2 weeks ago I went to see the Enchanted Woodland Garden at Syon Park (Brentford). It was a truly magical experience that hits all senses. The whole parc is lit and decorated and the organisers have done an amazing job of making you feel like you are in a fairy tale, using all sorts of effects such as changing colours, twinkling lights, sound effects, steam and shadows.
Visiting this garden at night really added to the experience as you feel like all your senses are more awake, while the light effects really bring out every root and branch in the garden. If you live in London and missed it this year, plan a visit in 2015, especially if you have kids, they will love it.
The tour is 1 1/2 mile long but as you walk slowly to take it all in, we stayed out for more than an hour. The mulled wine sold at the entrance of the park was helpful in fighting the cold but by the end of the tour, I needed a real winter warmer, and this cauliflower gratin did the trick! It is a tasty variation on the classic cauliflower and cheese sauce gratin. The Thermomix was really helpful in getting everything done at the same time, saving me ages! I actually managed to take a nice hot shower while everything was nicely getting ready.
Ingredients: 1 cauliflower – 3 medium potatoes – 1 l semi-skimmed milk – 50 g flour – 80 g olive oil – a bunch of parsley – 1/2 Boursin cheese – 100 g pancetta – mozzarella for topping – salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 240 C. Wash the cauliflower and potatoes. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Peel and cut the potatoes in cubes. Boil both in salted water for 15 minutes.
2. While the veg are cooking, use the Thermomix to make the sauce. Chop the parsley then set aside and give the TM bowl a quick clean.
3. Add the flour, olive oil, boursin and milk in the TM bowl. Set on 90 C/speed 4/30 minutes or until the sauce is nice and thick. Let the Thermomix work its magic.
4. Cut your pancetta into cubes (if you have not bought it in cubes already) and stir fry in a pan until brown.
5. Once you sauce is ready, add in the chopped parsley and give it a few pulses until the parsley is incorporated in the sauce.
6. Dispose the cauliflower and potatoes in a deep gratin dish. Cover with a thick layer of sauce (I had some leftover after) and sprinkle with the pancetta and grated mozzarella. Leave in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese looks nice and crispy.