Cea torrija and white chocolate with meringue ice and cocoa soup
Cut the bread into slices 4 cm / 1 1/2 in thick and remove the crusts. Heat the water together with the chocolate. When it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and add the previously soaked sheets of gelatin. Strain, pour onto the bread and leave to soak. The torrija can be caramelized in two ways: the first is by covering the top with sugar and heating with a blowtorch until it turns golden, and the second is by making a light caramel in a frying pan and dipping the torrija into it. In either case, the caramel should not be dark brown.
Mix the sugar with the cocoa. Heat the milk and water and when the mixture reaches boiling point, add the sugar and cocoa. Reduce until it starts to become denser, then strain and set aside.
Meringue ice cream
Boil the milk with the glucose, cinnamon and lemon rinds and leave to infuse. Mix the sugar with the stabilizer and the egg yolks, then add this mixture to the milk. Heat to 85ºC / 185ºF, then strain and leave to cool. When the milk is almost cold (about 30ºC / 86ºF), mix with the beaten egg whites. Transfer to the ice cream maker.
Serve a little cocoa soup over the bottom of the dish, place the torrija in the center and serve with the meringue ice cream. Sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon.
"The bread from Cea (Galicia, in northwest Spain) is the rustic bread that many Spanish children remember from their infancy. That includes me. Quite a few kilometers eastwards, in Cantabria, where I grew up, we received bread from Cea and, when any was left over, it was made into torrijas (sweet milk-soaked bread fritters), as in many other parts of the country. Considering that the north of Spain in general was a traditional source of dairy products, such fritters were a common occurrence. I have updated this traditional recipe by sweetening the bread with white chocolate and accompanying it with meringue-flavored ice cream. The cocoa soup adds a refreshing touch."