Thursday, April 24, 2008

Staying Grounded

When the change in weather comes each April it seems to bring with it a certain amount of gloominess. Immeasurable even by my PMS scale the depressive state that descends upon the open kitchen goes unnoticed by few and with the persistent rain and cold winds we are forced to say our sad goodbyes to the beautifully fresh and vibrant fruits of the summer.
A change is long overdue with the current state of peaches - almost inedible from being picked whilst shockingly under-ripe to save them from the seasonal downpours. So it's time. The new menu is unveiled and with it we bring longer, slower cooking and a little more invention.
In honour of 'Lights Out, Knives Out' held by Black.Salt with the hopes of preserving Earth Hour in a slightly more challenging way, I've provided my recipe for coffee soil. With additional butter it could be transformed into a streusel or crumble topping, or left simply to be sprinkled over an affogato or hidden amongst the layers of a tiramisu to create an interesting textural and taste sensation. But don't think that it should be left until the last course! As pictured, the coffee soil was plated alongside a vanilla parsnip puree and dirt cheap wagyu beef shin (pun intended) which was first caramelised in a smoking pan and then braised for 3 hours in a spiced veal stock.

Coffee Soil
100 g unsalted butter
125 g castor sugar
125 g almond meal
75 g flour
30 g dutch-processed cocoa powder
25 g freshly ground coffee
10 g cooking salt
Preheat gas oven to 180ÂșC, spray and line a tray with baking paper.
Rub all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
Spread mix out onto the tray and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through, turning the soil every now and then with a fork.

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