Jamie Oliver has a new cookbook out this fall and it is a beautiful piece of work. Even though this is his 16th cookbook (!) it is still fresh and vibrant with gorgeous photography and fun, interesting recipes to share with family and friends. Called Jamie’s Comfort Food it is filled with what he terms “scrumptious happy classics” and is a real pleasure to leaf through.
We thought we’d share our favourite recipe from the book and give you a sneak peek into its pages. Here goes!
The book is divided up into sections that include ‘Nostalgia’ which features recipes like Shepherd’s Pie and Super Schnitzel or ‘Guilty Pleasures’ where you’ll find dishes like Lobster Mac & Cheese and Sticky Chinese Ribs. The most beautiful recipe in the book though has to be in the ‘Sweet Indulgence’ section. The Dreamy Marshmallow Pavlova just seems like an absolutely perfect recipe to make during an Indian summer weekend. It requires that you make your own marshmallows, so this isn’t a quickie project but it is definitely an engrossing and fun way to spend some time in the kitchen. I love the idea of rose water scented marshmallows but you can flavour them however you choose.
It’s a really big recipe but it’s doubtful you’ll have any problems polishing it off. Ontario raspberries and blueberries are in season right now and would be delicious here.
For more gorgeous food porn you should really follow Jamie Oliver’s Instagram, where he shares his own pics plus the beautiful photography of David Loftus, who shot all the images for the book and are what you see here.
Dreamy Marshmallow Pavlova
8 large egg whites
1 3/4 cups superfine sugar
1/2 x Magnificent Marshmallows (recipe below – you won’t need the confectioners’ sugar or cornstarch mixture as you’ll be pouring the marshmallow mixture into this recipe)
1 1/4 lbs seasonal berries (raspberry, blueberry, blackerry, even gooseberry could be used)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 heaping Tbsp superfine sugar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs fresh mint
1 vanilla bean
2 Tbsp superfine sugar
1 2/3 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
Preheat the oven to 250F. Whisk the egg whites and a pinch of sea salt in a free-standing mixer until they form stiff peaks, then with the mixer still running, very gradually and carefully add the sugar, turn to the highest setting, and leave to mix for 8 minutes or until fully dissolved (rub a pinch of the mixture between the two sheets and spread it out to just inside your circles, then use the back of the spoon to flip up peaks in the mixture to make it look elegant and delicate. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, then turn the oven off, leaving the meringues in there until the oven is cool.
Put the most perfect looking of your berries to one side, then place the other half in a bowl with the lemon juice, sugar and balsamic, toss together and leave to macerate while you make the Chantilly cream. Halve the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape all the seeds into a large bowl with the sugar. Pour in the cream and whisk by hand until it forms soft peaks, then fold in the yogurt.
When you’re ready to assemble the pavlova, make your marshmallows. As soon as it is made, divide in big spoonfuls between the two meringues before it sets, being mindful to spoon it on as prettily as possible. At this point choose the dreamier meringue and put the scruffier one onto a cake stand to form the base of the pavlova.
Spoon three-quarters of the cream onto the centre of the base meringue and carefully smooth it out to the edge, trying not to completely cover the marshmallow. Spoon over the macerated berries and juices, then place the 2nd meringe on top. Dot over the remaining cream in between the marshmallow and meringue whisps, then sprinkle with the reserved berries. Scatter a few baby mint leaves over the top and serve.
makes 30 pieces
1/3 cup cornstarvh
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 oz liquid glucose syrup
2 cups superfine sugar
10 sheets gelatin
2 large egg whites
2 vanilla beans
optional: 1/2 tsp natural food colouring, natural flavours like orange blossom water, peppermint extract or rose water
This is a precise recipe so read through at least once before starting. Sift the cornstarch and confections’ sugar into a bowl. Finely sift half the mixture over a deep baking sheet (8×12 inches) and set the other half aside until later. Mix the liquid glucose syrup and the superfine sugar together in a saucepan over a low heat with 1 cup of cold water. Heat gently, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved and you have a clear syrup. Meanwhile, soak the gelatin in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup of water.
Once the sugar syrup is clear, turn up the heat, pop in a sugar thermometer, and allow the syrup to boil vigorously (don’t stir). When it reaches 230 F, place the gelatin pan over mediam heat and stir until dissolved. Whisk the egg whites in a free-standing electric mixer until you have stiff peaks. Once your syrup has reached 250 F very carefully and slowly pour it down the sides of the bowl of the moving mixer, then pour in the dissolved gelatin. Halve the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, add the seeds to the mixer bowl, then continue to whisk for 6-8 minutes, or until the mixture has significantly increased in volume but is thick and still pourable.
You can add flavour and food colouring at this point. Whisk for 2-3 minutes to fully incorporate. Then pour the marshmallow over the prepared baking sheet, using a palette knife to smooth it out, then sift over the remaining mixed cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar and leave somewhere cool for 2-3 hours, or until set and soft.