Chocolate mousse, nougat ice-cream and extra French dessert recipes

Nougat ice-cream with salted honey and fennel biscuits (above)

Prep 15 min
Prepare dinner 30 min
Serves eight

For the ice-cream
60g shelled pistachios
60g almonds, skinned and blanched
500ml double cream
500ml complete milk
10 egg yolks
120g honey
30g sugar
35g glucose or invert sugar syrup
Grated zest of ¼ orange
½ tsp orange-blossom water
75g delicate nougat, chopped or crumbled into 1cm/½ inch items

For the biscuits
180g plain flour, sieved
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fennel seeds
100g unsalted butter, diced and softened
95g caster sugar
50g honey
Flaky sea salt

Put the flour, baking powder and fennel seeds within the bowl of an electrical stand mixer. Add the butter, sugar and honey, then combine with the paddle attachment till a dough comes collectively.

Tip out on to a clear work floor and convey collectively by hand, till you’ve got a easy, agency dough. Divide the dough in half and roll into two 5cm-thick logs. Wrap in parchment and put within the fridge till totally chilled. Should you’re making forward, put within the freezer till wanted and bake from frozen.

To bake the biscuits, warmth the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/fuel four. Unwrap the dough, and house no less than 10cm aside on baking trays. Bake for 15-20 minutes, squashing at times with the bottom of a heavy pan, till they’re a fair, deep golden brown. Finally the biscuits must be totally flattened: the perfect thickness is 5mm.

Take away the biscuits from the oven and depart to chill barely, then, whereas nonetheless heat and delicate, lower every biscuit into fingers, ideally 10cm lengthy and 2cm extensive, however any form will do. Sprinkle the biscuits liberally with flaky sea salt and depart to chill fully.

To make the ice-cream, reheat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/fuel 5. On separate roasting trays, roast the nuts for eight minutes, or till fragrant and simply taking up a tiny little bit of color. Maintain the roasted pistachios complete, however chop the roasted almonds into chunks – the scale is as much as you. Put the chopped almonds in a spaghetti basket or wide-meshed sieve, then shake to take away any positive mud. This might sound a little bit of a faff, but it surely’s price it, as any almond mud will give the ice-cream an disagreeable grainy texture.

In the meantime, convey the cream and milk slowly to a boil in a pan; flip off the warmth earlier than it boils over. When you watch for the milk and cream to boil, whisk the egg yolks in a big bowl with the honey, sugar and glucose or invert sugar syrup. The combination must be as easy as attainable, however not aerated. Pour the recent milk and cream steadily into the egg and honey combination, whisking regularly as you pour. Add the combination again to the pan and prepare dinner very slowly on a low warmth, stirring all of the whereas with a rubber spatula or wood spoon, till it reaches 82C/180F, or thickens to the purpose when it coats the again of a wood spoon and a line drawn along with your finger over the spoon stays unbroken. Pour the cooked custard via a positive sieve right into a deep tray that may slot in your fridge. At this level, add the roasted nuts to the custard; depart the tray of custard to chill to room temperature, stirring at times to cease it forming a pores and skin, and refrigerate till chilled.

As soon as chilled, stir within the orange zest, orange-blossom and the nougat items. Churn in an ice-cream maker as per producer’s directions. Alternatively, put the tray within the freezer, stirring the combination each 30 minutes till evenly frozen.

I prefer to serve a few scoops of ice-cream per particular person with a biscuit nestled within the bowl alongside.

Panna cotta and cherries poached in pastis



Alex Jackson’s panna cotta and cherries poached in pastis.

Prep 20 min
Prepare dinner 20 min
Chill 2 hr
Makes four

For the panna cotta
600ml double cream
1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
Rind of ½ unwaxed lemon, peeled with a vegetable peeler
1½ leaves gelatine
75ml complete milk
75g icing sugar

For the poached cherries
100ml pastis
100ml water
50g caster sugar
1 thyme sprig
400g best French darkish purple cherries, stalks eliminated and pitted

Pour 450ml of the cream right into a pan, add the vanilla and lemon rind, then convey to a boil. Flip the warmth down and simmer till the cream has lowered by a 3rd. Take away the cooked lemon rind. If utilizing actual vanilla, take away the vanilla pod, break up it lengthways and scrape the seeds again into the pan.

Soak the gelatine within the chilly milk for about 15 minutes, or till delicate. Take away the gelatine, convey the milk to a boil, then return the gelatine to the milk and stir till dissolved.

Pour the milk and gelatine combination via a sieve into the recent cream, stir, then depart to chill. Evenly whip the remaining cream with the icing sugar and fold into the cooled, cooked cream.

Pour the panna cotta combination into your most popular moulds: I like to make use of particular person dariole moulds which might be wider than they’re tall. they need to be about 150ml capability, however make do with what you’ve got. Go away the panna cotta within the fridge to set for no less than two hours.

To poach the cherries, convey the pastis, water and sugar to a boil with the sprig of thyme. Add the cherries. Prepare dinner at a low simmer for about 10–15 minutes, till the cherries have softened barely and the poaching liquor has turned a deep purple. Take away from the warmth and depart the cherries to chill within the liquid. Refrigerate till cool.

To end up the panna cottas, dip the moulds right into a pot of boiling water for only a second or two. This may soften the very exterior of the panna cotta and permit it to slide simply from the mould. End up every panna cotta right into a shallow bowl, then spoon over the cherries and among the crimson liquor.

