Six Ingredients In Search Of A Recipe

In the league table of cel­eb­rated plays that should nev­er be per­formed on stage, Shakespeare’s grue­some Tit­us Andronicus has to come top. But I’ve always thought Pirandello’s 1921 play Six Char­ac­ters in Search of an Author may be up there too. His open­ing night audi­ence in Rome yelled ‘man­icomio’ or ‘mad­house’ through­out the per­form­ance and the humi­li­ated Pir­an­dello had to slip out of a side door.

The play’s eccent­ric premise is this: a rehears­al is tak­ing place on stage when six half-writ­ten char­ac­ters barge into the theatre demand­ing to be allowed to act out their drama. The bewildered Dir­ect­or gives in and the bizarre event con­cludes with a drown­ing and a sui­cide. This week­end I’m see­ing it on stage for the very first time, so I’ll let you know if it’s per­form­able or not.

I love a good post­mod­ern exper­i­ment, in food as well as lit­er­at­ure. So when I had a whim to make lem­on­grass and lem­on thyme ice-cream, it struck me that this might be my Pir­an­dello moment. Great concept, mad­house in real­ity? Or daft idea, sub­lime res­ult? Would my six ice-cream ingredi­ents make for the per­fect per­form­ance or would I be forced out of the kit­chen, pur­sued by mem­bers of my fam­ily wav­ing rolling pins and shout­ing ‘man­icomio mani­ac’?

LEMONGRASS AND LEMON THYME ICE-CREAM WITH TUILE BISCUITS AND MANGO MILKSHAKEOR SIX INGREDIENTS IN SEARCH OF A RECIPE

For the ice-cream

  • 1 cup semi skimmed milk
  • 2 cups double cream
  • 3/4 cup caster sug­ar
  • 6 large egg yolks (you can use the whites for the bis­cuits)
  • Three hand­fuls of fresh lem­on thyme, includ­ing the soft stalks
  • 2 bulbs of fresh lem­on­grass, bruised with a rolling pin and sliced finely

For the bis­cuits

  • 2 egg whites
  • 60g softened unsalted but­ter (I like Les­cure but­ter best)
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sug­ar
  • Finely grated zest of a lem­on

For the mango milk­shake

  • Slightly over­ripe Alphonso man­goes or 1 tin Alphonso mango pulp. The exquis­ite, per­fumed fruit are in sea­son in April, but if you can’t find any, the tinned pulp is excep­tion­ally good
  • Equal quant­it­ies of ice-cold semi skimmed milk

To make the ice-cream, com­bine the milk, sug­ar, 1 cup of the cream, the thyme and the lem­on­grass. Warm it through until hot, but not boil­ing. Take off the heat, cov­er and allow the fla­vours to infuse for around an hour and a half.

Once the cream has infused, whisk the egg yolks. Still whisk­ing, pour a little of the warm cream mix­ture into the bowl. Add a little more, whisk­ing all the while, and then pour the tempered eggs back into the pan con­tain­ing the rest of the cream mix.

Put the pan back on a gentle to medi­um heat and con­tin­ue to stir until the mix­ture becomes cus­tard-like and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add the remain­ing cup of cream and pour the whole lot into a cold bowl. Once cooled com­pletely, strain the mix­ture into your ice-cream maker and churn it.

To make the bis­cuits, whisk the egg whites very lightly and com­bine with the oth­er ingredi­ents. Pour a little of the bat­ter into well-buttered fairy cake tins or lar­ger tart­let tins if you prefer. I used tart­let tins approx­im­ately 12 cm in dia­met­er which pro­duced 9 bis­cuits. Bake at 200 degrees C for around 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and ease the bis­cuits gently out of the tins with a plastic knife.

To make the mango milk­shake, com­bine equal quant­it­ies of mango pur­ee and ice-cold milk. If you feel that an authen­t­ic milk­shake needs a few bubbles, froth it with a milk froth­er.

After I laid on my first night per­form­ance of Six Ingredi­ents in Search of a Recipe, my son — who’s no pushover — announced that it’s now his num­ber one favour­ite ice-cream. And this from a teen­ager who would hap­pily eat my chocol­ate and pea­nut but­ter ice-cream sev­en days a week. The fla­vour of the ice-cream is per­fumed and creamy, with a subtle and del­ic­ate prom­ise of lem­on. The mango is the per­fect coun­ter­bal­ance and the bis­cuit provides a much needed ele­ment of crunch.

Man­icomio or para­dise? Try it and let me know.

