The Green Team's Apple Sponge and Cinnamon Ice Cream is a match made in heaven, topped with a crisp Walnut Praline.
Preheat oven to 160C. Pre-chill ice cream machine. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
For the Cinnamon Ice Cream, place the cream, milk, cinnamon quills, ground cinnamon, vanilla pods and vanilla seeds into a medium saucepan and bring to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat. Allow to infuse for 10 minutes then remove and discard the vanilla pods and cinnamon quills.
Meanwhile, place the caster sugar, eggs and egg yolks into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until pale and fluffy. While whisking, gradually add the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until well combined.
Return the mixture back to the saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir continuously with a silicone spatula until mixture thickens and reaches 84C.
Remove from the heat and strain the mixture through fine sieve into a bowl and place over the ice bath. Stir regularly to cool.
Once cold, transfer the mixture to the canister of the ice cream machine. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions then place into the freezer until required.
For the Apple Sponge, place the apples, sugar and butter into a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until the liquid has evaporated from the apples and apples start to caramelise, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Place the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk to soft peaks then slowly add the icing sugar and whisk until smooth and glossy.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add the almond meal and fold through gently until incorporated.
Add the cooled diced apples and fold gently through. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag.
Pipe the mixture into eight 8cm x 3cm silicone rectangular moulds and level surface with an offset spatula.
Place the mould onto a tray and bake until lightly golden and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Unmould sponges onto a lined baking tray and set aside.
For the Poached Apples, cut each apple into 8 wedges. Cut out and discard the core.
Place the apple cider into a large frypan over low heat. Add the apples and sprinkle over the sugar. Simmer the apples until tender but still holding their shape, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon to remove the apples and set aside.
For the Apple Cider Sauce, pass the apple poaching liquid through a fine sieve into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced to a thin syrup, about 20 minutes. Add sugar to taste, if required. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Set aside.
For the Walnut Praline, place the sugar into a saucepan over low heat. Allow sugar to melt, swirling the pan, occasionally until an amber caramel forms.
Remove from the heat and stir in the walnuts. Pour onto the lined tray and set aside to cool and harden.
Break into shards and transfer to a food processor and pulse to a crumb. Set aside.
For the Julienne Apple, place lemon juice into a medium bowl of water and set aside.
Peel apple and using a mandolin with a julienne attachment, cut apples thinly into matchsticks and place into the lemon water.
Drain well and place onto paper towel before serving.
To serve, place a portion of Apple Sponge onto each plate. Top with a generous pinch of Walnut Praline. Add Poached Apples, julienne apples and garnish with micro herbs. Drizzle the Apple Cider Sauce around the plate in a circular motion and add a quenelle of Cinnamon Ice Cream.