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For the serious chef!*
Historic Blumenthal shares the best of British cooking, stretching from medieval to late-Victorian recipes. Start with thirty historic dishes, take them apart, put them together again, and what have you got? A sublime twenty-first-century take on delicacies including meat fruit (1500), quaking pudding (1660), and mock-turtle soup (1892). Heston examines the history of each dish and the science that makes it work. He puts these dishes in their social context and follows obscure culinary trails, ferreting out such curious sources as The Queen-like Closet from 1672 (which offers an excellent method for drying goose). What it adds up to is an idiosyncratic culinary history of Britain.
This glorious tome also gives a unique insight into the way that Heston works, with signature dishes from both The Fat Duck and Dinner. Illustrated by Dave McKean and with some of the most superb food photography you’ll ever see, Historic Blumenthal is a book to treasure. You think you know about British cooking? Think again.
This gorgeous book comes in its own case with an attached ribbon place marker (see image).
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*There is a $30 re-stocking fee for the return of this book.
A Short Excerpt
When it appears in print, as a series of precisely described steps, a recipe always looks as though there was an inexorable logic behind its creation. Sometimes recipe development really is like that--you have a clear mental picture of the dish and a reasonable idea of the techniques that might accomplish it. Often, though, development is a more haphazard business, particularly at the beginning. It’s like piecing together an old jigsaw that you’ve found in a shoebox: there’s no picture to guide you, nor any guarantee that you’ll have all the pieces in order to complete the puzzle. All you can do is work on whatever separate bits make sense, in the hope that eventually a moment of inspiration will bring them all together.
♦ Take a stale sponge-cake of full size, pierce it with holes making them with a knitting-pin ♦ Pour over by degrees with a spoon half a pint of raisin-wine and a
wine glass of brandy mixed ♦ When this quantity is soaked up, which will require the wine to be ladled up from the bottom, stick it
thickly over with blanched
almonds cut in points or spikes ♦ Just before it goes to table pour over it a thick custard, or whipped cream ♦ Seven or eight sponge biscuits may be boiled up
and done in the same way, or, by way of variety, the cake may be sliced with preserve spread between each layer, and then finish as above ♦
♦ Infuse some foreign pine-apple cut in slices (or the rind only will do) in boiling cream, and proceed as is usual for other fruit creams ♦ Rub a lump or two of
sugar on the peel of a lemon, then sprinkle the juice of half a lemon on the sugar and leave it for a time to melt (a table-spoonful of sugar is enough if the preserve is very sweet) ♦ Then mix the jam or
jelly with the above; and lastly, add a pint of good cream by degrees to the whole, and whip it steadily till thick; sometimes this will be in five or ten minutes ♦
Cease whipping as soon as it is thick enough ♦ Some cooks add a spoonful of brandy ♦
J. H. Walsh, The English Cookery Book
Copyright © 2013 by Heston Blumenthal. This is an edited extract from Historic Heston by Heston Blumenthal published by Bloomsbury USA, a division of Macmillan Publishers.
Entirely self-taught, Heston Blumenthal is the most progressive chef of his generation. In 2004 he won the coveted three Michelin stars in near-record time for his restaurant The Fat Duck. It has repeatedly been voted into the top ten of the World’s Best Restaurants by an international panel of eight hundred experts, as has his second restaurant, Dinner. In 2006 he was awarded an Order of the British Empire.
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