Bottled Blackberry Mousse

blackberry mousse

BOTTLED BLACKBERRY JUICE

This recipe solves the problem of what to do with the avalanche  of blackberries that we have at the end of every July. We don’t eat a lot of jam so this is perfect for us. In the 1970’s, my mother used to make a foamy mousse made out of jelly and evaporated milk.  We have now got enough bottled blackberry juice to make over 100 portions. It is packed with vitamin C and the gelatine is apparently very good for bones and reduces osteoporosis.

Blackberries are now in full flow and although I’ve been making blackberry mousse every couple of days and blackberry jam, I thought it would be a good idea to find a way of making a blackberry syrup that could store and that could be mixed with whipped evaporated milk at a later stage. That way, we could summon up summer at any time in the future.

I prefer to remove the seeds from the blackberries and so use a stick blender to blitz up the blackberries and then pass them through a mouli-légumes. I then weigh the juice and calculate the quantities of sugar and glycerine based on this.

The basic quantities are 750g blackberry juice, 15g glycerine and 50g sugar. In percentage terms this amounts to 2% glycerine and 6.7% sugar.


blackberry mousse

Blackberry Mousse

These are the quantities for 750ml of blackberry juice and 330ml evaporated milk.

INGREDIENTS

  • 750ml blackberry juice
  • 15g powdered gelatine
  • 50g sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water

METHOD

  1. Run some very hot water in the sink and thoroughly clean the jars and lids.
  2. Leave to drain on a tea-towel while you prepare the syrup.
  3. Pour the blackberry juice into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  4. Boil for 5 minutes or so.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the water, sugar and gelatine in a small saucepan.
  6. Gently heat through, stirring all the while until the gelatine has melted.
  7. Add a couple of ladlefuls of the hot juice mixture to the gelatine mixture and stir well.
  8. Pour the gelatine mix back into the juice pan and bring to the boil.
  9. Fill the jars with the juice.
  10. Close the jars firmly and place upside down for 30 minutes or so.
  11. Turn the right way up and leave to cool.

NOTES

To make up the mousse, use 330ml evaporated milk for 750ml blackberry juice. Whisk the evaporated milk until thick and you can see trace on the surface. Combine the juice and milk and mix well. Put in the fridge to set overnight.

Fried Aubergines and Tomato

fried aubergines and tomatoI invented this recipe for fried aubergines and tomato the other day and it doesn’t really have a name – it’s really just fried aubergines and tomatoes with a bit of salt – a bit like a simpler version of ratatouille but without the other ingredients. The aubergines are starting to ripen at the moment and it won’t be long before we have plenty of them so I’m trying out different ways of cooking them in preparation.

One of the problems with frying aubergines is that they absorb a lot of the oil. So, in this recipe I dry fry them for ten minutes in a frying pan or so before adding any oil, giving the aubergine pieces enough time to take on a lovely golden brown colour.

 

fried potato cake

Fried Aubergines and Tomato

This recipe is quick to prepare and is best served warm.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium-sized aubergines, halved lengthways and then cut into 1cm slices
  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely grated
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

METHOD

  1. Heat a frying pan on a high heat.
  2. When hot, add the aubergine slices, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn them over and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil and season with salt.
  5. Keep turning the aubergines every so often until they have got some good colour.
  6. Add the tomatoes and fry on a high heat for another couple of minutes
  7. Turn the heat down low and cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  8. Leave the lid on and leave in the pan until you need to serve them.

Stir-fried Cauliflower

stir-fried cauliflower

STIR-FRIED CAULIFLOWER

We’ve been having cauliflowers every now and again throughout the year. The ones growing at the moment are now big enough to eat so I’m looking for new recipes and ways of preparing them.

Stir-fried Cauliflower

This recipe is quick to prepare and tastes delicious.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • Cauliflower florets
  • 4 cloves garlic, micro-planed
  • 1 inch ginger, micro-planed
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce
  • salt

METHOD

  1. Heat a frying pan with some extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add the cauliflower florets, season with salt, cover and cook on a high heat for about 5 minutes so that they take on a nutty brown colour.
  3. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Drain the cauliflower in a colander and transfer to a bowl.
  5. Add some extra virgin olive oil to the pan.
  6. Fry the garlic and the ginger for a couple of minutes before sprinkling over some soy sauce.
  7. Return the cauliflower to the pan and mix thoroughly.
  8. Put the cauliflower back in the bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  9. Serve.

Gazpacho

gazpacho tomatoes

GAZPACHO

This is my second recipe for gazpacho. My first recipe (Andalusian gazpacho) is the more traditional recipe that uses onion, cucumber, garlic, green pepper and garlic, but today I wanted to make a more tomato-based, thinner version like the one they serve in glasses in bars in towns around Andalucía, and Sevilla where I have fond memories of it from.

You must use ripe tomatoes with plenty of flavour for this recipe. Our tomatoes are generally ready at the beginning of August, so if I fancy making this before then, I will use plum tomatoes which tend to have more flavour than other early varieties.

This recipes serves two but it can be easily adapted.

Gazpacho

It only takes a few minutes to prepare this refreshing, cold tomato soup which is perfect for hot, summer days.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • cider vinegar
  • 2 capfuls balsamic vinegar
  • cider vinegar
  • 50g stale bread
  • ½ cup water
  • salt

METHOD

  1. Core and roughly chop the tomatoes and add to a food blender with the garlic.
  2. Blend for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar, a good glug of extra virgin olive oil, a splash of cider vinegar and a teaspoon of salt, and blend well.
  4. Roughly chop the stale bread and add to the blender with a teaspoon of home-made mayonnaise.
  5. Add the water and continue to blend.
  6. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Vegetarian Tofu Burgers

 

vegetarian tofu burgersVEGETARIAN TOFU BURGERS

These vegetarian burgers are made from tofu and are flavoured with marmite and soy sauce. They hold together well and can be fried in a frying pan or cooked on the barbeque.

vegetarian tofu burgers

Vegetarian Tofu Burgers

These burgers can quickly be whipped up in advance and fried or cooked on the BBQ the next day.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g block of firm tofu, cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons Marmite
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 slices of cheddar or Havarti cheese

METHOD

  1. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan.
  2. Add the chopped onion, season with salt and pepper, and fry gently until soft slightly caramelised.
  3. Remove from the heat after another couple of minutes.
  4. Add the tofu, garlic, Marmite, soy sauce to the food processor and blitz until smooth.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and add the rolled oats, fried onion and salt.
  6. Mix well and leave for at last 30 minutes or overnight to allow flavours to develop and the oats to soften.
  7. Divide the mixture into 8 balls of about 80g each.
  8. Keep a bowl of cold water handy and wetting your hands constantly, shape the balls into round patties about 3cm thick.
  9. Put on a plate and keep in the fridge until you are ready to fry them.
  10. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan.
  11. Fry the burgers for about 5 minutes on each side, turning once so that they get a nice colour.
  12. Put a slice of cheese on each burger, turn off the heat and cover the pan to melt the cheese.