Poached rhubarb with strawberry jelly

Puddings and cakes

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time:
  • Cooking time:
The Mansion at Castle Ward © National Trust, Caste Ward

The Mansion at Castle Ward


For the sugar syrup

  • 200ml/7fl oz water
  • 350g/12½ oz sugar
  • 150ml/5fl oz mead
  • 2 vanilla pods

For the poached rhubarb

  • 4 rhubarb stalks, trimmed, thinly sliced lengthways

For the strawberry jelly

  • 800g/1lb 12 oz ripe strawberries, chopped
  • 50g/1¾ oz caster sugar
  • 3 vanilla pods, seeds removed
  • 6 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water, drained

For the lavender ice cream

  • 350ml/12½fl oz whole milk
  • 600ml/1 pint 1fl oz double cream
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh lavender
  • 4 free-range egg yolks
  • 150g/5¼ oz caster sugar 

For the tuile

  • 300g/10½ oz caster sugar
  • 20g/¾ oz glucose

For the yellow man (honeycomb)

  • 165g/5¾ oz caster sugar
  • 60g/2¼ oz glucose
  • 60g/2¼ oz runny honey
  • 40ml/1½fl oz water
  • 20g/¾ oz bicarbonate of soda


Equipment and preparation: For this recipe, you will need a vacuum-pack machine and a temperature-controlled water bath.

For the sugar syrup:

For the sugar syrup, heat all of the sugar syrup ingredients in a saucepan, stirring regularly, until the sugar has melted. Remove the vanilla pods and the syrup set aside.

For the poached rhubarb:

  1. For the poached rhubarb, place the rhubarb into a vacuum pack bag with 175ml/6¼fl oz of sugar syrup and seal with the vacuum pack machine. Place the sealed bag into a water bath set at 80C/176F for eight minutes.
  2. Remove from the water bath and set aside to cool. Remove the rhubarb and reserve the syrup. Cut the rhubarb into 0.5cm/¼in dice.
  3. Line the bottom of four chefs’ moulds with the rhubarb and leave to chill in the fridge.

For the strawberry jelly:

  1. For the strawberry jelly, mix the strawberries, sugar, vanilla seeds and 150ml/5½fl oz of sugar syrup in a bowl until well combined. Cover with cling film, set over a pot of simmering water and steam for 45 minutes.
  2. Strain the strawberry mixture through a sieve. Measure 500ml/18fl oz of the liquid and stir in the gelatine leaves until dissolved. Strain the mixture through a sieve and pour into the moulds. Chill in the fridge for eight hours, or overnight.

For the lavendar ice cream:

  1. For the lavender ice cream, heat the milk, cream and lavender in a pan until simmering. Remove from the heat and set aside for 20 minutes.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and thick. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the eggs and return the mixture to the pan. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Do not let the mixture boil.)
  3. Sieve the mixture into a clean bowl and set the bowl over another bowl filled with ice. Set aside to cool, then churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container and store in the freezer.

For the tuile:

  1. For the tuile, preheat the oven to 240C/475F/Gas 9.
  2. Heat the sugar and glucose over a gentle heat until the mixture becomes caramel. Pour the mixture onto a silicone baking mat and set aside to cool.
  3. When cooled, blend the mixture to a fine powder in a food processor.
  4. Place a rectangle-shaped biscuit cutter onto a baking tray, sieve the powder into the cutter and repeat three more times to make four rectangles. Bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and carefully shape into cylinders by wrapping the biscuits around a lightly-oiled plastic rolling pin. Set aside to cool and transfer to an airtight container.

For the yellow man:

  1. For the yellow man, line a baking tray with silicone baking paper.
  2. Heat the sugar, glucose, honey and water in a saucepan stirring continuously, over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reached 170C/338F (use a sugar thermometer to check this). Carefully whisk in the bicarbonate of soda. (NB: the mixture will increase in volume; do not leave the pan unattended.)
  3. Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and set aside to harden. Once hardened, break the honeycomb into small pieces.

To serve:

Place the rhubarb and strawberry jellies onto each of four serving plates and place a tuile alongside each. Roll four scoops of lavender ice cream in the honeycomb pieces and place a scoop onto each plate. Drizzle over the reserve rhubarb syrup.