Chocolate mousse, hazelnut biscuits and chantilly

Alex Jackson’s chocolate mousse, hazelnut biscuits and chantilly.


Alex Jackson’s chocolate mousse, hazelnut biscuits and chantilly.

Prep 40 min
Prepare dinner 25 min
Serves 6

For the mousse
170g good-quality darkish chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
170g chilly butter, chilly and cubed
2 pinches salt
1 shot espresso or 2 tbsp sturdy espresso, cooled
four eggs, separated
170g caster sugar, plus 2 tsp for the egg whites
2 tbsp rum or brandy
1 tbsp water

For the biscuits
60g hazelnuts
25g plain flour, sifted
100g caster sugar
2 medium egg whites
½ tsp vanilla extract or paste or the seeds from ½ vanilla pod

For the chantilly cream
250ml double cream
2-Three tbsp icing sugar
1 splash brandy, cognac or Armagnac

Soften the chocolate, butter and a pinch of salt collectively over a bain-marie of simmering water. When melted and blended, slowly add the cooled espresso to keep away from splitting.

In one other bowl set over a bain-marie, beat collectively the egg yolks, sugar, rum and water with a whisk, till thickened barely. Cool over ice, stirring because it cools, till chilly and thick. Fold the chocolate/butter combine into the egg yolks.

In the meantime, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt. Once they start to froth and take form, drizzle within the two teaspoons of sugar. Proceed to beat till delicate peaks kind. Fold a 3rd of the egg whites into the chocolate, then repeat till all is integrated. Pour right into a container and chill for 3 to 4 hours, till set.

To make the hazelnut biscuits, warmth the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/fuel 6. Roast the hazelnuts for about 10 minutes, till golden brown; depart to chill till you possibly can deal with them. In the meantime, combine the flour, sugar, egg whites and vanilla till nicely integrated. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and add them to the combination.

Line a tray with parchment paper and spoon out the biscuits, a few tablespoon of combination for every, leaving as a lot house as attainable in between every one, as they unfold out. Bake for 10-12 minutes, till golden brown and crisp. Go away to chill fully, then peel the biscuits off the parchment. These will maintain for every week in a sealed container.

To make the chantilly cream, whip the cream with the icing sugar and a splash of brandy, cognac or armagnac. How a lot sugar and booze, I’ll depart to you. Warmth a spoon in some simmering water, scoop the chocolate mousse on to plates and serve with the hazelnut biscuits and cream.

Rum baba with Reine Claude plums

Alex Jackson’s rum baba with roast Reine Claude plums.


Alex Jackson’s rum baba with roast Reine Claude plums.

Prep/show Three hr
Prepare dinner 30 min
Makes eight babas

For the babas
1½ tsp dried yeast
80ml milk, warmed
2 tsp sugar
1 small pinch salt
Three eggs, overwhelmed
300g plain flour
125g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
50g currants, rum-soaked

For the rum syrup
200ml darkish rum
400g caster sugar
four star anise
four cinnamon sticks
eight cloves

For the plums
eight Reine Claude plums, halved and stoned
1 tsp icing sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
A couple of thyme sprigs

To serve
Whipped cream, sweetened with sugar
1 splash darkish rum

Gently heat the milk. to physique temperature. Dissolve the yeast within the milk, then stir within the sugar and salt. Go away in a heat place for 10 minutes to activate.

Crack the eggs into a big bowl and add the activated yeast combination. Add half the flour and blend to make a moist batter (I exploit an electrical stand mixer fitted with a dough hook). Cowl the bowl with a tea towel and depart in a heat place for an hour to show.

After the primary proof, add the remaining flour and knead for a couple of minutes to make a dough. Dot over the softened butter in little knobs, cowl, and show for an extra hour.

After the second proof, combine the softened butter into the dough and add the rum-soaked currants. Grease some small dariole moulds generously with butter; use moulds which might be taller than they’re extensive – about 65mm x 60mm. Switch the dough into the moulds, filling every one not more than two-thirds full. Cowl with a fabric and depart the crammed moulds to show for round 30 minutes, or till the dough has risen and is approaching the rim of the mould.

Warmth the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/fuel 5. Put the plums in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with sugar and depart to macerate for 15 minutes. Dot the plums with the butter, high with a sprig or two of thyme, and put the babas on a tray, leaving ample house between every mould.

Bake each plums and the babas for 20 minutes, till the babas are golden and a ‘mushroom’ has risen excessive of every mould, and the plums are jammy.

In the meantime, make the rum syrup. Put the rum, sugar and spices in a pan, then pour in 800ml chilly water and convey to a boil. Boil collectively for about 10 minutes, till syrupy, then maintain heat.

Take away the babas from the oven. Go away the babas to chill barely, then unmould: slide a knife round every mould to make sure the babas haven’t caught. Pour the syrup right into a small pot and, one after the other, submerge the babas within the syrup till all of the babas are sodden.

Serve them whereas nonetheless heat with the roast plums and a dollop of flippantly whipped, sweetened cream, with a bit additional rum splashed on high.

Recipes from Sardine: Easy Seasonal Provencal Cooking by Alex Jackson (Pavilion Books, £25). Order a replica for simply £22 at guardianbookshop.com

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