A Cooking Day hosted a large group of American students from Spelman College, Atlanta. Along with the girls we enjoyed an spectacular dessert, a sweet couscous with Moroccan mint tea jelly and ginger cream, that went straight to our favourites list. The author of this delicacy is Víctor Bermúdez, and Keti learned how to prepare it, among other delicious recipes, in a desserts workshop at “La Mesa” cooking school. The workshop was worth it!
The taste, exotic and familiar at the same time, reminds us of the classic rice pudding, which my grandmother used to serve in large plates nicely decorated with cinnamon. The texture and aromas are a wise combination allowing us to taste the traces that other cultures left in our gastronomy. A pleasure for the senses.
Ingredients for 4 people:
Sweet couscous: 50g sugar (or less, if you don’t want it too sweet), 1 cup water, 1 cup couscous, 20g butter, orange and lemon zest and cinnamon.
Ginger cream: 125g milk, 125g cream, 10g fresh ginger sliced, 40g sugar, 4 egg yolks, 1tsp corn-starch.
Mint tea jelly: ½ litre water, 125g sugar, a large handful fresh spearmint leaves, washed, 1 tbsp Chinese green tea leaves, 6 jelly sheets.
Sweet couscous: boil the water with the sugar. Remove from heat, add the couscous and let it stand for 5 min. Mix it with the zest, butter and cinnamon. Place it again over low heat and stir with a fork until the grains are loose.
Ginger cream: you have to heat the milk, the cream and fresh ginger. Mix the yolks and sugar, adding the ginger brew strained, and stir over low heat without bringing it to the boil until you get a cream. Refrigerate quickly.
Moroccan mint tea: boil the water and pour it over the tea leaves, fresh mint and sugar. Leave it to steep for 5 minutes, then strain it and mix it with the jelly sheets previously watered. Pour it over a mould not too deep and wait until it sets. We will cut it into dices to serve.
This recipe may seem complicated, but all the 3 components can be prepared in advanced and kept separated in the fridge.
To serve the dessert, place some sweet couscous in a bowl, pour some ginger cream over it and put a couple or three shinny jelly dices on top. Decorate with a fresh mint leave if you like so.