December 17, 2010

Crispy Orange Tuile, Chocolate Mousse and Szechuan Pepper Ice-Cream

And now for the very last course in the Great 3 Course Jacques Reymond Challenge. Dessert is my favorite course of all time, so this one is going to be a doozie. So far we've had balls, balls and duck, hope you've been keeping track or that just sounds like I have a bit of a fetish....ok no guarantees I "DON'T" have a fetish. So strap your self in people, for this is the course to end all courses.....Chocolate, pepper and orange on one plate. As always, here's the recipe with results and photos to follow.

Crispy Orange Tuile, Chocolate Mousse and Szechuan Pepper Ice-Cream

Serves 4-6

The Candied Tomatoes will be the subject of some lively discussion among your guests, as well as the spicy chili pepper flavour of the Szechuan pepper Ice-cream, which perfectly compliments the chocolate and orange

Orange Tuile
100g sugar
50g butter, melted
25g flour
zest 1 orange
75g almond flakes, extra finely chopped
50ml orange juice

Chocolate Mousse
3 egg yolks
20g sugar
150mL milk
75mL cream
1 gelatin sheet, soaked in cold water
100g milk chocolate
30g dark chocolate (70%)

Candied Tomatoes
50mL sugar syrup
1 vanilla bean
1 punnet Roma cherry tomatoes, halved

Szechuan Pepper Ice cream
200g sugar
8 egg yolks
300mL milk
400mL cream
1 1/2 tbs Szechuan pepper


Orange Tuile

Preheat oven to 140C. In a bowl, whisk together sugar and melted butter. Add flour, orange zest, almond flakes and orange juice, mix well. Spread thinly onto plastic baking sheet in a 8cmx4cm rectangle shape and bake until golden. Remove and while still hot, mould into a cylinder shape, using a small rolling pin or small bottle

Chocolate Mousse

In a bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar to make a thick sabayon. In a saucepan, bring milk and cream to the boil and pour into the sabayon. Place back in saucepan on low heat and continue to cook slowly until it thickens, do not boil.

Remove gelatin from cold water and squeeze out excess water. Whisk gelatin into custard mix. Cool to room temperature. In a double boiler or microwave, melt chocolate, and allow to cool to room temperature. When the two mixtures are the same temperature, fold them together. Allow to set in the fridge. Once set, whisk mouse and spoon into piping bag. Set aside.

Szechuan Pepper Ice cream

Make sabayon by heating sugar and water to 118C - use a sugar thermometer to get an accurate temperature. Pour the egg yolks over the mixture and whisk until cool.

Bring milk and cream to the boil and infuse with pepper. Strain after 10 minutes and mix with sabayon. Once cool, churn in an ice cream machine.

Candide tomatoes

sugar syrup is one part sugar to one part water. Add water to a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling add sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 50C-60C. In a small saucepan, place the sugar syrup and vanilla bean and warm slightly for 5 minutes to infuse. Strain.

Place tomatoes, cut side up on a tray lined with baking paper and bake in the oven on very low heat until dry and chewy but not hard.


On serving plate, place orange tuile upright and slightly off center. Fill 1/3 of the tuile with the chocolate mousse. Place 3 pieces of candied tomato on top and fill another 1/3 of the tuile, balancing a quenelle of Szechuan pepper on top.

December 7, 2010

Ginger Bread Almond Ice Cream Sandwiches

ginger almond ice cream sandwiches

Its December and that means two things, hot weather and Christmas!!!! Its been a funny start to December in Melbourne, hot weather coupled with torrential downpours converting our once mild little town into a tropical oasis. There’s not much you can do to get away from the sticky-ness, apart from jumping in a swimming pool, or if you’re in the city - the Yarra river. Note – I do not advocate the practice of jumping into the Yarra river, do that at your own peril. Another way to get away from the heat is to eat ice cream.

