Cookbook Review: Eggs

Eggs, Michel RouxThe egg is the simplest and most complete food—versatile enough for the quickest of meals to the smartest of dinner parties and the favourite of patissiers and dessert chefs. With more than 30 years experience as a chef at the top of his profession, Michel Roux has garnered a vast wealth of culinary knowledge and expertise. Trained in the classic French style, but a global traveller with a passion for different cuisines, Michel uses all of his skill and experience to take a new look at one of the oldest foods of all.

This new edition is illustrated throughout with beautiful photographs by award-winning photographer Martin Brigdale and contains a compilation of the best 100 egg recipes. Each chapter is arranged around a style of cooking eggs from boiling, frying, poaching, baking and scrambling, and shows you how to make the perfect omelet, mousse, soufflé, and custard. There are classic egg recipes given a modern twist, alongside new dishes which boast new combinations of flavours or a lighter, simpler style of cooking.

Eggs by Michel Roux is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.


Chocolate Truffle Cake with Candied Kumquats

Chocolate Truffle Cake with Candied Kumquats

Serves 8

This alluring dessert is always popular and it is simple to make. You can prepare both the cake and kumquats a day or two in advance and keep them in the fridge.

475g (1lb 1oz) good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces

1 chocolate Genoese sponge base,

20cm (8in) in diameter (recipe below) splash of Cognac or rum

475ml (2 cups) double (heavy) cream

cocoa powder, to dust

For the candied kumquats

16 very ripe kumquats

600g (3 cups) caster (superfine) sugar

 

First, prepare the kumquats. Put them in a small saucepan, cover with cold water and boil for
1 minute, then refresh in cold water. Repeat this twice more; drain. Return to the pan, add 600ml (2. cups) water and the sugar and slowly bring to the boil. Lower the heat to keep the syrup at
80–90°C/176–194°F and poach the kumquats for 30–45 minutes, until lightly candied. Transfer to a bowl with the syrup and leave until cold.

For the truffle cake, gently melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water, then take the bowl off the pan and leave to cool for a few minutes until no less than 25°C/77°C.

Using a serrated knife, cut a 5mm (1/4 in) thick disc from the chocolate sponge. Place it on a cardboard base and place a pastry ring round the sponge disc. If the sponge seems a little dry, moisten with a little of the kumquat syrup, flavoured with Cognac or rum.

Whip the cream in a large bowl to a ribbon consistency. Fold in half of the melted chocolate with a whisk, then fold in the rest. Whisk very lightly until amalgamated. Pour the mixture into the pastry ring and push it to the edge with a palette knife, taking care not to leave any air holes. Smooth the surface with the palette knife. Put the truffle cake in the fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up.

To serve, warm the pastry ring for a few seconds with a blowtorch, then remove. Dust the top of the cake with cocoa and cut into slices. Serve with the candied kumquats.

 

Genoese Sponge

Makes a 20cm (8in) sponge cake

The Genoese sponge has an excellent texture and many uses. It also freezes well.

20g (1. tbsp) softened butter, to grease tin

125g (scant 1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra to dust

4 medium eggs, at room temperature

125g (scant 2/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar

30g (2 tbsp) butter, melted and cooled to tepid

 

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Butter and lightly flour a 20cm (8in) cake tin.

Put the eggs and sugar in a bowl and immediately whisk them together. Continue to whisk for about 12 minutes, until the mixture leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the whisk. (You can also do this in an electric mixer.)

Shower in the flour and delicately fold it into the mixture, with a rubber spatula.

Add the melted butter and fold in carefully, without overworking the mixture.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until it is cooked. To test, lightly press the centre of the sponge with your fingertips; there should be a slight resistance and the sponge should ‘sing’, emitting a soft ‘zzzz.’ Invert on to a wire rack, giving the sponge a quarter-turn after 10 minutes to prevent it sticking. Leave to cool for 3–4 hours.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Quadrille.

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