|Rose mousse topped with rose jelly|
If you'd been threatened by your teachers as many times I have*, that they'd wash your mouth out with soapy water for using rude words, maybe you'd feel the same way as I do about flowery food. Why would you want to spoil some perfectly delicious dish by squirting eau de Granny's handsoap all over it. I can handle a little splash of orange blossom in something pistachio-y, but if you chucked lavender in my chocolate cake, I'd find it hard to forgive you. Luckily, Richard shares my disdain for floral food (though he loves a floral shirt), but I know we're in the minority. Given other people's enthusiasm for petals in their pud', coupled with the very important fact that rose begins with the letter R, it seemed churlish not to include them on R night's menu.
Although I was rather pleased with their prettiness, the taste made me long to reach the bottom of the glass as quickly as possible, which, luckily, was fairly swift, as I'd made them in shot glasses. Richard was even less enamoured than me, and after grimacing his way through to the last mouthful, he declared that the rose mousse was even more awful than the olive fondants. Luckily, not everyone felt the same way. Others lapped them up, apparently finding them "delicious', "light" and "refreshing". So, if you like roses in your food, this one's for you, otherwise, hold out for the next course - it gets better...
Rose petal jelly topped rose mousse
Enough for 8 double shot glasses and a bit extra
1 large egg, separated
25g caster sugar
250ml double cream
2 leaves of gelatine, soaked in cold water for 10 mins
3 tbsp rosewater
A few drops of pink or red food dye
2 tbsp water
Unsprayed rose petals
First, make a custard. Place the egg yolk and sugar in a bowl and whisk together thoroughly. Heat 100ml of the cream to scalding point and pour the hot cream onto the eggs. Whisk together and pop it back in the saucepan over a low heat. Whisk constantly until the custard has slightly thickened and transfer to a cold jug. Stir through 1 tbsp rosewater, taste and add more if you must, pop some cling film over the top to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool completely.
Melt 1 pre-soaked and drained gelatine leaf in a splash of boiling water and stir it through the custard. Whisk the remaining cream and fold it through your custard. Whisk the egg white to soft peaks and fold through before tinting the mousse pink with food dye. Pour into shot glasses and leave to set for about an hour.
Make the jelly by stirring together the remaining rosewater and water and adding a little dye to prettify. Melt the remaining leaf of gelatine with a splash of boiling water and stir it through. It shouldn't be hot unless you overdid it on the "splash", in which case, leave it to cool before pouring a little puddle of pink jelly over the top of your pink mousses. Position a rose petal in the jelly before leaving them to set in the fridge.
*No threats were ever carried out, which is probably why my potty mouth is still very much intact.