Wednesday, 26 November 2014

NEW RECIPE!! Rhubarb & Ginger Nut Ice-Cream

Ice-cream. Not my usual recipe post I know, but I've been hanging out with Gingers' Comfort Emporium over the last year or two, and obviously Miss Kelsey's ice cream genius has been rubbing off on me!  If you've not seen her book Melt, you're missing a trick there.

I'm a super fan of rhubarb. It's easy to grow, it's so very northern and I do love a bit of tanginess in my puddings.  So here it is, rhubarb and ginger nut ice cream. Using Claire's no churn technique, and you can cheat by using ginger nuts from a packet, but you won't get the full hit of ginger that you get from making your own.


To make the rhubarb compote:
500g rhubarb
3-4 tbsp caster sugar
1-2 tsp cinnamon powder

To make the ginger nuts:
340g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2-3 heaped teaspoons ginger powder
40g stem ginger, chopped (optional)
100g butter
160g brown sugar
1 large free range egg
4 tbsp golden syrup

To make the rest:
2 large egg whites
75g icing sugar
350ml double cream


  1. To prepare the rhubarb, trim the ends, wash throughly and cut into1" pieces. Scatter on baking tray and place in a low oven, about 120C, for 10-15 mins. You want the rhubarb to be just soft and not too mushy. 
  2. When the fruit is softened, tip into a bowl and gently mix together with the caster sugar and cinnamon powder. Taste the mixture and add more sugar if required. There should be a good balance between sour and sweet. Set aside to cool completely.
  3. To make the ginger nut biscuits, heat the oven to 180C, then grease and line two large baking trays.
  4. Add the flour, bicarb, ginger powder and butter to a large bowl. Rub together to make a breadcrumb like texture. Then add the sugar, stem ginger (if using), egg and syrup. Mix well to form a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and chill the dough for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  5. Roll out the dough on a well floured surface, and cut out rounds using a cookie cutter. Lay onto the baking trays, then bake for 10-15 minutes. This mixture will make about 35 biscuits, but you only need about half of them for your ice cream. Once they are fully cooled, break up about 18 biscuits into pieces. Try to ensure the chunks are about 1-2cm in size, with none too small or large.
  6. Next, whisk the egg whites in a clean dry bowl, to make firm peaks (meringue), than add the icing sugar and whisk until the meringue mixture is thick and glossy.
  7. In another bowl, whip the double cream until just whipped into soft peaks (be careful not to over whip). Then fold in the meringue, then the rhubarb compote, and finally the ginger nut pieces. Tip into a large tub and freeze overnight. Prior to serving, leave in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to soften.

Monday, 17 November 2014

NEW RECIPE: Eton on a messy gap year!

Here's a little twist on an old favourite. I was just going through some old recipes from this time last year, and this was a seasonal crowd pleaser. This makes a lovely fusion dessert for an Asian inspired dinner.

I had some leftover ingredients, and knocked this up one quiet afternoon. Credit goes to Max, my old chef, who came up with the name. Super easy to prepare in advance, but don't construct until just before serving or you'll end up with soggy meringue.

Eton on a messy gap year

4 free range egg whites
115g icing sugar, sieved
115g caster sugar
120g pistachio nuts, toasted & roughly chopped
500g plums
1 tsp cinnamon powder
60-80g brown sugar (to taste)
4 or 5 green cardamom pods, crushed & seeds well bruised
250ml double cream

1. Heat the over to 90 C, and line a large tray with a non stick liner. Foil and baking paper tends to stick, so baking parchment or liners work better.
2. To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl (not plastic) until they form light fluffy peaks, then add the caster sugar, whisking as you go. The mixture should become glossy and thick.
3. Sieve the icing sugar in to the bowl, a little at a time, gently folding or whisking in the mixture, until it's thick and well mixed. be careful not to overmix or you will knock out the air.
4. Blend half the pistachios to make a smooth paste and then fold into the mixture. Then scoop the mixture onto the tray to make several rough rounds of meringue. Place in the oven and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Once cooked, leave to cool fully, then break into large pieces. The pistachio meringue will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.
5. In a small frying pan, gently toast the cardamom pods and then mix well into the cream. Gently heat the cream in a small pan, but don't boil. Leave to steep and fully cool. Then pour through a fine sieve. Lightly whip the cooled cream.
6. To make the plum compote, remove the stones from the plums, and cut into quarters. Place the fruit into a pan with brown sugar, cinnamon powder and 30ml water.
7. Bring to boil and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes until fruit is softened and starting to break down. You still want to have chunks of soft fruit, so avoid over-cooking.
8. When ready to serve, take a tall glass and add a few pieces of meringue, then add layers of plum compote, cardamom cream and meringue, until glass is filled. Top with cream and some of the remaining pistachio nuts. Serve immediately.