May 7, 2012

Elderflower carragheen pudding with meringues and rose petals

It was a great challenge to think up the best coastal dessert to illustrate Staithes in late May.

We were filming the next part of out Taste the Wild DVD and Chris was foraging on the foreshore and cooking on the beach.

Seaweed is such an interesting subject that it seemed a good idea to use it in a variety of ways. Carragheen or Irish Moss grows on the foreshore rocks and is great for setting a mousse. I had dried some at home to use when I needed it so could make the pud in advance to take with us. The Elder and the Japanese rose are just coming into bloom so I went picking and came up with a really nice pud!


For the Carragheen pudding

  • 80g caster sugar
  • 8g dried carragheen
  • 400ml milk
  • 600ml double cream
  • 2 large heads of elderflower (large stalks removed)

Soak the dried Carragheen for 20 minutes in plenty of cold water. Heat the milk, cream and sugar to melt the sugar, When the carragheen is soaked rinse it, shake off the excess water and add it to the pan. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering it fro 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Now add the elderflower heads, stir and put a lid on the pan. Leave to infuse gently for 2 minutes. Stir and pour through a sieve into a bowl or individual glasses. Cover the bowls with a tea towel and refrigerate when cool.

For the Lemon meringues

  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup of sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 130 degrees C / gas mark 1/2. Cover two baking sheets with baking parchment. Beat the egg whites with the salt until they form soft peaks, add the sugar very slowly, beating well after each addition until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Fold in the lemon zest and vanilla. Now put teaspoonfuls of the meringue on to the baking sheets and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until dry but not brown. Cool for a few minutes before removing. When the meringues are completely cool store in an airtight container.

for the crystalised rose petals

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • caster sugar
  • Japanese rose petals

Mix together the egg white and water. Paint the petals with this mixture on both sides, then dip them into the caster sugar. Lay the petals out on to baking parchment on trays and dry in a warm airy place. Turn them over when they are nearly dry to make sure that both sides dry completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

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