NEWSLETTER - SEPTEMBER 2011
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There is always something happening in supermarkets
- new products, product demonstrations, shelves reorganised
so you can't find anything. Not always interesting,
quite often boring and sometimes a chore but just occasionally
something catches your eye, something is interesting
. . .
What is black garlic? Have you heard of it?
Not sure how to describe black garlic adequately. To
start with, as it says on the label, it is black but
that is not because it is a different variety of garlic.
It is the normal garlic which has gone through a process
that has transformed it in flavour, colour and texture.
A lot of what I have read says it has a balsamic like
flavour to it but I feel, and everyone's tastes are
different, it is more akin to slowly braised onions
that have slightly burnt but with a light garlic taste
rather than an onion taste! Probably a lot to do with
its sweetness. Certainly pleasant enough to pop one
in your mouth and eat it like a sweet.
As for the colour it makes you think of liquorice -
a very black black - and you could eat it as it if it
was a sweet if you wanted to. If you try one this way
you will find the texture is very much like eating a
liquorice sweet or chewing a wine gum (might be an
interesting trick to play on someone).
Black garlic is sweet meets savoury, a perfect
mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones.
It has a tender, almost jelly-like texture with a melt-in-your-mouth
consistency similar to a soft dried fruit.
This is how the producers describe it which is pretty
much how I found it to be.
I have used it a few times in cooking. The Black Garlic
comes as the complete bulb or as ready peeled cloves.
The first time I used the already peeled cloves. I made
the mistake of trying to chop them up . . . it just
stuck to my knife so in the end I threw them in whole
and left them to dissolve in what I was cooking. I forget
what I cooked but the flavour from the Black Garlic
did not come through enough to give me a good impression.
Perhaps I just did not use enough.
am not sure I have really used it to best effect yet but I
did have a little success with some of these
cheese recipes such as cauliflower cheese (see recipe
below) in which it definitely added to the flavor (sauce was
a bit brownish but that could have been because of my mushrooms).
Would I recommend it? I am not sure but I would certainly
recommend trying it and making your own judgement. I
think it might go well in a simple risotto but I have
not had the time or the occasion to cook one yet.
For me there is one big negative to Black Garlic. On
the web site it says Imagine garlic without
all of the annoying stuff. Bad breath? Nope. Pungent
odour? Nope. The odour of garlic cooking is
one of the great food smells of the world so to remove
that is a shame but then this is not garlic as you know
it. It is a completely different food. Try it and you
will see what I mean.
1 large cauliflower
6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
3 cloves black garlic
1 red chilli
100gm sliced mushrooms
300ml crème fraiche
250gm strong cheddar cheese
using a steamer put it on to warm up otherwise bring
water to the boil ready for the cauliflower.
bacon into small pieces and fry in high sided pan
until it starts to crisp.
chilli and finely chop. Add to pan.
the garlic cloves to the pan and break up in thee
pan as they start to cook.
the cauliflower cooking as it will need around 15
the sliced mushrooms to the pan and stir. Cook until
mushroom slices start to go limp.
the crème fraiche starts to bubble add your
cheese and keep stirring until cheese has all melted.
Keep warm until cauliflower is cooked.
cauliflower in a large bowl and cover with cheese
on its own or with a meat of your choice.
If you want further information you can find this
on the Black
Garlic web site.
Editorial note: This site is not
paid to promote any of the products or places featured
in this newsletter.
TO MAKE RECIPES . . . CUTTING
is that time of year again when the veg section in your
local supermarket will have a large pile of pumpkins
on display ready for Halloween. If you are scooping
one out to make a Halloween lamp why not put the pulp
to good use, rather than wasting it, by making a Pumpkin
1 egg yolk
50gm dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 pastry case
How to make:
the oven to 170°C / Gas mark 3.
together the egg, cream, sugars and spices.
small amounts at a time, thoroughly whisk in the
the pastry case in the oven until it is hot to the
the pumpkin mixture into the pastry case.
until the centre of the filling is set which will
take approximately 35 to 45 minutes.
cool completely on a rack and then refrigerate for
up to one day.
the pumpkin pie chilled or at room temperature with
generous helpings of whipped cream.
x butternut squash
1 x medium sized onion
1 x tin of chopped tomatoes
1 x pint of vegetable stock (Simply add boiling
water to a stock cube)
Ground black pepper, ground cinnamon and dried /
1 table spoon of olive oil
a vegetable peeler remove the hard skin from the
your onion and squash into small pieces.
the tin of tomatoes.
olive oil to the saucepan.
onion and squash and cook gently until they soften
without going brown.
the stock and tomatoes.
to simmer until it becomes thicker.
cinnamon, pepper and basil to your taste.
the soup using a food blender.
hot with a slice of whole meal bread.
SCHOOLS TAUGHT DOMESTIC SCIENCE
for Anglesey Cake
10 oz flour
4 oz lard
3 oz sugar
1 x egg
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp treacle
1 x pinch mixed spice and ginger
4 oz dried fruit
1 cup milk
1 x pinch salt
to make Anglesey Cake
the oven to 190°C / Gas Mark 5.
together the sugar and the lard.
in the egg.
the bicarbonate of soda in the milk.
in the flour, treacle, mixed spice and ginger and
the dried fruit.
the bicarbonate dissolved in milk and mix together.
the mixture into a greased tin and bake in oven
for about three-quarters of an hour.
in half, spread with butter and eat hot.
MIXING BOWL . . . RANDOM BITS AND PIECES
powder is one part baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
to two parts cream of tartare (tartaric acid).
very thing that makes baking powder work also makes
it unstable and gives it a short shelf life. Eventually
the two chemicals cancel each other out. When this happens
the baking powder is dead and anything made when using
it will not rise.
baking soda and cream of tartare separately and making
your own baking powder is a good way of increasing the
shelf life and always ensures you have a good, workable
baking powder otherwise you will have to use it frequently
before its shelf life expires. By making your own you
can make smaller quantities than you can buy from the
you are looking for information to help you with baking
or cake making you might like to take a look at:
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