Sunday, 17 April 2011
I guess this post should really be titled "MummyLark loses her fear of leaf gelatine" for, in truth that's what it's all about.
In my young mother days I was just as scared of the granule variety having had several disasters - a particularly memorable one being when I turned out a jelly which turned to liquid and escaped over the edge of the worktop onto the then dog. However once I decided that less heat and patient stirring was the answer I became Queen of the packet variety. But I have shied away from the leaf stuff, partly because it looked difficult and well partly because it looked a tad unlikely.
No more. I adore pannacotta and it is so trendy that I would be losing my culinary nerve if I didn't experiment. I followed this recipe for Vanilla Pannacotta from Simon Rimmer whose work I have always found accurate, reliable and tasty.
The only problem I encountered was that I had 3 packets of leaf gelatine in the cupboard all purporting to set different amounts of liquid. I chose the one that was endorsed by Saint Delia, using 4 sheets (they were small) rather than Simon's 2. And Tesco Express only had blackberries so they replaced the suggested raspberries.
The result was a perfect wobbly set. I didn't feel it was sweet enough - I shall add more sugar next time. And there will be lots of next times.
Why was I so worried? I shall have to try Choux pastry next, my other phobia.
Monday, 11 April 2011
Our mains were both absolutely terrific but the prize (just) went to the Fried soft-shell crab with blood orange and Lamb's lettuce. So heavenly that we nearly ordered another plate. However the second dish of Scallops with wild garlic was also brilliantly put together and, with our side dish of (more) broad beans, rocket, lemon and mint was both filling and satisfying. (At this point Liz informed me that Jay Rayner was also eating the radish/celeriac salad and the crab).
Liz finished with a 4 sorbet ice cream which she pronounced "wonderful except for the bergamot". I went for the very fattening Rum baba with strawberries and cream which was drop-dead gorgeous.
It truly was a memorable lunch and I will back. The bill which included service was £101. Not cheap but this is London and we were on a splurge.
Fantastic. Our next venture is in the Summer holidays to The Waterside Inn in Bray. If we can book it.