28 Nov 2010

Mini Black Forest Gateau

The high quality Morello cherries used in this recipe are steeped in Kirsch, they are a speciality ingredient idea - Griottines. The Kirsch Griottines and their liqueur have a 15% alcohol content.

The first maceration of the cherries in liqueur takes place within six hours of picking. After rigorous sorting, grading and de-stoning the Morello cherries are steeped in different liqueurs for successive maceration's over a six month period based on a secret recipe and age-old traditions. The last maceration provides the final touch of Kirsch, which is the hallmark of Griottines.

They are produced in France using a special type of Morello cherry, the Oblachinska, and are only found in the Balkans.

You can use the cherries in cakes, chocolates or desserts. I decided to bring a twist to the traditional Black Forest Gateau and made individual cakes. I lived through the Black Forest Gateau years and have to say, I still love it. Although my memories are tainted now, as I remember just how synthetic the gateau were, but you was very posh if you ate Black Forest Gateau! For me it's still a wonderful combination of flavours - chocolate cake, Morello cherries, Kirsch, softly whipped cream and good quality grated chocolate - heaven!

The Morello cherries can also be purchased steeped in Cointreau.

The Griottines can be purchased in red gift boxes, making them an ideal Christmas present for foodies.

Griottines can be purchased from delicatessens, fine food shops, farm shops or online at http://www.griottines.co.uk/.

Thank you Lotte.

13 Nov 2010


My husband kindly bought me Jamie's book, although true to say, he didn't find that out until now! Cookery books are the equivalent of clothes that you bought ages ago and say you have had them for ages. Perhaps though, you can ask Santa to buy a copy and put it in your Christmas stocking.

There has been negativity in the press, even the BBC Watchdog television programme devoted air time(albeit with humour) to the question - can his dinners really be cooked in 30 minutes?

To be fair, I can't give the answer to this, because as usual, I was multitasking whilst cooking ie. emptying the washing machine, putting clothes into the tumble dryer, drying pots, loading the dishwasher and so on.

I didn't give consideration to making his dessert of Berries, Shortbread & Chantilly Cream because we were still ploughing our way through a dessert from a couple of days previous.

You want me to be honest don't you - I am not sure if I could prepare and cook all of this in 30 minutes, even if I had wanted to take up the challenge.I really like Jamie's new book and know I am going to cook a lot of recipes from it. Also, I have enjoyed his series of programmes to go with the book. He is a great guy and has enough passion and fire in his belly to encourage us all to get cooking.

Feedback on the book from young professionals I have spoken to, is they think he has possibly missed a trick by using so many ingredients. Unless you are a keen cook or have plenty of time, it's not always an easy call, and then there is the expense. Maybe, he should write a book using less ingredients, now there's an idea.

The chicken pie, french-style peas, sweet carrot smash is an incredibly tasty meal and I hope you are encouraged to have a go at this one. After all, it's great comfort food and who doesn't like a pie?