Category Archives: The idea of the month

Light Agar posset with almond and orange blossom

Perfect for Red Nose Day

Perfect for Red Nose Day

The trouble with the British posset or the italian pannacotta is that they are full of cream and sometimes I want a pudding that is a little bit lighter than most. I have been experimenting with Agar Agar lately and – with a bit of trial and error- I managed to get some small successes!

This silky Agar pannacotta with orange blossom water is one of those: A fresh and creamy combination of almond milk, almond butter and orange blossom with the undertones of an oriental pudding ; recalling visions of elaborate flower’s water possets in overflowing banquets such as those described in The Arabian nights.

The story of Sharazad is my bedtime read at the moment and I am deeply enjoying plunging into a language as rich and expressive as a persian carpet…

The recipe itself come from a book on Agar recipes given to me by a kind friend and written by Cléa of Cleacuisine. Agar Agar has many health benefits and is a clever ingredient for anybody conscious of their waistline… I post this for the group of friends who came to cook with me yesterday and all enjoyed the taste of this dessert. Thanks for being so supportive and fun, I had a lovely time sharing tips and novel ingredients with you all!

Ingredients list

  • White almond butter (in health shops), 160g
  • Agave syrup, 10 tsp
  • Rice or almond milk, 400ml
  • Agar Agar powder, 4 small teaspoonful or 4 g
  • Orange blossom water, 2 Tbsp
  • A few drops of bitter almond essence

Mix the almond butter and the agave syrup in a small bowl.

Heat the milk until just below boiling point,then dissolve the agar powder in it and let it simmer for 30 seconds.

Mix in the sweetened almond cream until melted. Add the orange blossom water and a few drops of bitter almond essence to enhance the almond fragrance. This is also the reason why I use almond milk if I can rather than rice milk.

Pour into 6 individual pots or jars. Let it cool and reserve in the fridge until serving time. It is not necessary to take them out of the pans but you can if you wish. For a friends dinner I would probably serve them with a fresh raspberry and passion fruit sauce but that would raise the sugar content and I am so pleased those little desserts are sugar and dairy free I would not want to compromise tonight!

They are heavenly virtuous and that is what I want right now…

Spoon in and have your private Sharazad moment…

View of Istanbul and its port

View of Istanbul and its port

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Merry Christmas to all you love and peace on Earth for mankind

Merry Christmas to all you love and peace on Earth for mankind

Mince pies for Rudolph, a dram for Father C. and a present wrapped in sugar. Hope And Love to You ALL – Hope I have forgotten nobody!

An edible Advent calendar- this month idea!

Maybe due to the shorter days and the tendency to spend more time indoors when it is colder outside, but it is nice to see that the pre-Christmas period is when everybody feels at its most creative and I usually go into overdrive with craft projects and ideas for cards or presents! One cannot possibly tire of knitting scarves for a loved one- but that’s an other subject…

Here is my latest  production: an Advent calendar, both decorative and edible.

How to: I bought lots of very small gifts, chocolate and sweets to put into tissue paper  and made them into parcels. Each parcel is then tied with florist’ string or ribbon and clipped with mini pegs each holding a different number from 1 to 24. I found these at Tiger, a nice discount shop, but you could use mini gift tags or pricing labels and number them yourself with a bright gold pen.

I tried clipping each parcel along a long ribbon (as in below) but they were a bit heavy so I opted for scattering them  in a pile inside a pretty box. The idea is that every morning from the first of December, one of us will open a present until there is none left. We might even leave the opening to guests- sometimes…

A christmas garland in indigo and red