It all started in 776 b.c. A couple of ancient Greek event managers organized sports games in honor of Zeus Olympios. It was the start of an event that would last till the 4th century. A Roman emperor said no to the organisation of those games in 393. No more games for 1500 years was the consequence. In 1896 the (modern) games started again. Pierre De Coubertin, a French pedagogue and the first IOC president Demetrius Vikelas were the main protagonists. Athens was the place to be. The promise was made to organize the games every four year in Athens. Four years later, the games were held in Paris, though. The first games were a bit different than nowadays: only 14 countries, no more than 241 athletes and no women.
Oddly enough, there were also quite a lot of similarities. Just like in 2012, the United States of America won most of the medals. Just like in 2012, having enough money to organize the games was a problem. Greece needed 3,7 millon Drachmen. (one Euro is now 340,75 Drachmen) Now, London needed more than 10 Billion euro. Of course, it’s hard to compare those two amounts. So, just know that collecting the money was also the big problem in 1896. Remarkably, the people of Greece donated 330.000 Drachmen. They also sold special stamps, 400.000 Drachmen. Thanks to the ticket sales, they collected another 200.000 Drachmen. A last remarkable similarity is that the Belgian newspapers wrote that they didn’t expect anything of the Belgian athletes. Belgium even didn’t participate. Nowadays, there wasn’t a big difference. Belgium got three medals, nothing extraordinary if you ask me. Enough details of 1896. The 31st Olympics just finished. This time London was according to George Michael “the center of the universe”.
In honor of the more than 10.000 athletes I made a dessert, based on the Olympic rings. The colors are, as you probably know, red, yellow, green, black and blue. I made white chocolate mousse with strawberry coulis, fresh mango, mint and coriander coulis and black sesame cookies. For the blue part, I made blue meringue mixed with peanut brésilienne. I will share the recipe of the two things I liked the most with you: the white chocolate mousse and the black sesame cookies.
recipe: white chocolate mousse with black sesame cookies
What do you need? for the mousse: 6 gr gelatin, 160 gr white chocolate, 2 egg whites, 70 gr sugar, 35 cL whipped cream 35%, 1 vanilla pod, a Tbsp of Lagavulin 16y. for the cookies: 250 gr sugar, 75 gr flour, 50 gr Black sesame seeds, 100 gr water, 125 gr melted butter (enough for at least 30 cookies)
What do you do? For the cookies: Mix the sugar, with the flour and the seeds. Add water and mutter. Mix well. Leave the dough alone for a couple of hours. Preheat an oven at 175°C. Spread a VERY tin layer of dough on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are completely golden brown throughout. Let cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack.
For the mousse: Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water. Melt the chocolate au bain marie. Don’t stir. Whip the egg whites stiff and add the sugar, whip again. Keep a bit of the cream aside. Whip the rest of the cream. Cream is whipped when soft peaks form. Don’t over-whip the cream, because it turns to butter. Heat the bit of the cream that you already put aside. Slice the vanilla pod and add the black vanilla to the cream. Add the gelatin to the cream. Take a big bowl and add the chocolate. Mix with cream and 1/3 of the whipped cream. Add the whipped eggs and the rest of the cream. Finish with the whisky. Put you mixture in the fridge for at the least 3 hours. enjoy!
My opinion about the dessert? I still have to work on my presentation of the plate, but it goes better. I also had too much different flavors. So less flavors and a better presentation. It was a nice experiment and I tried new things. I will keep improving myself till I reach the level I want.