Monday 26 October 2009

A Brioche, Some Chutney

When the lovely PR bods at Wild Card contacted me asking if wanted to try out some packaged soy milk, So Good Soya, I was a bit skeptical. My mum makes her own soy milk from dried soy beans and I often drink it cold and slightly sweetened as a drink. Curiosity got the better of me and I wondered how they would compare. I was sent a couple of cartons, along with a comprehensive recipe list. However, I have been wanting to try making brioche and as I had a lactose-intolerant friend coming over to visit, I decided to use the soy milk to substitute milk in this recipe.

Brioche is a French bread, enriched with butter and eggs. It's sweetness often complements foie gras, and having had a tin of pâté in the fridge for god knows how long, this little starter came to mind. I adapted this recipe, replacing the milk with soy milk. Though the dough was very wet, I added a little more flour, let The Beast do it's thing, and it turned soft and elasticky, pulling away nicely from the bowl . It was sweet and delicious; toasted, smeared with foie gras pâté and dabbed with a little of the plum chutney below, it was a decadent and moreish nibble. In fact, later I couldn't stop slicing more off and slathering it with jam to munch on.

It really was a day of firsts, and I decided to give myself a bit more work to do. That foie gras pâté needed some chutney, after all. A punnet of plums called out to me, and this recipe was born. Recipes on the net suggest adding some diced shallots, but I was all out and I wasn't about to head to the shops. I don't think the chutney suffered from it; it was sweet, spicy with a tangy background and it cut through the richness of the foie gras. It also turned a brilliantly lurid colour.

Plum & Star Anise Chutney

Makes about 2 jam jars

450gr plums
1 star anise
70ml white wine or cider vinegar
100gr brown or demerara sugar
1 1" slice of ginger
4 tbsp water
A little cooking oil

Sterilise the jam jars and lids by covering them and their lids in a pan of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the water (carefully!) and leave to dry.

Wash the plums and slice around in half, twisting the halves off and removing the stone. Chop into roughly equal sized chunks. In a pan, add a dribble of oil and fry the ginger gently on both sides. Add the plums and the sugar and fry on a low heat, covering all the plums in the sugar. Throw in the water and the vinegar, as well as the star anise and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes. When it's done, remove the star anise and ginger, spoon into the jars while hot and put the lid on. If you want a stronger star anise flavour leave the pod in the chutney. Leave to cool and put it in the fridge.

I'm not sure how long it lasts, I'd say about a couple of weeks. The chutney worked out perfectly with the brioche and pâté, and I imagine it'll also work well used sparingly with a really strong cheddar. I also used a couple dollops stirred into a red wine reduction to sauce a duck breast, cooked to medium rare, with great effect.


LexEat! said...

So impressed! Especially making your own brioche! Will have to give that a go.

Manuel said...

so hungry now......might eat foot.....roasted with mash.....mmmmmroasted foot n mash....

Helen said...

I know what you mean about brioche. It is impossible to stop eating it - "just one more slice" Foie gras has got to be the ultimate accompaniment. Great colour on your plums!

ginandcrumpets said...

That chutney looks so beautiful - gorgeous colour.

Browners said...

Seriuosly impressed. Love the idea of the plum and star anise chutney - I'll save it up for next Autumn when we've got some plums on our trees.

MizThreefivesix said...

Hi - I really like your blog very much, incredibly interesting, you cook things I would never attempt but it's great to read about them and the pictures are so good, too.

julia said...

That is seriously gorgeous. Plums, star anise--say no more! I'm in love.