Recipe: Almond Sponge, Cherry Sorbet, Fresh Cherries

Almond Sponge, Cherry Sorbet, Fresh Cherries. Picture: Paul Johnston at Copper Mango

Almond Sponge, Cherry Sorbet, Fresh Cherries. Picture: Paul Johnston at Copper Mango

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THIS week I am sharing a tempting dessert recipe that is perfect when you are looking to impress guests.

All elements can be prepared ahead of time so that only the plating up remains when it comes to serving. The individual elements of the dish can of course be prepared for a variation of other puddings. For example, the almond sponge is delicious served simply with some good quality vanilla ice cream. As with most of my dessert recipes the quantities are for batch amounts so if you find yourself with leftovers, they can be used up in the following days or frozen to use at a later date.

Ingredients

Serves 6-8

For the almond sponge

175g flaked almonds, toasted

45g marzipan

The seeds from ½ a vanilla pod

55g plain flour

3 eggs

2 egg whites

190g caster sugar

For the cherry sorbet

170g caster sugar

300ml water

35g liquid glucose

500ml cherry purée

For the Italian meringue

115g caster sugar

80ml water

4 egg whites

For the cherry gel

300g caster sugar

500g fresh cherries, pitted

The seeds from ½ a vanilla pod

To serve

2 fresh cherries per plate, pitted

Method

For the almond sponge

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Blend the almonds, marzipan, vanilla seeds and flour to a powder.

Whisk the eggs, egg whites and sugar till tripled in volume and a sabayon texture is achieved.

Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined.

Spread the mixture out to a 1cm thickness in a lined tin. Bake for 9 minutes until golden brown.

For the cherry sorbet

Boil the sugar, water and liquid glucose until the sugar has dissolved.

Pour this syrup over the cherry purée.

Pass the mixture through a fine sieve.

Freeze in an ice cream maker as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

For the Italian meringue

Place the sugar and water in a pan and boil to 110C.

Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.

Pour the syrup on to the egg whites while whisking.

Continue to whisk until the mixture is completely cold.

Place the mixture in a piping bag and place in the fridge, this can be done up to 24 hours in advance.

For the cherry gel

Place the sugar in non-stick pan and heat gently to a caramel.

Add the cherries and vanilla seeds.

Allow the cherries to break down in the caramel

Blend the mixture till smooth. Pass through a fine sieve.

To serve

Pipe the meringue on to the plates and blow torch to golden brown.

Assemble the remaining elements as in the image.