Titanic – 100 years on

In a little under an hour and half, it will be one hundred years since the Titanic sank to her dark depths.

So, as it turns out, I have a keen fascination with the infamous disaster. It has apparently been building up over the years, and came out in full force today. Tonight I went to see it in 3D. I even wore the same outfit I wore when I first saw the film at the cinema in 1997. Yes, it still fits. Funny I remember what I wore. Some things are just emblazoned across your memory: pink Disneyland Paris Minnie Mouse tee, red Baywatch shorts. I was pushing the fashion envelope wearing clashing pink and red, but I pulled it off. Before I set off for the cinema though, I thought it might be a good idea to make use of the First Class replica dining plates I had purchased a couple of years ago at the Titanic Artefact exhibition… The wheels in my mind began to turn… Why not recreate some of the food they ate aboard..? I google First Class recipes, and it presents me with a recipe from a lovely book called, Last Dinner on the Titanic… That picture on the cover looks familiar… Wheels turning… I think I own that book… I go to my bookshelf… Bingo! I do own it!

It’s all falling into place. I am going to recreate the last meal served on the Titanic to the First Class passengers, served on the china, then I am going to see the movie on the hundredth anniversary of the ship’s hitting the iceberg… Aaaah.

I chose to recreate a few key dishes from the elaborate ten course meal (alas my budget nor stomach don’t allow for ten courses). Dinner was to be Roast Sirloin of Beef Forestière with Château Potatoes and Creamed Carrots, followed by Chocolate Painted Eclairs with French Vanilla Cream. As palate cleanser, or after movie drink as it were, Punch Romaine will be served.

I was a little apprehensive as to how it would all taste, but it was rather enjoyable. It did taste old-fashioned, but the creamed carrots were a delicious oddity with their sweet spice, and the sauce for the beef was very much enjoyed and a drinking session straight from the saucepan was embarked upon…

photo of roast beef

Roast Sirloin of Beef Forestière – Recipes by Dana McCauley


  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 2-inch thick sirloin steak
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 pearl onions, blanched
  • Sauce – 2 oz side bacon
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced wild mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt & pepper


  1. In a baking dish, combine wine, vegetable oil, thyme, onion and garlic. Add steak, turning to coat well; cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature 30 minutes before cooking).
  2. Remove steak from dish. Season with salt and pepper and place in roasting pan. Roast in 215˚C oven for 20 minutes; reduce temperature to 190˚C and continue to roast for 15 minutes for medium wellness. When cooked, remove sirloin and cover with foil, for 10 minutes.
  3. Sauce Forestiere: Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook bacon over high heat for 5 minutes; remove from pan. Drain off all but 2 tablespoon fat; stir in mushrooms and cook, stirring gently, for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan and add to the bacon.
  4. Stir in wine, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; cook for 7 minutes or until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Reserve. Place roasting pan on medium-high burner. Pour beef stock into pan, stirring, bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Stir in reserved wine mixture, butter, mushrooms, bacon and salt. Heat thoroughly, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
  5. Thinly slice sirloin across the grain and serve garnished with onions and sauce.


Château Potatoes


  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper


  1. Peel potatoes. Instead of cutting eight sided jewel shapes we cut the potatoes into thick, evenly shaped wedges.
  2. Place butter, oil, and rosemary in large, rimmed baking dish.
  3. Set pan in 220˚C oven for 2 to 3 minutes or until butter is sizzling.
  4. Pat potatoes dry; place in heated pan and stir to coat with butter mixture.
  5. Bake in 220˚C oven, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.

Creamed Carrots


  • 8 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives (I used thyme)


  1. Place carrots in medium pan with enough water to cover; add cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until carrots are fork-tender.
  2. Drain, remove cinnamon stick, and return carrots to pan. Add butter, salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper; mix well.
  3. Add lemon juice and cream; boil for 1 minute or until cream is slightly thickened.
  4. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Turn into shallow serving bowl; sprinkle with chives and serve.

photo of chocolate eclairs

Chocolate Painted Eclairs with French Vanilla Cream


  • Pastry Cream -6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Choux Pastry – 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 oz. bitter sweet chocolate
  • icing sugar or edible fold flakes



  1. In bowl, whisk together egg yolks and ¼ cup of the sugar for 2 minutes or until pale yellow. Adding flour in 3 additions, stir until well mixed.
  2. In saucepan, heat milk, remaining sugar, and vanilla bean over medium heat, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and small bubbles are beginning to form around edges of pot. Stirring constantly, pour about one-third of the milk mixture into egg mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour egg mixture into remaining milk and cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble. Continue to cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture begins to mound and hold its shape; remove from heat. Stir in butter and remove vanilla bean. Transfer to bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching surface of custard, and cool to room temperature.
  4. Beat whipping cream until stiff; add a large dollop of cream to cooled pastry cream and fold in; add remaining whipped cream and fold in until almost combined.
    Transfer to pastry bag fitted with ½-inch star tube. Place in refrigerator until completely chilled.
  5. Choux Pastry: Meanwhile, in heavy-bottomed saucepan set over high heat, bring water, butter, and salt just to boil. Remove from heat and add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture comes away from sides of pan, making a smooth ball.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook flour mixture, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until coating begins to form on bottom of pan. Turn into large bowl; stir for 30 seconds.
  7. Make well in middle of dough and, using electric mixer, beat in 4 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny and holds its shape when lifted.
  8. Place dough into piping bag fitted with 3/4-inch wide tip. On parchment-lined baking sheets, pipe fingers of dough about 4 inches long and 1 wide. In bowl beat together remaining egg and 1 tbsp water; brush each bun lightly, being careful not to drip down sides.
  9. Bake in 220˚C oven for 12 minutes; reduce heat to 190˚C and bake for 5 minutes longer or until golden brown. With sharp knife, pierce side of each éclair twice. Turn oven off and let éclairs stand for 5 minutes, then remove and cool on rack.
  10. Melt chocolate over barely simmering water. Brush top of each cooled éclair with enough chocolate to coat well. Cool in refrigerator for 5 minutes to harden chocolate. Halve éclairs lengthwise. Pull out any sticky dough in center; discard. Pipe pastry cream into bottom of each éclair. Replace chocolate-covered tops.

photo of punch romaine

Punch Romaine


  • 6 cups ice (crushed)
  • 2 cups sparkling wine
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps white rum (optional)
  • orange peel (slivered optional)
  • Simple Syrup – 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Simple Syrup: In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute or until syrup is clear. Remove from the heat and cool.
  2. Makes 1 cup of syrup can be stored in a sterilized container in the refrigerator for up to one month.
  3. In a blender combine the crushed ice, 1 cup simple syrup, champagne, white wine, orange juice, and lemon juice. Blend until mixture is well combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into individual dessert cups. Drizzle with rum, if desired, and garnish with a sliver of orange peel. serve immediately.

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