Here at MoaAlm Mountain Retreat we are lucky enough to be surrounded by beautiful pine and larch forest. The forest protects and shelters MoaAlm from the harsh winter weather, diverting avalanches around us, and is a magical place to walk, in both winter and summer.
I spend a lot of time in the forest around MoaAlm, and have grown to know its secrets and hidden places. I can tell you where the best stein pilze grow in autumn, where to look for the deer hiding from Szukas (my loving and energetic dog) bounding footsteps. I can show you where the berries grow in the patches of sunlight and where to collect wild violets for decorating afternoon cake. I often take my hammock to my secret spot by the river that tumbles through this forest, for a spot of informal forest bathing. Soaking up the sounds of the birds flitting above me in the trees.
I am often reminded of my dear friend Ligita whom some of you know. She also loved the forest and its creatures. She is a lot more creative than me, so with the twigs and cones she collected, she fashioned beautiful decorations for her bedroom or to give as gifts. But we are not the only ones who harvest the forest for its goodies.
In Kals am Grossglockner, we are lucky enough to be part of a small community that is very connected to nature. In the town center, we have a small shop called the ‘Handwerksladen’ where local people can sell produce. Of the many delicious offerings including wild herbal teas, there is a delicious Pine syrup, made from the local pine trees of our forest.
Recently I have found more and more inspiration in the forest and I wanted to create something edible, inspired by it. I love Anna Jones’ simple cooking and recently bought her cookbook ‘The Modern Cook’s Year’. This book is filled with seasonal recipes that are tasty and nourishing. The recipe below is my adaptation of Anna’s ‘Lemon and Chocolate Mousse’ using local Kalser pine syrup. You can replace the syrup with honey, or experiment with lots of other syrup flavours. Enjoy!
Adapted from Anna Jones ‘A Modern Cook’s Year’
200g high quality dark chocolate (at least 70%)
A good pinch of salt
2 tablespoons pine syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of half a lemon
175ml cold water
Fill a mixing bowl with ice and place another mixing bowl directly over it (creating an icy ban marie)
Add all the ingredients to a small pan and heat over a low heat until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth
Take the pan off the heat and pour the mixture into your prepared mixing bowl
Whisk for three minutes with a balloon whisk until the mixture forms ribbons when lifted
Pour into ramekins and place in the fridge to set.
Now for the fun bit. Go to the forest and collect goodies to decorate your pudding. Perhaps some small pine cones or pine leaves. Maybe a few wild berries or sour clovers. When your mousse is ready, decorate and serve.
If you make our recipe we would love to see some pictures of your creative designs! #relaxinglyactive and #moaalmretreat on social media so we can follow your recipes.
If you love chocolate, try our vegan chocolate cheesecake recipe...
#veganrecipe #lovenature #chocolatelovers #plantbased #foraging