Experimenting on guests

Had some friends over for dinner last night for ‘burgers’ seeing as one of them has just spent a few months living in the States. I say ‘burgers’ because we made again our gourmet burgers with onion jam from our New York book, and they certainly don’t look like McDonald’s burgers. Complete with homemade caramelised onions, aioli, pate and some chips on the side, they looked just like the picture in the book and were delicious.


And whilst the vegetarian option was essentially a glorified sandwich it had a couple of extra treats and was reported to be delicious. (It’s the one bottom right Steph.)

The experimental part was dessert. I watched Tyler make apple tarte tatin on Food TV a week or so ago and he made it look so easy and it looked like something that might impress guests. I had to make my own caramel and it was proper caramel made by boiling sugar and water, not the caramel sauce I’d made before to go with sticky date pudding that I’d done with brown sugar and cream. I saw it on the telly turning from a bubbling clear liquid to a beautiful amber brown caramel sauce, yet there was a knock on the door and the ‘about 10 minutes’ Tyler had said it would take the caramel to brown had passed.

However, lucky for me it was my brainy friend coming to dinner and he tried to console my worrying at the pot by informing me that caramel is nothing but a chemical reaction and that it would turn brown if I was patient. And it did!! Except I think it took too long getting there so while it had a blippy mud-pool consistency when I took it off the heat it very quickly became rock hard caramel. It did come out of the ramekins, mostly, when it was time to upend the ramekins to serve ,however it was a marathon effort by the Mister cleaning the wooden spoon, knife, bench and pot and I haven’t yet tackled my little pottery pot where I poured the left-over sauce to have with ice-cream the next night. It is absolutely rock hard. I really don’t want to have to throw away or break the pottery pot as it’s one I made.

So, success with apple tarte tatin. The caramel soaked into the apples wonderfully giving mouthfuls of sweet tart richness. Will be making that again!



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