Sundae best: Bill Granger adds fun flavours to ice cream
Whether it's coconut and caramel, pistachio and rose water or lemon curd and raspberry, our chef reveals the secret to a stunning sweet-cheat sundae, says Bill Granger.
There's nothing more indulgent than an ice-cream sundae, and in these foodie times you can really let your imagination run riot with flavour combinations – whether you're inspired by Heston's bacon-and-egg confection or David Chang's "cereal milk" ice-cream from across the pond.
Sundaes have a playful, retro appeal that really brings out your inner child but you can also dress them up for adult enjoyment. Whether you go for nuttiness, fruitiness or something more ambrosial, they're the perfect excuse to commit the ultimate cheat and jazz up decent shop-bought ice-cream.
Just remember, presentation is everything, so it might be worth investing in a set of sundae glasses. After all, you don't want to hide away all your hard (or not so hard) work.
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com
Vanilla, pistachio and rose-water sundae with filo wafer
The most sophisticated of the recipes here, this has a deliciously sweet and scented Middle Eastern slant. The ideal ending to a mezze-style meal.
6 sheets filo pastry
Light-flavoured oil, for brushing
Icing sugar, to dust
250g/8oz soft dried dates, roughly chopped
2 tbsp rose water
500g/1lb tub good-quality vanilla ice-cream
50g/2oz pistachio nuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Rip the filo sheets randomly, brush with oil, transfer to a greased baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove from the oven, cool, then dust with icing sugar.
Place the dates into a pan with 100ml/3½fl oz cold water, heat gently for 10 minutes, using the back of a spoon to break up the dates, and cook until soft and pulpy. Allow to cool then stir in the rose water.
Serve scoops of the ice-cream with the date sauce, crisp filo and pistachio nuts scattered on top.
Coconut-caramel sundae and macadamia brittle
The creamy macadamia nuts and hint of salt make this a really grown-up and decadent treat. It's a vast improvement on those horrid, stale chopped nuts that were a standard topping back in the day.
For the macadamia brittle
60g/2½oz caster sugar
100g/3½oz macadamia nuts, toasted
For the coconut-caramel sauce
80g/3oz creamed coconut, grated
100g3½oz soft dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
100ml/3½oz double cream
500g/1lb tub caramel ice-cream
For the brittle, place the sugar in a small pan with 2 tablespoons of water and stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. When all of the granules have dissolved, stop stirring and allow to bubble until you have a golden caramel. Remove from the heat, add the nuts and stir to coat in the caramel. Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet and allow to set.
To make the coconut-caramel sauce, place the creamed coconut, butter, brown sugar and salt into a pan and cook over a low heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved; you can tell when this has happened as the butter will no longer be on the surface of the mixture. Pour in the cream and mix until it is a smooth sauce, making sure it doesn't boil, then remove from the heat.
Place the brittle in a bag and bash with a rolling pin to break it up. Scoop balls of the ice-cream into sundae glasses, pour over some of the caramel sauce and sprinkle with the macadamia brittle.
Lemon-curd ice-cream and raspberry-jelly sundae
A last nod to the end of the summer before autumn sets in, this one is a real celebration of the English countryside. If you happen to have home-made lemon curd to hand, even better.
For the raspberry jelly
500g/1lb raspberries, plus extra to serve
150g/5oz caster sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice
2½ tsp powdered gelatin
For the ice-cream
1 litre/1¾ pint tub Jersey cream vanilla ice-cream
5 tbsp lemon curd, plus extra to drizzle
Place the raspberries, sugar and 300ml/ ½ pint of water in a small saucepan and heat gently over a low-medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the raspberries are soft. Mash the berries with the back of a wooden spoon then push the mixture through a fine sieve into a measuring jug. Add the lemon juice and more hot water to the jug so that the total liquid quantity is 600ml/1 pint.
Return the liquid to a clean pan and sprinkle over the gelatin. Place over a low heat and stir until the gelatin dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then chill in a container for 4 hours or until set.
Allow the vanilla ice-cream to soften enough to be able to dollop and swirl the lemon curd through as a ripple, then return to a freezer container and freeze until almost solid.
Take the ice-cream out of the freezer about 20 minutes before you are ready to serve. Scoop spoons of the jelly into glasses, top with a generous scoop of ice-cream and extra raspberries to serve.
Food preparation: Rosie Reynolds
Props merchandising: Polly Webb-Wilson
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