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Everything posted by jmacnaughtan

  1. If you haven't had a Scottish potato scone, you're missing out
  2. I like doing it Meunière style, dipping one side in flour then frying in a load of butter. The only difficulty is accurately judging when it is done.
  3. I dice them, microwave them and toss with olive oil, garlic thyme, salt, pepper and chopped tomatoes. Put them in a baking dish and bake slowly at a low temperature until it confits. Then top with breadcrumbs, toast in a hot oven until crisp and serve. Works great with beef, veal and pork.
  4. Have you though of making nougat? No need to peel the nuts If I remember correctly, there's a good recipe in Greweling's book. You could also use them for frangipane, dacquoise, macarons, etc. I wouldn't bother skinning them; the skins add colour and a slightly deeper flavour.
  5. That's really interesting. I had no idea they were used for anything other than feeding pigs. It seems like they were used in much the same way as chestnuts in the Jura and east of France - where you can't grow wheat, you get your starch from the trees. It's a shame that they don't offer much in terms of an interesting or unique flavour though.
  6. No piping, though? With two miles, you could write a proper birthday message for a change.
  7. A really lovely looking dessert... But please enlighten me: is an acorn dacquoise what I think it is? A normal dacquoise, made with ground acorns? I had no idea they were even edible.
  8. I'm currently working on making a decent chocolate orange cake, so here's the first try: Chocolate orange cake Medovik biscuit Orange confit Tanzanie 75% ganache Orange curd Chocolate crumbs Chocolate chantilly Candied orange It's OK, but the chocolate chantilly started to split at the last minute
  9. If it's anything like the pork jowls I've seen, it's going to be about 90% fat. I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable serving a slice of that, even SV and crisped. I'd dice it and use it in pasta sauces.
  10. You could do, but I'd be loathe to add raw onion juice to a sauce in place of a stock. I have a feeling that it would remain very harsh, even with further simmering. And there would also be the issue of everything in your freezer being potentially tainted by the aroma of raw onion while it freezes.
  11. That is excellent. Please tell me it had the same, pleasantly stodgy/chewy crumb you get in the small, shop-bought ones.
  12. No problem. Here, I spread a thin layer on the pastry case, then put the lemon curd over the top. You could mix it into the curd itself, but I prefer my curds to be completely smooth
  13. It's not a confit in the traditional sense, more like the French confiture - but much more intense. Essentially, you zest a couple of lemons and juice them, and add half the weight of the juice in sugar. You then reduce that down slowly until it takes on a jam-like consistency. (The original recipe from Conticini says to peel off the strips of zest, blanch them three times and blitz the confit, but I skip that and just microplane the lemons and it works perfectly well). It's an incredibly intense lemon flavour with lots of acidity and almost zero sweetness, so you have to be careful how much you use. I've tried it successfully with grapefruit as well, and less so with oranges - they tend to go extremely sticky. If I tried it again with them, I'd cut down the sugar by half. Let me know if you give it a go
  14. I've come to the realisation that I prefer meringue to be unbrowned and brilliant white. Somehow, the caramel/Maillard notes just don't seem to work as well, especially with fruit. I have a sneaking suspicion that browning meringues isn't about flavour or presentation. I believe, deep down, that pastry cooks just really like playing with blowtorches. So here it is, an unashamedly white lemon meringue tart Pâte sucrée Lemon confit Lemon curd Italian meringue Candied citron
  15. Looks pretty good to me. Although there are not many pound cakes I'd kick out of bed, to be honest.
  16. True - none of the constituent parts are particularly difficult to make. You just need the time to do each one properly
  17. I made an orange cake for dessert this evening. Fairly straightforward, just orange and almond/hazelnut. Orange cake Orange and almond financier Orange marmelade Hazelnut and Golden Grahams crunch Orange curd Orange and golden syrup chantilly Glaze Candied orange For some reason, I've recently had an aversion to cakes with flat, smooth, regular tops. Not entirely sure why.
  18. True, that. There are easier ways to make attractive desserts, which don't require long hours cutting and crimping pastry.
  19. I was asked to do a proper French dinner, so I made a Paris Brest for dessert. Unfortunately, it was only after I'd made the cream that I realised my praliné was old and had developed that health-food-peanut-butter flavour. So it went in the bin, and I made a coffee cream. Being clever, I swapped out the sugar for black treacle which is nowhere near as sweet, and didn't change the amount. In despair, I reached for the nearest sweet thing I could add to the cake to make it taste like a dessert: fig jam. Who knew that coffee and fig worked? I had some choux pastry, cream and jam left over, so I made éclairs too. Which tasted the same. And yeah, I've given up trying to make choux pastry look elegant.
  20. Hmmm. Maybe whipping the egg whites separately could help with that. Or the usual: more booze.
  21. That looks good, and like something I would eat far too much of. But... what is it? Is it a flan? A set custard? A horrendously failed sponge cake?
  22. I know. I normally recoil from scraping the bottom of the barrel like this, but I've had a thread like this in my sights for a while.
  23. It must be loaded with the stuff, otherwise it might just go off half-cocked.
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