If You are con­cerned in pur­chas­ing medic­a­ments online, now may be the date to do so. So the next ques­tion is where can you find info that is reli­able. You can get such inform­a­tion fast and con­veni­ently by going online. There are many ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia which have no cure. One of the most pop­u­lar medi­cine is Via­gra. What about com­par­is­on between Cial­is versus Levitra and ? Nearly every adult knows about . Oth­er ques­tion we have to is . The symp­toms of sexu­al dis­orders in men switch on lack of sexu­al fantas­ies. Not­with­stand­ing sex is not vital for good health, it’s cer­tainly good for any­one. So if you are exper­i­en­cing erectile prob­lems, it is essen­tial to see a cer­ti­fied doc imme­di­ately for a com­plete medi­cin­al test­ing. Cer­tainly, online phar­macy can hands-down help you for solv­ing your all per­son­al dif­fi­culties.

Mango glasses, lime ice cream and chocolate truffles

Psy­cho­lo­gists will have you believe that the quick­est way to evoke the past is to play the music you listened to between the ages of four­teen and twenty, oth­er­wise known as ‘music of your life’. The Rolling Stones, Robert Palmer, Bruce Spring­steen — pos­sibly Engel­bert Hump­erdinck if that was your thing — will all evoke memor­ies of what you were doing at a pre­cise moment in your teens. But psy­cho­lo­gists are miss­ing a trick. They should be feed­ing us the boiled sweets of our teen­age years. ‘Con­fec­tion­ery of your life’ is made up of the sher­bet lem­ons after foot­ball prac­tice, tri-col­oured lol­li­pops called ‘traffic lights’ sucked at the bus stop, kitsch pink candy shrimps in party bags, pear drops on a wintry Sunday morn­ing and, best of all, the glory known as the chocol­ate lime.

It was in memory of the liv­idly green and slightly powdery chocol­ate lime that I whipped up this pud­ding. It’s infin­itely health­i­er than its boiled sweet cous­in, although it has to be said that it’s a lot more trouble to pre­pare. But close your eyes, think of get­ting ready for that first teen­age disco with a chocol­ate lime in one cheek and high expect­a­tions in your heart. And then smile smugly to think that unlike the enamel-erod­ing boiled sweet, this pud­ding is good for you.

Frozen Mango Glasses and Lime Ice-Cream, With Bitter Chocolate Truffles on the Side

Serves 4

For the glasses

400g ripe alphonso man­gos

For the ice cream

3 limes — the juice of three of them and the zest of two

Half cup vanilla sug­ar

2 cups double cream

For the truffles

Half cup double cream

3 table­spoons golden syr­up

90g dark chocol­ate

90g milk chocol­ate

Quarter cup milled flax­seed, cocoa and ber­ries, plus more for rolling

These quant­it­ies make too much by far, but the slightly nutty truffle mix­ture is a deli­cious filling for a cake

Sprigs of mint to dec­or­ate

Pur­ee the man­goes in a blender and pour into cup-mak­ing moulds for at least 6 hours. I bought these moulds in a kit­chen sup­ply shop and although they’re rather daft, some­times a flashy trick is what you’re after.

Make the ice cream by warm­ing the lime juice and stir­ring in the sug­ar. Stir until dis­solved and add the fine zest and the cream. Cool in the fridge and then tip into your ice cream maker and fol­low the instruc­tions. Again, it makes too much for this par­tic­u­lar recipe but it keeps well.

The truffles are easy to make, although truc­u­lent and unco­oper­at­ive on a hot day. Add the cream and golden syr­up to a pan and heat until the mix­ture starts to bubble gently. Melt the chocol­ate into the mix­ture and once it’s smooth, add the flax­seed and cocoa. Freeze in a bowl for a couple of hours and then scoop out balls of the mix­ture with a tea­spoon and roll them in more flax­seed. Return the truffles to the freez­er while you wrestle with the mango glasses.

Turn the glasses out of their moulds, fill with lime ice cream and arrange the truffles on the side. Dec­or­ate with sprigs of mint. I poked a lovage straw in to suck up the mango as it melted, but I’m rather obsessed with lovage at the moment, so you don’t need to fol­low my lead on this one.

If You are inter­ested in pur­chas­ing medic­a­ments online, now may be the peri­od to do so. So the next ques­tion is where can you find info that is reli­able. You can get such inform­a­tion fast and con­veni­ently by going online. There are many ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia which have no cure. One of the most pop medi­cine is Via­gra. What about com­par­is­on between Cial­is versus Levitra and ? Nearly each adult knows about . Oth­er ques­tion we have to is . The symp­toms of sexu­al dis­orders in men turn on lack of sexu­al fantas­ies. Not­with­stand­ing sex is not vital for good health, it’s cer­tainly good for any­one. So if you are exper­i­en­cing erectile prob­lems, it is essen­tial to see a cer­ti­fied doc­tor imme­di­ately for a com­plete med­ic­al test­ing. Cer­tainly, online phar­macy can hands-down help you for solv­ing your all per­son­al dif­fi­culties.