Valentine's recipe: Floral ice bowl and heartfelt sorbet

By Grant Allen

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A floral ice bowl is a bit over the top but perfectly pretty for a special occasion. Photo / Janna Dixon
A floral ice bowl is a bit over the top but perfectly pretty for a special occasion. Photo / Janna Dixon

Sometimes you need to go over the top. Valentine's Day is upon us and this romantic presentation could be just the ticket to impress. If you don't want to go this far, just freeze some ice cubes set with rose petals. They would make a nice touch in your loved one's drink on the 14th.

The original recipe for this dish was for a sorbet made with highly scented rose petals and rose wine. I didn't have either so did this instead. It's a bit more robust but it works. Just remember you need to start this dish the day before you want it.

The ice bowl

1 Find 2 bowls that, when you sit one inside the other, there is at least a 2cm space. Make sure you have room in your freezer to sit the bowls flat.

2 Pick over some petals or small flowers.

3 Sit some ice cubes on the bottom of the larger bowl and sit the smaller bowl on top. Put in the freezer and chill the bowls.

4 Chill a jug of water.

5 When all are as cold as possible, place some flowers and petals between the bowls and gently pour the iced water into the gap to about half way. Return to the freezer. When the water has frozen solid, repeat the process to take the water level to the top of the bowls, adding in more flowers. Freeze overnight.

The sorbet

1 Melt 150g of caster sugar in 400ml of boiling water. Add the juice of a lemon. Blend in 150ml of a soft red wine and rose water. Be careful with the rose water, it can be overpowering and while you want a floral essence you are not making perfume. Start by adding a teaspoon and add more to your taste. Cool this down and then pour into a tray that will fit in your freezer.

2 Leave it until it is almost frozen then slush it up with a fork. Repeat this at least twice so the ice has all broken to small crystals.

To serve

1 Take the ice bowl out of the freezer, sit it in a sink full of warm water to just warm the outer layer.

2 After a minute, turn the bowls upside down on to a plate. The ice bowl should drop free and the inner bowl should come away. If this doesn't happen straight away just wait a little and they will free themselves as the bowls warm to room temperature.

3 Sit your flower bowl on a large plate, surround it with flowers and petal ice cubes, scoop the sorbet into balls and pile them into the ice bowl.

This would be lovely served with poached white peaches. Happy Valentine's Day!

- Herald on Sunday

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