Praline Ice Cream in a Lacy Biscuit Cup with a Coffee Bean Sauce

Ingredients

For the praline powder

  • 225 g (8 oz) whole blanched almonds
  • 225 g (8 oz) granulated sugar
  • piece vanilla pod, split (or 1 tsp vanilla essence)

For the ice cream

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tbls granulated sugar
  • 150 ml (¼ pt) water
  • 300 ml (½ pt) double cream ½ tsp instant coffee
  • a dash of boiling water

For the lacy biscuits

  • 150 g (5 oz) soft margarine
  • 100 g (4 oz) granulated sugar
  • 100 g (4 oz) porridge oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

For the coffee bean sauce

  • 300 ml (½ pt) milk
  • 65 g ( oz) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly ground coffee
  • 3 egg yolks

Method

To make the praline powder, toast the almonds in a baking tin under a very hot grill until golden brown. Put the sugar in a saucepan with the vanilla and melt carefully, then pour over the toasted almonds. Leave to cool, then break into pieces, wrap in a kitchen towel and beat with a rolling pin to make powder. Store in an airtight container if making in advance.

To make the ice cream, beat the egg yolks in a food processor for 5—6 minutes. Meanwhile dissolve the sugar in the water and boil together to make a thin syrup. Pour this syrup slowly into the eggs with the food processor set at the lowest speed. Pour the mixture into a double saucepan and cook over low heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and place the pan in a basin of cold water and ice to cool. When cool add the double cream. Dissolve the instant coffee in the boiling water and add to the mixture. Add the praline powder to the mixture, reserving a little for decoration, and then pour into an ice-cream making machine. Alternatively pour into a rigid container and freeze until firm then work in a food processor until smooth. Freeze again until required.

To make the biscuit cups, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Cream the margarine and sugar together, add the porridge oats and vanilla essence, then roll into balls about the size of a golf ball. Place 4 balls — well spaced — on an oiled baking sheet, one at each corner, and place in the oven for 12—15 minutes until golden brown. Cool very slightly then remove from the tray with a slice and press gently into bowls about 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter to shape. Allow to cool and set then store in an airtight container. Repeat until the mixture is used up (makes 7—8 cups set aside the 6 best).

To make the coffee bean sauce, boil the milk with half the sugar. Remove from the heat, add the coffee, cover and leave to infuse for approximately 5—10 minutes. In a bowl, whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until light and creamy. Add the milk and coffee mixture slowly, mixing at the same time. Pour into a double saucepan and heat gently to thicken, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.

To serve, spoon the sauce over six cold plates and place a biscuit cup in the centre of each. Fill with scoops of praline ice cream then sprinkle a little praline powder over. Serve immediately.