Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Carageen Pudding!

Carageen what! - Unless you've been to Ireland you are unlikely to have come across carageen seaweed much. But you might be surprised at how much it crops up on ingredient lists of commonly eaten foods. Last Summer I met fellow blogger Peggy when I visited Cork, Ireland on a short trip. One of the stops on our day-trip was to the English market in Cork. I had wanted to try Carageen for a number of years after seeing it featured on a Rick Stein TV programme. Carageen seaweed is common on beaches in Ireland and is also known as Irish Moss. It is traditional to use carageen as a thickener for soups, sauces, and to thicken milk in order to make Carageen Pudding.
Dried carageen is washed and soaked in water to soften it.
Dropped in milk and brought to the boil for about 20 minutes. You can flavour it with any number of things. I added a vanilla pod to mine. Gradually you will see the milk thicken like custard as the carageen releases its gelatine. Another way that carageen is used commercially is in the thickening of low fat yoghurts and low calorie diet foods. Have a look on the list of ingredients next time you are in a supermarket.
The milk thickens up as the carageen gets softer and softer. It has no real taste of its own so this was really a test for me. Next time I might use cardamom, or honey, or lemon.
When thickened strain through a sieve and push the remains of the gelatine through the sieve. I then whisked into the mix a couple of spoons of sugar, one egg yolk, then folded in an egg white. This adds quite a bit of air to the pudding and gives it a lovely light texture.
In only a couple of hours it had set into a lovely light carageen pudding. This would be lovely I think with some stewed fruit or a raspberry sauce. It would also set beautifully into a shaped mould.

16 Comments:

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Theanne... said...

I believe I've seen carageen listed as an ingredient in foods ever since I used to go grocery shopping with my Mom in the 1940s. However, your pictures bring the whole process to life...it is quite elegant looking when it has finished setting and homemade raspberry sauce ladled across the top sounds absolutely divine!

 
At 8:05 PM, Blogger Craig Rockfield said...

Actually, i'm sure served as you mention it would be very nice. Sounds a little like Panacotta?

 
At 12:55 AM, Blogger Donna said...

Wow, cool stuff! I recently saw recipe somewhere that called for Irish moss, can't remember where. Lucky you to have some vegie growing, here in Canada way to cold and too much snow! It was -19 Celsius today with the wind chill.

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

Oh yes! I bought some when I was in the Outer Hebrides and there's probably some left in the back of the kitchen cupboard! I have used some of it - isn't it amazing?!

I like the sound of your beaten egg white addition so if I find the carageen I'll give it a try.

Celia

 
At 9:32 AM, Blogger Anna said...

Sounds most intriguing. Did you purchase the carageen in Ireland or where you able to find it locally? I don't think that I have never seen it for sale but have seen it listed as a food ingredient.

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Jo said...

I've never heard of carageen. It does look as though fruit would go nice with the pudding.

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger Lilac Cottage Homestead said...

That is so so fasinating. I have never heard of that kind of pudding before. I wish we could buy that seaweed over here in the states. I would love to give it a try.

Kelly

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Lilac Cottage Homestead - I think I remember reading about carageen being similar in quality to a seaweed known in the States as 'Dulse'. I bought some Dulse in a market in New Brunswick a couple of years ago.

 
At 1:39 AM, Blogger Lrong said...

It is 10:30 am here in Japan and it is tea time... I would love to sink my fangs into that delicious looking pudding... stomach is growling...
The Japanese use quite a bit of seaweed for similar purposes as do Malaysians...

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger fer said...

Very interesting. I would like to try it it looks yummy

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger Doc said...

I wonder if one could replace the milk with Soy and have the same outcome?

 
At 7:25 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Doc - I don't see why not. It is essentially gelatine so I suppose if there is no enzyme activity in soy (like there is in pineapple or papaya) I don't see why not.

 
At 7:01 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

HI Matron, the infamous Carrigeen got done!Was there a use by date on it or is it something, once dried will last indefintiely? I have to confess I have never been tempted to use it in any shape or form!
Dulse is well known in the North of Ireland as a purplish colored edible sea weed. Dulse & Yellow man (toffee) are very well known song words about the Fair in Ballycastle.

 
At 4:08 AM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

That looks really delicious! How was the mouth feel?

 
At 8:25 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Kitsap - Surprisingly light with the addition of the beaten egg white. I used whole milk and I think it would be lovely with some sharp fruit like raspberries. A bit bland but quite refreshing.

 
At 5:54 PM, Blogger mangocheeks said...

I picked some carrageen a little while ago as a veggie alternative to gelatine. I have been wondering how to use it and what to do with it. Thanks for sharing Matron.

 

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