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6 December 2010

Honeycomb Mould : a light and delicious dessert mouthful

Not my photograph : borrowed from t'internet
Honeycomb Mould was a long-lost dessert from my childhood.  I can remember my Mum making it to go with our dinner on Sunday.  She would rope me in to help and I can remember doing a lot of stirring and making sure nothing boiled over.

Although I could remember the dessert, I couldn't really remember what it tasted like.  All I knew was that I liked it - I remember that much!

So when I tripped over a recipe for Honeycomb Mould, of course it had to be done.

Regrettably, I don't have a photograph of the end result.  This is largely because we were all too keen to eat it and I plain old forgot, but also it is because it didn't look terribly pretty as I don't have a jelly mould (yet) in which to put it.  Consequently, it was made in a Pyrex pudding basin - which left something to be desired where the aesthetics were concerned!

The moment I took the first taste, the flavour brought sensory memories rushing back.  All of a sudden, I was 12 again.  I was also surprised at its delicacy and creaminess, considering there is no cream other than that contained in the milk.  The texture is deliciously foamy and light - and we all came back for second helpings.

This is definitely a dessert that will feature in my son's memories of "dinners with Mum & Dad".  :) 

HONEYCOMB MOULD 

Ingredients :

600 ml full fat milk
zest of 1 lemon, half thinly pared, half grated
15g (4 sheets) leaf gelatine
2 eggs, separated
40g caster sugar
2 tbsp runny honey

Method :

Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the lemon zest.  Heat the milk in the pan on a low heat until it is steaming hot, but not boiling.  Remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Place the gelatine sheets into a bowl of cold water, to soften.

Lightly whisk the egg yolks, sugar and honey together in a bowl until pale in colour.

Remove the pared lemon zest from the milk and reheat the milk to boiling point. 

Slowly pour the milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time.  Return the mixture to the pan, pick up the gelatine from the water, allow the worst of the water to drip off and add to the custard mix, discarding the water.  Cook the custard over a low heat, stirring continuously, until lightly thickened.

Allow the custard to cool for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent a skin forming.  (A good way is to put some cold water into the sink and stand the saucepan in it).

Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they stand in stiff peaks, then gently fold them into the custard.

Pour the mixture into a wetted 1 litre mould.  Chill in the fridge overnight until set.

To turn out the honeycomb mould, quickly dip the mould, right up to the rim, in a bowl of hot water.  Place a serving plate on top then invert the mould and the plate together, giving the mould a sharp tap.  Grate a small amount of lemon zest over, to decorate.

Chill until ready to serve.

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