Peach Melba by Darren Purchese

This incredible Peach Melba by Darren Purchese includes elements of vanilla, chocolate and raspberries and is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.

Recipe by: Darren Purchese


Poached Peaches:

Ice Cream:


Sugar Cage:

Chocolate Garnish:

Vanilla Sponge:

Peach Schnapps Jelly:

Peach Terrine:

Raspberry Sauce:


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  1. Preheat one oven to 170C, preheat a second oven to 180C. Turn on ice cream machine to pre-chill.
  2. For the Poached Peaches, place the peach schnapps, water, vanilla seeds and lemon juice into a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add peaches, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and place a disc of baking paper the same size as the pan on top of the peaches. Stand for 20 minutes to infuse.
  4. Once infused, remove the peaches gently with a slotted spoon and place them onto a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Place the peaches into the fridge to cool down.
  5. Strain the poaching juice through a fine sieve into a small saucepan and set aside until needed for the Peach Schnapps Jelly.
  6. For the Ice Cream, combine milk, cream, glucose, vanilla pod and seeds in a medium saucepan over low heat and bring to just under boiling point. Remove from the heat and discard vanilla pods.
  7. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until pale. Then, while whisking continuously, slowly pour in the hot cream mixture until combined. Pour mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until the mixture reaches 82C and thickens slightly.
  8. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Set over an ice bath and allow to cool completely. Transfer to the ice cream machine and churn until set, about 60 minutes.
  9. Once set, transfer to a square gastro tub and use an offset palette knife to smooth the surface. Cover with a sheet of Go Between plastic film, and set aside in the freezer until needed.
  10. For the Tuile, gently melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, being careful not to boil.
  11. Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn the machine onto low speed and add in the butter slowly to form a paste. Once all of the butter has been added, turn the machine to a medium speed and beat until pale and smooth.
  12. Sieve the flour and add this to the mixture in the stand mixer bowl then continue to beat to smooth out any lumps. Add the egg whites to the bowl and continue to mix until you have a smooth paste.
  13. Divide the tuile mixture evenly between two clean bowls.
  14. To the first bowl of tuile mix, add the raspberry powder and mix well to combine. Gradually stir in the red colouring until the desired colour is achieved, then beat well until the tuile mix is smooth and colour if fully incorporated.
  15. To the second bowl of tuile mix, gradually add the yellow colouring until the desired colour is achieved, then beat well until the tuile mix is smooth and colour if fully incorporated.
  16. To bake the Tuile, lay a silpat mat out onto a 42cm x 27cm baking tray.
  17. Spread some of the red raspberry tuile mixture onto the silpat mat. Work it backwards and forwards with a large offset palette knife to smooth out the paste into a rectangle with the approximate dimensions of 30cm (L) X 22cm (H), and 1-2 mm thickness.
  18. Position a comb scraper at the top left of the rectangular sheet of tuile. Moving from left to right, scrape stripes through the sheet of tuile mix lengthways, ensuring to keep the comb straight to achieve straight, unbroken lines.
  19. Once the first scrape is done, clean the excess from the comb. Position the comb so that it overlaps the last 3 lines of the previous scrape, and scrape left to right again to achieve a complete sheet of lines.
  20. Place the tray of tuile the blast chiller to freeze solid, about 5 – 6 minutes.
  21. Once frozen, remove from the blast chiller. Take the yellow tuile mix and spoon roughly ¾ of the mixture over the left hand side of the raspberry tuile sheet. Working quickly, use a large offset palette knife to spread the yellow tuile mix onto the frozen raspberry tuile sheet to completely cover. Smooth out the tuile mix with the palette knife to fill in all the gaps of the scraped raspberry tuile mix. Ensure the yellow tuile mix is level, neat and thin.
  22. Place the tray of tuile sheet into the oven pre-heated at 170C, and bake for 6 minutes. Remove the tuile from the oven and use a sharp knife and ruler to cut 2 - 3 strips of tuile 25cm x 3cm, ensuring the long edges of each strip are parallel with the stripes of the tuile.
