Enjoy an updated taste of your childhood with Michelin star chef Nick Nairn

There aren’t any rules about not enjoying jelly and ice cream as an adult, but it’s rarely offered to us grown-ups!

I’ve created an adult version of this childhood favourite, that’s somewhere between an Eton Mess, pavlova, and trifle. And the jelly is a very proper real-fruit affair. Delicious.

As for this chocolate cake, it’s one of my all-time favourite recipes, with a new addition of salted caramel sauce.

It’s a very light cake that works best as a dessert, and won’t stuff you silly at the end of a meal. It’s incredibly easy to make and uses no flour, so is perfect for the growing number of people who eat a gluten-free diet.

Summer Berries, Ice Cream, Jelly and Meringue

SERVES 4

The ingredients

FOR THE RASPBERRY JELLY

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 350ml water
  • 6 leaves of gelatine
  • 350g fresh raspberries
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar

FOR THE SUGAR SYRUP

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml water

FOR THE FRUIT

  • 100g strawberries, halved
  • 75g raspberries, halved
  • 75g blueberries
  • A few mint leaves, to garnish

FOR THE MERINGUES

  • 3 egg whites
  • 75g caster sugar

FOR THE ICE CREAM

  • 400ml double cream
  • 115ml milk
  • 1 fresh vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 4 medium egg yolks
  • 90g caster sugar

The method

  • For the meringues (make ahead), heat the oven to 110°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • In a clean mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites slowly until you have soft peaks (tipping over at the top).
  • Continue whisking, now adding the caster sugar gradually. Continue until the mix is thick and glossy.
  • Place spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Rinse the spoon in cold water and make a divot on each.
  • Cook for an hour and a half. Open the door to let out any steam. Don’t let them brown.
  • Remove, cool and store until needed in an airtight container. They last for months.
  • For the ice cream, mix the cream and milk in a saucepan.
  • Scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod into the pan, then add the pod. Heat until just below boiling point.
  • Beat the egg yolks and sugar for 10 minutes until pale and thick. Slowly pour half the hot mix onto the eggs, whisking continually.
  • Then use a heat-proof spatula to scrape it all back into the pan, off the heat.
  • Place back on a medium heat heating gently, and stirring in a figure of eight to prevent hot spots forming.
  • It should begin to thicken within 2 minutes. The perfect temperature is 82°C, a thermo probe is useful here or look for puffs of steam at the sides then take the pan off the heat and continue stirring.
  • When it coats the back of the spatula, strain immediately through a sieve into a clean bowl.
  • Cover and cool.
  • Pour into an ice cream machine and churn until frozen, then store in the freezer until needed.
  • For the jelly, put the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water to soak for a couple of minutes.
  • Heat 175ml water in a small pan with the sugar until dissolved. Lift out the gelatine from the bowl and squeeze out excess moisture.
  • Add them to the pan and stir until dissolved. Cool for 5 minutes, then add the rest of the water.
  • Rub the raspberries through a sieve with a wooden spoon then mix in 2tbsp icing sugar to sweeten.
  • Add about three quarters of this to the water, reserving the rest of the coulis for garnishing.
  • Pour into a baking tray and refrigerate to set for at least four hours. I cut out discs of jelly once it had set using a mini cutter.
  • For the sugar syrup, simmer the sugar and water together until the sugar has melted and the mix has reduced by half to a syrup.
  • To serve, feel free to copy me and be a little bit fancy with the fruit and the jelly, which does look quite pretty.
  • Use squeezy bottles (available at my online shop) to dot the coulis and syrup around the plate. Serve the jelly in discs, and the ice cream on the meringues, with fruit and syrup dotted about, and mint leaves to garnish.

Soft Chocolate Cake with Creme Fraiche and Salted Caramel

The ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

  • 200g good plain chocolate (I like Valrhona)
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 7 eggs, separated
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 drops lemon juice
  • Crème fraîche to serve

FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 300ml double cream
  • 4g ground sea salt

The method

  • For the cake, preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3. Lightly butter a 25cm springform cake tin then line the base with a circle of baking paper.
  • Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and add the butter. Rest over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Leave to melt, stirring occasionally until it is smooth and glossy.
  • Don’t let it get too hot or it will seize and thicken. When ready, turn off the heat, but keep the bowl on the pan to keep warm.
  • When cracking your eggs to separate the whites and yolks, don’t let any yolk get into the whites.
  • Make sure the whites bowl is scrupulously clean – a stainless-steel one is ideal. With so many eggs, it’s worth separating the whites into a preliminary bowl then tipping them one by one into a larger bowl.
  • After that, put the sugar into the bowl with the egg yolks and whisk until pale and thick and a trail stays on the surface for a few seconds – the ribbon stage; this takes 4-5 minutes. Gently fold into the melted chocolate.
  • Now whisk the egg whites into soft peaks adding two drops of lemon juice first.
  • The tips of the peaks should just fold over, not stand upright.
  • Gently fold the whites into the chocolate mixture using a silicon spatula. It’s ready when it still has a slightly marbled effect.
  • Pour into the tin and bake for 45 minutes. It will soufflé up and just crack when it’s ready.
  • When you take it out of the oven it will collapse a bit, which is how it should be. Leave to cool in the tin.
  • When cool, carefully remove the cake from the tin and peel off the paper.
  • Dust with icing sugar, cut the cake into wedges and serve with crème fraîche and a heavy drizzle of salted caramel sauce.
  • To make the caramel sauce, pour the sugar into a wide shallow pan and place on a medium heat and warm until the sugar begins to melt. Don’t hurry the process or you may burn the sugar, and don’t stir or it will form icebergs of sugar; a gentle shake is all that’s needed.
  • When most of the sugar has melted, stir using a silicone spatula to melt the last few crystals.
  • Once all melted turn up the heat slightly and watch the pan. Have the cream ready.
  • When the sugar is caramelising a ring of foam will appear, now add the cream. Be careful it may spit, and the steam can burn. Stir gently and work in the cream and lastly add the salt. Strain into a heatproof jug and let cool.
  • Check the consistency of the sauce once cooled; if it’s too thick add a drop of boiling water to thin it. The sauce will also freeze perfectly.
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