Syllabub is an ancient English recipe which dates from Tudor times. This creamy dessert was traditionally made with sweetened whole milk or cream which would curdle once a splash of fortified wine was added. I love the word ‘Syllabub’. It somewhat reminds me of something light, feathery and almost bubbly. In fact, these are some of the attributes of this particular dessert. There are so many variants of the original recipe, I have experimented by adding the purée of the most scented stewed guavas I have previously prepared. Guavas are so evocative to me, not because I have tried them as a child, but because of the Brazilian comic stories of ‘Chico Bento’ I used to read. ‘Chico Bento’ is a naughty farm boy, a nature lover from the Northeast of Brazil who was always getting into trouble by trying to steal ripe guavas from Mr. Nhô Lau’s guava orchards. The drawings were so delicious with reddish flesh pulp, ripe and scented. A favourite yet forbidden fruit. I wasn’t disappointed the first time I tried this fruit. Its delicate flavour blends harmoniously with the light and fluffly texture of this syllabub. I have added some toasted thinly slice fresh coconut as a topping. Delicioso!
300ml of double cream
2 tbsp of moscatel wine (or white port)
3 ripe guavas
100gr of caster sugar
4 tbsp of water
Rind of 1 lemon
Cut the guavas in quarters and place them in a small pan, together with the water, the sugar and the lemon rind. Bring them to the boil and then let them simmer slowly for 15 minutes, till they soft and the sugar is at syrup point. Remove from the heat and let them cool completely. Reduce them into a purée in a food processor. Pass it through a sieve to separate the grains and set aside.
Whip the double cream with the wine till it thickens. Fold in the guava purée and transfer the syllabub into individual glasses. Cut some think slices of fresh coconut and quickly toast them, both sides, in a frying pan. Sprinkle them on top of each glass.