Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Wednesday, 6 August 2014
Thursday, 26 June 2014
When you've had a massive French meal, the last thing you want is a big dessert. The slightly acidic yoghurt and crème fraîche mixture is complemented by the sweetness of the crème de marrons de l'Ardèche, a chestnut purée. Topped with the toasted walnuts for some texture, this is the perfect light and refreshing dessert for a hot summer's day.
Crème de marrons de l'Ardèche (chestnut purée)
I tend to use whatever type of yoghurt and cream is in the fridge for the base. Having said that, I avoid using sweetened yoghurts because the sharpness is needed to contrast the chestnut purée. I also refrain from using a majority of runny yoghurt in the mixture, as it needs to have a bit of substance!
Stir together whatever type of cream and yoghurts you have. If the dairy mixture is too sour, add a little sugar or agave syrup to taste.
In glasses or jars, add the creamy mixture until a third of the container is full. Layer about a teaspoon of the chestnut paste. Next, cover with more of the yoghurt mixture. Top with more of the crème de marrons de l'Ardèche- I squeezed it straight from the tube. Leave in the fridge to set a little.
In a pan over medium heat, toast the walnuts in no oil- you don't want to fry them. When they have browned but not burnt, remove from the pan onto some kitchen paper. The walnuts release oil when heated, but you don't want too much of this in the yoghurt. Bash the walnuts into smaller pieces, and sprinkle on the dessert.
To make the mixture even lighter transform the yoghurt into a mousse by folding in whisked egg whites.
If you're not too keen on nuts, layer lemon curd instead of the chestnut paste, and top with mango.
For a 'cherry bakewell', layer with cherry jam and top with toasted, flaked almonds or crushed amaretti.
Sunday, 2 March 2014
There are so many types of pancakes available: fluffy American pancakes, crepes, blinis, buckwheat pancakes... Buckwheat and I have never got on too well.
The first time I tried buckwheat was when my mother was looking for an alternative to rice and potatoes and bread. The result was that I chucked it into next door's garden (I was a rebellious youth \m/).
The next time I encountered buckwheat was in the form of soba. It was probably just the way I (over)cooked the Japanese noodles so that they were glutinous and sticky, but they didn't agree with me particularly well either.
Next was in the form of bread. Using a Kenwood bread machine booklet, I got used the recipe for a plain white loaf and used buckwheat flour instead. The only thing I can say about this is DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!
Finally I came across buckwheat pancakes. The problem with buckwheat is often that it is too heavy, and weighs down whatever is being made with it. However in pancakes, if you beat whipped egg white into the mixture, you can have light and fluffy pancakes, or, if you make a mixture with solely the flour and milk, you can have a delicate crepe, like they serve out of foodtrucks in markets around Lille.
However this Pancake Day, I wanted to make a pancake which did not involve flour. Potato would be too heavy, carrot too watery, but banana... banana had the right substance for a thick pancake which could settle in the pan without clogging up your throat when you ate it. For these pancakes though, you cannot have overripe bananas, as they will not solidify enough.
You will need:
two bananas, pureed
a dash of milk
Mix all the ingredients together and fry over a medium heat in a lightly oiled pan.
Serve with butter, bananas and syrup - it can't be too healthy!
Other variations of pancakes I have seen but have yet to imitate include the ricotta pancakes served at The Hoxton Grill in Shoreditch (EC2A).
Thursday, 13 February 2014
|There was a bag inside this bag! Pass the parcel anyone?|
|Love-Me-Do Raspberry Fusion|
|Selection of filled chocolates|
The Caramel Gianduja was a pleasant surprise from the gooey caramel filling I had anticipated. The truffle filling had the texture of marzipan, whilst showcasing a praline-esque flavour. Top marks Hotel Chocolat!
The Passion Fruit Truffles were next to face my palette. The zingy passion fruit centre combined with the white chocolate casing was my favourite. It packed a punch of flavour without feeling like you'd been whacked in the mouth.
The Raspberry Smoothie chocolates were pretty decent too. Although I wouldn't agree it tasted like a framboise crush fresh out of the blender, I couldn't say that it wasn't tasty. The intense raspberry flavour contrasted well with the bitterness of the dark chocolate, leading to a symphony of flavours.
|Strawberry flavoured white chocolate.|
|Passion Fruit Truffles|
If you want to win someone over this Valentines Day, forget the red roses, get this! Nothing says I love you better than a selection of good-quality chocolate, and Hotel Chocolat's goody bag is the perfect answer to the Valentines Day question.
If you belong to the 'singles' category, don't fret. Not having a partner shouldn't spoil your Friday night. In fact, just think of the money you're saving from not having to buy for two, let alone eat over-priced, over-cooked steak in the West End. If your still not comforted by this, find a Ryan Gosling movie to eat you're chocolates with.
Disclaimer:this product was sent to me in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are mine.