Still eaking out those berries at what is officially the end of summer. There are brambles almost ready but these raspberries are the end of the reds for this year.
What can I make?
Something a wee bit different.
Something that is a fusion of two great loves, a tale of two cities if you will.
It just has to be done….
Raspberries + deepest darkest chocolate = A-mazingly yummy Raspberry & Chocolate Jam.
Is this a jam, or is this a paste/spread? Your guess is as good as mine my friends.
This was a case of trial and error and rather a lot of fun in the kitchen. Sometimes just playing with whatever ingredients and bits and pieces that you have to hand is the best way to go. I guess it is just being a wee bit creative and this is best done with just small amounts of fruit etc.
When I think back to all the tonnes (well maybe that is a bit of an overstatement) of jam that my Mum used to make and the huge batches she made it in I have to take back all my inner whinging about it always being the same. It was always very basic but there was LOTS of it. Now when I look back on those slightly boring provisions I realise that it was really just a matter of cost effectiveness on Mum’s part. She would buy fruit when there was a glut of it and it was going cheap in the market. Either that or make jams and jellies when my brother and I went on fruit picking missions. Either way you are talking about boxes, baskets of buckets full of fruit. Trying to get creative with flavours and be a bit experimental is a tad daunting on a large scale like that, sometimes it is best just to stick to what you know and keep it simple.
That is why I love to mess about in the kitchen with just a few berries or a couple of fruits to play with. One punnet of berries can easily produce a jar of gorgeous yumminess and when you only have a small amount to deal with and little cost you feel you can let rip with the creativity. You can don the mantle of ‘What the hell, if I blow it then it’s no great loss’, rather than wading through buckets of berries, spending hours on your new project and then hating the results.
So here is my latest adventure in the world of fusion foods. Sweet, fruity, bitter and a little bit grown up, this Raspberry & Chocolate Jam is definately a winner in my book.
- 500g/1lb 2oz fresh raspberries
- 200g/7oz sugar
- juice of ½ lemon
- 60g/2½ oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 1 tbsp Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
- Rinse the raspberries and pat dry just before you are going to use them (don't do this earlier as the berries will absorb the water and become mushy).
- Press the berries through a wire sieve into your preserving (or any other heavy based pot) pan.
- Add sugar and lemon juice.
- Heat gently to dissolve the sugar and stir to mix well.
- Bring to the boil for 10 minutes and skim off any scum that comes to the surface.
- Grate the chocolate and add this to the jam.
- Test for setting point (saucer in freezer for 10 minutes then spoonful of jam on it and into fridge for 5 minutes before running a finger through it to see if it wrinkles, if it does it has reached a set).
- Add the liqueur and stir through.
- Ladle into sterilised jars and seal.
- Makes 2 small jars