I will be quick today. I have to go somewhere and I don’t have much time for stories. I just want to tell you that this is a very easy and quick dessert, loved by everyone and the source of it is a card named ‘Delicious Meals Made Easy’ from London, in the time when London found out that it would host the Summmer Olympic Games.
Preparation: 15 minutes
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 284 ml (10 fl oz) pot of double cream
- 275 g (10 oz) natural yogurt
- 450 g (1 lb) fresh raspberries (or frozen ones, defrosted, but I don’t recommend)
- 100 g (4 oz) plain chocolate mini flakes, lightly crushed
- 4 mint sprigs to decorate
- In a bowl, mix together orange juice, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. Whip cream in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Stir in yogurt and orange juice mixture.
- Put three-quarters of the raspberries in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Using a spoon, press the purée through a fine sieve into a bowl. Discard seeds.
- Divide half the cream mixture between 4 dessert dishes. Pour half raspberry purée over the mixture in the dishes. Gently swirl through the 2 mixtures to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle over half the chocolate flakes.
- Top with the remaining cream mixture, raspberry purée and chocolate flakes. Put remaining whole raspberries on top. Decorate with mint sprigs and serve at once.
Posted in Desserts, F word, Vegetarian
Tagged cinnamon, Delicious Meals Made Easy, Dessert, dessert recipe, double cream, easy recipe, mint leaves, nutmeg, orange juice, plain chocolate, raspberry, raspberry dessert, raspberry dessert recipe, yogurt
In the Orthodox countries like mine, we celebrate Saints Constantin and his mother Elena on the 21st of May, so the persons named like that are phoned/or told “Happy name’s day!”. As I am Elena, I was told “Happy name’s day!” a lot yesterday, in fact, most of the day I spent it in the phone answering and talking. It is a traditional custom to do that, or to visit friends or relatives to wish them the same. I had visitors, of course, a couple of friends and I had a nice day. A big surprise expected me when all my colleagues from a previous job wished me in chorus on the phone “Happy name’s day!”. I could hear them crying. That was so nice of them and totally unexpected.
Because of this beautiful name I thought of a recipe that it bears it and I came with a very special one that I made in London for the first time, years ago. I made it at home again, just once, for another special occasion and my mom had the chance to eat something fine, elegant, exquisite and delicious. And not just her.
I have found the recipe in “Good Housekeeping – All Colour Party Cookbook”, 1992 at the “Stunning Desserts” chapter. Stunning it is. But at home I was not entirely satisfied with what I had so I searched on the Internet and found another recipe and now I am presenting a mix from both. In my humble opinion this is one of the best recipe I have eaten and the feeling can’t be described. When I talk about food, about the recipe I have tried I feel them again, with all that it comes along. A good food gives you something special, a happiness and a smile on your face. If I may say so, it is as satisfying as making love.
Poires Belle Helene
- 4 cooking pears (preferably Conference)
- 50 g (2 oz) sugar
- 900 ml (1 1/2 pints) water
- lemon rind and lemon juice from a whole lemon
- 150 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces (high quality and at least 70 % cocoa)
- 3 tbsp orange-flavoured liqueur or Poire William liqueur
- 1 or 2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream per person (optional)
- a few almond cookies (thin and crisp, no matter what shape you choose, or more authentic “tuiles aux amandes”)
- 200 ml double cream
- vanilla sugar
- Put the sugar, water, lemon rind and lemon juice in a deep pot and heat gently, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Peel the pears quickly (to prevent discoloration), leaving the stalks on. Cut out the cores from the bottom and level them so that the pears will stand upright.
- Submerge the pears if possible in the pot and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes on medium heat or until tender. Drain the pear, cover and keep the juice. Let them both cool down.
- Make the chocolate sauce. Bring the pear juice to a boil in a small pot and allow it to evaporate until half of the volume is left. Discard the lemon rind from the syrup. Place the small pot in a bigger one, half full of water (“Bain Marie”) and place over medium heat without allowing the water to boil. Cut the chocolate into small pieces and melt it in the warm pear syrup, stirring until smooth and shiny. Add Poire William or orange-flavoured liqueur for a special twist. And yes, you can dip a finger to taste. ONCE. 😉
- In another bowl, whip double cream with vanilla sugar to make crème Chantilly.
