One of the great things about every new year is that no matter what occurred over the last 365 days, January is a clean slate. James Claire has fun in the kitchen with new ideas.
A traditional dish can be reversed, revolutionised and endlessly reworked. Whether sweet or savoury, the kitchen becomes a lab of experimental possibilities. Remember, our best-loved dishes of all time were born out of trial and error. And that is why I have put a new spin on some old recipes for you to get excited about this month. I have a soufflé with a touch of sweet and savoury, a cake made of beets to increase your vegetable consumption and a bread and butter pudding made with a difference.
RASPBERRY ROSEMARY SOUFFLE
300g raspberries, frozen
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 egg yolks
40g plain all-purpose flour
5 egg whites
pinch icing sugar, for dusting
2 tspns sugar for dishes
2 tbspns melted butter, for greasing
• Combine frozen raspberries, sugar and rosemary in a medium saucepan.
• Heat and cook for 2 minutes until soft.
• Strain the puree and cool.
• Preheat oven to 190° Celsius and pre-grease and line with sugar and 4 soufflé ramekins.
• Using 125ml of the reserved raspberry puree in a large bowl, add egg yolks and sift over the flour. Stir until combined. Any extra raspberry puree will be used as sauce for the finished soufflé.
• In an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
• Gradually beat in the sugar until firm peaks form.
• Using a large metal spoon, gently fold a large spoonful of egg whites through the raspberry mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites, gently.
• Evenly spoon the mixture into prepared dishes. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven until puffed and light golden on top.
• Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately with remaining raspberry puree and a sprig of rosemary by the side.
200g dark chocolate, melted
250g beetroot, raw, grated finely
150g granulated sugar
120g almond powder
1 tspn baking powder
1 tbspn cocoa powder
• Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius.
• Lightly grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base with parchment paper.
• Separate the eggs, placing the whites into a large clean mixing bowl and add the yolks to the grated beetroot.
• Stir the sugar, almonds, baking powder, cocoa powder and melted chocolate into the beetroot and mix in well together.
• In an electric mixer bowl, whisk the egg whites until the form stiff peaks.
• Use a spatula to fold a third of the egg whites into the beetroot mixture to loosen it and, once combined, fold in the remaining but do not over mix.
• Add the mixture to the prepared cake tin and spread out evenly using a spatula.
• Bake in the hot oven for around 55 minutes, or until baked.
• When baked, remove from the oven and cool in the tin. Remove from the tin when cool and serve with fresh whipped cream.
CHEESE AND ONION BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING
50g unsalted butter
300g thick sliced white bread, day old
2 tbspn onion marmalade
½ purple onion finely diced
2 tbspns chives, finely chopped
2 egg yolks
1 tspn dried mustard
pinch cracked black pepper
150g cheddar cheese, finely grated
• Preheat the oven to 160° Celsius.
• Lightly oil a casserole dish.
• Lightly butter the bread slices. Cut each slice into cubes. Spread the buttered bread cubes over the base of the casserole dish. Spread the onion marmalade onto the bread pieces. Top it with the diced purple onion and chives.
• Beat the milk, cream, dried mustard, eggs and egg yolks together. Season with salt and pepper.
• Pour the mixture evenly over the bread, and allow it to rest for approximately 20 minutes, allowing the bread to soak up the liquid. Sprinkle the top with the cheddar cheese.
• Place the casserole dish in a deep-sided baking tray and pour hot water around to cover half-way.
• Bake for 30-35 minutes until the pudding custard is just set and the top is a nice golden brown.