Salted chocolate mousse and salted caramel macarons
Images from The Salt Book, Arbon Publishing
Salt in desserts seem like a new and brilliant idea until you realise that people have actually been doing it for ages. In Thailand, fruits like pineapple and green mango are eaten with chilli and salt, and Vietnamese desserts often incorporate a pinch of salt in the coconut milk. In Brittany, they've been making salted caramels for more than 400 years.
I'd been looking forward to the release of The Salt Book after attending its promotional salt tasting event late last year. Over several hours we tried 15 types of salt against a variety of meats, seafood, fruits and vegetables. It was an eye-opening experience to note the different intensities of saltiness as well as appreciating the nuances of texture (from fine flakes to crunchy pyramid-like crystals) and the added flavouring components of vanilla, lemon, smoke and truffle.
The collection of recipes in The Salt Book is wide and varied, starting with how to make your own flavoured salts (vanilla, coconut, citrus and porcini) to using salt as a preserver for gravlax, sauerkraut and kimchi. It moves onto pretzels, hot-cured beef, salt-baked lamb and duck confit before tantalising the tastebuds with the use of salt in desserts: chocolate mousse with olive oil and sea salt, salted caramel macarons and dulce de leche.
I've reproduced two recipes from the book below, Salted Caramel and Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream, which both sound divine. Read on for details on how you can win your own copy of The Salt Book in this week's Freebie Friday giveaway.
From The Salt Book, Arbon Publishing
3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
Cover a baking tray with a silicon mat, or lightly grease it with oil. Place the sugar in a medium-sized heavy-based saucepan and heat without stirring over moderate heat. When the edges of the sugar begin to melt, gently stir the liquefied sugar into the centre of the pan, until all the sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is a caramel colour and smells as though it is just about to burn.
Working quickly, sprinkle the fleur de sel over the caramel without stirring and then pour the caramel onto the baking tray, tilting and rotating the sheet so that the caramel forms a thin even layer. Set aside to cool and harden.
Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
From The Salt Book, Arbon Publishing
500ml whole milk
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 portion salted caramel (100g sugar) prepared as above
Caramelise the 300g sugar the same way as for the salted caramel. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and the salt. When the butter has melted, gradually whisk in the cream.
Set half the milk in a bowl over ice. Pour the other half into the caramel and set back on the heat. Whisk the egg yolks in a bwol, then pour a little of the hot caramel over the eggs. Pour the heated egg yolks back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
Strain the custard through a fine sieve into the chilled milk, add the vanilla and stir frequently until the mixture cools. Freeze, then churn in an ice cream maker. Break the salted caramel into small pieces and stir quickly through the churned ice cream.
One copy of The Salt Book (RRP $34.95)
Preview the book at http://salt.realviewtechnologies.com
Please note entrants are restricted to Australasian residents only.
HOW TO ENTER:
All you have to do is fulfil the requirements below:
- Leave a comment on this post and tell us: when do you like to reach for the salt shaker/ salt flakes? On your hot chips? On your ice cream? With your fruit?
- And then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading "Salt" and include your full name and a copy of your published comment from this post.
The Salt Book competition closes on Tuesday 4 May 2010 at 5.30pm AEST. The winner will be announced on Grab Your Fork on Wednesday 5 May 2010.
EDIT: This competition has now closed. Congratulations to the winner announced here.
>> More Grab Your Fork competitions to enter:
- Win your choice of AU$200 in accommodation anywhere in the world (Entries close Fri 16/4)
- Win a Royal High Tea package for two worth AU$135 (Entries close Mon 26/4)
- Win a place at a masterclass with Tetsuya Wakuda (Entries close Tue 4/5)
In other news, one of my photos of a Luther Burger (made by the cholesterol-loving Chocolatesuze) was featured recently in an article on CNN.com. The article is all about the rise of extreme junk foods, with KFC about to launch the Double Down in the USA: two pieces of bacon, two slices of melted cheese and mayonnaise "sandwiched" between two fillets of chicken. That's right - there's no bread, just a double dose of fried or grilled chicken. It makes the Luther Burger (a bacon cheeseburger sandwiched in a Krispy Kreme donut) look almost virtuous. Click here for the full story.
I'm also this month's featured blogger for Nuffnang. Click here for all the answers to my interview.
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4/09/2010 12:30:00 a.m.