Veloute of bittersweet chocolate with cinnamon-stick ice-cream

Fellow cookbook aficionados might recognise this as a recipe from The French Laundry cookbook. Yes, I did it. I popped my FL cherry. And where better to start than pudding?

With my plans for my day off tomorrow coming to nothing (standby place on a cooking course at Leiths), I decided to spend the day cooking anyway. My original plan was do to two or maybe even three courses from the big white book that’s been peering down at me from the cookbook shelf, wondering when I might get a chocolately thumbprint or a splodge of infused oil on its pages and treat it like a real cookbook, dammit. But a leisurely perusal yielded the following facts: these recipes don’t seem as hard as I thought when I got the book for my birthday last year (thanks Mum!) so hurrah! But….each one I thought of tackling should be started about a day before eating, for one reason or another. Pants.

But one course is better than none, right? So tonight I started the custard base for the ice-cream.

First up, 10 large eggs yolks.

I whipped those babies up with some sugar until a bit lighter and fluffier. All the while, warmed cream, milk and a cinnamon stick infused.


I tempered the yolks with some warm cream mixture, poured the yolks in with the rest of the cream and heated the custard gently until it started to thicken.


The thickened custard was cooled a bit in a sinkful of cold water before being sieved twice. I’m sure once is enough, but it was easier to go from bowl to pan back into bowl again. It sat on the side for a wee while to cool further before being put in to the fridge overnight to chill.

A late night run to the shop got me the rest of the ingredients for the veloute. I’ll make that tomorrow morning before embarking on the main course, which I think will be from Georgio Locatelli’s Made In Italy. If I can stop gazing upon his rugged Italian visage long enough to follow a recipe, that is.

And speaking of things of beauty, here’s what the final dish should looks like:


If a taste of the cinnamon custard is anything to go by, we’re in for one amazing dessert tomorrow night. Plus four more portions in the freezer for later!

More tomorrow…..

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