I guess as a writer, I should be more creative than most with my language, but when it comes to food, I’m pretty stuck with the old favourites and find myself describing things as ‘delicious’ and ‘nice’ probably more often than I should. According to new research by Sainsbury’s, as a nation, we now spend an average of something like 16 hours a week planning, talking, and thinking about food (that’s almost six years of our adult lives) and yet despite this, we’re still using the same old words, with most of us using about six to describe their meals each week. My lovely chums at Sainsbury’s love their food, and to expand our foodie vocabulary, they’ve enlisted lovely linguist Susie Dent to help them create ‘The Taste Dictionary: 101 ways to describe each mouthful’. The dictionary includes some fabulous words, like ‘lickerous’ (meaning: sweet and tempting), and my own favourite: ‘uliginous’ (yoo-lij-uh-nuh s – say it slowly – it almost oooozes…), meaning creamy, soft and smooth to taste. So to celebrate my new favourite word, how about trying the very epitome of uliginous food, a soft, creamy, luscious (ooh, there’s another one!) chocolate and peanut butter mousse, decorated with some salted peanut brittle, for a little crunch.
For the chocolate mousse:
250ml fresh double cream
300g Sainsbury’s Fairtrade dark chocolate
3 eggs, separated
So just pop the double cream in a saucepan and warm it gently. Break in the chocolate, then stir until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites into firm peaks. Check that the cream/chocolate mixture is no more than lukewarm, then mix in the egg yolk.
Fold in the whisked whites, taking your time until the colour is completely uniform, then pop the mousse in the fridge while you make the peanut butter mousse layer.
For the peanut butter mousse:
115g cream cheese, at room temperature
125g Sainsbury’s smooth peanut butter
60g icing sugar
150ml fresh double cream
Beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and icing sugar together until smooth.
Next, whisk the double cream until lifth and fluffy, then gently fold into the peanut butter mixture until completely combined.
Pop this mousse in the fridge too while you make the peanut brittle
Take some pretty glasses, and spoon/pipe the chocolate mousee, then the peanut butter mousse in layers.
For the peanut brittle:
50g Sainsbury’s basics salted peanuts
50g caster sugar
1 tbsp water
Small knob of butter
Place a heavy bottomed frying pan on a medium heat and add in the peanuts, sugar, salt, and 1 tbsp water.
Swirl and shake the pan occasionally without stirring, and watch carefully until the mixture starts to darken into a toffee-ish colour. Don’t let it go too dark as it will be too bitter.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter, then tip out onto a sheet of bake-o-glide or a well-buttered baking tray, and leave to cool. Once the brittle it completely cool, place on a board and stab with a knife to split it into shards.
Finally, take some pretty glasses, and layer up your chocolate and peanut butter mousse. Top with a couple of shards of peanut butter brittle. Then, take a big spoonful of mousse and marvel at exactly how uliginous it is!
Many thanks to the lovely Christmas fairies at Sainsbury’s for the inspiration and the Taste Dictionary (look out for the book in store, or download the pdf here). I’ve vowed to choose a word from the Taste Dictionary every day and use it lovingly, to inspire me to be more adventurous, both with my food, AND my words!