This wonderful iced mousse is like a lighter version of ice cream, and the star anise syrup really brings out the flavour of the rhubarb
For the rhubarb mousse:
• 1/4 Swiss meringue
• 200g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 4cm lengths
• 50g caster sugar
• 100ml syrup from a jar of stem ginger
• 125g full-fat cream cheese
• 50g caster sugar
• 50ml water
• 1 star anise
• 100ml Vanilla ice cream, finishing at the end of step 3 to make custard
• 1 slice Ginger and orange cake or good-quality bought cake
• A few slivers stem ginger
• Crème fraîche sorbet
• 1 tablespoon citra leaves or baby cress
1 First, make the Swiss meringue.
2 Preheat the oven to 200°C.
3 Reserving a small piece to make twists later, place the rhubarb on a roasting tray and sprinkle over the caster sugar and 50ml of the stem-ginger syrup. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, or until just tender.
4 Reserve 12 pieces, then transfer the rest to a blender or food processor and blitz to a purée. Set aside to cool.
5 While the rhubarb cools, whisk the cream cheese and the remaining 50ml stem-ginger syrup in a food mixer, or in a bowl using an electric whisk. When it is very soft, add the rhubarb purée and mix to combine thoroughly.
6 Fold in the Swiss meringue, making sure it’s well mixed in. Line a baking tray with clingfilm, then place 4 small oval-shaped metal rings on top. Spoon the rhubarb mixture into the rings. Place in the freezer and leave to set for at least 2 hours.
7 Meanwhile, make the star-anise syrup. Place the sugar, water and the star anise in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse.
8 Spoon some vanilla custard over each serving plate. Break a little of the Ginger Cake into pieces and set these around the plate.
9 Cut the reserved pieces of rhubarb in half lengthways and place on the plate. Add the slivers of stem ginger and carefully peel the reserved rhubarb to make ribbons, then place these on the plate.
10 Carefully lift the ring off each rhubarb mousse. To help you do this cleanly, you can warm the ring very quickly with a blow torch, or dip a cloth into hot water and run it around the ring. Carefully place the mousses over the vanilla custard.
11 Spoon the star anise syrup over the cake and place a spoonful of Crème Fraîche Sorbet alongside.
12 Finish with some citra leaves or baby cress.
Recipe courtesy of James Martin, extracted from Fruit Dessert