Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Entree: Red cabbage gazpacho with mustard icecream

I'll admit that for this dish, I was definitely drawn in by the wow factor - bright purple soup, tiny pale green cubes and pale yellow ball of ice cream. Also, since it was a December lunch, a better reason for this soup I could not imagine.

It was fairly straightforward, with a few steps, but nothing complicated.

To recap, this is the entree dish from my mother's special birthday lunch.
There were six courses...

  1. Beetroot lollies (*)
  2. Red cabbage gazpacho with mustard ice cream (*)
  3. Goat cheese tarts
  4. Salmon with Bois Boudran Sauce (*), green salad
  5. Tiramisu (*)
  6. Chocolate biscuits (*), tea and coffee

Red cabbage gazpacho with mustard ice cream


  1. Make mustard ice cream
  2. Make mayonaise
  3. Prepare soup
  4. Assemble & serve

Step one: Make mustard ice cream

Yes, this would definitely be my first time making and eating a savoury ice cream. 

Assemble your ingredients. I was quite surprised that it has sugar in it, and no eggs. It also has powdered milk - this was tough to find. Heston recommends semi-skinned powdered milk, but I could only get full cream, so that's what I used. It supposed to allow you to add extra protein while managing the fat levels (which may not have been ideal since I was using full cream, but I work with what I have!

Okay, normal ice cream process, milk & cream components get heated. That lumpy stuff is the powdered milk pre whisking and heating.
 Then you chill it.
 Then in goes the huge quantity of mustard.

Based on the instructions, clearly Heston is assuming you have a refrigerated unit. Sadly, I don't. (Though it is on my wish list.)

So the ice cream goes into the ice cream maker for churning. what you might notice at this point is... it makes at least twice as much ice cream as you could possibly want. Firstly, I don't think mustard ice cream is something you sit down and eat bowls of - unlike vanilla or whatever. And you only need one scoop per person for the dish so I'd say the quantity given would feed more than 20 people. It make 2 litres or so. Double what I can fit in my ice cream maker, meaning I had to do it in batches. Grrr.
So it goes in to freeze. Except... it didn't freeze properly. It was still really sloppy and not frozen enough.

So, I resorted to my last ditch attempt... put the whole unit in the freezer.
That worked better!
Then, you take it out and blitz it with a stab blender and then re-freeze. This is supposed to break up the bigger ice crystals into smaller ones, but frankly I don't think this did anything.
Except make it slushy again.
Okay back to the freezer for about an hour, and now it's looking like normal ice cream, pre final freezing stage.

Then it comes out looking quite nice. I tried some. This blew my mind a bit - I really couldn't decide if I liked it or not. I could tell on first taste it didn't take bad, but couldn't get my head around it.  I eventually decided it was nice - quite like eating frozen home made coleslaw dressing. But definitely unusual.

Step two: Make mayonnaise

So, at it's heart, the gazpacho is mostly red cabbage juice thickened with mayonnaise. Luckily, it doesn't taste the way that reads. I've not made a lot of mayonnaisese, having had a bad experience previously. This one worked fine, and tasted good, but not amazing.

Mustard and egg yolk are whisked...
 Then drip in a little grape seed oil at a time and whisk it in. (Incidentally, I now suspect that my previous bad experience may have come from using a too strongly tasting olive oil, which just swamped all the flavour).

Okay, nice and thick looking.

 Whisk in the red wine and the red wine vinegar.

Well done, you've made pink mayonnaise! It's pretty tasty, but not too overpowering for the red wine. The photo doesn't show it well, but it was a kind of pale baby pink colour.

Step three: Prepare the soup

This step was so easy I kept feeling like I was missing something.
Take big amazing purple red cabbage.

Juice it.
Be surprised just how much juice there is in a cabbage. This was another case of Heston's quantities being out of whack - twice as much cabbage as needed to get the quantity of juice required. Maybe we just have superior cabbages here in Aus.. :)
Weight out the appropriate quantity of juice. As you can see the juice is this amazing royal purple colour. Also, having tasted some I was surprise the flavour was much lighter and not as strongly cabbage-y as I thought it would be.
Put in a piece of white bread. This is supposed to thicken the juice using the proteins in the bread.
My bread and cabbage juice, ready for straining. I have to say i could tell absolutely no difference in the thickness of the soup from the bread. So much so, I think you could skip that step entirely.

Strain your soup through muslin, squishing out all the liquid from the bread. (Two hand job and a tad messy, thus no photo.)

Whisk in your mayonnaise to taste, thereby making the most garish naturally coloured thing you may ever make. Possible reason enough in itself to make it!
This is the big jug ready for serving.

Step four: Assemble

I finely diced the cucumber, being very anal detail oriented about getting perfect equal sized tiny cubes.
Place one scoop of mustard ice cream on top of each pile of cubes. Serve these to guests, and bring in the giant jug of purple to the table. (It's epic!) Pour out some soup for each guest.


Things I learned.

  • Watch those ice cream volumes for future recipes, as they likely will need to be halved to fit in my 1L ice cream maker. I really wonder about who recipe tested this book sometimes. Flavours etc are all fine, but the quantities are all over the place, typically with way more than you need.
  • Cabbage juice is much nicer than I would have thought. 
  • The at the table theatre of the serving is definitely part of the fun.


This was nice, but not amazing. Kind of a refreshing salady-thing in flavour. It was easy to make and was very dramatic in a food theatre kind of way. I wish the flavour was equal to the presentation. (Again, flavour was nice, but I wasn't floored, the way I have been with some dishes).

Guest opinions

Guests were hard to gauge (they are my mother's friends, and all had their "being polite" hats on). Generally though, most enjoyed it. All I think were fascinated by it. I know at least one person really loved it (as she's mentioned so several times to mum since).

I did take another batch of soup (partly to use up the leftover mass of ice cream) to a BBQ. There, most who tried it weren't fans. I'm not sure whether that was just the wrong forum, the wrong crowd (they mostly just thought it was odd) or just a general dislike. It certainly lost something in translation to a casual dish!

Next time-  the star of the show : Salmon with Bois Boudran Sauce


  1. This was informative! Who would have thought that cabbage juice would not taste cabbagey - or be such a beautiful colour. Makes me wonder what else you could use that juice for. (I am thinking in the cake universe, not the gourmet one...)

    I love how you write, btw. I hear your voice when I read your blog posts.

    And I agree that perhaps this doesn't work as a casual dish. Unusual things seem to get left aside in a bbq forum, on the whole. And I say that as a bbq attendee, not a caterer.


  2. Great blog Kita. Greetings from the UK. Be really careful putting machines in the freezer though. The condensation can cause nasty and dangerous short circuits!

    I also use a lot of Heston recipes in my home restaurant. http://newriverrestaurant.blogspot.co.uk I might try the Bois sauce on the strength of your recommendation. It does sound like a strange one.

  3. Really good effort there, I've been trying my hand at recipes from both Historic Heston and the Big Fat Duck Cookbook so I feel your pain! All my efforts are at www.whatscookingblog.blogspot.co.uk, good luck with your future recipes!