On my recent trip to Ireland, I came home with carrageen moss and dillisk. If you're as unfamiliar to what these are (as I was), they are edible seaweed found in abundance in Ireland. I have eaten seaweed before in Asian desserts and eaten plenty of nori but I had never come across carrageen moss or dillisk.
I eventually bought a small bag of both seaweeds from Moycullen market with no idea of what I was going to do with them. My hand luggage was already packed to the brim but I bought them anyway and told myself I would figure out later how I was going to take them home with me. In the end, I managed to stuff my suitcase with my purchases by taking some other small items out and putting them in my coat pockets.Dillisk is also known as dulse, emanates a deep purple colour and emits a strong smell (although not off-putting). I had it mixed in with butter and also in seafood chowder whilst in Ireland. A memorable meal which I would like to replicate soon.
Carrageen moss is also known as Irish moss, and is soft and sponge like. It is used as a thickener in cooking and is perfect for gelatin based desserts.
With the carrageen moss, I was inspired to make a pudding, after reading Apron Strings: Recipes from a Family Kitchen written by Nessa Robins. A recipe book filled with warm and heartfelt family recipes that is worth a read.
I have never cooked with carrageen moss before and it was a case of trial and error in getting the right texture and sweetness. I made this dessert 3 times before I was happy with it. The first time, I used too much carrageen moss and used less of it each time to get the consistency that I personally liked. I would liken this to panna cotta but slightly firmer in texture. You can not taste the seaweed and best of all, it takes no time to make.
1 litre of whole milk
12g carrageen moss
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg yolk
1 vanilla stick (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
Soak the carrageen moss in warm water for 15 minutes until softened. Strain and set aside.
Bring the milk and carrageen moss to a boil in a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes until the mixture thickens.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve pushing the jelly through.
Return the mixture to the saucepan.
Split the vanilla stick down the centre and scrape the seeds and add to the mixture. Add the sugar and egg yolk and whisk for 2 mins whilst the mixture is simmering.
Pour into moulds and cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator. It will take about 4 hrs to set.
3 cups raspberry plus a handful for garnishing
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
Combine all ingredients and simmer for 5 mins until the raspberries have soften.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the raspberry seeds.
Once the pudding has set, pour the raspberry compote on top and garnish with fresh raspberries.