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It’s often been said that Australia is the ‘lucky country’, and nowhere is this more evident than in the broad range of influences on our national cuisine.
Though defined for many decades by our connections to Europe, our proximity to Southeast Asia has had an increasingly prominent impact on the food we enjoy not only in our restaurants, but at home.
This dessert, inspired by the Itim Kati of Thailand and the Che Thai of Vietnam, captures the vibrant freshness of an Australian summer and adds the flavours of Southeast Asia, sprinkled with a few techniques from the Northern Hemisphere.
It’s a summer holiday in a glass!
Chill your coconut cream in the fridge for at least three hours before proceeding (Optional: add the pandan leaves to the coconut cream during this time to infuse their flavour and aroma). If using an ice cream maker, prepare this in advance (if not, see additional instructions below).
Add coconut cream, sugar and vanilla to a blender and blitz until well combined and aerated. Transfer to ice cream maker immediately, then to the freezer.
If not using an ice cream maker, transfer blended mix to a large container and freeze, removing every 30 minutes over the first three hours of freezing to whip and stir.
Preparing the jelly:
Soften gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water.
Bruise lemongrass well with a rolling pin or frying pan, then cut into chunks. Combine lychee juice, verjuice and lemongrass in a small saucepan and add the softened gelatine leaves (discarding the water). Heat gently while stirring until the gelatine dissolves, then pour through a sieve into a shallow dish lined with plastic wrap.
Transfer to fridge to set for at least two hours.
Preparing the black sesame wafer:
Preheat oven to 180C.
Dust icing sugar through a sieve onto a silpat sheet or baking paper-lined biscuit tray. You should create four seperate mounds piled 5-8mm high. Bake for twenty minutes, or until icing sugar begins to melt.
Sprinkle black sesame seeds liberally over the melting sugar, and return to the oven for another 20 minutes (or until sugar has completely melted).
Building the dessert:
Remove the cheeks from the mangoes and cut into cubes. Spoon into the bottom of four individual glasses.
Carefully remove the jelly from the dish and peel away the plastic wrap. Cut into cubes and layer over the mango.
Add a scoop of coconut cream ice cream to each glass, top with a black sesame wafer, and serve.
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