Sunday 29 April 2012

A Last Minute Ice Cream Experiment

When I heard about the theme for Kavey's ice cream round up this month, I was super excited...
Sorbets, granitas, slushies and spooms. SPOOMS. Could there honestly be anything more awesome sounding?

In fact, though, time and freezer space massively conspired against me in April, so what I have ended up with is a last minute non churned dessert that lies somewhere near the middle of the sorbet/slushie/spoom spectrum.
A kind of sorbushoom, if you will :-)

Anyone who knows me will know that I'm a proper fruit fiend. Berries in particular.
In order to feed my addiction, I have a freezer full of frozen fruit.
On reflection, this may be contributing towards the lack of freezer space.
It struck me that liquidising frozen fruit might well make a kind of sorbet - in the summer, I quite often eat it direct from the freezer mixed with yogurt, which gives an extremely pleasing ice cream effect - so I reckoned that I could maybe spoomulate something similar.

First I made some Italian meringue.

I separated 3 eggs, hanging onto the yolks for later.

I boiled up 360g sugar with 80g water until it reached 110 degrees.

At this point, I turned the heat up and also started to whisk the egg whites.

When the syrup reached 121 degrees, I whipped it off the heat. The eggs were nice and peaky by this stage.

I poured the syrup (really super slowly - steady stream and all that) into the egg whites whilst whisking slowly until it was all combined.
Tragically, there is no picture of this stage, as, it turns out, it's pretty much impossible to whisk stuff, pouring boiling sugar and take photographs at the same time. Who'd have thunk it...?

I left lovely Kenwood whisking for another 15 minutes or so until the meringue was properly cooled.

When this was done, I chucked some frozen blackcurrants, cherry brandy and lemon juice into the liquidiser and blitzed it all up.
If I'd been a bit more conscientious, I might have sieved the stuff too, but I quite like a bit of roughage in my fruit and am too lazy for sieving, so I didn't...

This was already quite sorbetlicious, but I stuck it in the freezer for a bit to harden up (mixing occasionally, to avoid lump-of-ice syndrome).

When it was nice and frozen, I folded my sorbet into a bowl with (some of) the meringue, refroze a bit

and, hey presto - spoom!

It's very good - like a kind of frozen mousse - not certain that's exactly how it's supposed to be, but I'm not unhappy with the effect...
Might try again some time with a more conventional sorbet!

Saturday 28 April 2012

This Week

Oh dear...
It has been LONG since my last post, so this one is just going to be a wee catch up.

I blame the fact that the stupid BlogPress app on my iPhone is on the blink again. I've written more than one post, only to have it repeatedly fail to upload and ultimately get lost.


Anyway - here it is - I'll try to keep it brief.

On Sunday evening, I ate probably the best roast chicken that I've ever had.
It was a posh French poulet noir from the nice people at The Ginger Pig (via Hubbub), that we roasted slowly with some tasty butternut squash and other vegetables. Served with lemony mixed leaf and toasted walnut salad.

Quite a costly bird, but there is no question in my mind that he was worth it - I would definitely buy him again.
There was loads left over too - at least a day or two worth of meals and the stock is still going now.

I also made a gincake.
It was basically just a victoria sponge, flavoured with gin instead of vanilla, soaked in gin and tonic syrup and iced with a gin laced buttercream and decorated with lime zest.
It turned out better than expected - really good juicy cake and genuinely quite ginny.

Monday was a very very exciting day. After work, I schlepped over to the Ginger Pig flagship store in Marylebone to cash in my butchery class Christmas present.

We learned all about cutting up cows and I made this (currently snuggled up in our freezer, awaiting eatage) cote de boeuf.

We then ate a giant wedge of roasted rib with ridiculously creamy garlicky daupinoise

followed by an obscene chocolate studded bread (ok, ok - brioche) and butter pudding, which, as soon as I'm over the experience, I shall be attempting to recreate at home.


The class was fantastic - I really learned a lot as well as having a great time.
I'm saving up for the pig course now. And maybe the sausages :-)

Tuesday was a no-meat-recovery day. Asparagus, eggs and sweet chilli sauce. Classic.

Wednesday I had a work quiz night whatsit in the evening, which was mainly oriented around beers and champagne, but also included nibbles and mini burgers.
We didn't win, but we also didn't disgrace ourselves.

I was utterly exhausted by the time I got home on Thursday night. It was quite out of character, but I couldn't even bring myself to cook asparagus.
So I ate smoked mackerel, squidged up on some toasted Hackney Wild (with gorgeous beurre doux) with pickled rhubarb.
Not at all my usual thing, but delicious nevertheless.

And finally today.
Rump steaks from Ginger Pig (what can I say? I'm a good customer) - my actual favourite cut - so so tasty - grilled and served with a kind of ratatouille and some asparagus.

Saturday 21 April 2012

The Weekend Begins...

Last night - delicious Ginger Pig onglet with roasted squash, beetroot and feta salad, wine, martinis and good company.

Eggs, anchovies, beurre doux, shallots and crispbread for lunch today.

And tom yum (yum yum yum) for dinner. With prawnses.

