After making the Roasted Strawberry and Ginger Ice Cream last weekend, I decided that I should really show you how I would make that pretty ice cream into a dessert.
Yeah its pretty awesome on its own but its even more awesome accompanied by a light citrus cake, fresh strawberries, Chantilly cream and sandy roasted pistachios. Also, it’s nice to make a little extra effort sometimes to create something ten times more tempting.
I wouldn’t say this is an innovative dessert but my inner pastry chef is definitely peeking through here. I mean, I would be pretty damn pleased if I received this at a dinner party.
After making this, I can fully appreciate the amount of time it takes to create something like this at home (even if it is fairly simple.) Nothing in this dish requires particular skill. If you can make a good cake, you’ll be fine. The key is to prepare the components in advance; the sponge can be made and kept in the freezer, the pistachios can be roasted and whizzed up a day in advance and the strawberry gel can be kept in the fridge for a few days. Obviously the ice cream can be made in advance, just try not to eat it all before you’re ready to plate up.
I’m saying all this because at work/in a professional kitchen, making all of the different components is spread over a few days and distributed between a few people. This way it’s kind of like, ‘Oh I need sponge… Oh, theres sponge already in the freezer!’ Ta da, everything is there already for you. You never have to make everything in one day. Whereas at home it’s like ahhhhhh. You just want everything NOW. Also, at home, there are millions of distractions. I mean, pinterest.
Because of all this I’ve kept this dessert clean, simple but still flavourful with different textures.
If any of you look at this and think it looks great but you wouldn’t be able to do it. Just remember, yes I’m a pastry chef but all of this has also come from the girl who still has to look up ‘how to cook rice.’
Ingredients – serves 8 people
Note: I have tried to keep all of the recipes fairly small because, who wants tonnes of stuff leftover? However, it’s impossible to make a small batch of sponge. More obviously, who has a small enough baking tray?! So please be aware that you will have some sponge leftover, but you can always freeze it so that it’s there when you need a cheeky snack.
- 190g all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 180g caster sugar
- 112g glucose
- 75g unsalted butter
- 40g milk
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 orange, juice and zest
- 300g hulled strawberries
- 20g sugar
- 3g pectin (can be found in the baking isle, near sugar. I used Tate & Lyle)
- 100g double cream
- 10g caster sugar
- 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 100g pistachios
- One Roasted Strawberry and Ginger Ice Cream recipe
- 8 strawberries, quartered (for garnish)
Make the Roasted Strawberry and Ginger Ice Cream
Citrus Sponge Cake
- Pre-heat the oven to 170C and line a 10 inch square baking tray with baking parchment.
- Place the eggs and caster sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on low for a few minutes and then increase the speed to high for about 5-10 minutes. The egg mixture should be pale and thick. It should also have more than doubled in volume.
- Whilst your eggs are whisking, place the glucose and butter in a small saucepan. Place this over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the two have melted together. Pour this into a cool bowl and whisk in the milk. Leave aside to cool. It should just be warm when used.
- Fold a few spoonfuls of the egg mixture into the warm glucose mix. Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest and orange zest. Fold in the flour and baking powder into the remaining egg mixture in 2 additions. Next gently fold in the glucose mix a little at a time.
- Once your batter is completely incorporated, pour into your prepared baking tray and level the top. Bake for approx. 20 minutes. The sponge should be golden brown. When a skewer is inserted into the centre, it should come out clean.
- Run a sharp knife around the edges of the sponge. Place a piece of baking parchment over the top of the sponge and turn over the baking tray onto a cooling rack. Peel back the bottom piece of parchment paper. Squeeze over the juice of the orange and leave to cool.
- Once cool, place on a plate with a piece of parchment paper on the bottom, as the sponge can stick otherwise (you may have to cut your sponge in half to make it easier to move.) Wrap with cling film and freeze for approx. 1 hour.
- Once frozen, take out of the freezer and place on a chopping board. (By freezing the sponge before cutting, you’ll get neater rectangles with cleaner edges.) Trim the edges and cut into 4 by 1 1/2 inch rectangles. Lift these back onto the plate and cover with cling film.
- If using that day, place in the fridge. If using later, place back into the freezer for up to 1 week.
- Take out of the fridge about 15 minutes before needed or 30 minutes if frozen.
- Place the hulled strawberries into a food processor (or you can use a hand blender) and blitz until they become puree. Place your strawberry puree into a sieve over a small bowl. Stir and push the puree through the sieve using a spoon. Once all of the puree has been passed, throw away any excess pulp. Place the puree into a small saucepan. Mix the sugar and pectin together.
- Place the pan over medium heat and whisk slowly until the strawberry becomes hot. Whisk in the sugar/pectin mix and continue to cook until the gel begins to bubble. It’s very important to keep an eye on this and whisk constantly as the fruit may catch on the bottom of the pan. Continue to bubble for 3 minutes, this will activate the pectin.
- Pour the gel out into a small bowl and cover the surface with cling film. Refrigerate overnight. Can be used the next day or kept in the fridge for 3 days.
- When cold, place in a piping bag ready for use.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C.
- Place your pistachios onto a baking tray and roast for approx. 6-8 minutes until the nuts are toasted and fragrant.
- Take out of the oven and leave to cool.
- Once cool, place the nuts into a food processor and pulse until the pistachios resemble sand. Make sure not to do this for too long as you will release the oil in the nuts and create a paste.
- Place in an airtight container. Can be kept for 1 week.
- Whisk the double cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
- Keep in a piping bag in the fridge until needed. Can be made up to 1 day before.
- Take the ice cream out of the freezer approx. 20-30 minutes before needed. (You can also pre-scoop your ice cream and keep them in the freezer so that you can just pop them on when you’re plating up.)
- Place three dots of strawberry gel onto the plate where your sponge is going to sit.
- Place a rectangle of sponge on top of this.
- Place pistachio sand either side of the sponge. On one side place it in a small mound and on the other side, in a thin line the same length as the sponge.
- Next pipe four small bulbs of Chantilly on the top of each sponge. Followed by four bulbs of strawberry gel opposite.
- Now place three pieces of quartered strawberry on top of the sponge facing alternate ways.
- Finally, place a quenelle or scoop of ice cream onto the mound of pistachio sand. Garnish with edible flowers and serve.