Rhubarb Restaurant, 167 Burton Road, West Didsbury. 0161 448 8887, www.rhubarbrestaurant.co.uk
Rhubarb is situated in the foodie haven of Burton Road and is the only restaurant in West Didsbury included in the Michelin Guide. It is open for dinner seven nights a week and offers lunch from 1pm on Sunday.
- 300g/11oz fresh rhubarb (from Thyme Out Community Garden)
- 50g/approx 1½oz caster sugar
- 5 tbsp water
- 2 vanilla pods
- 500ml/approx 1 pint oat cream
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp agar flakes
- 80g/3oz sugar
Preheat the oven to 140°C/275°F/gas mark 1.
Slice the rhubarb and place it in a pan with the caster sugar and 5 tbsp of water. Simmer until soft and then divide between 6 small ramekins. Stand the ramekins in a large roasting tin or deep metal tray.
Using a small knife cut the vanilla pods open lengthwise and run the back of a teaspoon along them to remove the seeds. Put the seeds into a pan with the pods, cream, cornflour and agar and slowly bring to the boil, whisking until the agar appears to be dissolved.
When the cream is just boiling, carefully remove the vanilla pods. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture through a very fine sieve. Leave it to rest for a few minutes so most of the air bubbles disperse.
Pour the mixture into the ramekins and fill the roasting tray with cold water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cook for 30–40 minutes in the middle of the oven, checking after 25 minutes and at regular intervals thereafter. They should be set but still a bit wobbly in the middle.
Carefully remove from the tray of water and allow to cool. They can be put in the fridge at this stage until you are ready to caramelise them. Do not be tempted to caramelise them and then put in the fridge as the caramel will become soft.
When you are ready to serve, sprinkle with sugar and caramelise with a blowtorch or under a very hot grill.
© Amanda Woodvine for Didsbury Dinners, 2o11. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the copyright owner.
Food photography: © Chava Eichner