Chocolate, rhubarb and custard

A classic British combination of flavours with the presentation inspired by the Olympic torch. The recipe allows the ice cream to be ignited without melting.

For this recipe you will need four small balloons (such as water balloons) and an ice cream churner.


For the rhubarb sorbet
For the tempered chocolate
For the feuilletine
For the crumble
For the poached rhubarb
For the custard panna cotta
For the rum custard
  • 1tbsp dark rum

Preparation method

  1. For the rhubarb sorbet, place the rhubarb into a blender and blend to a purée. Place the purée in a pan with the sugar, 300g/10½oz water and the vodka then bring to the boil. Once boiled, pass through a fine sieve and place in an ice cream churner until frozen and set.

  2. For the tempered chocolate, blow four balloons up to approximately the size of a tennis ball (and 1-2mm larger than the pasrty cutter you will need to use to cut the feuilletine later) and leave to one side. Place the chocolate into a glass bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate while stirring until it reaches 32C/87F (use a kitchen thermometer for this). Dip each balloon into the chocolate to create four half spheres of chocolate. Leave to cool at room temperature and, once the chocolate has set and solidified, pop the balloons with a pin. Choose the neatest two of the chocolate half spheres and reserve.

  3. For the feuilletine, place a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water and add the chocolate, stir until melted then add the praline paste and feuilletine. Pour onto greaseproof paper and place another piece of greaseproof paper over the top, then use a rolling pin to roll out the mixture until it’s about 3mm thick. Place into the freezer and leave to freeze for an hour, or until frozen. Using a pastry cutter that is approximately 1-2mm smaller than the diameter of the white chocolate half spheres, cut out two discs and reserve for serving.

  4. For the crumble, preheat an oven to 160C/320F/Gas 3. Mix the sugar and flour together, then use your fingers to rub in the butter until the mixture forms a crumble-like texture. Line a baking tray with parchment and sprinkle the crumble mixture over, place into the oven for 10 minutes or until crunchy. Leave to cool.

  5. For the poached rhubarb, bring 250ml/9fl oz water, the sugar and the strawberry juice to the boil before adding the rhubarb. Cook for 10 minutes until the rhubarb becomes soft and stewed. Set aside to cool.

  6. For the custard panna cotta, place the milk and cream into a pan and place over a medium heat. Scrape the beans from the vanilla pod, add to the pan and bring to the boil.

  7. Meanwhile whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until foaming, slowly add the milk mix to the eggs then divide into two, reserving one half for the rum custard. Return the remaining half to the heat and add the agar-agar, bring up to 84C/184F then strain through a fine sieve onto a tray so that it creates a layer approximately 3mm thick. Leave to cool for 30 minutes or until set. Using a pastry cutter that is about 2-3mm smaller than the diameter of your white chocolate half spheres, cut out two discs and reserve for serving.

  8. To make the rum custard, add the rum to the reserved panna cotta mixture and stir through, heat just before serving, taking care not to split the mixture.

  9. To serve, place a mound of crumble onto each serving plate and sit the white chocolate half spheres on top, carefully pour the poached rhubarb into the half spheres until they are three quarters full then cover with crumble. Transfer to the fridge to set for 10 minutes.

  10. Place a disc of panna cotta on top of each half sphere and then a disc of feuilletine. Refrigerate once more for about 10 minutes.

  11. Finally spoon a quenelle of the sorbet onto each feuilletine disc and serve with a jug of rum custard.

1-2 hours preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 2

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This recipe is from...

Great British Menu 15. North East Judging bbc_two Great British Menu

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8:45am Friday 4 December

The two remaining Welsh chefs cook their four courses again for the judges.

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