Are you ready for some sweet delights? This week’s Chefs Series sees celebrated Michelin-starred French chef, Raymond Blanc, take centre stage with his Bramley apple and salted caramel mini ice-cream bites.
Raymond’s memory of reaching for a cooling Magnum in his favourite sweet shop on a hot summer’s day many years ago has inspired his Bramley apple and salted caramel bite-sized treats. These little ice creams remain one of the most popular petit fours at Raymond’s restaurant and hotel, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel. This new flavour combination is also inspired by the Bramley apples in Raymond’s orchard at Le Manoir – British produce is a passion of his, and he has an extensive kitchen garden on site from which meals are created.
Makes 40 Mini Ice-Creams
Prep Time: 35 minutes, plus 2 hours for freezing
For The Caramelised Apple Dice:
1 Bramley apple (approx. 120g)
50g caster sugar
- Peel, core, and dice the apple into ½ cm dice.
- In a medium-sized bowl, roll the diced apple in half the sugar.
- Heat a heavy-based large frying pan over a high heat, then add the remaining sugar to the pan. Cook it until it is a dark caramel and then add the diced apple and toss them in the pan until golden and caramelised.
- When they’re evenly coloured, tip them onto a tray and allow them to cool.
Making the Mini Ice-Creams
1 x 400ml tub salted caramel Ice cream
40 cocktail sticks
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- Line a 20cm x 20cm baking tray with clingfilm.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer and leave it to defrost for about 15 minutes, and then transfer it from the packaging to a medium-sized bowl.
- At this stage, the ice cream should be soft enough to mix with a spatula. Fold the diced, caramelised apple into the ice cream.
- Spread an even layer – about 2cm thick – of the apple-caramel ice cream over the lined tray. Place the tray in the freezer for at least 1 hour or until frozen hard.
- Next, line a separate large tray (that will fit into your freezer) with baking parchment.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer and cut it into about 40 evenly sized rectangles. Insert a cocktail stick into the thin end of each piece to create bite-sized ice creams – maybe 2 bites!
- Place them on the prepared tray so they’re flat and don’t touch each other.
- Return them to the freezer for at least 1 hour before finishing.
To finish the Mini Ice-Creams
50g nibbed almonds
200g chocolate (dark, milk, or white – your choice)
40g cocoa butter (or vegetable oil)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C.
- Spread the nibbed almonds on a baking tray, transfer to the oven, and toast for 7 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- In a bain-marie (or in a microwave) melt the chocolate and oil to around 50ºC. Remove from the heat and stir to ensure they are well-mixed.
- Add the toasted nibbed almonds and stir again.
- Pour this mixture into a tall, narrow jug – it’ll be easier to dip the ice cream.
- Remove the little ice creams from the freezer in batches. Dip each ice cream into the chocolate mix ensuring all the ice cream is coated and tap the stick on the side of the jug to knock off excess chocolate drips.
- Return the chocolate-coated ice cream to the tray and repeat the process until they are all dipped.
- Return the mini ‘Magnums’ to the freezer and keep them there until ready to serve. Serve them straight from the freezer.
The size and shapes can be altered, depending on the depth the ice cream is spread and how big you cut them. Hundreds of variations can be made this way – and create your own favourite flavours!