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Aubergine Timbales With Fresh Mint Sauce

These quantities yield enough to fill four 7 fl oz (200 ml) or six 4 1/2 fl oz (140 ml) dariole moulds or ramekins.

ingredients

1 firm aubergine (10 - 12 oz (300 g) in weight)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 sprig thyme
butter
4 eggs
5 fl oz (150 ml) single cream
5 fl oz (150 ml) milk
1 1/2 oz (40 g) grated hard cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

for the mint sauce:

1 oz (30 g) mint leaves
5 fl oz (150 ml) white wine vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
salt and pepper

serve with:

Macedoine of Vegetables with Thyme

method

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) mark 4. Trim, wash, dry and peel the aubergine and dice
the flesh.

2. Pour 3 tbsp olive oil into a large non-stick frying pan, add the garlic cloves, still whole but slightly crushed with the flat of a knife blade, and the sprig of thyme and heat.

3. When hot, add the diced aubergine and fry in the flavoured oil over a moderate heat, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add 8 fl oz (225 ml) water, cover and reduce the heat. Simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the aubergine is very tender.

4. Cook, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes, stirring, to allow excess moisture to evaporate completely.
Remove and discard the garlic and the thyme sprig; crush the aubergine flesh to a pulp with a potato masher to turn it into a very thick puree, firm enough to hold its shape easily. Cook for another 2 minutes over a low heat, stirring.

5. Grease the moulds or ramekins generously with butter and have some boiling water ready in the kettle to pour into a roasting tin for a bain-marie.

6. Beat 2 egg yolks with 2 whole eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper; beat in the cream, milk, the aubergine and the finely grated cheese. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Fill the moulds with this mixture, tapping their bases on the work surface to make the mixture settle evenly.

7. Place the moulds in the roasting tin, add sufficient boiling water to come three-quarters of the way up their sides and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, make the mint sauce. Rinse the mint leaves and pat-dry on kitchen paper. Chop very finely and place in a bowl. Add the sugar, vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper and 2 tbsp cold water.

9. Let the moulds stand for a few minutes after removing them from the oven before unmoulding them on to individual plates. Spoon a little mint sauce to one side of the plate and garnish each timbale with a very small mint sprig.

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