Last week I was privileged to host a cooking class on budget meals as part of Cooking Circles. I wanted the class to be really special, to show some interesting and unique foods that conveyed my passion for frugal food. Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it is bad; good food is good no matter how much it cost to make.
Cooking Circles is an initiative of the lovely Heidi Zajac. It brings together a group of people to build community and share culture through food. The project is currently based in Canberra but has its roots in Timor Leste, a country where Heidi spent time exploring cooking and community with a Great Ydeas grant from YWCA Canberra. Her work is inspirational and I am proud that this has been my second Cooking Circles group that I have led.
My menu included several dishes and finished with this lush blackberry mousse. I made it again last week as part of our picnic pack when we attended Diner en Blanc Canberra. Blackberries are plentiful right now around Canberra, and they are the biggest and juiciest I have seen for three years. They seem to have gone especially wild at the moment – bad for farmers who need to eradicate them but a boon for urban foragers like myself. Neil and I spent Valentines Day picking these dark red berries together, comparing our scratches afterwards. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend VDay.
400g foraged blackberries
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons gelatine
- Beat the cream until soft peaks form.
- Puree the blackberries in a food processor. Strain through a sieve (note: don’t throw out the leftover pulpy stuff – instead infuse them with wine vinegar in a jar to make your own blackberry vinegar).
- Fold the yoghurt into the cream, then stir in the sugar. Stir in the blackberry liquid. (Note: you can use all cream but the addition of yoghurt reduces the saturated fat content and balances the sweetness.)
- Boil some water and add a few teaspoons to the gelatine. Dissolve, and then mix through the mousse. Spoon into cute glasses or bowls and allow to chill for several hours before serving.
Blackberries – free
Cream – 85c
Yoghurt – 25c
Sugar – 20c
Gelatine – 20c
Do you enjoy foraging for blackberries? What are your favourite blackberry recipes?
All photos, other than the photo of the mousse in the white ramekins, are courtesy of Canberra’s Northside Community Service.
My daughter and I had a lovely time picking blackberries on our little farm last week. Husband and I had a less lovely time subsequently slashing them. The blackberry crumble we made that night tasted all the sweeter, though.
I don’t envy you slashing blackberries – they are so invasive. In Canberra, they hired some goats to eat them in areas around Lake Burley Griffin. Blackberry crumble – super yum!