Reidbury's Kitchen

Food thoughts, recipes and billowing smoke from a home cook's kitchen in London


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Mocha Chocolate Mousse (with Irish Whiskey)

Mocha Chocolate Mousse with Irish Whiskey, What Katie Ate

Mocha Chocolate Mousse with Irish Whiskey, What Katie Ate

Not so long ago I was in a homeware shop that had a LOT of cookery books on sale. And whilst I know you’re not supposed to, I totally judge books by their cover. This lovely looking book was buried in the pile and then as soon as I read the title I knew that it was fate – the book is ‘What Katie Ate’! Flicking through it in the shop I then noticed every single page I landed on contained a recipe I really wanted to cook. So, there it is. Fate was sealed. Book was in the trolley before you could say ‘seriously, another one’. The book really is lovely (available to buy here and her website is here) and I’ve been looking forward to trying some things out. I started with her Mocha Chocolate Mousse with Irish Whiskey and the reason I put the last bit in brackets in the post title is because I chose to switch out whiskey for rum (which the recipe does suggest). I love whiskey, but Paul isn’t keen so I went with the alternative.

This mousse was lovely – nice and light and the mocha flavouring was a good touch. I did end up using practically every bowl I owned though, as you need to create a bain marie and use it with two different mixes. And then have another bowl with iced water and a final one to whisk the egg whites in. But otherwise, pretty straightforward to make and really good to eat!

KB rating 8/10. PR rating 8.5/10

Mocha Chocolate Mousse with Irish Whiskey (serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

  • 170g good quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp good quality instant coffee granules, mixed with 2 tbsp hot water
  • 4 free-range eggs, separated
  • 150g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra
  • 2 tbsp Irish Whiskey (or dark rum)
  • Pinch fine salt
  • Whipped cream, to serve

Method:

Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to a gentle simmer, and melt the chocolate, butter and coffee in a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over the pan but doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside. Keep the water simmering away.

Place a few handfuls of ice into a large bowl and half-fill with water. Set aside nearby.

In another heatproof bowl that fits over the saucepan of simmering water (and will sit inside the bowl of ice water), add the egg yolks, caster sugar, whiskey/rum and 1 tablespoon cold water. Using a balloon whisk or hand-held electric beaters, whisk for about 3 minutes until the mixture thickens, becomes paler and has a similar consistency to runny mayonnaise. Remove the bowl from the heat and place it in the bowl of iced water. Continue to whisk for a further few minutes until the mixture thickens and cools slightly, being careful that no water gets into the mixture. Add the chocolate mixture to the beaten eggs and stir to combine.

Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until just stiff and frothy. Add the extra tablespoon of caster sugar and beat again until just glossy.

Using a large mixing spoon, add one spoonful of egg whites to the chocolate mix and fold in gently. Gradually fold in the remaining egg whites, taking care not to overmix.

Transfer the mousse to a jug, then pour into individual serving jars or glasses. Chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours before serving. Top with a thick layer of whipped cream to serve.

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Nigella’s Tiramisini

Tiramisini, Nigellissima

Tiramisini, Nigellissima

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe from Nigella’s new book Nigellissima for a while and yesterday was the day! I really liked this recipe – it took absolutely no time to make at all, and the portion size is just right for me. I do like Tiramisu but only in small doses as I find it can become pretty sickly. Nigella says that this recipe is easier to make for smaller numbers and it doesn’t need to sit overnight in the fridge – just 20 mins will do it. And I have to agree – it’d be a great dessert to whip up if you have a couple of friends over for dinner.

If you want to see Nigella make this herself, the video is here

KB rating 9/10. PR rating 8.75/10 (he’s becoming ridiculous with his ratings…)

Tiramisini (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 100ml espresso, or strong instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp coffee liqueur
  • 4 savoiardi biscuits (fine sponge fingers)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp Marsala
  • Approx 1 tsp good-quality cocoa powder
  • 4 x small (approx 125ml) martini glasses

Method

Make your espresso and pour into a heatproof jug, adding the coffee liqueur. Leave it to cool.

Break each sponge finger into about 4 and drop the pieces into the martini glasses, then pour the cooled espresso mixture over them. Tamp down gently, making sure the biscuits are soaked all over.

Using an electric hand-held whisk for ease, beat the egg whites into soft peaks and set aside.

Scrape the mascarpone into another bowl, adding the honey. Beat with a whisk (no need to clean it out first) and, when smooth, beat in the Marsala.

Fold in the egg whites, a third at a time, then dollop this mixture over the soused sponge fingers in each glass, using a spoon to whirl it into a swirly peak.

Let them stand in the fridge for at least 20 mins and up to 24 hours, then dust with cocoa, pushing it through a fine-mesh strainer, just before serving.

Nom nom nom.


