Fried ice-cream might not be the most traditional of Asian dishes – you won't find it anywhere in China – but Chinese restaurants here in Australia have made it their own. I must confess it's been one of my favourites for as long as I can remember. Let's face it, who doesn't melt at the thought of fried ice-cream? You'll need to begin preparing this in the morning or the night before serving.
1 litre good quality vanilla ice-cream
1 bought sponge cake, sliced into ½ cm slices
2 cups dried, fine breadcrumbs
2 litres vegetable oil, for deep frying
1 cup soft brown sugar
¾ cup thickened cream
1. Scoop round balls of the ice-cream on to a lined tray and place in the freezer to firm overnight. Lay the sponge cake pieces to completely cover the balls of ice-cream in a single layer, using sponge crumbs to fill in any gaps. Return to the freezer for at least four hours, but preferably overnight. If you find it easier, you can wrap the crumbed balls in cling film while pressing on the cake to hold them together.
2. Roll the frozen balls in beaten egg followed by the breadcrumbs, then return to the freezer overnight.
3. To make the caramel sauce, melt the butter and brown sugar together in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat for about five to 10 minutes until it forms a dark caramel. Add the cream and simmer for a few minutes until smooth and thick.
4. Heat the oil to 200C and fry the balls two at a time for about 30 seconds, until golden brown. Drain for a further 30 seconds, then serve with the caramel sauce.