Monday, 30 September 2013

saumon de mon père (Dad's Dinner)

This is another interpretation from The Fat Duck. The original is slightly better – liquorice poached salmon, individual grapefruit cells, caviar……. But budget and time allowing this is my version – my dad likes it so much, he requested that I named it after him when I made it one evening for supper

Saumon de mon père (Dad's Dinner)

Ingredients (serves 2)

Balsamic Glaze
100ml balsamic vinegar
half a fish stock cube
50ml water
Vanilla Mayonnaise
[290ml/½ pint groundnut oil
2 eggs, yolks only
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 heaped tsp powdered mustard
1 level tsp salt
freshly milled black pepper
1 tsp white wine vinegar ] – or 3tbsp Helmanns
1tsp vanilla extract
½ vanilla pod
2 Salmon fillets, boneless
Braised leeks
1 leek
black pepper
Fennel Chips
3 potatoes
2tsp fennel seeds
500ml sunflower oil
To serve
½ lemon
Sorrel leaves, picked

1.     For the balsamic glaze, place the Balsamic, stock cube and water in a pan and whisk until stock cube is dissolved over a high heat until bubbling, simmer for a minute then remove from the heat
2.    For the Mayonnaise, put the egg yolks into the basin, add the crushed garlic, mustard powder, salt and a little freshly milled black pepper. Mix all of these together well. Then, holding the groundnut oil in a jug in one hand and an electric hand whisk in the other, add drop of oil to the egg mixture and whisk this in. Continue this process ONE DROP AT A TIME- the mixture will begin to thicken and go very stiff and lumpy. When it gets to this stage you need to add a teaspoon of vinegar, which will thin the mixture down. Now the critical point has passed, you can then begin pouring the oil in a very, very thin but steady stream, keeping the beaters going all the time. When all the oil has been added, taste and add more salt and pepper if it needs it. Measure out 3tbsp of the mayonnaise, to this add the vanilla extract and the vanilla pod seeds, scraped out and mix, pour into a piping bag and chill *(see tip)
3.    For the chips Slice the potatoes lengthways into oblong rings, then slice into thin chips, approximately 1cm-1.5cm thick. Place in water with the fennel seeds and bing to the boil, boil for 2mins then drain and leave to steam.
4.    Meanwhile for the leeks, gently score the leek down the side to enable you to peel off the first layer, remove the top section and you should be left with a piece which flattened forms a large rectangle. Repeat with the next layer. Then slice the rest at an angle and place face downwards in a shallow frying pan, add a knob of butter and the black pepper and place on a low heat and cover, do not stir. Cook for 4mins then turn off the heat leaving them covered.
5.    For the salmon, cover in warm (not boiling) water and leave for 6mins changing the water twice, until the salmon feels firmer but hasn’t changed color.  Gently peel off the skin using a sharp knife and pat dry. Paint on the glaze thickly reserving half.
6.    For the chips, heat the oil in a deep pan until a piece of bread sizzles when dropped in. Fry the chips in two batches until golden brown, turning carefully with a spoon with holes.  Drain and keep warm in the oven till serving.
7.    To Serve, slice the lemon and peel fully, you should be left with 6 segment sections for each slice. Place the two leek rectangles in the microwave with 1tbsp water for 1min on high. Put the salmon in the oven for 4-5mins 250oC. Boil the balsamic glaze for 2mins on high, until the mixture is thick and syrupy, immediately place in pipette bottle.
8.     Lay the two leek rectangles on two square plates in the center and place the lemon segments artistically dotted around on top. Place a line of the braised leeks at an angle, face down, on the right side of the plate, leaving a 2cm gap between the leeks and rectangle. Pipe dots of the mayonnaise at 1cm intervals down both sides of the rectangle, then dot drops of the glaze in between. Gently remove the salmon and place on top of the lemon segments, and garnish with the sorrel. Serve with the chips in a bowl alongside.

*TIP turn the ends of the bag over on itself and hold the tip open with your fist, fill then squeeze mixture to the tip, twist the bag at the open end and leave. Keep the pressure of the twist all the time while using the bag.

Hestons Version

My Version

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Ferraro Rocher Cupcakes

I admit that I do not post enough sweet recipes to this blog despite having an intensely sweet tooth (I would always pick pudding over starter). I love making desserts - desserts is my favourite part of the meal because they give you the scope to be the most creative. You can mix sweet and savoury, you can shape almost anything (see the cake section), there are never constraints what you have to put on the plate and most of all it can have chocolate in it. Desserts are works of art and taste bloody good - I'm afraid this is why I believe food is a much higher form of art than a one off effort on a painting in the Tate modern. Plus I am pretty sure someone will soon come out with proven scientific research that baking is the most effective form of stress release and antidepressant.  So here is a decadent cake for a chocolate lover, not only is it beautiful but it combines probably every good thing god created (minus peanut butter and champagne) plus it has gold leaf on it, who wouldn't eat anything with gold leaf on it?

Ferraro Rocher
Vanilla Cupcakes, Filled with hazelnut cream, a layer of chocolate, boiled milk nutella frosting with hazelnut pieces, drizzled with white and milk chocolate, sprinkled with wafer and topped with gold leaf.

