"Forgo the fork and spoon – this crunchy, creamy, caramelised, chocolate-dipped ice-cream sandwich really just wants to be picked up and eaten. The range of frames, moulds, tins and so on used in restaurants is wide and varied. I usually use rectangular frames in the restaurant, but I've used a cake tin here. The result will taste the same whether you make squares, rounds or funny lumps."
- 150 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
- 45 gm Copha vegetable shortening, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 40 gm popping corn
- 25 gm sesame seeds
- 60 gm caster sugar
- 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 30 gm honey
- 400 ml pouring cream
- Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean
- 180 gm caster sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 1For candied popcorn, preheat oven to 180C. Heat a large saucepan over high heat, add oil, then corn, quickly cover with a lid and shake pan occasionally until all corn has popped (2-4 minutes). Transfer popcorn to a tray and cool to room temperature (10-15 minutes), discard unpopped kernels. Roast sesame seeds on a baking tray until light golden (5-7 minutes), stirring occasionally to evenly toast, then add to popcorn. Combine sugar, butter and honey in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stir until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and boil until caramel (3-5 minutes). Add popcorn and sesame seeds, stir to coat, then divide between two lightly oiled 20cm x 12cm cake tins. Stand until cool (20-30 minutes), then remove from tins.
- 2For caramel parfait, combine 75ml cream and vanilla seeds in a small saucepan over low heat, stir occasionally until warm. Whisk yolks in an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and doubled in volume. Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over high heat until hot, add sugar (it should start to melt then colour) and swirl pan occasionally until sugar is dissolved and dark amber in colour (3-5 minutes). Do not leave unattended as sugar can burn very quickly. Gradually add warm cream (be careful as hot caramel may spit), stirring to combine. Decrease mixer speed to medium-low and slowly pour in hot caramel down side of bowl. Increase speed to medium-high and whisk until cool (6-8 minutes). Whisk remaining cream in a bowl to stiff peaks, then fold into yolk mixture in three batches. Pour into a 20cm x 12cm cake tin lined with baking paper. Place one sheet of candied popcorn on top. Freeze until firm (3-5 hours), then turn out and press on the remaining sheet of candied popcorn. Return to freezer and freeze until very firm (3-5 hours), then cut into six 3.5cm-wide sandwiches and freeze until required.
- 3Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (4-5 minutes), add Copha, stir until melted (1-2 minutes) and keep warm. Dip one end of each parfait sandwich in the chocolate and freeze until ready to serve.
This recipe is from the September 2010 issue of .