This simple and fairly quick dessert has some lovely flavours and textures. Crisp and soft, sweet and sour, light and deep - all of these things come into play when eating. The sesame seeds in the caramel give that special toasted flavour that you get at Chinese restaurants. Poppy seeds or wattleseeds could be substituted for the sesame seeds, while liquorice, star anise or cinnamon could replace the burdock. A rose cream or lemon cream might be nice here.
For the cherries poached in burdock syrup
- 100g caster sugar
- 400ml red wine
- 100ml port
- 6 lemon verbena leaves
- 15g dried burdock root, crushed
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 500g cherries, pitted but with the stalks left on
For the orange and burdock cream
- 40g dried burdock root, crushed
- 100ml orange juice
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 200ml milk
- 225ml double cream
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 150g caster sugar
- 50g corn flour
- 2 gelatine leaves
- 100g unsalted butter
For the sesame cannelloni
- 200ml liquid glucose
- 200g caster sugar
- 50ml water
- 50g sesame seeds
- 50g flaked almonds, toasted until golden
- 24 small lemon verbena leaves
- Cherries poached in burdock syrup
Put all the ingredients except the cherries in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, then add the cherries and cook for 4-5 minutes longer. Immediately remove the cherries with a slotted spoon, place in a bowl and leave to cool. Simmer the cooking juices until reduced by half and leave to cool. Strain the juices on to the cherries and leave to macerate overnight.
ORANGE AND BURDOCK CREAM
Place the burdock, orange juice and zest in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for three minutes. Add the milk and 100ml of the double cream, bring back to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside for two hours to infuse.
Bring the mixture back to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and corn flour together in a bowl. Add the milk mixture, whisking constantly, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan, place on a medium heat and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring all the time, until thickened. Soak the gelatine in cold water for about five minutes, until soft and pliable.
Remove the pan from the heat, cool slightly, then stir in the butter bit by bit until melted. Squeeze all the water out of the gelatine and add the gelatine to the pan, stirring until dissolved. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl, lay a little clingfilm on top of the mixture. Leave to cool.
Whip the remaining double cream until it thickens enough to leave a ribbon on the surface, then fold it into the mixture. Cover and store in the fridge until needed.
Put the glucose, caster sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and cook without stirring until it has turned into a golden amber caramel. Immediately pour on to an oiled baking tray and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and almonds. Set to one side until cold and very crisp. Break up the caramel, place in a food processor and pulse to a coarse powder. Store in an airtight container.
Shortly before serving, sprinkle the powder over a lined baking tray in an even layer. Place in an oven preheated to 200°C/gas mark 6 until it has melted and formed a single sheet of caramel; it will only take a minute or two, so be very vigilant. Remove from the oven, let it cool and, just before it sets, cut it into 18 rectangles measuring 12cm x 5cm, cutting through the paper, too. Place back on a baking sheet on the paper and flash through the oven just to soften. Remove from the oven and wrap each rectangle around some dowling, about 4.5cm in diameter, using the paper to guide it. Leave until set, then slide the cannelloni off the dowling. Keep in an airtight container until needed.
Beat the orange and burdock cream well, place it in a piping bag and pipe into the sesame cannelloni. Place two on each plate, side by side, then put a third on top, at an angle. Put the cherries on one side, pour round a little of the syrup, then decorate with the lemon verbena.