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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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
Garnish;
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

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you