Well hello there! Long time no write…
You may or may not know that I am now the proud mother of a nearly six month old-bubs and he is, quite frankly, a more than full-time job. He’s full time plus over time with a huge dollop of exploitative weekend and unsociable hours thrown in. On top of that he has also decided that daytime naps are for losers and He is a total Winner, thank you very much. As gorgeous as this little man is, all this makes me the out and out Loser – of leisure time, at least.
I’m therefore cutting to the chase:
Got a glut of blackberries taking up valuable fridge/freezer space?
Quite like the flavour of those plump shiny berries but can’t stick the crunch of the seeds and the irritation of having to dig them out of your teeth?
Then read on, dear friends, because this soft fruity mousse is the answer.
When you type ‘blackberry mousse’ into a search engine, the one from Jamie Oliver Magazine comes up first so, being short on time (as well as a huge fan of The Man), I used his recipe as a starting point. I’ve just adjusted the quantities a little (to suit my taste) and added a zesty kick of lemon verbena.
This amazing herb has been on my wish list for several years and over summer we finally got hold of a couple of plants and whacked them in the ground (literally…no faffing these days). They’ve thrived amazingly well – despite our claggy clay soil – and even survived the slug attacks in the wet weather. It makes a great morning (or post blow-out dinner) infusion and has such a strong fresh flavour that I thought it would be a good pairing with blackberries.
Jamie’s recipe includes a vanilla cream on top (which sounds delicious) but actually, when I made it, I found it really didn’t need the extra cream; I think it dilutes the juicy blackberry flavour too much. I also wanted to try layering the blackberry mousse with chocolate mousse but, again…naaah.
- 250g blackberries
- 50g caster sugar
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 gelatin leaf, soaked in a little cold water
- 6 large stems of lemon verbena
- Juice of half a lemon
- 150ml double cream, lightly whipped
Heat the berries with the sugar, water and half of the lemon verbena in a saucepan until the berries start to break down.
Take off the heat and push the berry mixture through a sieve to remove the (evil) seeds, making sure you scrape all of the juicey pulpy bits from underneath the sieve. Do this over a bowl!
Return the mixture to the saucepan and simmer gently for a minute or two to concentrate the flavour. Remove from the heat and, when it’s cooled a bit (but is still warm), add the soaked gelatin leaf and stir to dissolve.
Add the remaining lemon verbena leaves to the mixture (you can leave them on the stem) as well as the lemon juice then leave to steep until cool.
Once the mixture is cool add it to the lightly whipped cream and whisk together until combined and pour into serving glasses. Refrigerate for at least two hours. It really IS delicious!
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