"Piping melted couverture chocolate into ice-cold water is quite a simple and quick technique that produces an impressive result with very little effort," says Shaun Quade. "Lavender is a classic pairing with bitter chocolate, giving it floral undertones that result in great depth of flavour, which goes perfectly with cold and creamy rice pudding. Iced Earl Grey tea would be my beverage of choice with this."
- 800 ml milk
- Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
- 3 cinnamon quills
- 200 gm arborio rice
- 80 gm caster sugar
- To serve: thinly sliced ripe white peach, finely grated lemon rind and lavender flowers
- 190 gm double cream
- 12 lavender flowers or 6gm dried lavender, finely chopped
- 250 gm couverture dark chocolate (56% cocoa)
- For dusting: Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1For rice pudding, bring milk, lemon rind and cinnamon quills to the simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add rice and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender (12-15 minutes). Stir in sugar to dissolve, transfer to a bowl placed over a bowl of iced water and refrigerate to chill.
- 2For lavender cream, whisk ingredients in a bowl until soft peaks form, then refrigerate until required.
- 3For chocolate nests, melt chocolate over a bain-marie to 30C on a sugar thermometer. Pour into a piping bag fitted with a 2mm-3mm nozzle and pipe in a circular motion into a large bowl of icy water. As the chocolate begins to set, gently form little nests with a large metal spoon, then leave them in the water to set fully (2-3 minutes). Remove the nests from water with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, dust with cocoa and refrigerate until required.
- 4To serve, place chocolate nests on serving plates, dust with a little more cocoa powder, then spoon rice pudding onto plates and finish with lavender cream, peach slices, lemon rind and lavender flowers.