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Recipes from the Old Forge Cafe

Lemon Mousse

In the book, A Taste of Death, Ben lures the greedy and sweet-toothed Paul Harding to his restaurant with the offer of Passion Fruit Mousse. For me, passion fruits, much as I love them, can prove really variable in quality and whilst they're great in fiction, when you're making a mousse I prefer something as foolproof as possible.

Lemons are pretty foolproof.

You'll need three bowls for the three things that have to be whisked. When you whisk the egg whites, tip some boiling water into the bowl, swill it round and throw away then wipe the surface with kitchen towel. Egg whites hate oil or grease and for similar reasons, don't get any yoke in it when you separate the eggs.

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From left to right:

egg yolk/sugar/lemon zest: whipped cream : beaten egg white

Ingredients

4 eggs

140 gms castor sugar

finely grated rind 2 lemons

juice of 2 lemons

300 ml double cream, half whipped

1. Beat egg yolks, sugar and lemon rind until thickened and white.

 

2. Soften gelatine in water then add to heated lemon juice, cool.

 

3. Add lemon juice and dissolved gelatine to egg yolk mixture.

 

4. Fold in whipped cream and stiffly beaten egg whites.

 

5. Either put in bowls or glasses and refrigerate or just chill in one

big bowl and scoop out

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Rosemary Focaccia

In A Taste of Death, Ben makes this to go with Minestrone Soup which isn't a bad idea. I happen to have rosemary in my garden (it's a shrub, evergreen & tough as old boots, the only care it needs is pruning back when it overgrows the path) but if you don't you can buy some in the supermarket fresh or use dried. Fresh is better.

I use a mixer with a dough hook to knead bread, just because I can walk away and do something else for 10 mins, but by hand is fine.Don't worry about technique, just so long as you keep scrunging it up constantly.Face it, the mixer doesn't worry about technique !

If you're worried, there will be almost certainly be someone on You Tube demonstrating the correct technique.

But the great thing about bread is that it's hard to

f*** it up. Just do it, it's more likely to work than not.

I made some mini-loaves, mainly for fun & I have a tin that I bought from somewhere in a sale. They look cute, don't they. But also pictured are some more traditional shapes.

 

Ingredients

 

500 gms strong white bread flour

15 gms salt

1 sachet (7gms) instant yeast

40 ml olive oil

320 ml warm water

Chopped rosemary

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1. Put all dry ingredients into a bowl, add olive oil, mix. (if not using machine, use a butter knife to mix at this stage)

2. Add water, not all of it at first, and mix until you have a soft dough that you can work with. If it's too wet and sticks to your hands, add a bit more flour until it becomes workable.

3. Either knead with your hands, or leave machine running and do something else, I've always got loads of housework to do, for 10 mins.

4. Put dough into an oiled rectangular bowl (or dinky roll tin like I have). Cover with a cloth and leave until doubled in size.

5. Either leave in their tins or, if making loaves, tip out on to floured work surface.

6. Handle it gently to keep the air in the dough. Either cut in two (or three like I did)get two baking trays, line with baking parchment and place one piece on each one and gently stretch to a uniform shape. Cover with tea towel and leave for about an hour until doubled in size.

7.Make dimples with your fingertips and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt if you have it or a little normal salt if you don't.

8. Put in an oven pre-heated to 220 centigrade.

9. Cook for 15 mins.

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Chop rosemary

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Rising...

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Risen...

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Baked...

Wonky Bread

 

The rolls (or mini loaves) were a perfect shape.The other loaves are irregular.It doesn't matter. Slice them up and put them in a bread basket, or fan them out on a plate, then no one will know.