I most popular Valentine’s Day when it concerned nothing greater than attempting to work out who had despatched me a card lined in kisses. Whatever, the occasion has moved on and there are most likely items to be given this week and, to my thoughts, none extra appropriate than one thing made with your individual palms.
Try to keep away from the temptation to make your truffles symmetrical. It removes a lot of their allure
I’ve a delicate spot for an ice-cream sundae, however have all the time suspected, like a pot of tea, they’re made for sharing. Pushing my spoon via layers of ice cream, fruit and sauce has all the time been a ridiculously pleasant second, however immeasurably extra so when it includes 2 spoons.
I’m undecided anyone ought to take an ice-cream sundae too severely. But that deep glass of delights – chocolate sauce, ice cream, fruit – will probably be higher if we take into account just a few small factors. There ought to, I believe, be a wedding of textures. A few layers of one thing crunchy is important among the many softness of the dairy produce and fruit. Crushed biscuits tossed with cinnamon; toasted brioche crumbs with flecks of floor cardamom or, as I had this week, – a layer of sunshine and crumbly oat flapjack.
I’ve experimented with numerous ice lotions in my sundaes and have come to the conclusion that vanilla is by far and away one of the best. It introduces simplicity to what can so simply grow to be confused. (Chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce is all the time overkill, however will work splendidly with a pointy raspberry purée.) All the nutty ice lotions – hazel, walnut and pistachio – are most at dwelling with berries. Try pistachio with recent mulberries if ever you get the possibility.
A sundae with out fruit isn’t any sundae in any respect. At this time of 12 months, slices of scarlet-flushed blood orange, lychees (please, please take the stone out) and pomegranate seeds are most likely one of the best for including the important refreshing component. Raspberries, wherever they arrive, are all the time an ace price having up your sleeve.
If an ice cream for 2 just isn’t their factor, then how about a suggestion of darkish chocolate truffles rolled in crushed hazelnut praline?
Chocolate hazelnut truffles
Truffles stand or fall by the standard of chocolate with which they’re made. I like a easy, not too candy chocolate and have a tendency to avoid something that incorporates greater than 80% cocoa solids. Use no matter chocolate you like, taking into consideration praline tends to work greatest with the creamier finish of the spectrum. You might want to roll your truffles into common spheres, however I discover such perfection charmless. Rough edged is the way in which to go.
Makes about 15.
For the praline:
shelled hazelnuts 75g, skinned
caster sugar 75g
For the truffle paste:
darkish chocolate 225g
double cream 135g
Place a shallow, nonstick pan over a reasonable warmth. Tip within the sugar and the hazelnuts. Leave till the sugar begins to soften, resisting the temptation to stir. Keep a hawk-like eye on the color because it modifications from ice white to amber to deep walnut brown. Remove from the warmth and tip the sugared nuts on to a flippantly oiled baking sheet. Set apart and depart to crisp.
Break the chocolate into small items and place in a heatproof bowl. Balance the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water and depart to soften. Pour within the cream. Try to not stir the chocolate because it melts, merely push any unmelted chocolate into the cream with a teaspoon. Don’t let the combination get too sizzling.
Once the chocolate has melted, stir gently till you have got a easy, thick cream. Remove from the warmth. Crush the sugared hazelnuts to high-quality crumbs utilizing a pestle and mortar or, extra shortly, a meals processor.
Fold two-thirds of the ensuing praline into the chocolate combination then refrigerate for about an hour till agency sufficient to roll.
Taking tablespoon-sized scoops of the truffle combination, roll into tough rounds. Try to keep away from the temptation to make all of them symmetrical: it removes their allure. As you roll, drop every into the remaining praline then elevate out and put aside on a plate. Leave the truffles in a cool place to set.
Oat and orange sundaes
There will more of the oat crumble than you need. You could store it in a Kilner jar for rainy days (it will last for a week) or, and this is the best bit, break it into small lumps, toss it in melted chocolate and leave to set. Store it in a jar. I remain unconvinced that there is any more suitable ice cream for a sundae than vanilla. Flavoured ices tend to introduce unnecessary complication. That said, I used hazelnut in mine and it worked rather well.
Makes 2 rather generous sundaes.
butter 150g, plus a little extra
golden caster sugar 100g
maple syrup 100g
rolled oats 200g
dark chocolate 100g
blood orange 1, medium
salted pretzel crackers 6
ice cream 4 medium-sized scoops
Melt the butter and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Pour in the maple syrup then stir in the rolled oats and let the mixture come to the boil. Lightly butter a small baking sheet then tip the oats on to it, lightly smoothing them.
Break the cooling flapjacks into small, rough pieces, then sprinkle them among the ice cream and fruit
Break the dark chocolate into pieces, place them in a medium-sized, heatproof mixing bowl, then balance that on top of a small pan of simmering water. Let the chocolate melt, without stirring.
Using a knife, remove the peel from the orange, then slice the fruit into discs. Dip each of the salted pretzel crackers into the melted chocolate (I find a chopstick extraordinarily useful for this) and set them down on a piece of baking parchment in a cool place to set.
Spoon a little of the melted chocolate into the bottom of two sundae glasses. Add a ball of ice cream to each, then some of the orange slices. Break the cooling flapjacks into small, rough pieces, then sprinkle them among the ice cream and fruit. Introduce a little more melted chocolate, adding more of each until your glasses are full. Finish with the chocolate-coated pretzels.
Nigel Slater from theguardian.com