A couple of years ago now I became aware of a Michelin star restaurant in the Midlands. The restaurant was Purnell's run by Glynn Purnell in Birmingham with an approach to cooking that was slightly off the wall. Dishes such as 'Haddock, Milk and Cornflakes' and 'Corned beef with GP brown sauce' were commonplace but the Brummie's appeared to love it.
I received Glynn's book 'Cracking yolks and pig tales' for Christmas last year featuring the dishes mentioned before and many more that combine strange ingredients to produce sublime food. Purnell is also a regular on Great British Menu.
We visited Purnell's a couple of years back and its a real jewel in Birmingham's crown. The dining room is intimate and stylish with the service of a high standard. The bread is some of the best we've ever sampled in any restaurant, we must have had a loaf and a half of the stuff, it's epic!
I also like the way the menu is structured. There's the standard set menu of two options for each course in a three course set-up or there's an a-la-carte with five choices of dishes for three courses or the option of a tasting menu for all five at a reduced price to the main tasting menu's. As a customer you really are spoilt for choice.
Needless to say the food was delicious and we really must fix a date to return. Opening up the book and spotting 'Mint Choccy Chip' ,my wife's favourite, it wasn't a difficult decision on what to make.
The dish comprises of a chocolate crumble, a warm chocolate mousse finished with a scoop of mint ice cream....delicious!
First up is the chocolate crumble, combine cocoa powder, plain flour, butter and sugar in a bowl and mix between your fingertips until small boulders form. Spread this over a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
For the chocolate mousse its a simple ganache (hot double cream poured over dark chocolate) mixed with five egg whites. Whisk together and pour into an espuma gun charged with two CO2 cylinders . Place the canister in warm water to keep the chocolate fluid.
The ice cream was made earlier and its a good one for those who struggle with egg based ice creams. Single cream is blended with Xanthan gum which acts as a thickening agent in place of the eggs. Add in mint essence, crème de menthe, sugar and green food colouring and you have something resembling a ninja turtle.
After churning and placing in the freezer for a couple of hours the ice cream is good to go! As this recipe requires a rocher of ice cream its a good idea to leave your ice cream in the fridge for around half an hour prior to serving.
Plating up this kind of thing is a lot of fun, three elements and a spoon. Simple? Well until you come to form a perfect egg shape with a spoon in a one handed action. Thankfully having used this technique a few times recently in recipes published on this blog the rocher came out beautiful. A squirt of warm chocolate mousse and a dusting of crumble was all that was needed.
|The final plate|
My wife's face lit up as the first spoon went down, its a very good dessert. All classic flavours but great textures. Its very rich as we found out after about three helpings.....thank the lord for indigestion tablets. Great dish Mr P.