Once upon a time

Once upon a time, back in the days, before he became famous and way too expensive, we used to dine at The Fat Duck, in Bray. In fact it almost became our local and for anything half way special we would eat there AND take our three kids! I even took a girl friend for a birthday lunch and don’t laugh we were the only ones dining. We joked with the maitre’d about his garish trousers ( I had forewarned her), but nowadays it is just so much more formal and more to the point Much Much more expensive.

On one occasion, I took 12 members of the Petroleum Women’s Club for lunch ( aka the Oily Women) and this was followed by another visit, almost the next day with some American colleagues, after a day at Wimbledon to watch, much to the disappointment of Himself, the Women’s final, Williams V Williams.

But I digress. At the women’s lunch, I had two outstanding courses, one was his then famous Snail Porridge and the second, Butternut Squash Ice Cream, with Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Watching the Tennis I waxed lyrical about these two dishes, so much so that our guests said they had to try them. Off we went to Bray, not exactly next door to Wimbledon. Zoot! Alors! Snail porridge was not on the menu! Never mind said the garish trousered maitre’d, I’m sure the chef will make it for you, and he did!

As yet, I’ve not experimented and made the Snail Porridge, but I have made the Butternut Squash Ice Cream. The thing I found upon eating it the first time, was the expectation. Normally, ice cream is sweet, but this is not, not in the normal, way one expects Ice Cream to be. BUT it works well, alongside something really sweet, like Sticky Toffee Pudding.

As Said, I have made the ice cream but this time around, I served it with Sticky Toffee Sauce, which works well also

  • 1 Butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 medium eggs, whisked together
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar preferably caster sugar
  • 600 mls double / whipping cream
  • 1/2 tub ricotta cheese

Pop the squash onto a baking tray and roast in a medium oven for 20 – 30 minutes until soft.

  • Whisk the eggs and add the sugar and then pour in the cream and add the ricotta cheese. if using an ice cream machine,pour the mixture in and set to churn, otherwise pour into a suitable box and place in the freezer and stir a couple of time during the freezing process.
  • For the Sticky Toffee sauce
  • 1tin cooked condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 a packet of butter
  • 200 mls cream.

Melt the butter along with the sugar,mother can of condensed milk and the cream. Stir to amalgamate all and continue to heat and stir until it is a smooth runny sauce. Remove from the heat and pour over some ice cream. EAT AT ONCE.

The rest of the sauce can be stored for several days in the refrigerator or frozen in small amounts for future use.

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