It’s that time of year when diaries are full of summery, family, school holiday stuff. A time which tends to lead to a natural break in the round of invites for catching up with drinks and sit-down meals. But that doesn’t mean that a ceasefire is declared in the kitchen of Cheoff. For the last three days I’ve been fully armed with juicer, blender, sieve, whisk and carefully shopped-for ingredients in an effort to lay in stores of petits fours which will appear as soon as hostilities/hospitalities are resumed in the autumn. It seems appropriate to wait until then. BBQs and other relaxed meals are almost too informal to start offering such fancy stuff.
When more organised dining starts if you make even one or two of these recipes it’s a pretty sure-fire thing that guests will be both embarrassed and delighted to see that you have bothered to keep them sweet when only coffee and idle conversation was expected.
I’ve mentioned at least one of the recipes here before but this suggested quartet are a good setting-off point to begin building up a selection. Sensible airtight storage in a fridge means that you should be able to continue cutting off cubes and wedges until replenishing stocks just before Christmas.
Sweets for grown up kids. Think Haribo Tangfastics with the sour attacking all the way through rather than just fizzing on your tongue until the sugary citric acid dissolves. If it all gets too much the shot of Jack Daniels should add a sober note!
My second time making this one. A better batch because I took care to ensure the pectin was properly dissolved and didn’t form tiny lumps. A little attention brings big rewards.
Pear and vanilla jelly
Lovely fruitiness here. You do love pear… don’t you! Fools you into thinking you’re helping out by eating up sweet Meltis Newberry Fruits. No liquid centre but the presence of indulgent booze means that the weak-willed may have to restrain themselves… or be restrained. Instead of buying apple and pear juice in a carton I juiced four Conference pears this time. Much better.
You can see sugar waiting to coat before serving. I suggest rolling a long baton of jelly and then cutting individual pieces. You’ll have frosted sugar but still a good view of the glassy jelly and vanilla seeds at each end.
A couple of favourites to follow. Lower case titles in honour of David Everitt-Matthias’ style choices for his cookbooks. Maybe it was his publishers decision. I doubt it.
No recipes unless you have ‘dessert’ I’m afraid. Plenty of alternatives are available but you might not achieve the refinement of flavour and texture which a Michelin kitchen offers.
bitter chocolate fudge with raisins and pistachios
I used 74% chocolate here and cut back things with the addition of some orange zest. This was the most solid of these four but it is still kind on the teeth if taken from the fridge a little earlier than the rest.
white chocolate and salted lemon fudge
This presents a great balance. The potentially sickly white chocolate is relieved by the tang of salty lemons. You might know that I was able to chop up those using some previously made from another of chef’s ‘foundation’ recipes.
Nigella Lawson, among others, offers a recipe which could be used but it doesn’t give the same refinement as that developed by David and his one-time sous chef, Gary Pearce.
There you have it. Well, you will if you spend a bit of time in your kitchen. Before storing away you might want to trim your efforts to leave clean edges. There will be some scraggy offcuts. You know what to do with them. Go on - you deserve it!