Because it blurs the boundaries between sweet and savoury, this is one of those recipes that could be presented as a starter, a main course or a dessert. But whenever you choose to serve it, make sure you include all three elements – it's the combination that makes it so good.
For the tomato and strawberry jam
- 1.5 kg tomatoes, blanched, skinned, deseeded (seeds reserved) and diced
- 330 g strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 60 g golden caster sugar
- 10 ml balsamic vinegar
- 10 ml sherry vinegar
- 6 mint leaves
For the cheese wafers
- 300 g parmesan cheese, finely grated
For the cheese on toast ice-cream
- 6 slices white bread, toasted
- 90 g unsalted butter, finely sliced
- 250 g cheddar cheese, sliced
- 1 litre full-cream milk
- 30 g skimmed milk powder
- 8 egg yolks
- 120 g white caster sugar
- 400 g dry ice
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.
To make the jam, squeeze the tomato seeds through muslin to extract the juices. Place these juices in a pan over a medium heat. Add the diced tomato, half the strawberries and the sugar. Simmer until reduced to a jam-like consistency (approximately 500 g in weight). This will take approximately 25 minutes.
Add the remaining strawberries and both vinegars to the pan and simmer briefly to soften the strawberries. Remove the pan from the heat and cool at room temperature before placing in the fridge.
To make the cheese wafers, preheat the grill to high. Place the grated parmesan in a saucepan over a high heat and cook until the cheese begins to split.
Remove the cheese from the pan and place on a flat baking tray lined with a sheet of baking paper. Place another sheet of baking paper on top and roll to a thickness of 1 mm. Remove the top layer of baking paper and use a sharp knife to cut triangles out of the rolled cheese.
Place the baking tray under the grill for approximately 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the tray and allow the wafers to cool.
To start the ice-cream, preheat the grill. Place the slices of toast on a baking tray and divide the slices of butter between them, then cover with the cheese slices. Place under the grill until the cheese begins to melt and colour. Remove the tray and allow to cool.
In the meantime, place the milk and milk powder in a pan over a medium heat. Bring the mixture to 52ºC.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until light and creamy. Once the milk has reached temperature, add a little to the egg mixture in order to temper it, then add the egg mixture to the milk and cook, while stirrin,g until the temperature reaches 70ºC. Hold at this temperature for 10 minutes then immediately cool the pan in a bowl or basin of iced water.
Put the slices of cheese on toast into the ice-cream base and, using a hand blender, blitz the mixture until fully incorporated. Pass through a fine sieve and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, chop the mint leaves and stir into the tomato and strawberry jam.
Place the ice-cream base in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer going, add bashed-up dry ice until ice-cream forms. This should take approximately 1 minute.
Place a little jam in the bottom of 6 glass bowls, spoon some of the ice-cream on top and finish by adding more jam on top.