It is very difficult to come up with desserts for the tasting menu, especially in the winter. In summer we have such good fruit that there is never a problem, but between Christmas and the first fruit of the new year the cupboard is pretty bare.
This dessert bridges the gap as it uses sea buckthorn berries and seaweed from the beach – and even seawater. Most importantly, it tastes delicious. We have to tell customers to eat all of the elements together as the buckthorn is so mouth-puckeringly acidic that it only works when combined with the other ingredients.
500ml double cream
700ml full-fat milk
400ml Sugar syrup [see below]
Meringue [see below], roughly crumbled
Seawater spray [see below]
½tsp caster sugar
80ml sea buckthorn juice (available from online suppliers), to serve
Crystallised seaweed powder [see below], to serve
For the meringue ice-cream, combine all the ingredients, except for the meringue, in a blender and blitz at high speed. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour. Pour into an ice-cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze for at least two hours before serving. When the mixture is still a bit soft, fold in the crumbled meringue and return to the freezer.
For the seawater spray, dissolve the sugar in the seawater and put into a spray dispenser. To serve, drizzle a little sea buckthorn juice in the bottom of serving bowls. Top with a quenelle of meringue ice-cream and spritz with a little seawater. Add a good sprinkle of crystallised seaweed powder and serve straight away.
100g egg whites
175g caster sugar
To make the meringue, preheat the oven to 100ºC and line a baking pan with greaseproof paper. Put the egg whites into a stand mixer and whisk until frothy. Add the sugar, a bit at a time, whisking until glossy. Tip into the prepared baking pan and spread into a 2cm-thick layer. Leave in the oven overnight. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before crumbling into rubble.
200g caster sugar
Combine the water and sugar in a pan and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Crystallised seaweed powder
To make the dried seaweed: Go to the beach and gather gutweed and sea lettuce. Wash in many changes of fresh water until all the sand and grit is removed. Shake dry. Arrange the seaweed in a thin layer on a baking sheet (if oven-drying) or on the shelves of a dehydrator. Dry at 70ºC for around 12 hours, or until the moisture has almost entirely gone and the seaweed is crisp. Leave the seaweed in large pieces.
Egg whites, whisked until frothy
Brush the seaweed with egg white and dust lightly with icing sugar. Place in a dehydrator and dry overnight at 70ºC, by which time it should be crisp enough to crumble with your fingers into a sweet-umami powder. Store in an airtight jar.
Recipe taken from The Sportsman. Photography by Toby Glanville