Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rosemary Cookies with Apricot Espuma

I haven't been cycling for more than 15 years. My last bike, and the only one I've ever had (barring the green tricycle when I was three), was yellow, shiny and fast enough to race with the other kids from the neighbourhood. Ivan claims it was a child's bike, since it was with small wheels, but after all I was 9 when I got it and this is the only one I have ever ridden. When I was 13 I left it in my grandparents' house and soon it turned rusty and forgotten.

A couple of years ago I found the same bike(but blue one) in the garage of Ivan's parents. I looked at it with a great respect like a precious reminiscent of those carefree summers full of hide and seek , plays of tag, guards and thieves and so many worriless games. But I was afraid to ride it. I know this sounds stupid but since when I started to wear glasses I feel uneasy when there are fast moving objects around me or when it's me the fast moving object . It was a small bike, though. They say one could never forget to ride a bike, but I had the feeling I have forgotten. So I was postponing Ivan's offers for cycling around finding all kinds of incredible reasons not to do so. But at the end the great biking day has come.

Woo hoo! The wheels were spinning like hell and I could feel the wind in my hair and the hot summer air whirling past my face. It was like I was 9 again. It was like... I can't find the words but...

Rosemary Cookies with Apricot Espuma depict it the best! Little round biscuits(like bike's wheels) and airy foam on top (like the wind in my hair).

Rosemary Cookies Recipe:
Makes around 35 - 40 cookies
  • 125 gr flour;
  • 65 gr cold butter;
  • 50 gr granulated sugar;
  • 1 egg white (30 gr);
  • 1 pinch salt;
  • 1 tsp powdered rosemary.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt and rosemary and mix well. Add the butter cut in small pieces and using your fingertips rub it into the dry ingredients. Add in the egg white and knead the dough briefly to ensure it is well mixed. Don't overwork it in order not to develop too much gluten. Bring the dough together and wrap tightly with plastic wrap or put it in a well closed bowl and then in the fridge for at least an hour to chill.

Preheat the oven to 180º C. Prepare a silpad or a paper sheet.

To roll the dough, lightly dust the counter and rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough out to about 3-4 mm thick. Cut out round cookies(about 4cm) and transfer them to the silicon pad. Bake for 12 minutes or until nice in colour. Cool on a wire rack. Then store in an air tight container.

Apricot Espuma Recipe:
  • 300 gr apricot juice;
  • 50 gr sugar;
  • ½ tsp powdered agar agar.
For this recipe it is needed to have a siphon (cream whipper), using Nitrous oxide cartridges.

We made the espuma with fresh apricots and passed them through a juicer to obtain a clear juice with no particles that could choke up the siphon. After juicing the apricots there was some foam on top of the juice that we discarded. The apricots were quite sour, if yours are sweeter, add less sugar.

In a sauce pan over a medium heat bring the apricot juice to simmer.
Combine the sugar and the agar agar powder and add them to the simmering apricot juice stirring constantly until they dissolve in the juice. Stir for additional 2-3 minutes. Let cool. When it's cooled to about 50 – 65ºC transfer it to the siphon, place the lid on tightly and charge with a gas cartridge. (Our siphon is 500 ml, so it may be filled to 375 ml maximum. Do not exceed this quantity since the gas needs place to act!)

Let cool completely in the fridge, shaking the siphon from time to time.

There is a very good post about espuma and foam making from Madalene of The British Larder here.

To assemble: Sit on the terrace with your better half or a good friend under the sunset sparkling golden lights, pile the cookies and eat them one by one with freshly whipped espuma on top. Enjoy the sunset. (Optional)

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