I want my children to grow up confident.....to go into the kitchen without recipe and cook with the hearts and mouths. And I want them to think of me...as they stand and stir, shake and sift.......
I want them to remember me as the cook who knew no fear, who had tough love for eggs and dough and everything else.
This recipe is ALL me. It has the softness of fruit - my heart, the silkiness of cream, some crunch, and a hint of spice from the limes. This is a recipe were the whole is so, so much more than the sum of its parts. Like me....I like to think!
When I made it in 2010, I proclaimed it the tastiest thing I'd made then in terms of desserts. It was so good that I ate all 6 pots by myself. Thankfully, my husband was ill, craving Nigerian chicken soup so the floor was all mine, along with the calories! Though the recipe has a few steps, they are fairly easy and it can be made ahead. —Kitchen Butterfly
- Makes 6 '125ml capacity' verrines
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
150g (frozen) blackberries
3 gelatine leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatine powder)
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, whisked a bit to loosen and break structure
1/2 cup single cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons raw, flaked almonds
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
zest of 1-2 limes and wedges to garnish
- Blackberry syrup: Place 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup water in a pan on medium heat, stirring till the sugar is dissolved. Add the blackberries and gently stir. Allow to cook till the blackberries are soft and can be squashed. Remove from heat and let cool. Blitz in a food processor or with a hand-held immersion blender. Now this next step is crucial - because the jelly will lose some of its sweetness when it cools down, taste the syrup now and add more sugar if necessary, stirring to make sure it dissolves well. Strain 160ml of the liquid mixture for the jelly. (Refrigerate the rest of liquid and strained out blackberry mass/puree for use later in the verrines)
- Blackberry jelly: if using gelatine leaves, soak them first in water for 4-5 minutes till the soften and swell, then add to 160ml warm blackcurrant syrup (if blackcurrant syrup is cold, gently reheat it till warm but not boiling), stirring till it dissolves. If using powder, sprinkle onto a few tablespoons of warm water and leave to stand for a few minutes, then combine with warm blackcurrant syrup and mix till dissolved. Note that I used gelatine leaves so my instructions for the powder are a guide. When the liquid is ready, gently pour equal portions into your 6 tumblers. Cover and leave to set for a couple of hours (or overnight).
- Cooled, whipped cream: By the time you're making the cream, the jelly should be set and ready to be topped. Cool your mixing bowl and whisking attachment in the freezer for a half hour before whipping the cream. When the utensils are cool, combine the cream, 1/2 cup of sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl and whip till light and soft. To this creamed mixture, add your mascaporne and gently fold in. You can use the cream as is or add a tablespoon of the set-aside blackberry puree (leftover from step 1) or do both.
- Set out the glasses with the set jelly and ladle into each glass a teaspoonful of the blackberry puree (leftover from step 1). Top/fill up with the whipped cream. Do this for all the verrines.
- When you’re done, place in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight, covered to 'set'.
- Sugared Almonds: Pre-heat your top grill to the highest. In a baking tray, place the flaked almonds and gently sprinkle the light brown sugar on top of the almonds. Place the tray 6 inches down from the heat source and let brown for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven, pour onto a bowl or unto a plate and let cool for a few minutes.
- When ready to serve verrines, (give your guests long handle spoons) sprinkle with sugared almonds and some lime zest. Serve with a lime wedge and have your guests squeeze some lime juice over the top - the fragrance is wow. If you have key limes which I've heard so much about but never used, go ahead and avail yourself!