Frozen Curd, Mandarin & Fennel

This dessert is one of my favourites from Moon Under Water. It’s fresh and delightful. Whilst there are a few steps, they are all quite straight forward and can be prepared in advance.

Serves 6

Frozen Curd, Mandarin & Fennel

Ingredients and Methods


Frozen Curd

Mandarin Curd

Macerated Fennel

Mandarin segments

Freeze dried Mandarin (available from speciality dry goods stores)

Candied pumpkin seeds


580ml organic fromage frais

330g sugar

5 gelatine, bloomed

85ml lemon juice

600ml water

- Bring the sugar, glucose, and water to a boil in a heavy based pot.

- Once off the heat, add the gelatine and lemon juice.

- Cool down over an ice bath.

- Once cold, fold through the fromage frais.

- Pass this mixture, and churn in an ice-cream machine until frozen.

- Alternatively, freeze in a Paco Jet canister and spin before using.


300ml mandarin juice, freshly squeezed

2 teaspoons cornflour

3g mandarin zest

250g sugar

2 gelatine leaves, bloomed

4 whole eggs

100g butter

- Mix the cornflour with mandarin juice, in a large metal bowl, and whisk until dissolved.

- Add all remaining ingredients, except for the butter.

- Place the bowl over gently simmering water, and cook until the mix thickens, stirring constantly.

- Once the mix has thickened slightly, add the gelatine.

- Remove from heat, and slowly whisk in the butter, a little at a time.

- Cool over ice.

- Store in an airtight container.


1 fennel bulb

300ml water

250g sugar

- Combine the sugar and water in a heavy based saucepan and bring to a simmer.

- Remove from the heat.

- Halve the fennel bulb and remove the core with a sharp knife.

- Slice the fennel very finely on a mandolin or meat slicer.

- Lay the fennel out on a plastic tray, (300x400x20).

- Pour the warm sugar syrup over the fennel and leave to cool.


100g pumpkin seeds

20g glucose syrup

- Preheat an oven to 160C.

- Warm the pumpkin seeds in the oven.

- Once the pumpkin seeds are hot, coat in the glucose and return to the oven.

- Bake for 14 minutes, until golden.

- Season with salt.


2 mandarins

- Peel the mandarins and separate the segments.

- Using a small knife remove any pith from the segments.

- Dip in iced water to clean and set aside.

To assemble

Place a tablespoon of mandarin curd in 6 bowls.

Lay 3 or 4 pieces of macerated fennel in each bowl, scatter some candied pumpkin seeds and crush 2 pieces of freeze dried mandarin in each bowl.

When you are ready to serve, finish each plate with one scoop of frozen curd and some fresh mandarin segments.

Chef Josh Murphy

Born and raised in Tasmania, the Builders Arms Hotel and Moon Under Water Head Chef and co owner Josh Murphy moved to Melbourne at the age of 18 to begin his cooking career. After an early stint at The Palace in South Melbourne, Josh moved to the then three-hatted Circa, the Prince in St Kilda where he began his long-standing working relationship with Andrew McConnell. (more)

here to view all of Chef Josh Murphy's recipes.

Josh Murphy

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