  23. Place the tray of tuile sheet back into the oven to finish baking, about 3 or 4 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and use a palette knife to lift the tuile strips. While the tuile is warm, carefully shape it inside an 8cm metal ring mould to create a closed ring with the raspberry stripes facing outward. Leave the tuile to cool completely in the ring. Repeat with remaining strips.
  24. Once completely cool, carefully place tuiles, still inside metal rings, on a flat baking tray and set aside on the bench until needed for plating.
  25. For the Sugar Cage, prepare a large bowl half filled with ice water and set aside.
  26. Place the water followed by the sugar into a small saucepan. Put the pan over a medium to high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Ensure the flames of the stove do not reach around the sides of the pan, or syrup may discolour before it is cooked.
  27. Bring the syrup to a boil and then add the glucose. Brush the inside of the pan with a wet pastry brush, to prevent crystallization.
  28. Cook the syrup to 155C. Once at temperature, remove from the heat and cool down the sides of the pan by plunging the pan into iced water, ensuring no water gets in to the pan. Once slightly cooled, stand the pan on the bench while preparing the ladle.
  29. Lightly grease the outside of an 8cm diameter metal ladle.
  30. Holding the ladle in one hand and a dessertspoon in the other, dip the dessertspoon into the caramel, allowing the excess to drip back into the pan. When you have an even steady stream of caramel falling from the spoon, flick fine threads of sugar back and forth across the back of the ladle in parallel lines. Then twist the ladle and flick fine threads back and forth in parallel lines to create a diamond pattern. Run a thin thread of caramel around the lip of the ladle to create an edge.
  31. Allow the Sugar Cage to cool. When cool, lift the cage off the ladle. Repeat the process to make 2 – 3 cages. Reserve cages in an airtight container lined with baking paper, and with moisture sachets, on the bench.
  32. For the Chocolate Garnish, place the chocolate into a clean plastic tempering bowl and heat the chocolate in the microwave on high in 30 second bursts, stirring the chocolate at each interval, until around half of the chocolate has melted.
  33. Once half of the chocolate has melted, remove from the microwave and stir the chocolate vigorously until the remaining chocolate has melted. If lumps still remain, place chocolate back in to the microwave and heat for a further 5 seconds, then stir until all chocolate has melted.
  34. Lay a guitar sheet flat onto a clean chopping board.
  35. Spoon some of the chocolate onto the plastic sheet and spread it thinly with an offset palette knife. Place a second sheet of acetate onto the chocolate. Use a rolling pin to roll the chocolate out thinly, scraping away any excess chocolate which may ooze out of the edges.
  36. Take a 9cm diameter metal cutter and firmly cut through the top layer of guitar sheet to make disc impressions. Next, take a 7cm diameter cutter and cut a disc inside each 9cm ring, ensuring it is completely centered. Gently place a second chopping board on top of the guitar sheets to keep the chocolate flat. Place into the blast chiller until set firm, about 5 minutes.
  37. Once chocolate is firm, remove the top board and peel off the top layer of guitar sheet. Gently remove the excess chocolate around the edges of each impression to achieve a chocolate ring. Store the rings in a take away container, lined with baking paper, in the fridge.
  38. For the Vanilla Sponge, grease a 42cm x 27cm baking tray with canola spray. Cut a piece of baking paper to the same size as the tray and line the tray with the paper, use a scraper to smooth out the paper to the edges of the tray. Lightly spray the surface of the paper.
  39. Melt the butter gently in a saucepan over a low heat, ensuring the butter does not boil, then set aside.
  40. Sieve the icing sugar into a mixing bowl, then add the almond meal, vanilla seeds, cornflour, egg yolk and half the egg whites. Mix well to form a paste.
  41. Place the remaining egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and begin to whisk on a medium speed.
  42. Once the egg whites are starting to froth, add the caster sugar, one teaspoon at a time, then continue to whisk until all sugar is incorporated forms a white, smooth and glossy meringue.
