Friday, 12 March 2010

slow roast lamb, white chocolate souffles and julie/julia...

after a rather long old time of it at work and a brain full of annoying life decisions to be made, I felt I had rather been neglecting my quest for culinary excellence...and especially after going to this scrumptious restaurant for my mum's birthday, and buying the below pot with special bonus money from work, I had to get out of my funk.

not that I have not been a'cookin..I've had cakes and pie coming out of my ears, but this has meant my dinners have been not so elaborate.  This changed tonight.  ok, that is a bit of a lie, I made chicken kievs on wednesday, but that doesn't count compared to this...

Slow cooked lamb shanks in red wine, served with sweet potato mash, roasted parsnips and flagolet beans...

this in itself, I do have to say, was YUM!  though I do think this is in part due to my new shiny le creuset dish which is not allowed to be put away for at least a month.

but what this blog is really about is the sweet things, and this leads me to my mum, for whom this dinner was cooked, is just a little bit fond of white chocolate so I went a little nuts on the white choc front...

white chocolate souffles with dark chocolate chips, served with a cold white chocolate creme anglaise.  I can actually feel my arteries aching.  but in a good way.  Though this may also have something to do with watching Julie & Julia at the same time as dessert which may have been food overload!

the souffle is from this beautiful book, the recipe says it make 4x6 floz ramekins, but I only got 3 out of it...don't know if this was my error but the souffle was divine so I do not care!  the creme anglaise I adapted from the basic recipe I have to make a thinner sauce, as follows:

1 cup double cream
1/2 cup skimmed milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
3 1/2 oz finely chopped white chocolate...find of the week - Lidls 99p white chocolate, really good quality!  whoopee!
1 tsp vanilla extract

bring the cream and milk to a simmer whilst you beat the sugar and egg yolks with a hand mixer til very pale yellow.  take the milk/cream mixture off the heat and remove 1/2 cup, stir into the egg mix to temper, then return the pan to the heat and add back into it the egg mix.  keep stirring with a wooden spoon til it coats the back of the spoon.  pour into a medium bowl and stir in the white chocolate, mix well to melt the chocolate then add in the vanilla...leave to cool or serve warm.

once the souffles are out of the oven, all nice and puffed up, take spoon and delve into the middle...pouring the creme anglaise into the hole -  this has the added bonus of not only tasting crazily good but also cooling the souffle down enough to not burn your mouth as you gorge yourself on it.

next I plan to make gingerbread souffles and use this sauce again.

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