Poached Rhubarb with Strawberrry Jelly, Yellow Man and Lavender Ice-cream, by Niall McKenna

05 July 2010
Poached Rhubarb with Strawberrry Jelly, Yellow Man and Lavender Ice-cream, by Niall McKenna

This recipe for poached rhubarb with strawberrry jelly, yellow man and lavender ice-cream, made Niall McKenna, chef-proprietor of the James Street South restaurant in Belfast, one of the four winning finalists in the BBC's Great British Menu 2010. There are more winning recipes from the show in our article, http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/07/01/334144/meet-the-four-finalists-in-the-great-british-menu-2010.htm" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Meet the four finalists in the Great British Menu 2010.

INGREDIENTS (Serves four)

For the sugar syrup

• 200ml water
• 350g sugar
• 150ml mead
• 2 vanilla pods

For the poached rhubarb

• 4 rhubarb stalks, trimmed, thinly sliced lengthways

For the strawberry jelly

• 800g ripe strawberries, chopped
• 50g caster sugar
• 3 vanilla pods, seeds removed
• 6 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water, drained

For the lavender ice-cream

• 350ml whole milk
• 600ml double cream
• 1tbs chopped fresh lavender
• 4 free-range egg yolks
• 150g caster sugar

For the tuile

• 300g caster sugar
• 20g glucose

For the yellow man (honeycomb)

• 165g caster sugar
• 60g glucose
• 60g runny honey
• 40ml water
• 20g bicarbonate of soda


For the sugar syrup

Heat all the sugar syrup ingredients in a pan, stirring regularly, until the sugar has melted. Remove the vanilla pods and set the syrup aside.

For the poached rhubarb

Place the rhubarb into a vacuum pack with 175ml of sugar syrup and seal with the vacuum pack machine. Place the sealed bag into a water bath set at 80°C for eight minutes. Remove from the water bath and set aside to cool.

Remove the rhubarb and reserve the syrup. Cut the rhubarb into 0.5cm dice. Line the bottom of four chefs' moulds with the rhubarb and leave to chill in the fridge.

For the strawberry jelly

Mix the strawberries, sugar, vanilla seeds and 150ml of sugar syrup in a bowl until well combined. Cover with cling film, set over a pot of simmering water and steam for 45 minutes. Strain the strawberry mixture through a sieve.

Measure 500ml of the liquid and stir in the gelatine leaves until dissolved. Strain the mixture through a sieve and pour into the moulds. Chill in the fridge for eight hours, or overnight.

For the lavender ice-cream

Heat the milk, cream and lavender in a pan until simmering. Remove from the heat and set aside for 20 minutes.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and thick. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the eggs and return the mixture to the pan. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Do not let the mixture boil.) Sieve the mixture into a clean bowl and set it over another bowl filled with ice. Set aside to cool, then churn the mixture in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the ice-cream to a plastic container and store in the freezer.

For the tuile

Preheat the oven to 240°C. Gently heat the sugar and glucose until the mixture becomes caramel. Pour the mixture onto a silicone baking mat and set aside to cool. When cooled, blend the mixture to a fine powder in a food processor.

Place a rectangular biscuit cutter onto a baking tray, sieve the powder into the cutter and repeat three more times to make four rectangles. Bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully shape into cylinders by wrapping the biscuits around a lightly oiled plastic rolling pin. Set aside to cool and transfer to an airtight container.

For the yellow man

Line a baking tray with silicone baking paper. Heat the sugar, glucose, honey and water in a saucepan, stirring continuously, over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reached 170°C (use a sugar thermometer to check this). Carefully whisk in the bicarbonate of soda. (The mixture will increase in volume; do not leave the pan unattended.)

Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and set aside to harden. Once hardened, break the honeycomb into small pieces.

To serve

Place the rhubarb and strawberry jelly onto a serving plate, with a tuile alongside. Roll a scoop of lavender ice-cream in the honeycomb pieces and place it on the plate. Drizzle over the reserve rhubarb syrup.

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