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Gingerbread and lemon thyme

SERVES 6-8

Ingredients

Gingerbread and wafers
400g unsalted butter
300g caster sugar
3 eggs
450g full fat milk
450g maple syrup
3 tsp baking soda
840g plain flour
8 tsp ground ginger
8 tsp ground cinnamon
Gingerbread parfait
8g gelatine leaves
200g gingerbread (see above)
200g whipping cream
80g egg yolks
50g caster sugar
40g water
60g egg whites
300g whipping cream
Lemon thyme sorbet
250g lemon juice
12g lemon thyme
150g sugar
35g glucose
300g mineral water
400g water
80g egg yolks
Crystallised ginger
100g ginger
120g caster sugar

Method

In a dough mixer fitted with a whisk attachment cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs, milk and syrup. Mix well. Fold in the baking soda, flour, ginger and cinnamon by hand. Divide the mixture between two loaf tins lined with baking parchment. Cook in an oven preheated to 170°C for 30 minutes. Leave to cool completely, then remove from the tins and chill in the fridge for 12 hours. Very finely slice one of the gingerbread loaves into 1.5mm thick wafers. Arrange the wafers on a baking tray lined with baking paper and then place another tray on top to flatten. Set the other loaf aside and use to make the parfait. Bake in a 180°C oven for 7-10 minutes until crisp and dry.

Soak the gelatine leaves in iced water for 5 minutes until soft. Remove and squeeze to get rid of the excess water. Blitz the gingerbread to fine crumbs in a food processor. Put the gingerbread crumbs in a saucepan with 200g whipping cream and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender to make a smooth puree. Whisk the egg yolks in a kitchen stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until pale and thick. At the same time, put the sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat until the mixture reaches 121°C on sugar thermometer (soft ball stage). Leave to cool slightly. Reduce the speed on the mixer to the lowest setting and carefully add the liquid sugar. Increase the speed to medium and continue to whisk until the base of the mixing bowl has cooled. Transfer to a new bowl. Clean and dry the bowl of the kitchen stand mixer. Add the egg whites and whip on full power until light and fluffy. Meanwhile whisk the remaining cream until it is half whipped (ribbon stage). Carefully add the whipped egg yolks to the gingerbread puree, followed by the egg whites, then slowly fold in the cream, being careful not to over over-whisk as this will knock the air out. Pour into 2 loaf tins lined with cling film and freeze for 12 hours. Remove the parfait from the tin and cut into 5mm slices. Arrange on a tray and return to the freezer.

Put the lemon juice, lemon thyme, 100g sugar, the glucose and water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Whisk the eggs and 50g water together in a bowl suspended over a saucepan of barely simmering water. At the same time, put the sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat until the mixture reaches 121°C on a sugar thermometer (soft ball stage).  Leave to cool slightly. Once the eggs are light and fluffy, gradually pour in the liquid sugar. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk until cool. Gently fold in the lemon syrup you made earlier and transfer to a Paco Jet container. Freeze for 12 hours. Just before serving, churn the sorbet using a Paco Jet machine, then return to the freezer.

Peel the ginger and cut in to 3mm thick batons. Put in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Drain and repeat this process three more times using. Cut the ginger into dice and put in a saucepan with the sugar. Heat until sugar melts and reaches 120C. Remove the ginger pieces with a fork and transfer to a tray lined with baking parchment. Leave to dry out at room temperature for six hours.

To serve
Layer the gingerbread slices and parfait pieces together, starting with the gingerbread, so that you use four gingerbread slices and three slices of parfait per portion. Decorate with the crystallized ginger. Add a scoop of sorbet to each plate and garnish with lemon thyme leaves and a little more crystallized ginger.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND PROP STYLING: SUKAINA RAJABALI
WORDS, RECIPES AND FOOD STYLING: SARAH PRICE

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