The Gin Garden by James Mackie at Gordon Castle Walled Garden Café 

Head chef at Gordon Castle Walled Garden Café, James Mackie, loves to utilise the garden produce in all of his dishes and ensures the café practices the ‘Plant, Pick, Plate’ ethos wherever possible. Inspired by the blooming oasis surrounding the café, he has created a delicious dessert combining his two favourite things; gardens and gin.  

For the gin-soaked berries:
200ml water
100g sugar
50ml Gordon Castle Gin
400g mixed berries

For the mousse:
A dozen fresh lavender heads
100g honey
500ml double cream
3 egg yolks
2 gelatine Leaves
200ml milk

For the chocolate soil: 
200g sugar
100ml water
200g dark chocolate
50g dark cocoa powder

For the berries:
1 Bring the water, gin and sugar to the boil and set aside to cool. When it’s at room temperature, pour the liquid over your berries. 

For the mousse:
1 Put the lavender heads, gelatine and milk into a pan. Heat gently with a lid on, when it comes to a near boil, remove the pan from the heat and wrap the top with cling film - this will keep the flavour and aroma in. Leave the pan to infuse for half an hour.
2 Once rested, strain the contents of the pan into another and put it back on to a gentle heat.
3 Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, beat your egg yolks and honey until white, thick and fluffy. Slowly beat in the hot infused milk, once incorporated put the mix into a thick bottomed pan (this will stop the custard from getting a heat shock and splitting). Put it on a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon. Once it’s thickened enough to coat the back of your spoon, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
4 Whisk your double cream until firm. Gently fold about a quarter of your cream into the custard, when its consistency lightens begin to fold the rest. Ideally, leave the mixture to set in the fridge overnight or for a few hours.  

For the soil:
1 Make a caramel by putting the sugar and water in a thick bottomed pan and bring to the boil. Once the water evaporates your caramel can burn quickly so use a sugar temperature probe and once the sugar hits 120°C stir in your cocoa and chocolate. 

To serve:
1 I’ve used little ceramic flower pots but any bowl, mug, jug or glass will work. Spoon the boozy berries in and your mousse on top, and generously cover it in the chocolate soil.
2 Garnish with edible flowers and any boozy berries you may have left.

In association with Taste Communications.