• Recipes by Annabel Hughes & SavannaBel – savannabel.com

    Muchingachinga mess with lavender flowers

    Serves: Serves 12 (with leftovers to spare for later)
    Cooking Time: 2 hrs + 4 hrs, to freeze



    • muchingachinga juice from cooked fruit (muchingachinga/cranberries/pomegranate rubies/wild sour plums) – see method
    • castor sugar (equal cupful measure to juice, dependent on fruit used)

    • 450ml thick/double thick cream
    • 150ml full cream milk
    • 6 egg yolks (whites reserved for the meringue)
    • 65g castor sugar
    • 300g (1 cup) muchingachinga syrup (from above)

    • coconut oil, to grease
    • 6 egg whites (at room temperature)
    • pinch salt
    • 350g castor sugar
    • 2,5ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract
    • violas and lavender flowers, to garnish



    For the syrup, cover the washed muchingachinga fruit/cranberries/pomegranate rubies/wild sour plums with water in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until the fruit starts to fall apart. Remove from heat, cool slightly and transfer the cooked fruit, in batches, to a sieve placed over a bowl. Using the back of a spoon, massage the cooked fruit, extracting as much of the juice as possible. Discard the pulp and return the juice to the saucepan as soon as you are left with 1 cupful.


    Add a cup-for-cup measure castor sugar-to-juice (dependent on the fruit used) and bring to a boil, stirring regularly to dissolve the sugar. Once boiling, turn down the heat and simmer the mixture until it reduces by ½, about 90 minutes (the time will depend on the quantity of the juice). Set aside to cool completely.


    For the ice cream, place an ice cream container and a metal bowl in the freezer. Pour the thick/double thick cream and milk into a heavy-based saucepan, and place over medium heat. Gently bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat. Set aside.


    While the cream mixture is heating up, beat the egg yolks and 65g castor sugar together in a large metal bowl until the mixture turns thick and pale. Slowly pour the hot cream mixture over the egg yolk mixture, whisking as you do so.


    Over medium heat, place the egg-cream mixture in the metal bowl fitted over a saucepan with about 10cm boiling water in it. It’s important that the base of the bowl does not touch the boiling water below it.


    Gently stir the custard in a figure of 8, moving all around the bowl, until it thickens, about 6 – 8 minutes. The custard should be thick enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, pour into the pre-chilled metal bowl and return to the freezer, a few minutes. Do not leave the custard in the saucepan, as the heat of the pan will continue to cook it.


    When the custard is cool, whisk in the muchingachinga syrup, ensuring it is combined thoroughly. Place the mixture in the fridge to chill, about 1 hour, before churning in an ice-cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze to firm up, about 4 hours. If you do not have an ice-cream maker, place the mixture in a freezer-proof bowl and freeze, about 2 – 3 hours. Just before frozen (it will be thick, but almost liquid), beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Return to the freezer until completely frozen and ready to serve.


    For the meringue, while the ice cream is freezing, preheat the oven to 150˚C. Line a large baking tray and lightly grease with coconut oil. Place the egg whites in a scrupulously clean metal bowl with a pinch salt. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites slowly at first, in order to break them down. Once they start to froth a little, increase your speed and beat until stiff peaks form.


    Add the 350g castor sugar, a heaped dessert spoonful at a time, beating after each addition. When finished, add the vanilla extract and beat one last time.


    Spoon the meringue in single dollops into the baking tray (don’t worry about what they look like individually, because they will be broken up). Place the tray in the centre of the oven, immediately lower the temperature to 120˚C and bake, 45 minutes. Switch off the oven and leave the meringues inside the oven to cool down completely. (There will be some meringue left over that can be stored in an airtight container to keep for 3 weeks if kept dry.)


    When ready to serve, break 1 – 2 meringues per serving into bite-sized pieces and place in individual serving glasses (it will depend on the size of the glass). Place a dollop whipped cream atop the meringue and drizzle with any leftover muchingachinga syrup. Top it off with a ball muchingachinga ice cream. Decorate each dessert with a viola and a sprinkling lavender flowers. Serve immediately.


    You will need to prepare all of the components of this dessert in advance and assemble it on the day. Substitute the muchingachinga with any sour red fruit like frozen cranberries, pomegranate rubies, or wild sour plums. COOK’S TIP Use an equal measure (cup-for-cup) juice to castor sugar. As a reference, a large stockpot holds 7kg muchingachinga fruit, and from this, 3 x 750ml bottles of juice are rendered. For 1 cup juice from the fruit cooked, use 1 cup castor sugar. What is important is that the ice cream calls for 1 cup muchingachinga syrup, in the end.

    More delicious recipes from Elephant Café:

    Mbwiila hummus with “bush” dukkah

    Thai-inspired tilapia ceviche with sesame-infused avocado, grapefruit and roasted peanuts

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com