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Friday 21 June 2013

Lady Grey Tea and Alphonso Mango Tiramisu

I just want to state, unequivocally, that I, Peter Hallsworth, am a Hawaiian Tropic Boy. I am so in love with their SPF 50 Silk Hydration 12h Moisturisation lotion that I want to carry on wearing it everyday, despite no longer being on holiday.

I just don't get on with other brands. Other brands don't have hydrating ribbons. And don't get me started on the fragrance. All I will say, if pressed, is that they need to bring back the Factor 50 'Pink Bits' from a few years ago but seem to have discontinued. Then, I will be truly tanning happy.

A word on tanning by the way, for all the Summer Bunnies that abound right now: use a high factor. And, when you're doing your lover/brother/friend/etc.'s back, remember to do their sides too. You aren't buttering a piece of toast, OK?

(I had a great holiday. I wish I were still on it.)

Right back to usual service. So, this is it. The recipe I am most proud of in all the world. Proud because it is my baby; my creation.

I always said I'd never write about it on here, because of some annoying copyright issues (which I have overcome by changing things slightly), but you know what? It's Summer. It's Alphonso Mango season. And I want to.

This dessert was my entry for the TV show 'Britain's Best Dish'. I say to you now, up front, I didn't win. I made it through the first round and then got booted off by judges who thought that curdled crème brulée and rock like scones were a safer bet. Whatever.

I don't know if they eliminated me because they thought my opponent's dessert was better (as if!) or because I told the wardrobe woman, who, because of 'camera issues', wanted me to wear a different shirt to the one I had selected (a banging Tsumori Chisato number in royal blue with miniature red-roofed house print detail - delicious), that the shirt was going to be the most amazing thing that day time ITV had ever seen and covering up half of it with the stupid apron I had to wear was quite enough compromise for me for one day, tha-ank you very much.

When someone comes into a room wearing Tsumori Chisato, you tell them they look fucking amazing. You don't tell them to take it off.

Annoyingly, I forgot to take photos after this. Just imagine intricate layers. Lovely. Like the Hyrdrating Ribbons in Hawaiian Tropic.

This dessert was born out of my hatred of chocolate. This may come as a surprise, except to regular readers, but I just don't think chocolate is the way to end a meal. I want fruit, I want sweet and creamy-smooth texture and I want delicacy. I want this tiramisu.

It is not a quick undertaking; you'll need about an hour because you have to make the ladyfingers yourself. But it is easy and can be made up to two days in advance.

If you make only one of my recipes, then make this one, please. I promise you'll enjoy. The mangoes and Lady Grey mingle and make the prefect last mouthful of any special meal.

A quick note: Alphonso mangoes are easy to find in Indian groceries. If they are out of season, you can get tinned purée, which is fine, or use whatever mangoes, kesar or otherwise, that they do have.

Lady Grey Tea and Alphonso Mango Tiramisu

For the Lady Grey Fingers:

2 eggs, separated
50g sugar
100g plain flour
1 Lady Grey teabag (or 1 tsp tea leaves)

  1. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks; set aside. 
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar, and the contents of the teabag or tea leaves, for a few minutes until thickened slightly. Fold in the whites.
  3. Sift over the flour in three parts. Fold in gently. Pour the mixture into a piping bag, and pipe fingers onto the parchment lined sheets. You should get two dozen 10cm fingers easily.
  4. It is traditional to sprinkle ladyfingers with sugar before baking; I don't bother. Bake for 10 minutes at 170°C.
  5. Cool on a rack.

For the tea infusion:

2 Lady Grey teabags
200ml boiling water
zest of an orange
zest of a lemon
3 tbsp Cointreau (optional)

  1. Simply make the tea and add the other ingredients. Leave the bags in. Steep for 15 minutes or up to an hour. It will be strong, and needs to be.

For the mango purée:

2 Alphonso mangoes
sugar to taste

  1. Peel and chop the mangoes. If you don't fancy puréeing them, just chop finely, but I like the way the smooth purée melds with the creamy mascarpone later. Sweeten to taste.

For the mascarpone cream:

250g mascarpone
3 eggs, separated
75g sugar

  1. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks; set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick. Fold in the mascarpone, a little at a time. Lastly fold in the whites, very gently.

Whew, this is a long recipe. OK, we should have four components ready and waiting. Let's make the tiramisu!

I usually do just one big one. But for company best, these amounts should do 6 portions if you use fancy glasses.

So. Start with a little purée. Then dip ladyfingers into the tea infusion, allowing them to become nice and moist, then make a layer of those. Follow with mascarpone cream. Repeat these layers until all ingredients are used and be sure to finish with a mascarpone layer.


Chill for at least four hours. I like this to come out of the fridge a good half an hour or so before serving. Enjoy! 

Monday 10 June 2013

Bavarois à l'Orange et au Mangue

One too many daiquiris last night. Please forgive me if my agreements aren't quite as they should be!

Alphonso mangoes are in season. So while I am on holiday, which I currently am (I'm writing this when I should be packing my case), why not let the fact that I made this wonderfully creamy delight recently convince you to buy some? Hmm? Why not indeed?

I followed, as many people seem to, the instructions of Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol.1. But instead of making bavarois aux fruits with raspberries, I used 1 cup of mango purée in their place.

I should warn you that unmoulding these things is basically impossible the way she tells you. Hence ramekins.

I know this because my beautiful large version, set lovingly in a kugelhopf tin, collapsed when I attempted to invert it. I think it was my fault and the water I dipped the chilled tin into was too hot. But essentially, if you make this, I say take no risks. What should have been a beauteous creation, surrounded with berry fruits and dainty little mint leaves, ended up as slop. Sad face.

You could do it in tea cups and it would be perfect!

See you when I get back!

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