For the Cupcakes
225 grams granulated sugar
1 vanilla pod
175 grams cake flour, not self-rising (Available in the UK only from American food shops)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
57 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
75 grams full-fat sour cream
60ml vegetable oil
1Tbsp vanilla extract
160 ml whole milk

1.Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C.
2.In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla pod.
3.Using the back of a spoon, move around the bowl and apply pressure
to break up any clumps of seeds and to better infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar. Set aside.
4.In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together
cake flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt.
5.Add the vanilla sugar and mix until well combined.
6.Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes.  Because
there is so little butter, you'll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
7.In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and
vanilla extract until smooth.
8.Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed
until just combined.
9.Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined.  The batter
will be liquid. 
10.         Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
11.         Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They
are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it.  The cupcakes should appear white with specks of vanilla bean. They should not turn a golden brown.  If they are not done, test again in two minutes.  If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.
12.         When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the
tins and leave them on a cooling rack to cool.

For the Filling
240ml Whole Milk
2.5 Egg Yolks
55g Sugar
55g Cornstarch
2 teaspoons Hazelnut Liqueur

1.    In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch.
2.    Place over a low heat whisking gently just until the mixture bubbles, about 15 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir in hazelnut liqueur.
3.    Press plastic wrap directly on the top of the cream and place in fridge to cool completely, approximately 2 hours.
4.    When cupcakes are cool, cut a small hole in the centre of the cake and fill with the filling.

For the Chocolate Layer
100g melted milk chocolate

1. When the cupcakes are filled, pour over a thin layer of melted chocolate and leave to set, meanwhile make the icing.

For the Frosting
240ml Whole Milk
3 tbsp Plain
A pinch of Salt
225g unsalted Butter
225g Granulated Sugar
1tbsp nutella
2tbsp hazelnuts, finely chopped

1.    Whisk flour into milk and place over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Cook mixture until thickened, whisking constantly.
2.    Remove from heat and whisk in the Salt.
3.    Pour into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap on the surface. (This will stop the cooking and the plastic will prevent crusting) Set aside to cool slightly.
4.    In a stand mixer, begin creaming the butter and sugar until fluffy.
5.    When milk mixture is slightly cooled; add 1 TB at a time to the creamed butter mixture while the mixer is running on medium speed. Slowly but surely the gluten will pull in the butter into a pseudo emulsion. Add the nutella and mix again.
6.    You should have an extremely fluffy, light and buttery frosting when completed
7.    Toast the hazelnuts dry. When cooled, stir through the frosting
8.    Place in a piping bag and pipe onto the set chocolate
To finish
Wafer crumbled
Melted milk chocolate
Melted white chocolate
Gold leaf

1.    Top the cupcake with the wafer pieces
2.    Drizzle the melted milk chocolate and white chocolate over the cupcake in lines
3.    Finally dab a piece of gold leaf on top

Snail Porridge (My version) -YOU MUST TRY THIS DISH

One of the best things about working in the fat duck was the things I learnt and what I picked up which I could then transfer into my everyday cooking. For example, you try going to the shops and buying a sous vide machine on a student budget, let alone find the time to individually separate grapefruit cells while trying to meet a deadline. But the brilliant thing about the fat duck is it isn't just a show of conjuring tricks (hot and cold tea - just wow), foam for foams sake. It also has some of the most inspired texture, flavour and smell combination. While creating a dish, Heston thinks about every aspect and the overall sensation, no sense is more important than another, the dish should look aesthetically pleasing, it should impress with its innovation, but it should also taste pretty damn good. So I decided to spin a few of the recipes I saw being created to make them easier to create fast and easily, while maintaining the amazing flavours. Even if you are not a fan of snails (the snails are actually not essential in my version) YOU MUST TRY THIS DISH, think the warming sensation of porridge mixed with the flavour comfort garlic bread. 
Snail Porridge (My version)
Ingredients (serves 3 as a starter)

12 snails, shelled
2 cloves garlic
Parsley Butter
3 cloves garlic
large bunch of parsley
200g butter
5 baby mushrooms
Fennel Salad
1 fennel head
1tbsp walnut oil
1tbsp white wine vinegar
To serve
150ml stock
100g oats
shavings of parma ham (optional`)

1.     For the butter, finely dice the garlic and mushrooms. Fry the garlic in 25g butter for 1min then add the mushrooms and cook for a further minute. Meanwhile pick the parsley from its stalks, puree in a food processor. Mix (using a electric whisk) the remaining butter, garlic mix and parsley and refrigerate.
2.     For the snails, melt the butter in a pan with 100ml water. Add the garlic cloves whole and bring to the boil. Add the snails for 2-3mins each. Remove and set aside.
3.     For the fennel salad, finely slice the fennel with a mandolin, toss in the oil and vinegar and season.
4.     To serve, heat the butter in a pan till melted. Add the oats, then the stock in two batches, whisking with a fork throughout. Cook for 2-3mins then place in small dishes. Carefully place the parma ham on top then top with a handful of fennel salad and serve.