This is one I have been making for years, and is now something my niece Kristina makes for the full Blahnik family. I wish I didn’t but I have such a sweet tooth – it’s so simple and truly divine!Ingredients
2 bars semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp butter
6 eggs, separated
80g, plus 2 tbsp sugar
120ml whipping cream
1 to 2 squares of chocolate
2 tbsp sugar
120ml whipping cream
Break the chocolate into small pieces and place with your butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir with a wooden spoon until it’s all melted and smooth. Let that cool for just a few minutes before whisking in your egg yolks one at a time. Be sure you are whisking until the mixture is smooth before adding the next yolk.
Once all six yolks are whisked in, set this bowl aside. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they become nice and foamy – you’ll see soft peaks beginning to form. Gradually beat in the 80g of sugar and continue beating until you see stiff peaks form. You’ll know it’s ready when you lift the beaters from the bowl and the peaks remain upright. Use a soft spatula to fold the egg whites into your chocolate mixture, and then set this aside. In another bowl, beat the cream until it begins to thicken, add the sugar and continue beating until the cream forms stiff peaks. Gently fold this whipped cream mixture into the chocolate mixture, until incorporated. You really don’t want to overmix!
Divide the mousse into glasses – you can use sundae cups, ramekins, champagne coupes, whatever strikes your fancy. Cover each and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours to set. If you have a sweet tooth as I do, whip up some extra cream with the sugar before serving to dollop atop the mousse. For the very final touch, sprinkle a bit of shaved chocolate over it all.
DeVonn Francis, Chef & Artist
Turmeric Fried Rice With Roasted Dates And Herbs
Holidays in my house are like being at a luxe banquet in Jamaica. Sure, we have some notable classics, such as turkey, Cornish hen or pie for dessert, but it’s not complete without several nods to traditional island flavours. I like to make a big rice dish that is incredibly aromatic, herbaceous and slightly sweetened by light flecks of coconut and roasted dates. It’s simple to make and goes a long way for any party size, especially when you have a sizeable list of guests to feed.
In a large, non-stick frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook garlic, ginger, turmeric, dates and bay leaves for three to four minutes until fragrant, and the garlic has begun to soften and lightly brown.
Stir mixture occasionally. Then, transfer the garlic, ginger and dates from the oil to a bowl and discard bay leaves. Increase the heat to medium-high and add rice evenly along the bottom of the frying pan, patting it down flat. Fry rice for about three minutes. Lift rice to check colour at the bottom, which should be slightly golden brown.
The grains should have fried together in small clusters. Shake your pan to loosen the rice and flip or turn the rice so that the bottom is now facing upwards. If it doesn’t all come up in one piece you can just flip the rice in sections making sure the unfried side is now making contact with the oil. Add cumin and fry for another two to three minutes.
Remove frying pan from heat and transfer rice to your bowl with the garlic, ginger and dates, and fold together with coconut flakes and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Break the rice up slightly to allow heat to escape. Once slightly cooled, fold in the coriander and mint. Finish by dressing with lime juice.
Karime López, Chef
What I really love about Mexican holidays is the ponche. In my house, we used to make it in large quantities every time, so that we have this delicious drink available for some days. It’s such a floral-fruity drink that its scent invades the whole house and you can truly feel the festive spirit everywhere. It’s a beverage for the whole family and, for those who are of age, you can even add a few drops of mescal to make it more interesting.
If there are some ingredients you can’t find, they can be easily skipped and swapped for other fruits. So many variations actually exist – each family has its own recipe, so this one is my family’s. The key tip is to serve it warm.
130g dried hibiscus flowers
10 Mexican hawthorn fruits
2 large cinnamon sticks
1 cone piloncillo (or 130g brown sugar)
5 guava fruits, quartered
6 tamarind beans, shells and veins removed
2 apples, diced
1 orange, sliced
1 stalk sugar cane, peeled and cut into 3in sticks
130g prunes, quartered
In a medium pot, bring a quarter of the water to boil and add hibiscus. Turn off the heat and cover. Steep for 20 minutes.
Cut the tops and bottoms off the hawthorns and cut an X on one end, scoring the peel. In a small pot, bring 1in of water to boil and drop in the hawthorns. Boil for eight minutes. Drain and cool. Peel and discard the skins. Set the fruit aside.
In a very large pot, pour the rest of the water. Strain the hibiscus tea into it, discarding the flowers. Add the cinnamon and piloncillo. Bring this to boil and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Add remaining ingredients and stir. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the apples have taken on a pink colour. Serve hot in mugs with a shot of mescal for the adults.
Rejina Pyo, Fashion Designer
Kimchi Cheese Toastie
I usually spend Christmas with my husband’s family in Dublin, and while we usually cook a traditional roast on the day, the dish I now most associate with the festive period – and the one my in-laws love the most – is a kimchi cheese toastie. My husband and his family adore Korean food now, and love the fermented tang of kimchi, and this sandwich feels like the perfect union of both cultures – a delicious marriage of Korean kimchi with Irish cheese and butter. The acidity of the kimchi cuts through the oozing, melted cheese. It is addictive and the ultimate comfort food
1 tbsp olive oil
7 tbsp kimchi
2 tsp roasted sesame-seed oil
1 tsp honey
Salted butter, softened, to spread
8 slices of sourdough bread or white bloomer
150g mature cheddar cheese, grated
120g gruyère cheese, grated
Put the oil into a heavy frying pan over a medium-low heat. Once hot, add in the kimchi and fry for six to nine minutes, stirring frequently, until caramelised and charring in places. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey and roasted sesame seed oil.
Meanwhile, butter both sides of all eight slices of bread. Divide the grated cheese between four of them. Top with the fried kimchi and position the remaining bread on top to create a sandwich. Press down firmly to compact.
Wipe the pan clean and place two sandwiches in the pan. Fry for four to five minutes on each side, until crispy and golden and the cheese has melted on the inside. Serve immediately and fry the remaining sandwiches in the same way.