Ainsley Harriott's Caramel Plum Sundae with Pink Peppercorn Nut Brittle

The perfect dessert for autumn and winter, this plum sundae has a touch of spiced festive magic making it the perfect addition to your Christmas meal.

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Introduction

This is a rather grown-up and indulgent sundae! Soft, sweet plums go perfectly with the caramel flavours and everything is lifted by a hint of spice. The brittle adds a lovely crunchy texture. You can store any brittle left over in an airtight container – it’s great served with ice cream, or just to snack on!

Serves 4

Ingredients

75g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
zest and juice of 1orange
1 vanilla pod
500g plums, quartered and stoned
350ml double cream
1 x 400g tin dulce de leche or caramel condensed milk
15g pistachios, chopped, to decorate
For the Pink Peppercorn Nut Brittle:
15g white sesame seeds
75g pecans, roughly chopped
200g caster sugar
75g pistachios, sliced or chopped
1 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed

Essential kit

You will need: a food processor.

Instructions

Melt the butter and caster sugar in a large saucepan set over a medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved, then add the cinnamon stick, star anise, orange zest and juice. Split the vanilla pod, scrape it with a knife to release the seeds and add the pod and seeds to the pan. Stir to combine, then add the plums, reduce the heat and simmer until the plums break down into a purée, about 10–12 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick, star anise and vanilla pod, then transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Pass the plum pur.e through a fine sieve into a bowl and leave to cool.

To make the brittle, toast the sesame seeds in a dry non-stick frying pan over a low heat, until golden, then set aside. Toast the pecans in the same way and set aside. Place the sugar into the same pan and cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and formed a light golden caramel. Take the pan off the heat and quickly stir in the sesame seeds, pecans, pistachios and pink peppercorns, ensuring they are well coated. Turn the mixture out onto a heatproof mat, spread evenly and leave to set.

In a large bowl, lightly whisk the double cream to soft peaks, then add the dulce de leche and gently whisk together until firm. Spoon 2–3 tablespoons of the plum pur.e into the caramel cream and ripple through. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill.

Divide the remaining plum pur.e equally among tall sundae glasses and spoon the chilled caramel plum cream on top.

Break up the nutty brittle into small shards and place them on top of the sundaes. To finish, grate some of the brittle over the sundaes and add a sprinkling of chopped pistachios for extra crunch.

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