Sunday, November 8, 2009

a recipe for max and a bit of a moan

friday was a great night, full up and a really buzzy atmosphere. the star of the weekend for me were the souffles, which went down very well on thursday, very few people, and were served with a strawberry sorbet that i was told wasa sytep too far. as you may know, i'm a great fan of sod's law, and so on friday we took off the sorbet and just served the souffle naked, only to be told that it needed something sharp. in the words of nobody in particular, 'you can satisfy some people all of the time blah blah blah'.

So friday did buzz and we had a birthday party in for dean, one of whom, max, is wheat intolerant. he ordered souffle, sans sorbet, and enjoyed it very much so i said i'd do a recipe. As many may know, i'm not too good at measurements, preferring to do it without a safety net, so these will be rough guides.

we use elderberry jam and i'm sure i've put that recipe up somewhere, this works for any jam. to serve four you will need about 4 dessert spoons of jam. heat this in a small pan and prepare a slurry of cornflour (water and cornflour, mixed with your finger to ensure no lumps, not too much water, say 30 ml and 25g of cornflour) add this to the jam in batches and heat. it will thicken and once it becomes a paste that you can still stir pretty easily, stop and allow to cool. put your paste into a bowl. In another bowl separate out three medium eggs, doing what you will with the yolks (you can whisk them into your paste if you detest waste, or freeze by whisking in a little sugar and reserve for brulees (two weeks time)).whisk the egg whites until light and fluffy then add 1 oz sugar and beat until stiff peaks are starting to form. take one third of the egg whites and whisk into the paste (you can be vigorous) then add the rest of the egg whites and fold in with a spoon or using a decent sized whisk, draw everything together and allow to fall through the whisk. it takes a couple of minutes but it is worth it in the end.

once everything is nicely incorporated, put your mix into ceramic (must be, metal ones will not work, just ask the first few customers who had my christmas pudding souffle last year) ramekins that have been buttered and then sugared.

cook in a pre heated oven at 180 C until well-risen and firmish. they'll stay up for a couple of minutes no problem, so plenty of time to look good for the guests.

my moan: the vegetarian society, who very graciously agreed to have four of us go up to london and attempt to drink the bar dry, would not give us the feedback on the decision to award the best (non-approved) restaurant to greens in manchester. when i say feedback, i mean the review of us. are we too noisy (the man from del monte, he say yes (great band, by the way)), what did they think of the food, the mabience etc etc. Really it is the only way to move forward, to get some criticism and is the reason that i put you good people through it every night. so i was hoping to pass on the feedback to you, those who pay to come, to see what a bad deal you're all getting, but i have nothing to say.

on a more positive note, we did have a very nice review in the christmas issue of "cook vegetarian" magazine. a subscription to this would make a great christmas present and you'd get two rose elliot books free (that's enough plugging! ed.)

anyway, enjoy the souffle, if we get another oven, which looks likely, we'll probably make them more often.

cheers and beers (i may have one this afternoon)


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