Wednesday, 21 August 2013


Serves 6

1.5kg big tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 large green pepper
1 thick slice of bread, no crust - this gives texture and consistency
1 clove of garlic
Cup of olive oil
Teaspoon of caster sugar
3 or 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
Dash of salt

Freshly picked tomatoes from B's garden
Score crosses at both ends of all the tomatoes.
Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute, then put into iced water to stop them cooking.
Peel the skins and deseed. This gives the gazpacho a smooth texture.
Peel the skins of the cucumber, and deseed half of it.
Chop the cucumber and pepper, and blend with everything else.
Serve with ice cubes and a drizzle of chilli oil.

Thank you S for this recipe.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Baked chocolate mousse

BAKED CHOCOLATE MOUSSE300g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
150g unsalted butter
6 eggs, separated
60g icing sugar
Sea salt

Use sifted icing sugar and a template to create a pattern of your choice. We used a (clean) fly swat, although it looks a little like a wine glass...

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Melt together the chocolate and butter in a bain marie, then add sea salt to taste. I used 5 grinds.
Beat the egg yolks and half of the sugar for one minute, then add to the chocolate/butter mixture.
Whisk the egg whites until you get soft peaks, then gradually add the rest of the sugar until you get stiff peaks.
Fold a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, and then pour the mixture back into the egg whites. Don't pour from a height, because you'll lose the air you managed to trap.
Pour into your tin, and cook for 20 minutes (or a little less for a fondant type filling).

Serve with ice cream or white chocolate mousse, and a glass of nicely chilled Rivesalte wine.

Adapted from James Martin's Desserts

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


Imagine forests next to beaches next to mountains, and you're in the autonomous region of Catalunya (Catalan spelling). At the moment it is quite hot here - especially considering it's about 5C cooler in the mountains!
Turn on the grill.
Put the kippers on a foiled baking tray
Halve tomatoes, put them on the kippers, and then season with pepper and salt.
Cook for five minutes, and serve with lemon and bread. We had poppyseeded pain de campagne.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Eton Mess

This pud is ridiculously simple but rewarding EVERY time...


meringues (crispy meringues are better than chewy meringues)
icing sugar, to taste
double cream

As a general rule, I use 600ml double cream for every 10 meringues.

Whisk the cream, and add icing sugar as soon as it reaches soft peaks, until you get stiff peaks.
Break up the meringues- chunky pieces are good!
Fold in the broken meringues, and then the fruits.
Serve with a sprig of mint.

Add some Pimms and finely chopped basil when you have whipped the cream.
Use custard instead of cream, and freeze for Eton Mess ice cream.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Gooey and indulgent chocolate cake

250g dark chocolate (use milk chocolate for a fudgier taste)
250g unsalted butter
200g sugar - I used a mixture of soft brown sugar, caster sugar, and muscovado sugar
50g cocoa powder
4 eggs, separated

sea salt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 160C, and line a tray/tin with salted butter.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie, then set aside.
Beat the egg yolks, sugar and cocoa powder until thoroughly combined.
Add the mixture to the chocolate/butter mixture.
Whisk the egg whites until you get stiff peaks, then fold into the other mixture.
Pour into the tray/tin.
If you're adding the salt, sprinkle a little over the top.
Pop into the oven for 30 minutes - or until a fork comes out clean.
When cooked, leave in the tin for 5 minutes (to hold its shape), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Serve with chantilly.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Potato salad

1.5kg potatoes (I would use New Potatoes or Jersey Royals)
a handful of finely chopped dill and parsley
a teaspoon of chopped chives
3 teaspoons of mustard
a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
pepper and salt (to season)

MAYONNAISE3 egg yolks
vegetable oil
olive oil (extra virgin is preferable)

Peel the potatoes and cut into small chunks.
Rinse the potatoes to get rid of excess starch. This is what makes the potatoes sticky and glutinous.
Boil the potatoes over a medium heat for 30 minutes (or until you can put a fork in easily).
When the potatoes are cooked, rinse them in cold water to stop them cooking.

Beat the egg yolks until you have a liquid.
Whilst whisking, add a little vegetable oil.  You must add it gradually so that the mixture does not separate.
Continue whisking and add some olive oil.
Repeat this until it looks like mayonnaise and you have the amount you need.

Add the mustard, herbs, vinegar, and pepper and salt to the mayonnaise, and whisk until thoroughly combined.
Toss among the potatoes and serve immediately.