It's been a good weekend so far. I have eaten a LOT.

Thursday 19 April 2012


I was a bit wiped when I got home tonight and it was late, but lovely husband had saved me some of his delicious duck livers, so I fumbled around for some other quick things and came up with this unholy hybrid...

Duck livers with grilled asparagus, small leftover cabbage and kimchi.

Odd, but it pretty much hit the spot.

Here is a kitten waiting to be recycled also, in case that's more your thing.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Mackerel Day

Mackerel with double asparagus and pickled rhubarb.
And colourful tomatoes.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Lazy Sunday

On Sunday, we went and tasted (and drunkenly purchased) 28 wines at The Sampler's spring tasting in Islington.

In order to line our stomachs (aren't we sensible?), we first went and kebabbed ourselves silly next door at Gem.

We ate vegetabley, yogurty things to start - broad beans and aubergine.

And then chicken shish for husband and chicken kofte for me (I think I won the kebabs, but it was a close run thing).

It was all v nice, filling (and stomach lining) and cheap - exactly what was required.

Post wine tasting, we were hungry again (I know, I know - we are little piggies) so we ate some "ratatouille" that I'd cunningly prepared earlier.
Husband ate his with rice and complaints about the lack of meat.
I ate mine with Stilton.

Last night, we ate trout and broccoli. Yum.

I also finally managed to use up my Herman starter.
I made bread on Sunday evening, which was beautifully soft and had a perfect crumb and crust, but was so sweet that it couldn't really be used as bread. I didn't add extra sugar or anything - I think that maybe Herman is just too sweet a starter to use for bread. It honestly tasted of nothing more than a giant (baked) doughnut...
I'm not really sure what to do with it now - maybe I can freeze and save for bread pudding/summer pudding or similar.
I used the very final bit to make a chocolate chip slab cake, which was a whole lot more predictable.
After the terrible tragedy of having accidentally thrown away the frozen bits of my last proper sourdough starter, I think I might embark upon the task of formulating a new one.
It seems like it might be Time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday 14 April 2012

Lentils and Things That Are Green

Pre dinner snackette today of padron peppers.
Quite exciting today as I actually got the mythical hot one, which I honestly had ceased to believe existed.

Followed by the main event of lentils and lovely round courgettes stuffed with the same. Husband also had rice.
I love lentils. Sometimes I forget.

Friday 13 April 2012

Same again....

Late home tonight.

Very tired.

Rescued by asparagus, eggs and caper vinaigrette.

Thursday 12 April 2012


Given my laziness tiredness on getting home this evening, I wanted something super quick for tea.
I managed to entirely thwart this ambition by including broad beans - stupid shelling/podding etc.
Still - they were very tasty.
Boiled eggs with broad bean, asparagus, spinach and radish salad. With capers. Yum.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Easter and Thereafter

On Easter Sunday, we went out for afternoon-tea-based lunch at Palm Court at the Langham in lieu of a 90th birthday party for my Granny (her actual birthday was a few days earlier).
Because it was Easter, they had a special Easter bank holiday themed tea in place of their usual Wonderland tea.
We gorged ourselves senseless on pretty sandwiches, scones and Eastery cakes, all washed down with a wacky variety of teas.
 Amazing little sandwiches (which they KEPT offering to bring refills of) and The Cakes.

 And The Cakes again - SO Eastery!

Scone, innit...

We've afternoon tea'd at the Langham before (during our post wedding week of fun) so we had an idea of what to expect, but the rest of the family hadn't. I think they were suitably impressed with the offerings.
It's an expensive meal out, but the food is beautiful and fun, the setting is impressive, the atmosphere really nice (luxurious, but still casual an family friendly) and the staff are absolutely delightful - really attentive and helpful and were especially lovely about the two small nephews (who were angelic, but still small boys) and non-cake-eating in laws.
Oh - and there was a man playing Disney songs, jazz standards and tunes from adverts on a blue grand piano.
Honestly - what more could you wish for...?
We played with the nephews and whatnot for a bit at my parents' house, and then came home to survey the spoils of Easter.

Hard to believe, but we managed to eat the remaining two steaks (we ate the first two on Saturday) with asparagus and a million kinds of lovely delicatessen salads. Yum.

On Easter Monday (by which time I was thoroughly getting used to the whole holiday vibe), I finally knuckled down and ate my Easter present (which I bought for myself at Selfridges the week before) - soft boiled goose egg and asparagus - the lunch of Kings.
See how large and awesome!

Monday evening - holiday farewell tea of stir fried cavolo nero and leeks and things. Husband had mash and black pudding with his. I properly dirtied mine up by mixing stilton into it.

Back to work on Tuesday, celebrated with roasted chicken thighs and romanesco cauliflower.

And, this evening, gurnard (which turns out to be delicious, rather contrary to my memory of the last time we had it), with asparagus and baby spinach salad.
And Sriracha sauce.

OK - that's all for now, folks - apologies for the longness - I shall try to get back on track with the daily postings henceforth.
I leave you with a picture of husband just before he devoured the fairy cakes which I made (to his specification, broadly) in order to use up the mini eggs :-)