Cucumber & basil

chris underwood

chris underwood

27th March 2014

Cucumber & basil

Cucumber and basil with white chocolate sorbet, basil ash meringue and white chocolate ganache by Chris Underwood.


  • White chocolate sorbet:
  • 175g white chocolate
  • 150ml Noilly Prat
  • 20ml premium vodka
  • 550ml milk
  • 200ml juniper stock syrup (1:1 syrup with crushed junipers infused for 12 hours in a vac-pac)
  • 3g gellan gum per litre
  • Basil ash meringue:
  • 3 bunches of fresh basil leaves
  • 250g fresh egg whites
  • 500g caster sugar
  • Dehydrated Dill:
  • 1 handful fresh dill
  • White Chocolate Ganache:
  • 500g white chocolate
  • 125ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod (seeds only)
  • Compressed Cucumber with Gin:
  • 1 cucumber (peeled)
  • 12g Crushed juniper berries
  • Dash of premium gin
  • 2 sprigs of dill
  • 100ml stock syrup
  • White Chocolate Snow:
  • 80g white chocolate
  • 25g cocoa butter
  • 300ml water
  • 100ml double cream
  • 30g sugar


White chocolate sorbet:
1. Melt the chocolate
2. Blend all the wet ingredients together
3. Stir in the melted chocolate
4. Place in pan with gellan and heat gently until warm
5. Pass into paco beaker and freeze
Basil ash meringue:
1. Place picked basil in a fan oven at 190°C until charred and set aside to cool
2. Whisk whites in a large mixing bowl until foaming
3. Slowly add the sugar until soft peaks form
4. Fold the basil ash through the meringue mix
5. Pipe into long cylinders on a baking sheet
6. Cook in a fan oven at 90°C for 1 ½ hours
Dehydrated Dill:
1. Dry in a dehydrator until crisp
2. Blend in a spice grinder to a fine powder and store in an airtight container until ready to use
White Chocolate Ganache:
1. Place cream and vanilla in saucepan and heat to infuse
2. Partially melt the chocolate over a bain marie
3. Pour cream over chocolate leave to stand for 3 minutes
4. Using a Bamix blend until smooth
5. Place in piping bags and refrigerate until needed
6. Bring back to room temperature for service
Compressed Cucumber with Gin:
1. Prepare parisienne balls of cucumber using a melon baller
2. Place in sous vide bag with dill and gin
3. Compress the cucumbers using a vacuum pump
White Chocolate Snow:
1. Place the cream, water, cocoa butter and sugar in saucepan, and bring to a boil
2. Pour onto the chocolate and mix well until melted
3. Pass mixture into Paco beakers and freeze for 12 hours, then blend one portion at a time
Fresh dill
Plating suggestion
1. Place ganache in the centre of the plate
2. Arrange the meringue lightly on top of the ganache
3. Scatter the snow liberally over the plate
4. Place a quenelle of the sorbet to the side of the plate
5. Arrange dried dill and fresh dill around the plate

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