A delicate, old-fashioned buffet dish, lightly jellied and subtly flavoured with bay leaves, onion, cloves and nutmeg. This is from the the recipe book of Gilly Walters, the first local cook to be featured in my new 'South African Food Fundis' series.
Click here to read about Gilly and Wedgewood Nougat.
This makes a large quantity - about 1.4 litres - but is easily halved (use four hard-boiled eggs).
'Lovely with caviar,' says Gilly, 'but who can afford caviar these days? Try it with sweet chilli sauce, or chilli jam, instead.'
Gilly's Egg 'Bavarois'
450 ml milk
half an onion, peeled
a pinch of nutmeg
6 peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 bay leaf
2 t (10 ml) powdered gelatine
200 ml hot chicken stock
7 eggs, freshly hard-boiled, cooled and peeled
150 ml thick mayonnaise (home-made, Hellman's, or a mild, thick mayo)
150 ml plain, thick white yoghurt
salt and milled black papper
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
200 ml cream, lightly whipped
First make the sauce. Heat the milk in a saucepan and add the onion, clove, nutmeg, peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring to just below boiling point, then remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes.
In a new saucepan, make a roux by melting together the butter and flour and cook, stirring, for a minute or so (don't let the mixture brown). Now strain the warm milk over the roux (discard the flavourings) and bring to the boil, stirring constantly as the sauce thickens. Turn down the heat and simmer for two minutes. Cover the surface of the sauce with a piece of clingfilm or wax paper (to prevent a skin forming) and set aside to cool.
Add the gelatine to the hot chicken stock and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
Halve the boiled eggs and remove the yolks. Finely chop the whites, and, using the back of a big spoon, press the yolks through a sieve. Lightly combine the whites and yolks in a big bowl. Pour the lukewarm gelatine/stock mixture into the pot of cool white sauce and stir well to combine. Tip this mixture over the chopped eggs, add the mayonnaise and yoghurt, and gently combine the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, and add a squeeze of lemon juice, to taste. Finally, gently fold in the whipped cream.
Pour the mixture into an oiled jelly [Jello] mould or individual, oiled ramekins, and chill for two to three hours. Turn out onto a serving dish. (To loosen, dip the mould into hot water for a few seconds. If you're using ramekins, run a sharp knife around the edges of each ramekin to release the vacuum.)
Serve with chilli sauce or caviar, and melba toast.
Serves 12-14 as a buffet dish; makes about 1.4 litres.