Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Midnight Feast

Guests came in their nightwear... and hair rollers...
My sister bought me these small plates, hand painted by Hell's Angels... ( I have a vision of a burly tattoed ZZtop style biker leaning over the plates with a fine sable brush...)

I bought these black carrots at Fortnum and Mason, incredibly expensive at almost £5. Carrots were originally cream or purple. Legend has it that the Dutch bred them orange to honour William of Orange.
Black Russian shots: a mix of Kahlua and vodka
Black Hawaiian Lava salt. I had fun researching ingredients for this Black meal.
A mosaic of tapenade and herring roe on black bread
Making black sesame seed salmon balls
They were dipped in avocado oil and black vinegar
Hand rolls and sesame balls with black pickled vegetable
Black Imperial rice, which only emperors had the right to eat in Ancient China
Cavalo nero
Handroll with black rice, wild rice, cavolo nero, black carrot and pickled ginger dipped in ponzu sauce

Making squid ink pasta (actually cuttle fish ink which is nicer). It's best to put the ink in the egg, it mixes better.
A black loaf of pasta
Rolling it out till it looks like inner tubes.
At first I did ravioli, then tortellini, then realised making fresh pasta for 32 guests was a complete nightmare, my arm hurt from cranking the machine. My helper Alissia helped me make tortelloni (bigger) stuffed with goat cheese and lemon zest.
Separating the pasta with semolina
It was served with warm cream infused with trompette de mort mushrooms
Black beluga lentils sweating with leaks, carrots, bay leaves and shallots
The cheeseboard, with ash covered cheese and charcoal biscuits being plated up on the ironing board.
A dessert of chocolate and Marmite XO ganache, liquorice icecream and blueberry coulis. One of the guests put the chocolate marmite in their coffee. Weird.  Douwe Egberts provided the coffee, a smoky blend, perfect for this evening's black menu. Also helpful in keeping staff going all day and night for this midnight feast!
We did a blind tasting of the new Marmite XO (extra old). It was slightly saltier, deeper in taste. Some people think it's more like the original Marmite.

Frolicking guests in nighties and pjs over the Aga
Cute cartoon pj's
One guest was so tired...the last went home at 4am. We were so exhausted... we had meant to take a nap in the afternoon but feared we wouldn't finish the pasta in time...

The teen did a black playlist, songs with 'black' in the title. Unsurprisingly many of them were heavy metal: here is the playlist if you have spotify:


  1. Wow. That looks incredibly, wonderfully brilliant! I've gone a bit off squid ink, after eating too much SI risotto on a trip to Rome, recently. Lovely, smokey flavour though.

    Everything looks delicious. Did the guests have black-stained teeth?

  2. It's an interesting taste squid ink isn't it? Hard to describe, sort of fishy saffron...
    I didn't look...maybe they did?

  3. Love the Hell's Angels plates! My husband is called Bones and he loves anything skull and crossbones. Where did your sister get them?

    Dinner looks fun. I just tried the black beluga lentils recently and loved them. Wish I was in London to attend one of your dinners, though my pajamas aren't nearly so attractive as yours.

  4. Who knew black food could look so tasty! Very innovative dessert but it would have made me cry, Cry like a baby. I cannot get my head around chocolate and fruit, let alone chocolate, fruit and licorice. :)

  5. Bones...just like the doctor in Star Trek! Wish I could get hold of more hells angels crafts. A hells angel quilt perhaps...
    Scott: I think the guests found the mix of chocolate and marmite a little challenging, but I really like it. I got the recipe from Paul A Young's book.

  6. I love it! Always look forward to hearing about your creative meals. I wonder if we will ever get to taste marmite xo here in the States?

  7. Really good night - it was great to meet you and have such a god chat about food, restaurants and the such...

    still think you're a nutter :)


  8. Thanks Liz..I wonder if they will export XO. It's one of the Marmite products that really works I think.
    There are some brilliant Marmite ads in the tube at the moment.
    James: it was lovely to meet you. We were rather flagging at that moment so your help was invaluable.

  9. Those black carrots are intriguing. Are they worth £5 a pop in terms of taste, or is it just the novelty value that sells them?

    I'm in the squid ink fan club - especially good, as Caroline says, in risotto. Yum!

  10. Midnight Feast was amazing! Suprised to see pictures of myself on MsMarmitelover's Blog in my nighdress and rollers with Aga envy! Marmite XO in Coffee was also good if not strictly on the menu.

  11. You've outdone yourself again - so impressive! Love it all! But I don't understand the semolina with the pasta - what is that about? xxx

  12. Love squid ink pasta!
    I was recently sent a blog award, the sort with which I'm sure you don't bother, but one of the rules is the awarded must be made aware of the fact. Hope you can have a look at some point.

  13. nice one, Ms. M. everything looks beautiful and black. i love squid ink LOADS. x shayma

  14. Curious Cat: I did that so they wouldn't go soggy and stick together. But I've now heard another trick. You cook them partially immediately then lay them on a tray with vegetable oil. they won't stick.
    william: thanks for the visit...and thanks for the award.
    Trina: wish I'd got to hear about your 52 dates in 9 months....


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