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Crackberry

This term was coined in the Noughties for people addicted to their Blackberry phones when they first hit the market. I have placed blackberries on top of the construction here to resemble the buttons of these mobile phones. Finished with a little dusting of icing sugar, you’ll have a cheeky bit of whimsy that puts a smile on everyone’s face.

Crackberry

Serves 8

LEMON YOGHURT CREAM

300 ml POURING (35%) CREAM

ZEST OF ½ LEMON, REMOVED IN WIDE STRIPS WITH A VEGETABLE PEELER
100 g CASTER SUGAR

6 g GELATINE LEAVES, SOFTENED AND SQUEEZED

25 ml STRAINED LEMON JUICE

25 ml LIMONCELLO LIQUEUR

210 g BUFFALO, NATURAL SHEEP’S OR GOAT’S MILK YOGHURT (I USE SHAW RIVER BUFFALO MILK YOGHURT)

1 Heat the cream, lemon zest and caster sugar in a small heavy-based saucepan over low heat until the mixture reaches simmering point. Remove the lemon zest. Add the softened gelatine and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir through the lemon juice and limoncello. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then whisk in the yoghurt and cool quickly over a bowl of ice.
2 Pour into a piping bag fitted with a round number 10 nozzle and tie the end to seal. Refrigerate until required.

BLACKBERRY SAUCE

250 g BLACKBERRIES

50 ml SUGAR SYRUP (SEE PAGE 225)

5 ml STRAINED LEMON JUICE

1 Puree the blackberries in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard the seeds. Stir in the sugar syrup and lemon juice until well combined. Cover closely with plastic film and refrigerate until required.
BLACKBERRY JELLY

150 ml BLACKBERRY SAUCE (SEE LEFT)

3 g GELATINE LEAVES, SOFTENED AND SQUEEZED

1 Heat the blackberry sauce in a small heavy-based saucepan over medium heat to simmering point. Add the softened gelatine and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then pour into a small baking tin to make a 1 cm-thick layer. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

BLACKBERRY JELLY: This jelly can be set in various moulds – as pictured above I have used small dome moulds, which are ideal for lightly dusting with caster sugar and serving as a petit four. However it is moulded, the jelly can be used in all manner of ways – try serving it simply with whipped cream or adding it to a trifle. You could also replace the blackberry juice with any fruit puree, so the scope is endless.

MERINGUE DOTS

50 g EGG WHITES

50 g CASTER SUGAR

50 g PURE ICING SUGAR, SIFTED

8 g CORNFLOUR

1 Preheat the oven to 60°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2 Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. With the motor running, gradually add the caster sugar and whisk to form stiff peaks. Fold in the icing sugar and cornflour.
3 Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a round number 4 nozzle. Pipe small dots onto the prepared tray until all the mixture is used.
4 Bake the meringue dots on the centre shelf of the oven for 2 hours or until firm and dry. Leave to cool completely in the turned off oven with the door ajar. Store in an airtight container until required (they will keep for up to 5 days).

NOUGATINE COLLAR WAFERS

225 g FONDANT

150 g LIQUID GLUCOSE

20 g UNSALTED BUTTER

1 VANILLA BEAN, SPLIT AND SEEDS SCRAPED

20 g FLAKED ALMONDS, LIGHTLY TOASTED

1 Heat the fondant, glucose, butter and vanilla seeds in a small heavy- based saucepan over low heat until the mixture registers 145°C on a probe or sugar thermometer. Stir in the toasted almonds.
2 Spread the fondant mixture on a silicone mat on a baking tray and leave to cool completely and harden.
3 Preheat the oven to 150°C.
4 Break the fondant mixture into pieces, then place in a blender (or Thermomix on speed 8–10) and blitz to a fine powder.
5 Sift the powder onto a silicone mat on a baking tray using a 22 cm × 5 cm rectangular acetate template for shape; the powder should just be level with the thickness of the template. Repeat 7 times to yield 8 perfect wafers.
6 Bake the wafers for 1 minute or until they are just set but not coloured – they must remain transparent. While warm and still pliable, wrap each wafer around a 7 cm-long × 6 cm-wide × 5 cm-deep rectangular mould to form a hollow collar, pressing each corner to give a defined straight edge; make sure you press where the wafer seams join, pressing down for a few seconds so they meld together. (Each wafer collar should be 6 cm high.) Carefully slip each wafer from the mould.
7 Store the wafer collars upright in a single layer in an airtight container until required. (These need to be baked and shaped on the day of serving.)

FOR ASSEMBLY

200 g BLACKBERRIES, CUT IN HALF CROSSWAYS

8 TEASPOONS EXPLOSIVE ROCK CANDY (I USE SOSA BRAND, SEE PAGE 222)
PURE ICING SUGAR , FOR DUSTING

1 Use a demitasse spoon to scoop out small portions of the black- berry jelly (or turn the jelly out onto a chopping board and cut into 6 mm dice).
2 Stand a nougatine collar wafer upright in the centre of each plate. Place a single layer of blackberries inside the base of each collar, then add a few jelly pieces, a sprinkle of rock candy and a few meringue dots. Pipe in lemon yoghurt cream until each wafer collar is three- quarters full.
3 Spoon a little blackberry sauce over the lemon yoghurt cream, then add a few more jelly pieces, meringue dots and rock candy. Arrange the remaining blackberries in rows across the top of the lemon yoghurt cream, then dust lightly with icing sugar. Serve immediately.

This is an extract from Dessert Divas by Christine Manfield (Penguin)

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