- To assemble, place one pear in each dish, upright. Add 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Pour the chocolate sauce on the pear and ice cream. Add crème Chantilly. Stick 1 or 2 almonds thins in the ice cream.
- Serve immediately. I know you can’t wait to taste. But wait: there is somebody missing. Yes, your loved ones.
Posted in Desserts, English, F word, Vegetarian
Tagged almond thins, Conference pears, cream Chantilly, dark chocolate, Dessert, dessert recipe, double cream, French cuisine, french dessert, french recipe, Good Housekeeping - All Colour Party Cookbook, lemn rind, lemon juice, orange-flavoured liqueur, pear recipe, pears, Poire William liqueur, poires Belle Helene, poires belles helene recipe, tuiles aux amandes, vanilla ice cream
A little bit of…
Yesterday I posted the recipe in Romanian and I’ve decided that today I would post it in English. But it is not to be my first post for today, because I’ve had the nice surprise to read it on my nice colleague’s blog about my blog. Check this out, but only if you know Romanian:
Back to my tried and tested recipe, I have to add that it is not just any Tiramisu, it is a very special, exquisite one made by Heston Blumenthal. If you check Wikipedia you will find very interesting things about him.
Here is the recipe, taken from “The Sunday Times” some years ago. My intention is to make it again for this Easter and here is the proof.
The key element here is the chopped chocolate – choose a good-quality one that you really want to eat.
Serves 4 (but you will probably want it all for yourself)
- 75-100 g good-quality chocolate (my fav is one with at least 70% cocoa) (you can always add more chocolate, like 2 bars or as my blue flower would say, a box 🙂 )
- 50 g unrefined caster sugar or just brown or plain sugar if you can’t find caster
- 235-250 ml double cream, chilled
- 265 g mascarpone
- 300 ml black coffee, cold and fairly strong
- 4 tbsp (or to taste) Marsala or amaretto (if you don’t have any, any liqueur will do as long as you think it goes with the taste of Tiramisu) (optional)
- 125 sponge fingers
- cocoa powder
- Chop the chocolate with a knife, or if you prefer, you can grate it, then leave it in a cool place. I prefer grating it (it is quicker) or use the food processor.
- Dissolve the sugar in 100 ml of the double cream over a gentle heat, then set aside to cool. Lightly whip the remaining cream over a gentle heat, then set aside to cool. Lightly whip the remaining cream in a cold bowl and set aside.
- Work the mascarpone with a spoon until it has loosened up a little, then carefully incorporate the whipped cream and the cooled sweetened cream. Add 4 tbsp of the coffee to taste – more if you prefer. It is important to add enough to get the flavour you want, but not so much that is loosens the mix.
- Pour the rest of the coffee and the alcohol, if using, into a flat-bottomed bowl large enough to lay the fingers in. Place a few fingers in the coffee mix and turn over a few times – they need to be soaked. Place on a plate and repeat until all fingers are done. If necessary, make more coffee.
- Once soaked, place enough fingers in the bottom of a serving bowl to form a single layer. Spread a third of the cream mixture over them and smooth out, then sprinkle with some cocoa powder and a third of chocolate. Repeat until all the cream is used up. You should have three layers of cream and three of the cocoa-chocolate mix.
- Place in the fridge for a couple of hours. Just before serving, generously dust with cocoa powder.
PS: don’t eat it all at once, indulge for a couple of hours, SAVOUR it!
Posted in Desserts, English, F word
Tagged amaretto, black chocolate, caster sugar, chef heston blumenthal, chocolate, cocoa, cofee, cream, Dessert, Heston Blumenthal, heston blumenthal recipe, heston blumenthal tiramisu, italian dessert, lift me up, marsala, mascarpone, sponge fingers, sunday times, tiramisu, tiramisu recipe