this was a flukey experiment because i woke up really wanting pineapple with basil-mint sugar, which is proven lovely but the only fresh herb i had was rosemary, so hooo. it was interesting.
herbal sugars are fun and inexpensive culinary additions to play with; all you need is sugar and herbs and you can go to town--minty sugar on citrus fruit in the morning, lemon myrtle sugar with tea at noon, or perhaps a lavender sugar on a chocolate cupcake for dessert. fresh is usually the way to go, but you'll have to experiment with proportions and perhaps preparation. since this was a spur of the moment thing, i just finely chopped up some fresh rosemary along with white caster sugar, as i normally do this with mint or basil. the aroma was wonderful, and at first taste, i was pleased. however, because the herb was so pungent, it began to leave a medicinal aftertaste. i think next time i try this, i will make the sugar in advance, infusing the flavour slowly, like vanilla sugar, for a mellower effect.
not that it was a complete loss. i am never that far away from my blowtorch, so i torched the pineapple and sugar, which did it a world of wonders--the rosemary mellowed out, and the burnt sugar and caramel worked well with the intensified pineapple taste. i threw in some yogurt cheese and had me a fine, fresh feast to start my sunny day.
fistful of fresh mint and basil
1/4 to 1/2 cup of white caster sugar
mush everything together in a mortar and pestle, or sprinkle the sugar on the herbs while chopping to help facilitate the process.
1 or 2 fresh rosemary branches
white caster or brown sugar
place the rosemary branches into a tall, wide mouthed jar upright. pour in enough sugar to cover the rosemary completely, close jar tightly and keep in a cool, dark place for one or two weeks, shaking gently if you remember, but no worries if you don't.
1 container of plain yogurt, i used whole milk but you can use anything that doesn't contain gelatin
line a strainer or colander set over a bowl with several layers of cheesecloth, or a clean kitchen linen, or several layers of a good paper towel. dump the cheese in, leave it to drain overnight in the fridge. in the morning, discard the whey, squeeze out a little more liquid from the yogurt. they say you can use it like cream cheese, but i've never had it come to a proper consistency for that, so try it with fruit and/or cereal, or on top of a warm cake or muffin.
Posted by santos. This entry was posted on 20050414 at 1:08 AM You can skip to the end and leave a response.