Silent actress Agnes Ayres helped cool us off on a hot summer afternoon.
Agnes Ayres is best remembered for her role as "Lady Diana Mayo" in the 1921 film "The Sheik" opposite Rudolph Valentino. She reprised the her role in the 1926 sequel "The Son of the Sheik". Ayres also had roles in several films by Cecil B. DeMille including "The Affairs of Anatol", "Forbidden Fruit" and "The Ten Commandments".
Collage artwork by Cherie Savoie Tintary.
This recipe is from the book "Favorite Recipes of Famous Women", which was published in 1925.
This recipes makes a TON of chocolate mousse, so I scaled it down. I have to give a MAJOR shoutout to Fritzi Kramer of the blog Movies Silently. She made this recipe for her blog and gave very specific instructions that I found to be most helpful.
Here's what I did to make a reduced version:
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate
1/2 cup milk
2 cup heavy cream
1/4 powdered sugar
1 cup meringue
**I seem to have difficulty making meringue, so I'm just going to use pre-made whip for this. My guest Donna Hill also suggested that I add a teaspoon of espresso powder.
Combine chocolate and milk on the stove until melted. Allow the mixture to cool and sit at room temperature. In a separate bowl beat heavy cream. Fold in whipped heavy cream and meringue (or in my case pre-made whip). Instead of using a pan, I opted to put the mousse in several small glass cups. I also skipped the rock salt and put this in the freezer.
Donna Hill is a film historian, researcher and author of the book "Rudolph Valentino The Silent Idol: His Life in Pictures." She serves on the board of the Film Preservation Society, Inc. and blogs at Strictly Vintage.
The Final Result
Once I gave up on trying to make meringue, this proved to be a simple and delicious recipe!
It was refreshing to eat this on a scotching hot summer afternoon. We suggest garnishing with raspberries and a light sprinkling of powdered sugar.
If you want to learn more about Agnes Ayres, I recommend the book "Dangers Curves Atop Hollywood Hills" by Michael G. Ankerich. This book profiles 14 women from silent era Hollywood who rose to fame and had unfortunate downfalls. You can find this book on Amazon, but once again I always suggest contacting our friends at Larry Edmunds Bookstore in Hollywood.
Unfortunately most of Agnes Ayres' films are hard to find, but "The Sheik" and "The Son of the Sheik" are available on Blu-Ray. You can also also find "The Ten Commandments" on DVD and "The Affairs of Anatol" is available on Amazon Prime.
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