Monday, 21 May 2007

SHF #31 Shades of White

After reading the theme of this month’s Sugar High Friday on Seven Spoons, so many food thoughts started spinning around in my head it made me dizzy. With white, the possibilities really are endless – coconut, banana, vanilla, pineapple, yoghurt, cream, meringue, sponge, lemon, cheesecake, … I couldn’t for the love of me choose what to make! This is a problem I often have: I think of something, or see a recipe in a magazine or cookbook, and immediately I start thinking of things to add and to change. Invariably, there are so many choices and possible combinations that I am either paralysed by the sheer magnitude of choice and end up making nothing, or try to cram too many things all into one dish, which ends up being not so good because of the overdose of ingredients and flavours.

And of course this was threatening to happen again for Sugar High Friday. Until I got a stern talking to from S. I had shown him a lovely photograph (shoved it in his face, actually) of a Donna Hay milk and rosewater jelly. Thinking it was too simple (I often feel that, when making a dessert or something for other people to taste, it has to be something spectacular and complex) I started obsessing about how to change it, make it more intricate and a million other things, but then S said to me: ‘why don’t you just make it as it is?’ So that’s what I did. Although I couldn’t help myself and just had to change it ever so slightly. It was also a chance for me to try something with gelatine again. I’d only used it a few times before, each time with disastrous results. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the smell of it, and the concept of jelly will always remain alien to me, but once the jelly was set and ready to eat, it was lovely. And a big hit with my friends. It had a silky smooth texture, the goats’ milk gave it a refreshing tang, it wasn’t overly sweet, the cardamom made it into a grown-up dessert, and there was just a subtle hint of rosewater.

Adapted from a Donna Hay recipe

600ml goats’ milk
45g sugar
1 sachet gelatine
¼ teaspoon rosewater
3 cardamom pods, black seeds only (crushed)

Dissolve gelatine in half cup of hot milk. Heat rest of milk with sugar, rosewater and cardamom. Add gelatine to this mixture. Pour in mould and refrigerate until set.


Susan said...

Lovely - and what precision. Gelatin can be a pain, but great results! The flavors sound spectacular, but then, I have a weakness for cardamom and rosewater.

tara said...

This may be silly to say, but beautifully cut! I know how tricky it can be with such a gelée. Thank you so much for your creative contribution to this month's SHF!

Anik said...

What a lovely, aromatic, beautiful composition. Thanks for sharing it with us. :)

Helen said...

Inne, this is beautiful. Very close to a panna cotta. Love your picture styling.

Inne said...

Thank you all for the nice comments. I have to admit it was S who cut the jelly so nicely and he was well pleased when he read the comments.

Also, I can now say with certainty that I don't understand jelly. Since I'm not British, I think I am genetically incapable of understanding the concept of jelly. The taste was lovely, but I simply cannot get used to the blubbery texture...