Back in March, I realised one of the dreams I’ve had since I started this blog. I got to visit Le Cordon Bleu London and attend an evening of cookery hosted there in collaboration with Lavazza and Great Italian Chefs. The evening included a cookery lesson from Michelin starred chef Roberto Petza from S’Apposentu in Sardinia, who was a complete hoot and a patisserie demo from Nicolas Houchet of Le Cordon Bleu.
The whole evening was amazing, after watching Nicolas prepare a dessert of iced soufflé with chocolate decorations and orange truffles on the side, I had to hot foot it out of there and dash back to Oxford on a coach, without getting to try the dessert! Sometimes living in Oxford is so annoying, it seems like all blogging events happen in our capital city. The team behind Great British Chefs and Great Italian Chefs had however included Nicolas’ recipe in the goody bag we were supplied with, I had to make these, just to know what they tasted like.
I got to meet a couple of other bloggers at the event, Sarah of Maison Cupcake was absolutely lovely and I paired up with Danny of Food Urchin to cook a Jerusalem artichoke dish with Lavazza coffee. I love Jerusalem artichokes, but honestly I’ve only ever mashed them with potato. I think after about 30 seconds of working with me, this became pretty apparent to Danny!
I love preparing patisserie and taking time over decorating a little slice of cake, however the plating up of a savoury dish is completely alien to me. Our bacon burnt a little (my fault), my edible flowers had wilted and by the time Danny had finished plating up, I’d eaten my dish! Roberto had a look at my finished dish and I think I saw a tear, but it was more sadness for the lost potential of the artichokes rather than my execution of the dish.
The second part of the evening involved the patisserie demonstration I mentioned earlier, along with a cream whipping race! I was in my element here as the discussion turned to sabayon, Italian meringue and acetate strips. The equipment was amazing, with Nicolas wielding quite possibly the largest balloon whisk I’d ever seen!
Now the iced soufflé is an amazing thing, it’s like a chilled mousse, light and airy with a blob of whipped cream on top and some chocolate covered coffee beans. I knew I had to make these, when I realised I had all of the ingredients and equipment needed (yes I do keep food grade acetate in my cupboards) as well as a free bag of coffee from Lavazza.
These would be great if catering for a lot of people, or you needed a dessert you can prepare in advance. These kept well in the fridge for a couple of days, I may have even had one of them for breakfast…
Here’s the recipe for the iced soufflés, you should definitely make these, I’m already thinking about all of the other possible flavours you could make. The finished soufflés should be dusted with cocoa powder, but I forgot, also I didn’t get soufflé all over the outside of the cup, my freezer is seriously powerful and that’s how cold the cup was!
- ***Coffee Sabayon***
- 6 Egg Yolks
- 100g Caster Sugar
- 80ml Water
- 20g Lavazza Kafa Forest Ground Coffee (or whatever ground coffee you have)
- 6g Gelatine Leaves, approx 3 leaves
- 450ml Whipping Cream
- ***Italian Meringue***
- 100g Granulated Sugar
- 40ml Water
- 3 Egg Whites
- ***To Garnish***
- 150ml Whipping Cream
- 18 Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans
- Cocoa Powder, for dusting
- Wrap 6 cups with food grade acetate and seal with selotape, you make need to make two small snips to allow for the handle so you can slide the acetate half-way down the cup.
- To make the sabayon, beat the whipping cream until it forms soft peaks and reserve in the fridge.
- Place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and leave to soften.
- Heat the water to 95 degrees Celsius and infuse the coffee in a small cafetiere for 10 minutes, then strain into a mug or bowl and set aside.
- Combine the eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale and thick. Add the coffee and place over a bain marie, whisk until thick and creamy.
- Take the gelatine and squeeze out all of the excess water, add it to the egg mixture and whisk again until cool.
- For the Italian meringue, heat together the sugar and water in a saucepan until it reaches 118 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites in a very clean, dry bowl until they start to form soft peaks.
- Gradually pour the cooked sugar syrup onto the eggs whites, whisking continuously until the meringue is cool, smooth and glossy
- Gently mix the Italian meringue with the sabayon until evenly combined with no visible white lumps of meringue. Then fold through the whipped cream.
- Divide evenly between the cups and fill to the top of the acetate, smooth the tops with a palette knife. Transfer to the freezer and leave to set for at least 2 hours.
- To serve, whip the remaining cream to soft peak stage and remove the acetate from the cup, pipe whipped cream on top in a dome (so that it looks like coffee foam) dust with cocoa powder and garnish with chocolate coffee beans.
- Place in the fridge so the cream sets and leave them to thaw in the fridge for at least 30 mins before serving.
Attending Le Cordon Bleu was amazing, I’d absolutely love to study here, it’s a fantastic institution full of some incredibly knowledgeable teachers. Thanks very much to Great Italian Chefs, Le Cordon Bleu, Lavazza, Roberto Petza and Nicolas Houchet for such a fantastic evening.
Thanks for reading,