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Rhubarb and Apple Flapjack Crumble

Rhubarb and Apple Flapjack Crumble, Delicious Magazine March 2013

Rhubarb and Apple Flapjack Crumble, Delicious Magazine March 2013

Whilst I’m not necessarily a dessert person, I am most definitely a crumble lover! Especially if the weather is crappy. And when I saw this recipe in Delicious Magazine (March 2013) for Rhubarb and Apple Flapjack Crumble (and saw the cover image of the magazine!), I knew I had to give it a go. And I’m so glad I did – having this in the oven whilst the great meatball disaster was underway, was my only source of sanity. I actually didn’t think I’d be able to follow the recipe exactly, as I had to find rhubarb on the Roman Road (in the east end of London)! I was fully intending to buy whatever appropriate fruit I could lay my hands on. But the wonderful local fruit and veg shop had a tiny amount left and I could follow the recipe to the letter.

The recipe, as with all crumble recipes, is an absolute doddle to make. I’m quite a puritan when it comes to a crumble – I don’t like over-complicating it, but this recipe is pretty conventional. Rhubarb and apple is a perfect combination for me – sharp and sweet in equal measure. And the addition of jumbo oats to the crumble topping adds a really nice texture. The only thing that didn’t go as smoothly as it should have was creating the crumble topping. Despite keeping my butter in the fridge, it wasn’t cold enough when I rubbed the crumble mixture together – is was a bit more doughy than I’d have liked. But the end result was great nonetheless.

I served this with vanilla ice cream, but Paul has since bought some custard to go with the leftovers!

KB rating 8.5/10. PR rating 8/10.

Rhubarb and Apple Flapjack Crumble (serves 6-8)

Ingredients

  • 500g rhubarb
  • 500g cooking apples
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3-5 tbsp soft light brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like it. I went with 4 tbsp and it worked well)
  • 15g butter
  • Vanilla ice cream, cream or custard to serve

Crumble Topping Ingredients

  • 200g cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 150g plain flour
  • 150g jumbo oat flakes
  • 175g soft light brown sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 190C/fan170C/gas 5

First, make the topping. Using your fingertips, rub together the butter, flour, oats and sugar in a large bowl until you have a rough crumble mix. Set this aside.

Chop the rhubarb into 3cm lengths and put in a large bowl. Peel, core and chop the apples into 3cm chunks, then add these to the rhubarb. Quickly mix through the lemon juice and sugar.

Put a saucepan over a medium heat and melt the 15g butter. Add the fruit to the pan and cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the fruit to a 3 litre baking dish, then tumble over the crumble mixture. Don’t pack this down. (I actually did the fruit in a Le Creuset buffet pan, and then added the topping directly to the same pan which worked perfectly. As long as your baking dish is shallow, you’ll be fine).

Put the dish into the oven, on the middle rack, and bake for 40 minutes or until the crumble is golden and the fruit is soft and bubbling underneath.

Serve warm from the oven with your choice of cream/ice cream/custard. Enjoy.


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A Dessert For The Lazy

Iced Berries with Limoncello White Chocolate Sauce

Iced Berries with Limoncello White Chocolate Sauce

It was only a matter of time before I referenced the Food Goddess herself – Nigella Lawson. Anyone who knows me, is fully aware of my somewhat obsessive love for this domestic goddess – I’m still convinced if she just met me, we’d be the best of friends. I mean, we like the same things – wearing black dresses, sticking our fingers into bowls of chocolate, fairy lights… But in all seriousness, there’s no other person who makes me want to get into the kitchen and cook something as much as Nigella. And inevitably, that ‘something’ is usually not that healthy. Bonus.

Over Christmas, my parents and I had finished dinner and were  stuffed. Well, almost. Mum and I had a sneaky little yearning for something sweet.  It wasn’t appropriate to start whipping up a Croquembouche after a few glasses of wine, so we dug out Nigella’s latest book Nigellissima and made what might be the finest, laziest, tastiest post-dinner treat I’ve had – Iced Berries with Limoncello White Chocolate Sauce. It is actually really similar to a dessert I had at the wonderful Boundary Restaurant in Shoreditch and is a perfect combination of sharp and sweet. And it’s pretty easy to whip up if you want to show off to your friends as the ingredients can sit happily in your fridge freezer until needed.

Once Mum and I started eating this, all of a sudden Dad arrived with a spoon hidden in his back pocket. So watch out for converts…

Ingredients

  • 250ml/9fl oz double cream
  • 4 tbsp limoncello
  • 200g/7oz white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 500g/1lb 2oz frozen mixed berries (unthawed) – I went with a combo of raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants and blueberries, but any will do

Method

Put the double cream and two tablespoons of the limoncello in a milk pan, and heat it until just about to come to the boil, but not actually boiling.

Take the pan off the heat and add the white chocolate, then swirl the pan about so that it is all submerged.

Take the berries out of the freezer and arrange them in a single layer in a dish or plate that has a small lip (so that the sauce doesn’t drip off later). Mum and I actually used a cake stand, which worked nicely and made us feel fancy. Sprinkle with the remaining two tablespoons of limoncello and leave for five minutes, during which time you can swirl your white chocolate pan about every now and again to help the chocolate melt into the lemony cream.

Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the chocolate-cream mixture, still off the heat, until it’s smooth, then pour it over the berries and serve immediately

Recipe & Image Credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/iced_berries_with_63709