For crème fraîche ice-cream, combine cream, milk and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the simmer. Whisk yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale (4-5 minutes), add cream mixture, whisking continuously to combine. Return mixture to pan, stir continuously over low heat until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon thickly (4-5 minutes). Do not boil. Remove from heat, add crème fraîche, whisk until smooth, then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl placed over ice and cool. Freeze in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions, then stir through crystallised violets. Transfer to a container and freeze until required. Makes about 1 litre.
For chocolate-violet ganache, bring cream to the simmer in a small saucepan, add chocolate and liqueur, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Cool slightly, stir in violets and refrigerate until set, then roll into eight balls and refrigerate until required.
Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth, then remove from heat and set aside. Whisk yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until thick and pale (6-7 minutes). Fold in chocolate mixture, then flour, and refrigerate until firm (3-4 hours).
Preheat oven to 180C. Half-fill eight buttered and sugared 165ml metal dariole moulds with chocolate mixture. Push a ganache ball into centre of each, then top up with more chocolate mixture, filling to 5mm below rim, smoothing tops. Bake until slightly risen and just firm to touch (7-8 minutes), stand for 5 minutes then turn onto serving plates. Dust with cocoa and serve hot with crème fraîche ice-cream and extra crystallised violets.
Note Violet liqueur is available from Spirits
of France and select liquor shops. Crystallised violets are
available from The Essential Ingredient and select cake decorating