Recipes From Le Rouzet: An English Cook in France by Berkshire’s Cathy Gayner is a collection of 125 delicious concoctions that evoke memories of lazy days in the sun
BAKED CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
Our elder son John and his wife Tessa chose this pudding, a delicious and easy recipe I have been making at Le Rouzet for years, for their wedding dinner. I always used to serve it with crème fraiche, but they vastly improved it by serving it with honeycomb ice cream. The two together make a wonderful combination
150g butter, plus extra for greasing
150g caster sugar
3 large eggs, separated
150g dark chocolate (70%)
icing sugar, to serve
- Grease a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin.
- Beat the 150g of butter and sugar till pale, then beat in the egg yolks.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. When the chocolate has cooled slightly, add it to the butter mixture.
- Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and fold them gently into the chocolate mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for an hour at 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3. Leave it to cool in the tin on a rack and, when ready to serve, turn it out and dust it with icing sugar.
CHICKEN STUFFED WITH TAPENADE
If you are a purist you can make the tapenade yourself, but then the dish becomes more time consuming – and the point of it is that it is quick and easy. This is also very good cold.
1 pot of tapenade
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 really good chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
- Mix the tapenade with the lemon zest, garlic and parsley.
- Using your fingers, gently separate the skin from the flesh of the chicken and spoon in the tapenade mixture. Ideally, push it down both the breast and the legs; this is fiddly but not difficult.
- Season the skin and pour over the oil and the lemon juice.
- Roast at 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6 for 20 minutes per 500g, plus 20 minutes extra.
- Serve with mashed potato and the juices.
- A simple green salad is the only other thing you need.
S E RV E S 4
This is the quickest, easiest tart ever; you don’t even have to pre-cook the asparagus.
110g unsalted butter
140g plain flour
30g strong Cheddar, or Parmesan, grated
1 bunch of asparagus, with the woody ends cut off
100g Parmesan, grated
200ml double cream
2 eggs, plus 2 extra yolks
salt and pepper
- Put all the ingredients for the pastry into a food processor and mix until the dough forms a ball.
- Press the dough into a 20cm tart tin with a removable base. Prick really thoroughly all over, even up the sides (this will prevent shrinkage), then chill in the fridge.
- Cook the pastry in an oven preheated to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4 for 15 minutes, or until pale gold in colour.
- Mix the cream, eggs and cheese in a bowl and season well.
- Arrange the uncooked asparagus in the tart tin. I do it in a wheel shape, cutting the tops off so that the stems fit, and then sprinkling the tops amongst the ‘spokes’, but you can place the asparagus in rows if you prefer.
- Pour over the cream mixture and bake the tart at 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4 for about 40 minutes.
Recipes From Le Rouzet: An English Cook in France, RRP £16.99
100% of the proceeds from the book will go directly to the charity Cathy co-founded with Henrietta Nettlefold, Age Unlimited, which provides much needed support for young people growing up with no prospects, and the very elderly who, through no fault of their own, have fallen on hard times.