I’ll find any excuse to eat ice cream, I’ve been known to eat ice cream in the middle of winter, and I don’t mean sitting at home on my couch….I mean going out and hunting down some gelato! So considering that Christmas is just around the corner (oh gosh…already!), I decided to make ginger bread almond ice cream sandwiches.

ginger almond ice cream sandwiches 2

The ginger bread cookies are chewy, so when you bite into the sandwich you get the soft spicy goodness of the cookie, coupled with a cool creamy ice cream middle. I wanted to make the ice cream really creamy, similar to commercial ice cream sandwiches so you’ll notice that my recipe calls for 2 types of cream to boost the fat content of the ice cream…hmmmm fat. If your health conscious, you can skip that and just use more of one type, but lets face it, how many people who are making their own ice cream are truly health conscious? I’ve also devised an easy way to make ice cream without owning an ice cream machine. It involves a KitchenAid and funnily enough, a freezer. Check out the recipe for more info.

ginger almond ice cream sandwiches 3

While I was making the ginger bread cookies, Daz asked me to make him ginger bread men. I wasn’t going to deny him, I really didn’t have an excuse not to make them, dough was ready to go and I already had a ginger bread man cookie cutter. And they were so cute in the end anyway, especially with their green t-shirt. Everyone had a lot of fun, until someone got their head bitten off!

chewy gingerbread men

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies


Makes roughly 30 cookies.

3/4 cup malt extract or tracel or golden syrup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 cup castor sugar
1/3 cup water
80 gram butter, softened
3 1/4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Combine together the tracel, brown sugar, sugar, water and butter in a medium sized bowl until smooth. Sift together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until all of the ingredients are properly combined. Make a large ball and wrap the dough in gladwrap and place in the fridge for least 4 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to achieve roughly a 5mm thickness. Using a round cookie dough cutter, cut dough then transfer cookies to an ungreased baking paper lined baking tray. Make sure to leave a small distance between each cookie, they wont get much bigger, but you don’t want to run the risk of them sticking together.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool. At this stage the cookies can be placed in an airtight container and will keep at room temperature for 1 week. If constructing ice cream sandwiches, once cooled place cookies in the freezer ready to have ice cream filling added.

Almond Ice cream


100ml almond milk
3 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
50ml pouring cream
80 mL double cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste


1. Bring almond milk to the boil in a small saucepan, once boiled add vanilla bean, and set aside.

2. In a medium sized stainless steel bowl whisk egg yolks and sugar together by hand, then pour almond milk onto the egg yolk mixture while whisking. Cook mixture over a bain-marie while whisking continuously for about 10 minutes or until it begin to thicken thickened. A good way of testing it is if it still smells like raw egg than its not cooked enough, or if it coats the back of a spoon and keeps a straight line when you wipe some away with your finger.

3. Once thickened cool sabayon over ice while still whisking. Once completely cooled whisk both types of cream into the sabayon. Place the mixture into an ice cream machine and follow manufacturers instruction. Or use my method: A couple of hours before starting place your KitchenAid stainless steel bowl in the freezer. Once you get to the cooled sabayon/cream mixture, transfer to the frozen mixer bowl and whisk with your KitchenAid for 2 minutes. Transfer to the freezer for 15-20minutes then whisk again for 2 minutes, making sure to scrap down the sides. Repeat this again 4 or 5 times until the ice cream becomes the consistency of a thick soft serve. No need to buy a ice cream machine, and you’ll get perfect, icicle free ice cream every time!

4. To make the ice cream fillers for the sandwiches, place ice cream in a glad wrap lined rectangular plastic container. For thick ice cream sandwiches, make sure that that ice cream is roughly 2 cm thick. Cover the top of the ice cream with more glad wrap and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours to fully set. Once set, use the same sized cookie cutter you used for making the gingerbread cookies and cut round ice cream sandwich fillers. Place back in the freezer for 10 minutes or so and then assemble your sandwiches. Cookie, ice cream filler, cookie……enjoy!!

While we’re on the subject of Christmas, on the weekend Daz and I went along to the Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar. It was a last minute decision, so I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to be instore, I was imagine fire breathing donkey’s, three legged men and loads of Swedish meatballs. Sadly, of the three only the last one was on offer. We had a quick bite to eat, devouring Räksmörgås, Æbleskiver's and Frikadeller's . It seemed like fun, so I’ll definitely be adding it to my calendar for next year.


swedish meatballs Frikadeller's