- 250 g pearl barley
- 1 litre cream
- 60 g malt extract powder
- 8 free-range egg yolks
- 200 g Valrhona Blonde Dulcey (caramelised white chocolate)
- 40 g maltose or glucose syrup
- 1 1/2 gelatine leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the pearl barley on a roasting tray and toast in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Pour the cream into a large saucepan, add the toasted barley and place over a high heat. Bring the cream and barley to a boil, add the malt powder and reduce the heat to allow the mixture to gently simmer for 10 minutes, stirring continually to ensure all clusters and lumps are dissolved and that the barley does not catch on the base of the pot. After 10 minutes, strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Discard the solids.
2. Place the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl. Carefully ladle the hot malt liquid into the egg yolks while whisking. Continue until all the liquid has been added to the egg yolks. Set up a double-boiler. Allow the mixture to cook slowly in the double-boiler, stirring continually. When the egg mixture or malt custard has reached ribbon stage, strain through a fine sieve. Keep warm.
3. Place the chocolate and maltose syrup into a heatproof bowl. Pour the warm malt custard over the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture has a glossy appearance. Place the gelatine leaves in a separate bowl filled with water and allow to soften completely.
4. Pour the mixture into a blender or Thermomix, add the gelatine and blend at a high speed. Strain the mixture into a piping bag through a fine sieve. Place the piping bag in the fridge to cool completely. The mixture will take on the consistency of a thick custard when cold. Pipe the mixture evenly into 6 x 250 ml glass jars and cover tightly with lids. This crème will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks but it is normally eaten by the end of the first day.
Cook’s note: In the restaurant we serve this dessert in a small copper pan with a pavlova-style meringue and a peach-and-sherry vinegar sorbet.