Liquorice, Pears, Celery and Mascarpone
Recipe by: Ben Ungermann - Contestant
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Turn on ice cream machine to pre-chill.
- For the Sambuca Ice Cream, place Sambuca into a frypan and cook over low heat until reduced to 100ml. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Place cream and milk into a medium saucepan and bring to just below simmering point. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, place egg and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until pale. While whisking, add hot cream and milk until combined. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring continuously until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Once anglaise has thickened, remove from heat, strain through a fine sieve into a medium sized bowl and place over an ice bath to cool.
- Once cool, stir the cooled, reduced Sambuca in to the anglaise, then place into chilled ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Once churned, place the ice cream into freezer to set.
- For the Cardamom Biscuit, sift flours and ground cardamom into a medium bowl. Add caster sugar and butter and work with fingertips to a soft and smooth dough. Roll dough out to a thickness of 1 cm onto a lined baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until a dark golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool, then crush to a fine crumb on to the tray. Set the tray of crumbs aside until needed.
- For the Candied Pear and Celery, first cut the cheeks of pear away from the core. Then, using an apple corer as a cutter, remove 12 discs from the pear cheeks and set aside on a tray until needed. Use the apple corer to cut 12 discs from the celery sticks and set aside until needed.
- Place vinegar, sugar and ½ cup water in a saucepan and bring to simmer. Place pear discs in to the liquid and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Remove pear and set aside until needed. Place the celery discs in a heat proof bowl, pour remaining liquid over celery and set aside for 30 minutes to infuse.
- Once infused drain well, pat dry with paper towel and set aside, with the pear discs, until needed.
- For the Caramelised Pear Purée, roll pear quarters in brown sugar and place onto a lined baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven until tender and caramelised, about 40 minutes.
- Once baked, remove the pear pieces from oven and transfer to a high speed blender. Add the butter and blend until smooth.
- Once pears are puréed, place into a small saucepan over a low heat and cook, stirring, until purée is smooth and reduced slightly, about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.
- For the Dutch Salted Liquorice Sauce, combine all ingredients, except salt, along with 150ml water in a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Heat until boiling then remove from heat and allow to soften for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to the canister of a stick blender, along with salt and 60ml water, then blitz until smooth. Pass through sieve and set aside until needed.
- For the Mascarpone Mousse, combine ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk with a hand held whisk. Transfer to a piping bag set aside until needed.
- To serve, place a swirl of Caramelised Pear purée in the middle of each plate. Sprinkle with Cardamom Biscuit Crumb and arrange Candied Celery and Pear around the plates. Place drops of Dutch Salted Liquorice Sauce around crumb. Pipe mascarpone mousse around the crumb, then sprinkle with small celery leaves and fennel fronds. Top with scoop of Sambuca Ice Cream and serve with remaining sauce in a jug on the side.
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