- Serves: 4-6
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Prep Time: plus freezing
- Effort: medium
For the molasses brandy snap baskets
- 50 g molasses sugar
- 40 g golden syrup
- 50 g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 40 g plain flour
- ¾ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp brandy
For the ice cream
- 4 pieces preserved stem ginger, chopped into 5mm cubes
- 2 tbsp stem ginger syrup
- 275 ml double cream
- 275 ml single cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 25 g golden caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 3-4 drops pure vanilla extract
- 2 pieces preserved stem ginger, chopped
- a little extra stem ginger syrup
Tips and Suggestions
You will also need an ice-cream maker (pre-frozen according to the manufacturer's instructions), and a lidded plastic box, measuring 18 x 14 x 6 cm.
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1. For the molasses brandy snap baskets: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Take a baking tray measuring 28 x 40 cm and line it with silicone paper. Also have ready a jam jar with a base diameter of about 5cm, and butter the base well.
2. Measuring golden syrup is a sticky business, and the easiest way to deal with it is to first weigh out the sugar and then weigh the golden syrup on top, so it sticks to the sugar and not the scale pan. Next, put the whole lot into a medium-size, heavy-based saucepan, together with the butter, and heat gently for about 5 minutes, or until all the sugar has dissolved, there are no granules left and the mixture is completely smooth. (The way to test this is by looking at some on the back of a spoon.)
3. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the flour and ginger, followed by the brandy. Now place 2 tablespoons of the mixture on to the lined baking tray, allowing space for them to spread as they cook to make two circles roughly 18cm in diameter. Bake on the middle shelf for 7 minutes, keeping a close eye on them for the last 2 minutes' cooking time. When they're ready, remove the tray from the oven and allow the brandy-snap circles to cool for a couple of minutes before lifting one from the tray and moulding it over the upturned, greased jam jar, pressing the edges out to get a frilly basket shape. If they get too cold to mould, don't worry about it - just pop them back in the oven for a minute and then try again. If you're unsure of yourself, have several goes at it - but it is easier than it sounds! As soon as the first basket is ready - it only takes about a minute - place it on a cooling rack and quickly mould the second one. Then repeat the whole process in twos until they're all complete. The brandy snap baskets can be made several hours in advance and stored in an airtight tin.
4. For the ice cream: whip the double cream until it reaches the 'floppy' stage but isn't too thick, then pop it into the fridge to chill.
5. Now make a custard - first pour the single cream into a saucepan, then carefully heat it to just below boiling point. Meanwhile, beat together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl until absolutely smooth.
6. Next, pour the hot cream on to this mixture, whisking as you pour. Now return the custard to the pan and continue to whisk it over a medium heat until it has thickened and come up to boiling point again. (Ignore any curdled appearance, which may come about if you don't keep whisking and have the heat too high. The cornflour will stabilise it, so don't worry - it will regain its smoothness when cooled and whisked.)
7. Now rinse the bowl and pour the custard into it. Then place it in another, larger bowl of cold water, with a few ice cubes, stirring it now and then until absolutely cold. Next, fold into the custard the chilled, whipped cream, ginger syrup and vanilla extract.
8. Pour the whole lot into an ice-cream maker and freeze-churn for 20-30 minutes until the ice cream is soft-set. Quickly fold in the chopped stem ginger, then spooon it into the plastic box and freeze until firm, which will take 1-2 hours.
9. Transfer the ice cream to the fridge 45 minutes before serving to allow it to soften and become easy to scoop. Fill the brandy snap baskets with the ice cream then garnish with the stem ginger and serve with a little of the ginger syrup poured over.
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