Rory O'Connell shares his delicious recipe for yoghurt and star anise cream, served with poached plums, rhubarb compote or sugared strawberries.
This gently set cream or mousse is a lovely combination of flavours.
You can set the cream or mousse in large or individual moulds and turn it out if you wish. Use whatever dish suits your situation. The mousse will keep in the fridge for several days. Poached rhubarb or plums are heaven with it, or just some strawberries sliced and lightly sweetened with caster sugar.
I sometimes make a jelly from plum poaching syrup and pour that on top of the set cream where it too sets and makes a really festive presentation and a perfect taste and texture marriage.
- Star anise is a highly scented spice, and needs to be used with discretion so as not to end with a dish that is overpowered by its heady aroma.
- You can use powdered or sheet gelatin here. Refer to the gelatin notes for direction on the use of the leaves.
- I use full fat organic yoghurt for this cream.
- 3 star anise pods
- 230ml milk
- 175g caster sugar
- 200ml cream
- 3 rounded teaspoons powdered gelatin or 3 sheets of gelatin
- 425ml natural, un-sweetened yoghurt
- Use a pestle and mortar to grind the star anise coarsely into about ½ cm sized pieces.
- Put the star anise, milk, sugar and cream in a saucepan and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is tepid. This takes about 5 minutes. Do not let the milk boil or the flavour will be spoiled. The purpose of gently warming the milk is to draw the flavour out of the spice and to encourage the sugar to dissolve. Remove from the heat and allow to cool and infuse.
- Put 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl or jug and sprinkle in the gelatine. Stir gently to mix. Allow to "sponge". In a few minutes it will resemble a stiff sponge.
- Place the jug in a saucepan of simmering water until the gelatine has dissolved into a clear liquid with no trace of gelatin granules visible. Do not stir the gelatin as it dissolves.
- Strain the star anise out of the milk and add 4 tablespoons, to the gelatin. Mix gently and then combine with the rest and mix well.
- Add in the yoghurt and whisk gently to a smooth consistency.
- Pour into the serving dish of your choice. Remember that if you wish to turn it out, your chosen mould or moulds need to be brushed with a non-scented oil first.
- Place in a fridge to set. Allow 3 hours for this.