City of Manchester Stadium - John Benson-Smith - Rosewater Junket and Lavender and Fig Mélange

The City of Manchester Stadium's consultant executive chef, Masterchef regular and former Northern Chef of the Year, John Benson-Smith, has created a selection of tempting treats to<br/><br/>tempt for February 14th.

The City of Manchester Stadium's consultant executive chef, Masterchef regular and former Northern Chef of the Year, John Benson-Smith, has put together a selection of tempting treats for February 14th.This rosewater junket and lavender and fig melange are perfect for preparing beforehand so you can relax with your loved one. John said: 'The lavender and fig is an ultra-feminine dish with sensationally perfumed fresh figs dressed with a little of the lavender honey and the cream, sweetened slightly with the floral lavender sugar. The broken up meringues in the mixture just add a little crunch and mallowy quality.'The rosewater junket is appropriately pink and the kind of light, slightly wobbly dessert that can just slip down at the end of a meal with little or no effort.'

Rosewater Junket

(Serves 2)


1 pint whole milk1 teaspoon rennet essence1 dessertspoon granulated sugar1 teaspoon rosewater1 drop red food colouring


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Bring the milk up to blood temperature, this is done by heating the milk over a medium heat until it reaches 37 degrees centigrade - you can check by putting your finger into the milk and if you can't feel any difference between the heat in your finger and the heat of the milk, it has reached the correct temperature.

Pour into a bowl containing the sugar and rosewater, stir well until totally dissolved.

Add a splash of red food colouring then add the rennet essence, taking care not to stir too much as it creates bubbles.You have to be quick at this point, as the rennet sets the junket very quickly.

To serve

Pour the junket into tall stemmed decorative glasses and leave to set at room temperature and not in a draught as it can make the junket temperamental.

Lavender & Fig M�lange

(Serves 2)


2 meringue nests, roughly broken into bite sized pieces284ml double cream 1 � tablespoons lavender honey4 fresh figs (3 cut into slices and 1 cut in half)1 teaspoon lavender sugarFresh mint to garnish


Whisk the double cream until it reaches the 'soft peak' stage, then gently add in the sugar and mix well.

Add the broken up meringues and half of the sliced figs and mix well.

Place some of the meringue and cream mixture into a small Le Parfait jar. Or you can use glasses instead.

Squeeze over a little of the honey, then add some of the fig slices.

Repeat the cream and meringue mixture then top again with more honey and finally top with a fig half.

If you are using the Le Parfait jars, at this stage, you just fasten up the lid and put the jars in the fridge until you are ready to eat them. If you are using glasses, cover with some cling film and place in the fridge.

To serve

Garnish with a little sprig of fresh mint.

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