Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
1lb/450g fresh strawberries
7oz/200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids if possible)
Line a baking sheet or tray with greaseproof or wax paper.
Heat some water to boiling point in a saucepan. Remove from the heat.
Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over the pan of hot water ensuring that it does not come into contact with the water. Stir regularly until the chocolate is completely melted & smooth.
Hold a strawberry by its stalk and dip into the chocolate, rotating it slowly. Lift it out of the chocolate and allow the excess to drain back into the basin. Place onto the greaseproof paper.
Repeat the process until all strawberries are coated.
Allow the strawberries to set fully in the refrigerate for about an hour.
This chocolate dipped strawberries can be completed up to 4 hours before you intend to eat them.
If you wish to get a perfect, even finish to the chocolate, insert a cocktail stick or skewer into each strawberry before dipping. Once dipped, secure the other end of the stick into a piece of styrofoam or large grapefruit. Once set, remove from the stick and chill before serving.
Love apple soup with poached oysters
Tomatoes were originally known as “love apples” and considered a very romantic food.
· Place the beets, carrots and celery in a pan with about 600ml/1 pint of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook until tender.
· In another pot, place the tomatoes, garlic, chives, onion, egg whites and shells, sugar, bay leaf cloves and peppercorns.
· Using a potato masher, mix all of these ingredients together and cook over a low heat for 25 minutes.
· Strain the cooked carrots etc, reserving the liquid.
· Once the tomato mixture has finished cooking, pour the mixture into a jelly bag or cheesecloth sitting on a large sieve. Allow to drain. Add this juice to the vegetable cooking liquor. Season with salt and reheat but do not boil.
· Shuck the oysters about 10 minutes before serving (or ask your fishmonger to do it earlier for you!). Poached oysters in the hot soup for 1 minute before serving.
· To serve, pour 2 ladles of soup into a hot bowl with 2 poached oysters. Garnish with ½ tsp. of chopped chives or chervil.
You may think that this soup sounds like a lot of trouble but it is truly worth it. Make the soup 2 days before and add the oysters just before serving. If you can’t find fresh beets, use pre-cooked ones.
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
Pinch of coarsely ground black pepper
Pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 cups kosher or other coarse salt
1/2 dozen small oysters, such as Kumamoto or Prince Edward Island, shells scrubbed well and oysters left on the half shell, their liquor reserved and oysters picked over for shell fragments
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 small cluster Champagne table grapes or 2 finely diced seedless red grapes
240g egg yolks (8-10)
350g Orange coulis
500g semi whipped cream
Whip the cream and fold into the mixture. Freeze well.
250 g egg whites
Mix the egg whites and sugar until stiff and shiny. Pipe into your desired shape and bake in a preheated oven at 100 degrees for 2 hours.
25g cocoa buter
Mix all ingredients until well combined and bake on a tray in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 8-10 mins. The mixture can be shaped when still hot from the oven- to get a curved shape roll it around a rolling pin and leave to cool.
750g CHOCOLATE (half 70% half53%)
12Og COCOA POWDER
lOOml STOCK SYRUP
8 Sheets GELATINE
I.5L WHIPPING CREAM
WHISK CREAM TO RIBBON AND PUT IN FRIDGE, SOAK GELATINE, MELT CHOCOLATE, MIX SUGAR WITH A LITTLE WATER, BRING TO 121 DEGREES, WHISK EGGS AND POUR IN SUGAR, WHISK FULL SPEED FOR 10 MIN, HEAT MILK, STOCK SYRUP, ADD SOAKED GELATINE AND PASS ON TO MELTED CHOCOLATE AND COCOA POWDER, WHISK UNTIL SMOOTH, FOLD EGGS IN TO CHOCOLATE THEN FOLD IN CREAM.
240g COCOA POWDER
50Oml WHIPPING CREAM
BRING EVERYTHING TO BOIL, ADD SOAKED GELATINE, PASS, CHILL, REMOVE FILM THAT FORMS ON TOP WHEN CHILLED
150g DARK CHOCOLATE
MELT CHOCOLATE, ADD TO PRALINE, FOLD IN FEUILLATINE, ROLL ON TO PARCHMENT.
Castle Leslie's Romantic Recipe