There is quite a lot of effort involved in creating this dessert, but I promise you that the finished result is worth it! Your guests will be delighted and you can enjoy many compliments – as well as a superb finale to your meal!
Standing time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Freezing time: 2 hours
Level of difficulty: Medium
Special equipment: 29 cm x 15 cm (2.5 cm high) rectangle frame; ice-cream machine
Planning ahead: Make the sorbet and ice-cream 1 day in advance and store in the freezer.
For the meringue
200 g eggwhites (from about 6 eggs)
2 ml lemon juice
200 g caster sugar
150 g icing sugar, sifted
For the ice-cream
400 ml milk
400 ml double cream
30 g vanilla syrup or 2 vanilla beans, split lengthways
8 (200g) egg yolks
140 g caster sugar
For the coulis
500 g fresh or frozen blackcurrants, defrosted, plus extra to garnish
100 g white sugar, to taste
For the sorbet
1 kg fresh or frozen blackcurrants, defrosted
200 g caster sugar
dash of lemon juice
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. To make meringue, preheat oven to 110°C. Using an electric mixer on high, whisk eggwhites and lemon juice for 1 min, until soft peaks form. Slowly add caster sugar. Beat on high for 3 minutes, until peaks are shiny, smooth and stiff. Using a spatula, gradually fold in batches of icing sugar for 2 minutes.
2. Pipe five strips (30 cm x 7 cm) of meringue together along length of a baking tray. Repeat to make four bands of meringue. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn off oven and leave meringue to dry out for 1 hour 20 minutes. Cut into 32 x 3.5 cm pieces.
3. To make ice-cream, place rectangle mould on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and chill in freezer. Warm milk, cream and vanilla syrup in a saucepan on low heat, taking care not to boil. In a large mixing bowl, beat together egg yolks and sugar until a pale straw colour. Pour milk mixture onto egg mixture, whisking constantly, then return mixture to saucepan on medium heat. Stir to bind custard, until it coats back of a wooden spoon. Strain immediately into a large serving bowl. Stand for 1 hour, until cool. Churn custard in an ice-cream machine for 45 minutes, or according to manufacturer’s instructions. Pour churned ice-cream into prepared mould and freeze for 2 hours, until frozen solid.
4. To build vacherin, run a hot knife around ice-cream frame and remove. Slice ice-cream into 3.5cm x 7cm pieces and place on a tray. Place a piece of meringue on either side of each piece of ice-cream and refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. To make coulis, process blackcurrants and sugar, until combined. Pass through a fine sieve to remove any pips. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
6. To make sorbet, process blackcurrants, sugar and lemon juice, until combined. Pass through a fine sieve to remove any pips. Pour into ice-cream machine and churn for 20-30 minutes, according to manufacturer’s instructions, until frozen. Freeze until ready to serve.
7. To serve, spoon 1 large tbsp of coulis onto middle of each serving plate. Place built vacherin on top and finish with a spoon of sorbet. Repeat for remaining vacherins and garnish with a few blackcurrants.
SBS cook’s notes
This recipe has been reproduced with minor SBS recipe style changes. | Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20°C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55–60 g, unless specified.