A dream to eat, and a doddle to make.
Ever since my first pavlova, I’ve been utterly sold on the combination – smooth, chewy, sour-sweet and fragrant – of cream, meringue and passionfruit. And to turn these ingredients into a coolly elegant ice-cream cake, you need do nothing more than stir them all together and leave to set in the freezer overnight: a no- cook, no-churn, no-stress affair.
Cake cuts into 8 slices/ Sauce makes approx 200ml
- For the ice-cream cake:
- Double cream – 300ml
- Passionfruit – 4
- Cointreau, Grand Marnieror Triple Sec – 4 teaspoons
- Meringue nests – 1 x packet of 8 (approx. 100g total weight)
- For the sauce:
- Unsalted butter – 50g
- Soft light brown sugar – 50g
- Caster sugar – 50g
- Golden syrup – 3 x 15ml tablespoons
- Coconut cream (not creamed coconut) – 250ml
- 1 x 1lb (450g) loaf tin, approx. 18x12x7cm
- Line your loaf tin with cling film, leaving plenty of overhang on the sides of the tin so that you can cover the top later.
- Whip the double cream until ripples start to appear in the bowl and it’s slightly thickened but not stiff.
- Add the pulp, seeds and juice of the passionfruit, then the Cointreau (or other liqueur) and fold briefly just to combine. Go gently.
- Using your hands, break up the meringue nests, making a mixture of both dust and small pieces of meringue, and very gently fold in, until evenly mixed; along with the alcohol, it’s the fine dispersal of meringue that keeps the ice cream smooth as it freezes.
- Spoon gently into the lined loaf tin, pressing down as you go so that you don’t have any gaps or air pockets. Once the mixture is carefully packed in and the top smoothed, cover with the cling lm overhang, then wrap the tin in another sheet of cling film before putting into the freezer overnight.
- The sauce is to be served cold, so you can get on with it now; I find it makes life very much easier if you can make everything ahead. Gently melt the butter, sugars and golden syrup in a deep, heavy- based saucepan of about 20cm diameter and, once melted, turn the heat up a little and let it simmer – bubbling up a bit – for 3 minutes. Lift the pan up off the heat every now and again and give it a swirl.
- With the pan off the hob momentarily, add the coconut cream and swirl again, then put back on the heat and cook at a fast simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until it’s the colour of peanut butter and slightly thickened (it will get properly thick once it’s cooled). It does bubble and spurt a little as it cooks, rather like those municipal water features – the dancing fountains – that children love running through.
- Pour it into a heatproof jug and leave to cool to room temperature. The sauce will thicken too much if refrigerated, so if it has been in the fridge, remember to take it out in time for it to lose its chill.
- When you are ready to serve the ice-cream cake, take the tin out of the deep-freeze, remove the outer layer of cling film then lift out the ice-cream cake and sit it on a board before fully unwrapping. Cut into thick slices; if you don’t want to eat all the cake at one sitting, wrap the remaining unsliced loaf up well and put it back in the freezer.
- Put a slice onto each plate and then leave to soften a little, for 5–10 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
- Zigzag some of the coconut-caramel sauce over each slice – stirring it briskly first if it’s got too thick – and pour the rest into a serving jug to take to the table alongside.