Friday, 28 August 2009

Amalfitana Chocolate and Aubergine Pudding

I like to try weird and wonderful food combinations sometimes. Not ones that I've actually invented myself, but recipes that I come across that use ingredients in somewhat unusual ways. Sometimes I have a look at the recipe, and think, you know, that might just work. Most of the time it does. Earlier this summer I made Rhubarb Ice Cream, from a Rachel Allen recipe, and Orange Marmalade Ice Cream, from a Sophie Grigson recipe from her book Sophie's Table. I've had another unusual Sophie Grigson recipe filed away for a while now - Amalfitana Chocolate and Aubergine Pudding. I love aubergines, especially fried, when they are really gooey and slimy, and I have quite a few favorite aubergine recipes - Eggplant Parmigiana, Eggplant Szechuan Style, Hyderabadi Aubergines (from Madhur Jaffrey's Eastern Vegetarian Cooking), and Caponata are at the top of the list. This Amalfitana Chocolate and Aubergine Pudding is rather unusual, to say the least. It combines fried aubergine slices with layers of vanilla custard and chocolate custard. But when I got a couple of large aubergines from a market stall in central London last week, I thought I would give it a try.

The recipe is
, in an article from The Independent, and here, on the UKTV website.

I used a mild olive oil to fry the aubergines, as I prefer not to use unsaturated oils for frying whenever possible. I made the UKTV version, which uses 60g of sugar in the chocolate custard, rather than 45g. I assembled the pudding in a 9x13-inch dish, making 3 layers of aubergines, vanilla custard and chocolate custard.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Today was a beautiful hot and sunny summer's day. We went for a walk around the lake at lunch time. There were two baby coots, nearly fully grown now, but still furry. We also saw a lot of bright blue damsel flies flying over the water. Along parts of the water's edge where the water was clear we could see lots of little fish, about the size of goldfish, swimming around. There was watermint by the water's edge, easily identifiable at the moment because of the purple flowers. I also noticed some nightshade, after having seen a picture in a herb book last night. We had a look at the apple tree we had noticed in the spring, but there were no apples on it at all, not even any on the ground.
Went up the hill and picked wild blackberries in the evening. I'm going to freeze some of them for making apple and blackberry pie and apple and blackberry crumble at a later date. I have three recipes that I keep meaning to try out, one from Delia, one from Rachel Allen and one from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's River Cottage cookbook.