It has been a while since I have made a mousse and I had forgotten how easy they are to prepare. However, it does require you to use a lot of bowls resulting in a huge pile of washing up afterwards. I think the reason that I don’t make them that often is because you have to wait for them to set in the fridge for several hours and I tend to prefer a more spontaneous pudding that can be prepared and cooked within 30 minutes…
Once this pudding sets it has two layers. The bottom layer is a beautifully zingy citrus curd that isn’t too sweet and the top layer is a wonderfully light and airy mousse. The only regret I have about making this dessert is that I didn’t put it in a glass bowl, as it is a really attractive pudding with its two layers.
Lemon & Lime Curd Mousse
2 lemons (juice and zest)
3 limes (juice and zest)
4 eggs (separated)
200g caster sugar
1 sachet of gelatine
1. Measure the juice of the lemons and lime in a measuring jug and top up with water so that you have ½ a pint of liquid.
2. Place the liquid into a saucepan and heat. Once the liquid is warm add the gelatine stirring until it is dissolved then leave to cool slightly.
3. In another bowl whisk together the zest, sugar and egg yolks. Slowly whisk in the liquid.
4. Beat the egg whites until they have stiff peaks and whisk the cream to allow it to thicken slightly. Add both the egg whites and cream to the lemon mixture and fold in carefully.
5. Pour the mixture into the bowl (or individual glasses) that you wish to serve in and place in the fridge to set for 3-4 hours.
When you think of Yorkshire puddings you would normally associate them as an accompaniment to a roast. However, today I am going to try and convince you that you can enjoy them as a pudding. I made these yesterday evening for our pudding. My first selling point is that they are incredibly quick and easy to make. The batter takes no time at all to whip up and can rest on the side until you are ready to use it (if you do this give it one last whisk just before you tip it into the moulds). Whilst the apricots benefit from being rehydrated this can be done whilst you are cooking/eating your main course.
I think my main selling point however is the taste – they are beautifully light, they are not too sweet and the fruit adds a slight zing. The outside of the puddings will be lovely and crunchy whilst the inside will remain moist. Like a true Yorkshire pudding it will collapse slightly after cooking because of all the air in the middle – so don’t worry. I served my puddings with a little crème fraiche and found that it really complimented the flavours. Having eaten my share I found myself wanting more – that in itself has got to be a good sign…
Sweet Yorkshire Puddings
Ingredients: (makes 6)
1 ½oz plain flour
pinch of salt
9 – 12 dried apricots (cut into quarters and rehydrate in boiling water for 15-30 minutes)
1 eating apple (peeled, cored and cut into small chunks)
Vegetable oil (for cooking with)
icing sugar (for dusting)
1. Preheat oven to 200C fan.
2. Put the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl, using a whisk beat the egg into the dry mix.
3. Slowly add the milk whisking all the time so stop any lumps forming, then decant the batter into a measuring jug.
4. Take a non-stick muffin tray and pour a little oil roughly ½tsp – 1tsp into the base of 6 of the moulds. Place in the oven for 3-5 minutes so that the oil is hot.
5. Remove from the oven and pour the batter evenly between each of the pre-oiled moulds. Then drop in the apple and apricot pieces into the batter – use a teaspoon to push the fruit pieces gently under the batter.
6. Put the muffin tray back in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from the tin, dust with icing sugar and serve with a little crème fraiche or pouring cream.
I have just returned from a quick visit to see a couple of friends who live just over an hour away. We went on a lovely walk that took us to the top of a small “bastide” village which had brilliant views over the surrounding countryside. On the way there we passed some vines that were being harvested. It was quite unlike the more romantic “vendange” that I went to a couple of weeks ago where all the grapes were being picked by hand. By contrast these grapes were being picked by specially designed machine that drives over the vines and strips the grapes as it goes. It was quite impressive to watch from the road and extremely quick. One thing I did notice was how bashed the grapes were as evidenced by how much juice there was when the grapes were tipped into the back of a trailer.
I took a very small gift with me for my friends – some French biscuits known as Langue de Chat (Cat’s Tongue). The name of the biscuits might not sound the most attractive but I can assure you they are definitely worth trying as they are very simple and taste delicious! I first started making Langue de Chat biscuits after a neighbour came around with a box of them shortly after they moved to the area and I just had to give them a go. What I like about them is you can make a batch and then add different flavours to them. Over the last year I have made the following types; orange, almond, chocolate orange, vanilla, chocolate and various ones with slithers of almond on the top. Yesterday I divided the batter in half and made both almond and orange biscuits.
As I was making them, I made two very silly mistakes yesterday firstly, never turn your back on biscuits when they are cooking in the oven and secondly, don’t forget to turn the temperature of the oven down when you are using a fan oven. Consequently the first batch of the biscuits that went through the oven were slightly on the brown side, however I got the bake on the second batch right. All I can say is pay attention to the biscuits when they are in the oven.
Langue de Chat
8oz caster sugar
4 egg whites
8oz plain flour
vanilla essence (chop and change the flavours as you wish)
Preheat the oven to 200C fan and line several baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Place the sugar and butter in a bowl and cream them together.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are at the soft peak stage.
Add the egg whites to the butter and sugar mix.
Fold in the flour carefully.
Then add the flavour of your choice.
Place the batter in a piping bag (I sometimes use a freezer bag which I cut the corner off).
Pipe the batter in straight lines on to the prepared baking trays (note they do expand a little when they cook).
Bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes. (Make sure you keep an eye on them.)
Once cooked place them on a cooling rack and leave them to cool down before eating them or placing them in a box to be given away as a gift.