell and taste the lemon.”
In October, Soft Peaks released the new Banana Bacon macaron. My personal favorite is the salted caramel with a coffee shell–oooh la la! Most of the flavors developed were inspired by Limor’s individual family members, as the Apple Pie macaron style. Her brother-in-law refused to eat anything else Limor baked unless it was apple pie! The following is a current list of the unique macaron flavors from Soft Peak Confections:
- Apple Pie
- Passionate Coconut
- Chocolate Overload
- Raspberry Kettle Corn
- Salted Caramel
- Tropical Bite
- Sweet Pistachio
Soft Peaks exhibits at local events in LA and Orange Counties. Limor will sell these haute treats in Los Angeles at an event supporting small businesses called, Unique LA with over 350 vendors selling locally made goods on December 1 & 2 at The California Market Center’s Penthouse.
The macarons make great gifts, and is a tasty specialty nosh for your sweet cravings. Soft Peaks caters macarons for office parties, events, and more. You can purchase prepackaged macarons at Crafted or contact Limor directly to ship them to you. To find out more about Soft Peaks log on www.softpeaksconfections.com.
You can also experience Limor’s delicious “baking” right at home. Limor contributes her No Bake Chocolate Mousse & Biscuit Cake family recipe to HauteNosh that she makes for special occasions and during the holidays. Note–oven not required 😉
- 2 packages Pettibar Biscuits (Israeli Brand) or Graham Crackers
- 1 1⁄3 cups Milk
- 1-2 tsp Whisky, Brandy, Or Rum
- 100 g Unsalted Butter
- 250 g Bittersweet (Not Unsweetened) Or Semisweet Chocolate, Chocolate chips or broken into cubes
- 1 package Vanilla Instant Pudding
- 4 large Egg Yolks
- 4 large Egg Whites
- 4 cups Heavy Cream
- CHOCOLATE MOUSSE INSTRUCTIONS: In a bowl, melt chocolate and butter while stirring over pot with simmering water.
- Once melted, remove from heat. Add a tiny bit of the chocolate to the bowl with the yolks and stir quickly. Then add the mixture to the rest of the chocolate (to avoid scrambled eggs). Stir quickly until combined.
- In a different bowl, whip the egg whites to medium peaks, then add to the chocolate mixture. Fold gently with a spatula and in one direction so that it does not deflate.
- In another bowl whip 2 cups of heavy cream and add to the chocolate/egg mixture. Now you’ve made mousse.
- Place in the fridge for it to set.
- INSTANT VANILLA PUDDING INSTRUCTIONS: Whip the instant pudding along with 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of heavy cream. Put in the fridge to set.
- CAKE INSTRUCTIONS: In a flat bowl pour 1⁄3 cup milk and the whisky (If you don’t want alcohol you can add fresh vanilla beans or vanilla extract).
- Dip each cracker in the milk and place it in a Pyrex baking dish (or any other oblong dish that is about 4-5 inches tall) to create a layer of dipped crackers.
- Dollop half of the chocolate mousse on top of the layer and spread evenly.
- Repeat dipping and placing the crackers to create another layer on top of the mousse.
- Dollop all the instant pudding mixture on top of the layer and spread evenly.
- Create another layer of dipped crackers on top and place the remaining chocolate mousse on top.
- *Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving. Enjoy!