Little black book

On this page, we have collected a bunch of those quick preparations that sometimes require une aide à la mémoire, but do not warrant a standalone recipe. We keep these at home in a ‘little black book’, but we are putting them online, not only to share with you, but also to remind ourselves. 

Butter, hazelnut
AKA beurre d’ Aveline or beurre noisette. Blend 100g blanched and toasted (or roasted and peeled) hazelnuts with 2.5ml water until paste. Combine with 250g unsalted butter and pass through a fine sieve.

Caramel, salted
175g brown sugar, 300ml double cream, 50g butter, half tsp salt. Heat the whole lot over low until sugar dissolves. Up the heat and bubble until syrup. Cool to store. Serve warm, but not hot. 

Chips
Parboil. Fry 130˚C 6 mins. Fry 190˚C 2 mins.

Chutney anything
Tart fruit, sugar, vinegar and lemon. Cook and cool. Can add ginger, tamarind, garlic, onion, salt, fenugreek, coriander etc.

Crème Chantilly
600ml whipping cream (chilled), 30g caster, vanilla to taste.

Crème patisserie
25g plain flour, 80g caster sugar, pinch salt, 7g unsalted butter, 2 eggs, 1 vanilla pod, 250ml milk. Flour, sugar, salt, butter and eggs in a heavy saucepan; work with whisk until combined. Heat milk in a saucepan with vanilla pod until it boils. Add milk to the dough, stir well and boil moderately for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the crème to an earthenware dish to cool, stirring occasionally.

Crêpes, Escoffier A (with less sugar)
Blender will over-activate gluten. Use a hand whisk.

Flour, g500250125
SaltPinchPinchSml pinch
Eggs1263
Milk, ml1500740375
Caster, tbsp842

Crumble, dessert
170g flour, pinch salt, 110g butter, 55g sugar, process. 
Fruit base: 400g tart fruit, 75g caster, 2tbsp cornflour. 45mins @ 200˚C.

Curry sequence, Atul Kochhar
Whole spices -> onions -> ginger-garlic paste -> powdered spices -> tomatoes. 

Eggs, poached Berner’s Tavern
62˚C 50 mins in the shell. Cool rapidly in iced water. Boil water and crack coddled eggs into simmering water and heat for 1 minute. 

Egg yolk, confit
Immerse an egg yolk devoid of white in olive oil (possibly flavoured, e.g garlic, herbs, chilli, truffle) for 1h at 65˚C. A bain marie in a water bath is the most accurate method.

Five spice
Star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper (like coriander) and fennel seeds.

Frangipane, basic
150g each of softened unsalted butter, caster and ground almonds, 3 eggs, 1 tsp almond extract. Cream the eggs and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in nuts and flavourings. Add a half a tsp of baking powder to lighten for e.g. Bakewell. Add squeeze of lemon if liked (also for Bakewell).

Frangipane, Larousse
200g crème patisserie, 100g softened butter, 100g caster sugar, 100g ground almonds, few drops of vanilla extract, 1 tbsp Navy rum. Mix the softened butter, sugar almonds vanilla and rum. Mix in the crème pâtisserie until smooth.

Garlic, roasted
Break up a head of garlic into cloves, unpeeled. Wrap in foil with oil, and roast in an oven at 180˚C for 20 mins. Peel to serve.

Gelatin
1 tbsp of gelatine (1 Dr Oetker sachet) will gel 500ml water. 4 leaves of gelatin = 1 tbsp gelatin, and will also set 500ml. Bloom before use and always add to hot liquid to prevent ‘roping.’

Goose, cooking times
Gressingham guide.

Hazelnuts, roasted
Single layer. 180˚C for 15 mins, Rub with towel to remove skins.

Jambon beurre
Classic French lunch sandwich. Baguette split and spread with butter. Fill with slices of good quality ham. 

Leeks, crispy
Juilienne the white part of leeks as fine as possible. Deep fry 180˚C until crispy. Dry on a paper towel. Season with salt immediately before serving.

Meringue, French
1:60g egg whites:caster sugar. Whisk to soft peaks. Bake on parchment 200˚C 1 hour, and then switch off the oven and allow the meringues to cool in the oven.

Mint sauce
Bunch of mint chopped with salt to break down. Pour over 4 tbsp boiling water. Add 4 tbsp white wine vinegar and 1tbsp caster sugar. Steep.

Onions, glazed
Peeled pearl onions/shallots, 100ml water/stock, sugar, butter. Cook with cartouche until almost dry.

Parmesan crisp
Shaved (not grated) parmesan on a silicone-lined baking tray. Bake 200˚C 3–5 mins. Shape while warm. Cool. Do not try to cut the cooled cheese – the crisps will shatter.

Pasta, basic
100g Petra 7220 granpasta flour and 1 egg per person. No salt, but cook pasta in ‘mild seawater.’ Full instructions here.