  43. Using a silicone spatula, fold half of the meringue into the reserved almond meal paste, then fold in the melted butter followed by the remaining meringue. Fold gently until all ingredients are completely combined.
  44. Measure out 370g of the sponge mixture and spread onto the prepared baking tray with a medium sized offset palette knife, ensuring the surface is level.
  45. Place into the oven pre-heated to 180C and bake until just golden, about 10 minutes.
  46. Remove from the oven and allow the sponge to cool in the tray for a few minutes. Once cool, use a 5cm round cutter to cut discs into the sponge sheet. Set the tray aside on the bench to cool slightly. Once slightly cooled, use a small palette knife to lift the sponge discs from the tray and transfer to a paper lined round tray. Set aside on the bench until needed.
  47. For the Peach Schnapps Jelly, place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of iced water to soften. Once soft, remove the gelatine leaves from the water and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Set the softened gelatine aside in a small bowl until needed.
  48. Measure out 500g of the reserved poaching liquor and place into a saucepan. Stir in the agar ensuring it is fully dissolved.
  49. Heat the poaching liquid in the saucepan over a medium heat, stirring constantly and bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat and stir in the softened gelatine until dissolved.
  50. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a jug.
  51. Place the silicone ring mould sheet onto a large wooden board. Lightly spray the sheet with canola spray. Pour the jelly into the ring moulds, all the way to the top. Carefully, ensuring the jelly is kept level and doesn’t spill out of the mould, place the board and mould sheet into the blast chiller to set, about 10 minutes. Reserve the remaining jelly in the jug for the Peach Terrine.
  52. Once set, take the mould out of the blast chiller and set aside in the fridge until needed.
  53. For the Peach Terrine, gently peel away the skin from the peaches. Use a sharp knife to slice the peach into 1mm slices.
  54. Lightly spray a tapered aluminium dariole mould with canola spray. Line the mould with cling film ensuring the cling film is smoothed out and goes up and over the edges of the mould.
  55. Arrange the slices of peach around the edge of the mould, with each slice slightly overlapping the next and with the curved edge of each slice facing upwards. Continue to layer slices from the outside of the mould, working your way in to the centre to create a flower look. Use 1 peach half per mould, and, use a small off set spatula to neaten as much as possible.
  56. Spoon just enough jelly into the mould to cover the peaches, about 3 tablespoons. Ensure it coats each slice of peach and finds its way to the bottom of the mould.
  57. Place the peach terrine into the blast chiller until completely set, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the fridge until needed.
  58. For the Raspberry Sauce, combine the raspberries and icing sugar in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  59. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, then transfer the sauce to a squeeze bottle. Set aside on the bench until needed.
To plate
  1. Carefully remove one of the Peach Schnapps Jelly rings from the mould sheet and place into the centre of the serving plate.
  2. Squeeze a circle of Raspberry Sauce into the centre of the jelly ring, about 3cm in diameter.
  3. Place a disc of Vanilla Sponge on top of the Raspberry Sauce, in the centre of the jelly.
  4. Use a 5mm plain round piping nozzle to cut out circles in an alternating pattern around the jelly ring. Use the tip of a small knife to remove the cut pieces of jelly and discard.
  5. Carefully squeeze the Raspberry Sauce into the circular cavities in the jelly ring.
  6. Carefully turn out the Peach Terrine on to your hand, then place onto the sponge flat side down, so that the curved edge of the slices are facing upwards and resembles a flower.
  7. Carefully remove a Tuile from the ring mould. Lower the Tuile onto the jelly to surround the peach.
  8. Sit the Chocolate Garnish onto the edge of the tuile.
  9. Use a small, fine sieve to dust raspberry halves lightly in icing sugar. Place dusted raspberry halves around the edge of the jelly.
To serve
  1. Spoon a rocher of the Ice Cream on to the top of the Peach Terrine.
  2. Carefully lift the Sugar Cage from the airtight and place on top of the dessert, sitting on top of the chocolate garnish.
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