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Seaweed Surprise, dessert

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Rank attained: Pedunculate oak tree

Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 303
Location: Connemara

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:42 pm    Post subject: Seaweed Surprise, dessert Reply with quote

Just a quick one, I don't really do desserts much,
but this one is about as Irish as I can make it.

For more details, pictures and tips please feel free
to visit my Garden Blog, and please feel free to comment.
Link in signature

This is a straight forward little recipe, a seaweed surprise
from the shoreline that was collected and dried
during the summer.
Carragheen - (Chondrus crispus) is an edible
seaweed found on North Atlantic coastlines.

I collect my own out here but there is a company in Donegal
who sell this and other seaweed products in called

In Ireland their distribution is getting more widespread,
and in other places you can normally find some
type in health stores.
The carragheen can be plain, with a little sugar or
easily flavoured with the blend of your choice - cayenne,
baileys, lemon, ginger, vanilla etc can all be used.


10 gm carragheen
500ml milk
½ tsp caster sugar
½ tsp grated lime rind

Take about 5 or 10 grams of dried carragheen,
rinse and soak in lukewarm water for approx. 10 minutes.
Bring 500 ml of milk to the boil,
add carragheen and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
At this point I added a ½ tsp of caster sugar and
a ½ tsp of grated lime rind.
Its generally ready to set when the simmering
becomes like a fast boil without boiling over.

The mix can be strained into a jug to remove the
seaweed bits, but they really do no harm,
and don't taste of anything in particular.

I poured the still warm milk over the coulis base,
then added a few drops of lime to the top.
Then it gets chucked in the fridge to cool, and can
be made well in advance of a meal.

500g blackberries
25g honey
½ tsp vanilla extract

Coulis is simply a berry melange, a mixture of
berries that can be sweetened as desired.
I used black berries, but there are other variations -
any berry, cooked rhubarb, an apple or citrus sorbet blend.

This is a very adaptable recipe, the only reason
for presentation was the availability of local black berries.
The other aspect is the dark and white contrast
giving an impression of an Irish stout.

Put 250gm blackberries and 25gm of honey into
a small pan with 100ml water.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 mins until the fruit is soft.
Stir in the vanilla, remove and cool a little.

Tip the contents of the pan into a blender or food processor,
and whizz to a puree, then strain through a sieve,
rubbing it through with the back of a ladle or spoon

Mix with remaining blackberries and any other flavour
you wish to incorporate, like ginger.
Add to base of serving dish - in my case a martini glass

To add texture, I made some very thin oat and honey cakes.
It is probably as easy, if not a little better to use shop made
crisp cookies.
Take about 50 gm oats, 10gm honey and a little flour and mix.
Bake in the top of the oven for 15-20 minutes

These were then removed from the oven. They will still be
pliable while warm, so you can roll them or shape
them to create your own style.

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Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: carrigeen and coulis Reply with quote

Thanks for the info and the lead to your [very nice] website. I've had a bit of Chondrus crispus outside the front door since I came to Essex. It came originally from Ballyvaughan beach and is used as a forecasting aid. It softens when rain is due. BTW, I ate the last of my blackberries 29th Sept. so I'll have to wait til the glorious 12th for the first of next year's to try out your recipe. But I'll need more carrigeen. Time to revisit North Clare I guess.
Retired trouble-maker. twitters @walltoall and dreams of being promoted to Pedunculate Oaker.
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Rank attained: Pedunculate oak tree

Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 303
Location: Connemara

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fairly easy to find caragheen in most health stores.
That gang sell online, handy when away from home.
You need very little to get the gel to set.

I recon it would be a great base for a low fat cheese cake, and one thing easier to find in the UK is tinned black cherries - definatly worth a shot

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