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
- Freeze the ice cream maker bowl 24 hours before requred.
- Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs.
- Remove hulls (stalks and leaves) of strawberries then wash and dry them.
- Put the strawberries in a blender and blend into a smooth pulp.
- Add the sugar and blend.
- Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
- Measure 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a heavy based saucepan
- Add 3 egg yolks and mix.
- Stir with a wooden spoon over a low heat until it starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat and thoroughly mix into the rest of the strawberry pulp.
- Add a tablespoon of fruit liqueur, mix in well and put bowl in fridge.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff.
- Take pulp mix out of fridge, pour into blender and add in the thick cream, blend together.
- Pour mixture back into the large mixing bowl and add the egg whites , fold into mixture.
- Remove ice cream mixer bowl from freezer and assemble.
- Turn on and slowly pour in the strawberry mixture and churn for about 40 minutes.
- Line a 1 kg log shaped mold with cling wrap (It makes it easier to remove the ice cream from the mold after freezing).
- Ladle the prepared ice cream into the mold and wrap the cling wrap back over the top.
- Put in freezer for at least 12 hours.
- Prior to serving, pour the almond slivers into a large frying pan and toast over heat, shaking pan to avoid burning, until lightly browned
- To serve, unpack the ice cream from the mold and slice into finger-width slices.
- Pour a teaspoon of the crème de fruit over each slice of the ice cream
- Sprinkle some toasted almonds on top of the ice cream.
- Decorate the dish with chocolate coated fresh strawberries and Langues de Chat.
Directions: Langue de Chat biscuits and chocolate coated strawberries
- Cut butter in small cubes
- In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until soft
- Add 1 unbeaten egg white and mix in thoroughly
- Add 2nd unbeaten egg white and mix in thoroughly.
- Add the red food colourant (optional) and vanilla essence and stir in until mixture is pink.
- Sift the flour and mix in well to the butter mixture until completely mixed in.
- Preheat oven to 190C degrees.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wash the strawberries and pat dry, leave the hulls attached.
- Chop up the chocolate into pieces.
- Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler (a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water) stirring with a wooden spoon.
- 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.
- Then spread chocolate thinly on one half of each side of the biscuits, using a brush or the back of a spoon.
- Leave on a non stick surface for chocolate to harden or place in fridge.
- Once chocolate is hard, use a sharp knife to unstick the biscuits from the surface.
- Store the biscuits in an air tight container and the biscuits will stay crisp for several days.
- 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