Here is a new Handy Hint for Restoration and Renobuddies who are planning to offer “Restauration” Chez Vous. Check if you’ve got enough serving dishes, serving spoons, glasses and appropriate cutlery unpacked before your lunch or dinner guests arrive. (Note non-matching Giant Spoon & Small Serving Spoons, and the mashed potatoes had to go out in a mountainous pile in a regular dish, prompting Phil to suggest that we were re-enacting the kitchen scenes from Close Encounters of the Third Kind) It also pays to check that you’ve got the dates right and the guests are all actually in the same country/region/ time-zone before you set them a place at your table.
As one of our favourite things is feeding food to friends, and this is why the biggest room in the French house was set aside as kitchen-diner, we really should have checked all the above BEFORE we sat down to eat.
We are still a long way from finished in here (make bench, paint table legs, paint chairs and recover seats,finish cushions..blablabla……)But I don’t care, I’m going to extend a few more invitations than we have to date because I want to.
We have unpacked some of my pretty vintage glass stuff so desserts are on now.
After some experimenting I have perfected gluten free tiramisu.
Any purists out there can go away; I know it’s not truly authentic , but if you are going to change the whole chemistry of a dish by replacing gluten containing foods with a gluten free “equivalent” this will mess with everything from taste and texture to whether it sets or chills or behaves in any which way it’s supposed to. Here is my unapologetic recipe-
Heat half a cup of milk and one level tablespoon of soft brown sugar together in a thick bottomed saucepan until warmed through and sugar dissolved.
Then pour this onto the following pre-prepared mix of half a cup of milk, one level tablespoonful of gluten free flour, one level tablespoon sugar and three egg yolks (all electrically whisked to a thoroughly well distributed foam – you do not want lumps) Mix all together quickly and return to pan, and stir constantly with a wooden spatula to ensure that it does not stick.
Heat till thickening and starting to bubble gently and pour through a strainer to catch any naughty lumps that may have escaped your spatula. Put aside to cool. If your kitchen is on the first floor and you have two foot deep window ledge and it’s damn cold outside, this is a Good Spot . Even if your neighbour walking down the street looks up at you quizzically and the Newly Rescued Dog shows way too much interest and has to be restrained from testing it. Then chill in fridge overnight; or if thoroughly impatient like me, stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Whilst it’s cooling , make up 3/4 cup of strong, good, fresh ground coffee and combine with half a level dessertspoon of brown sugar. Cool and chill in fridge for a while.
Whisk together cooled custard mix as above and 3/4 cup mascarpone till combined thoroughly.
In a CHILLED mixing bowl, whisk up 3/4 cup whipping cream till firm peaks appear and then fold in contents of one small vanilla pod, or similar quantity of good vanilla bean paste. Then carefully fold in the custard/mascarpone mix carefully & slowly until no streaks are apparent! Then get out your cold coffee and slice up four gluten free madeleines.
Start layering this into either individual deep, glass dishes or one big dish. I like individual sundae dishes from 1947, personally. Start with a thick layer of the creamy stuff, then dip your madeleine slices fully into the coffee (do this with a spoon, it saves a lot of swearing and mush) let most of coffee drain off and make a nice layer of those. Repeat that with more creamy stuff and another layer of coffee dipped mads then just enough creamy loveliness to cover the last mads. Sprinkle with bitterly dark (at least 70%) chocolate and chill overnight. Resist sampling. You can’t conceal the spoon dip holes. Believe me.
You may add alcohol in form of coffee liqueur if you wish. At our house we add alcohol in glasses. I am not apologising for that either.
Admire and take photos to impress Blog Buddies. Serves four greedy people or six dainty ones. Our friends mostly fall into first category (sorry, I love you all really)