Rhubarb & Custard Dessert with Strawberry & Champagne Soup

Desserts Food
Ross Leggitt, head chef at The Peppered Pig, Turnbridge
1-2 Servings
Ingredients
FOR THE POACHED VANILLA RHUBARB
3 sticks of rhubarb, peeled
300g sugar
300ml water
2 vanilla pods, sliced in half
FOR THE CRÈME PATISSERIE
4 egg yolks, medium free-range
65g caster sugar
15g plain flour
15g cornflour
350ml whole milk
2 vanilla pods, sliced in half
FOR THE STRAWBERRY & CHAMPAGNE SOUP
150ml stock syrup
150ml Champagne
100g strawberries, tops trimmed
Method
  1. FOR THE POACHED VANILLA RHUBARB
  2. Mix sugar and water in hard-bottom pan. Scrape vanilla pod seeds and put both pod and seeds into the syrup and heat to boiling or until all sugar crystals have dissolved and reduced by half. Cool for 5-10 minutes
  3. Place rhubarb into a deep tray, pour the syrup over and cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the rhubarb to soften and absorb the syrup
  4. Remove the rhubarb from the syrup and carefully slice to fit a mould (a ring you use to make the shape. Keep on until everything is cooled). Place sliced rhubarb around the mould without leaving any gaps. Place in the fridge to allow the rhubarb to chill and take shape of the mould
  5. FOR THE CRÈME PATISSERIE
  6. Whisk eggs and sugar until they turn pale blonde. Whisk in flour and cornflour and set aside. Place milk and vanilla pods in a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool for 30 seconds
  7. Slowly pour half of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking all the time, then add mixture to the remaining milk in the pan off the heat. Pour slowly to prevent eggs from scrambling. Bring mixture back to the boil and simmer for 1 minute, whisking continuously, or until smooth and thick. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and add a light dusting of icing sugar to prevent a skin forming
  8. Place the mix into a piping bag carefully cutting the tip. Pipe into the centre of the rhubarb mould carefully making sure it’s level. Return mould to the fridge, allowing the crème patissiere to set completely
  9. FOR THE STRAWBERRY & CHAMPAGNE SOUP
  10. In a thick bottomed pan, place syrup and Champagne. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes
  11. Add the strawberries and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. In a food processor, blitz mixture until smooth. Sieve to remove seeds
  12. TO ASSEMBLE
  13. Ease the dessert out of the mould into the bowl and pour the strawberry and Champagne around it. Serve cold