June’s recipe: James Graham’s Blood Orange Delice with Beetroot Sorbet and Chocolate Powder

James Graham, Head Chef at Bibury Court’s innovative Origin restaurant, has kindly shared his mouthwatering Delice recipe with us. There are plenty of elements to this dish, we can’t wait to try it for ourselves!

Blood Orange Delice with Beetroot Sorbet and Chocolate Powder

“Beetroot and blood orange are in season at the same time; the subtle citrus bitterness of the orange balances beautifully with the earthy sweetness of the beetroot”

Serves 8

For the Beetroot Sorbet
500g beetroot juice
180g caster sugar
1 tbsp glucose syrup

For the Joconde Sponge
3 egg whites
15g caster sugar
2 large eggs
100g ground almonds, sifted
100g icing sugar, sifted
25g plain flour
20g butter, melted

For the Italian Meringue
45g caster sugar
1 egg white

For the Blood Orange Mousse
5g gelatine leaves
250g blood orange purée, warmed
150g double cream, whipped

For the Blood Orange Jelly
2g gelatine leaves
125ml blood orange juice

For the Chocolate Powder
80g caster sugar
100ml still mineral water
40g dark chocolate (53% cocoa solids), melted

To Serve
1 blood orange, segmented
Crystallised orange peel (optional)


For the beetroot sorbet, place all the ingredients in a saucepan together with 320ml of water. Bring to the boil, then leave to cool and freeze in an ice-cream machine (according to the manufacturer’s instructions).

For the joconde sponge, preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade / Gas 6 and line a 23 x 18 x 4cm baking tray with greaseproof paper. Put the egg whites and caster sugar in a bowl and whisk until fluffy. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, almonds and icing sugar until the mixture has reached ribbon stage. Sift in the flour and fold in gently. Pour the melted butter into the mix and then fold in the beaten egg whites. Spread out on the tray in a 3mm-think layer and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cooked evenly. Allow to cool.

To make the Italian meringue, pour 1tbsp of water and the sugar in a small saucepan and heat gently to a temperature of 118 degrees centigrade. Whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer to soft peaks and then add the sugar syrup, continuing to whisk. Leave the mixer on a medium speed and continue to whisk until the meringue has cooled.

For the blood orange mousse, soak the gelatine in cold water for about 5 minutes to soften and then squeeze to drain. Add to the purée and mix. Fold in the Italian meringue and then the cream.

To start assembling the blood orange delice, use a metal frame measuring 10cm x 10cm to cut out a square of the sponge (there will be more than you need, use the rest for a roulade). Then pour the mousse over the sponge, leaving 1mm space at the top in the frame. Allow to set in the fridge while you make the jelly.

To make the blood orange jelly, soak the gelatine in cold water for about 5 minutes to soften and then squeeze to drain. Warm the juice and add the gelatine. Leave to cool to room temperature. Take the delice from the fridge and top with a shallow layer of jelly. Return to the fridge to set.

To make the chocolate powder, put the sugar and water into a saucepan and gently heat to 150 degrees centigrade. Remove from the heat and pour in the melted chocolate. Stir vigorously with a fork for about 1 minute or until the sugar has crystallised.

To serve, crumble some of the chocolate powder across each plate and arrange a few blood orange segments to one side. Cut the delice into 8 slices and position a slice on the other side of the plate. Then top the orange segments with a scoop of beetroot sorbet decorated with crystallised orange peel.


Watch this space for exciting Bower WIllis news on an innovative new project at Bibury Court summer 2014!