Pasta di ortica (nettles)
100g Petra 7220 granpasta flour and 1 egg per person. No salt, but cook pasta in ‘mild seawater. Prepare egg by boiling nettles 25 mins, squeeze dry in a cloth, blend with the egg and pass. See Pasta, basic for link to full instructions for the base product.

Pasta verde
100g Petra 7220 granpasta flour and 1 egg per person. No salt, but cook pasta in ‘mild seawater. Prepare egg by wilting spinach or basil, squeeze dry in a cloth, blend with the egg and pass. See Pasta, basic for link to full instructions for the base product.

Pastry, shortcrust
2:1 ratio flour:fat. Pinch of salt and minimal liquid (egg and/or water). Flour is self-raising if using suet as the fat. 200g flour, 100g butter, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, pinch salt, minimal water to bring together. Prick base, blind bake with cling wrap and beans 180˚C 10 mins. Brush edge with egg, fill, bake per recipe.

Pastry, sucre
250g flour, 100g cubed butter, 100g sifted icing sugar, pinch salt. Combine all in food processor to crumb. Make dough like pasta with 2 RT eggs (or run in processor) with light touch. Ball and chill 1h. 
To prepare case: Line tin with draped pastry and then line with cling wrap. Add baking beans. Freeze 30 mins. Bake 10 mins and trim. Remove beans and bake 20 mins. Egg brush and bake 10 mins. 

Peppers, sweet and sour Gordon Ramsay
Sliced red peppers, red onion and olive oil in a hot pan. Season. Add 1 tbsp sugar to caramelise a bit. Add red wine vinegar to glaze. Reduce heat, add more oil and stew for a few mins. Add basil chiffonade, cook 30 seconds and serve.

Pici
100g strong flour, 50ml water, pinch salt and a quarter tbsp olive oil per person. Cook pasta in ‘mild seawater.’

Pickles, fridge
Thinly slice or shave veg. Balance vinegar and sugar while heating. Cover veg with liquid and cool. Add chilli, peppercorns, whole spices and herbs as fit. Chill.

Pomme purée
Boil potatoes and rice them. Add melted butter taste. Season. Add milk or cream to desired consistency.

Potatoes, baked
Prick with fork. Oil and salt. Directly on wire shelf at 190˚C for 1h.

Rice, boiled Atul Kochhar
1:10 rice to water, salt (75g rice per person). Boil 7 mins until just past ‘Italian al dente.’

Rice, pilau Atul Kochhar
1:1 w/w rice:water. Sauté cardamom, cloves and chopped onion in butter and add a dollop of yoghurt. Sauté the rice in a little butter and oil for 1 min. Add the water and boil. When you can see the top of the rice emerging from the water, cover the rice with a wet towel and lid. Put the covered pan in an oven for 10 minutes, or leave on a very low heat on the hob. Then, leave covered for 15 minutes off the heat.

Rice, sticky
Rinse rice in a sieve until the water runs basically clear. 1 mug of rice to 2 mugs of cold water in a cold pan serves 2–3 people (or half a pint of rice to one pint water). Bring to boil, move to very low, cover and cook for 15 mins. Turn the heat off, still covered for another 10–15 mins. 

Risotto
350g rice = 1L stock. Serves 4. Have extra stock handy.

Sauce, sweet and sour
Pineapple juice, rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup. 

Shallots, fried Tim Lovejoy
Roast unpeeled banana shallots for 40 mins in foil. Cool, split and fry in fryer until crisp.

Sorbet, mulled wine
Chill a bottle of shop-bought mulled wine and pour it into an ice cream maker. Churn to sorbet, box and freeze. 

Stock, basic
Carcass/giblets (no liver), split carrots and celery, halved onion, peppercorns, thyme, bay, parsley stalks. 7l water. Simmer until stops getting tastier. Cool overnight, skim, bag and freeze.

Syrup, fruit
1:1:1 w:w:w fruit, caster sugar and water. Dissolve sugar over heat. Add fruit, mash up and steep 1h. Strain with jelly bag (squeeze), bottle and refrigerate.

Syrup, herb
1:1:1 v:v:v herbs, caster sugar and water. Boil 1 min, cool and strain.

Syrup, simple
1:1 v:v caster sugar and water. Heat until the sugar dissolves, cool.

Syrup, vanilla
250ml sugar, 250ml water, 1 vanilla pod, split. Heat until the sugar dissolves, cool.

Teriyaki glaze
4, 4, 3, 2, 1 tbsps of soy, mirin, demerara sugar, rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil; 2cm ginger, grated. Heat to dissolve sugar and reduce by half.

Turkey, cooking times
Gressingham guide.

Yorkshire puddings, volumetric method
Equal volumes flour, eggs and milk. Pinch of salt. Mix and cook in mad hot beef dripping at 200˚C until done (about 15 mins).