Thursday, 29 May 2014


I thought this week I would make a collection of my favourite sauces- sweet and savoury- to share with you.
They are all really simple- because I'm not one for fancy reductions or emulsions.
I've done two hot, two cold, two sweet and two savoury.

They really do come into their own though for jazzing up leftovers-and none more so than a hollandaise sauce. Wonderful with salmon, asparagus, new potatoes or any fish, my favourite is with spinach and a poached egg on a toasted muffin.

First, make your hollandaise:  Melt 60g of unsalted butter in a pan or microwaveable dish.Take one egg yolk, the juice of half a squeezed lemon, a pinch of cayenne pepper if you have it and half a teaspoon of salt and put them in the goblet of the food processor or blender. Start the motor running and quickly but steadily trickle in the melted butter. Just watch the sauce emulsify. If it gets too thick, add a squeeze more lemon or a teaspoon of warm water.

Don't throw away your egg white- freeze it to use in meringues or cakes later.

To make eggs florentine- steam or microwave some spinach leaves, squeeze them quickly in a J cloth, then lay them on top of a toasted English muffin. Top with a softly poached egg and a good slather of the sauce.
Eggs florentine with hollandaise sauce
Fish and chips with tartare sauce

My next sauce is more of a relish really. To make your own tartare sauce, take a tablespoon of good mayonnise, add to it some chopped spring onion, some chopped gherkin and some chopped green olives. Voila! 

I told you it was simple this week.

A delicious variation uses black olives instead of green to make a cross between tapenade and tartare sauce. Yum!

And whilst we are tallking simple- here is just the best- but simplest- tomato sauce. Soften some onion and garlic in a saucepan, add a carton of chopped tomatoes, a teaspoon each of red wine vinegar and sugar, a pinch each of salt and pepper and simmer away for 15 minutes or so. Just before serving, stir in a knob of butter. The butter emulsifies and enrichens the sauce in an instant.
Tomato butter sauce

My last savoury sauce is made with mustard and creme fraiche. It's lovely on pork or chicken.

Deglaze and add mustrard
Mix in creme fraiche
When you have fried your meat, put it to keep warm in the oven and then deglaze the frying pan with either some warm water, some vermouth or some white wine.
Pork with mustard and cream sauce
When it is bubbling, add a tablespoon of coarse grain mustard and two tablespoons of creme fraiche. Stir quickly as it thickens and then pour back over the meat.

Now for some sweet sauces.

My favourite standby is a toffee or butterscotch sauce. Once you know how to make this, you can vary it according to the type of sugar you add- muscavado for a treacle toffee, soft brown for a fudge sauce, demerera for a butterscotch toffee sauce or with a pinch of sea salt for a salted caramel.

These skewered ban-iteroles are my latest creation. Choux buns filled with cream and banana, threaded on skewers to keep them together, with a toffee fudge sauce.
For the choux buns:
85 ml water
85 ml milk
65g butter
100g plain flour
2 eggs
200ml whipping cream
1 banana
1. Bring the water, milk and butter to the boil in a saucepan
2. Beat in the flour
3. Cool slightly and then add the eggs one at a time until you have a glossy paste
4. Spoon (or pipe) teaspoons of the paste onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper
5. Bake for 20 minutes until puffed and golden brown
6. Pierce the base of each to allow steam to escape
7. When cool, slice in half and fill with whipped cream and a slice of banana before sandwiching back together
8. Thread three or four onto a skewer to hold them together.
For the toffee fudge sauce:
150 ml cream
75 ml milk
75 ml golden syrup
25 g butter
150g demerera sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
1. Boil all the ingredients together (except the essence) in a saucepan.
2. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.
Pour into jugs and serve with the ban-iteroles.
Ban-iteroles with toffee fudge sauce

And finally- the best and simplest chocolate sauce:

100g dark or white chocolate
25g unsalted butter
2 tbsp icing sugar

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan with 100 ml of water. Heat and stir until the butter and chocolate are melted and the sauce is glossy.

Pour over profiteroles, berries or ice cream or banana splits.....

Saucy enough for you? I hope so.

No comments:

Post a Comment