Glace à la fraise et Langues de Chat

IMG_8889 (400x252)It was my turn to make desert for our wonderful Gourmet lunch this weekend. I decided that as strawberries are in season I would use them as the core ingredient. In my ice cream mixer I created strawberry ice cream to which I added some Devonshire clotted cream that I had in my freezer. I sliced the ice cream into rounds and topped them with toasted almond slivers and a teaspoon of strawberry Crème de fruit (fruit liqueur). To serve with the ice cream, I covered some fresh strawberries in chocolate and made some Langues de Chat which I coloured pink. These descriptively named little biscuits are shaped like, and have the rough texture of a cat’s tongue. They are thin, crisp and light, care must be taken when cooking as they burn quickly. I served this with a glass of champagne to which I added a teaspoon of the strawberry fruit liqueur made by Massenez, a top distiller in Alsace.

Ingredients for 1 kg of ice cream:

  • 400g ripe strawberries
  • 60g Castor sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g Thick cream
  • 100g Almond slivers
  • 1 tablespoon Massenez crème de fraise (plus additional to pour over when serving)

Ingredients Langues de Chat Biscuits (makes 40+) and chocolate coated strawberries

  • 2 egg whites
  • 85g unsalted butter – 85g castor sugar – 85g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 8 large ripe strawberries
  • 2 bars/ 180g dark chocolate ¼ teaspoon red food colour (optional to match the pink of the strawberries)

A bottle of Nicolas Feuillate Brut Reserve plus Massenez Crème de Fruit Fraise available at the French Market

Directions: Strawberry ice cream

  1. Freeze the ice cream maker bowl 24 hours before requred.
  2. Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs.
  3. Remove hulls (stalks and leaves) of strawberries then wash and dry them.
  4.  Put the strawberries in a blender and blend into a smooth pulp.
  5. Add the sugar and blend.
  6. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  7. Measure 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a heavy based saucepan
  8. Add 3 egg yolks and mix.
  9. Stir with a wooden spoon over a low heat until it starts to thicken.
  10. Remove from heat and thoroughly mix into the rest of the strawberry pulp.
  11. Add a tablespoon of fruit liqueur, mix in well and put bowl in fridge.
  12. Beat the egg whites until stiff.
  13. Take pulp mix out of fridge, pour into blender and add in the thick cream, blend together.
  14. Pour mixture back into the large mixing bowl and add the egg whites , fold into mixture.
  15. Remove ice cream mixer bowl from freezer and assemble.
  16. Turn on and slowly pour in the strawberry mixture and churn for about 40 minutes.
  17. Line a 1 kg log shaped mold with cling wrap (It makes it easier to remove the ice cream from the mold after freezing).
  18. Ladle the prepared ice cream into the mold and wrap the cling wrap back over the top.
  19. Put in freezer for at least 12 hours.
  20. Prior to serving, pour the almond slivers into a large frying pan and toast over heat, shaking pan to avoid burning, until lightly browned
  21. To serve, unpack the ice cream from the mold and slice into finger-width slices.
  22. Pour a teaspoon of the crème de fruit over each slice of the ice cream
  23. Sprinkle some toasted almonds on top of the ice cream.
  24. Decorate the dish with chocolate coated fresh strawberries and Langues de Chat.

Directions: Langue de Chat biscuits and chocolate coated strawberries

  1. Cut butter in small cubes
  2. In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until soft
  3. Add 1 unbeaten egg white and mix in thoroughly
  4. Add 2nd unbeaten egg white and mix in thoroughly.
  5. Add the red food colourant (optional) and vanilla essence and stir in until mixture is pink.
  6. Sift the flour and mix in well to the butter mixture until completely mixed in.
  7. Preheat oven to 190C degrees.
  8. Fill an icing bag with the mixture, squeeze out lengths about the thickness of fat toothpaste in strips of 3 to 4 cms long on to a greased baking tray or baking mat.Leave space in between as they spread during cooking.
  9. Bake in oven for 6 up to 8 minutes maximum until edges are lightly golden. Be careful, watch them all the time as they burn easily. Allow to cool.
  10.  Wash the strawberries and pat dry, leave the hulls attached.
  11.  Chop up the chocolate into pieces.
  12. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler (a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water) stirring with a wooden spoon.
  13.  Once chocolate has melted, hold the strawberries by their stalks and coat their surfaces with a thin layer of chocolate. Place on a dish for chocolate to harden in the fridge.
  14.  Then spread chocolate thinly on one half of each side of the biscuits, using a brush or the back of a spoon.
  15. Leave on a non stick surface for chocolate to harden or place in fridge.
  16. Once chocolate is hard, use a sharp knife to unstick the biscuits from the surface.
  17. Store the biscuits in an air tight container and the biscuits will stay crisp for several days.
  18. Keep the strawberries cold until needed.

I recommend pairing the ice cream and strawberries with a Kir Royale made with a teaspoon of Massenez Crème de Fruit Fraise (strawberry fruit liqueur) added to a flute of Nicolas Feuillatte champagne

 Bon Appétit!


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