Chefs' Recipes

Brae's rhubarb and strawberry-gum spider

A grown-up version of the ice-cream spider that's been missing from your life.

By Dan Hunter
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking (plus steeping, freezing)
  • Serves 8
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"I used to love drinking spiders as a kid and have tried to embody the fun they bring with this recipe," says Hunter. Start this recipe seven days ahead to make the soda. For a faster version, substitute the rhubarb and strawberry-gum soda with strawberry kombucha or soda water sweetened with raw honey.

Ingredients

  • Vanilla ice-cream, to serve
  • Mint, to serve
  • Vodka, to get the party started
Rhubarb and strawberry-gum soda
  • 1.25 kg rhubarb (about 2 bunches), thinly sliced
  • 20 gm dried strawberry-gum leaves (see note)
  • 250 gm raw honey
  • 250 ml whey (from yoghurt or other dairy; see note)
Rhubarb and rose granita
  • 800 gm rhubarb, coarsely chopped and juiced (you'll need 400ml rhubarb juice)
  • 45 gm caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp rosewater (optional)
Strawberry syrup
  • 1 kg strawberries (4 punnets) puréed, then strained very well, pressing on solids (you'll need 500ml juice)
  • 50 gm caster sugar

Method

  • 1
    For soda, add rhubarb and 2.5 litres water to a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and gently simmer until rhubarb is very tender (20-30 minutes). Remove from heat, add strawberry gum, cover, and leave to steep for at least 2 hours. Strain, reserving cooking water. Combine cooking water, honey and whey, and stir to dissolve honey. Pour into sterilised preserving bottles with flip-top lids and leave at room temperature (no more than 23°C) to ferment until carbonated to your liking (about 1 week; the bottles are under pressure and can occasionally explode so keep them in a safe place and carefully remove the lid every second day for a brief moment to release a little pressure). Refrigerate to stop fermentation (rhubarb and strawberry-gum soda will keep refrigerated for 1-2 weeks).
  • 2
    For rhubarb and rose granita, combine ingredients with 50ml water and ½ tsp salt flakes and stir to dissolve sugar. Freeze mixture in a shallow tray, scraping with a fork every 20 minutes or so, until fluffy and frozen (6 hours or overnight). Cover granita and keep frozen until needed.
  • 3
    For strawberry syrup, combine strawberry juice and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate until needed. 4 Place a scoop of ice-cream into tumblers and drizzle a little strawberry syrup over the top. Cover with a few scoops of granita, add mint, then pour over rhubarb and strawberry-gum soda. Add vodka by eye, if you're feeling like it

Notes

Strawberry gum is available from native-produce suppliers such as outbackchef.com.au. To make whey, spoon 500gm live yoghurt into a sieve lined with muslin over a bowl. Refrigerate overnight to drain.
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Wine suggestion: 2018 Jauma Peek-a-Boo grenache pet-nat from McLaren Vale.