TIRAMISU BY HESTON BLUMENTHAL

“Tiramisù is a classic Italian desert but there is nothing classic about my version which is served in clean flower pots and topped with edible soil and chocolate herbs. The soil is delicious (caramelized white chocolate tastes like Caramac bars) and kids love it because eating it looks so wrong but it tastes so right!” — Heston

Heston Blumenthal's tiramisu

Tiramisu
Freezing time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours
Makes 4 pots

For the crystallised dark chocolate
200 g white caster sugar
80 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (minimum 60% cocoa solids)

For the caramelized Grape Nuts
50 g Grape Nuts cereal
¼ tsp salt
15 g brown sugar

To finish the soil
60 g white chocolate
20 g cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
60 ml hazelnut oil

For the dark chocolate layers
250 g dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids)

For the Marsala cream
3 large eggs
50 g unrefined caster sugar
300 g mascarpone
200 ml whipping cream
60 ml Marsala
1.5 g leaf gelatine, softened in a little cold water

For the sponge fingers
24 sponge fingers
150 ml ground coffee brewed in 400 ml water
100 ml Marsala

To serve
Basil and mint leaves, to garnish

For the crystallised dark chocolate, put 75 ml cold tap water and the sugar into a saucepan and place the pan over a high heat. Bring to the boil and continue to heat until the temperature of the liquid reaches 135ºC or until the syrup at the side of the pan begins to colour.

Remove from the heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Whisk to incorporate the chocolate and continue to whisk until the liquid has completely crystallised.

Pour the chocolate crystals onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and allow to cool. This can be kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

To caramelise the Grape Nuts, place the cereal in a frying pan over a high heat and allow to toast for approximately 4 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time. Add the salt and continue to toast for an additional minute.

Sprinkle the sugar over the surface of the Grape Nuts and stir with a spatula until the surface of the Grape Nuts is well caramelised.

Pour the caramelised Grape Nuts on to a baking tray lined with baking paper and allow to cool at room temperature. Roughly chop and set aside.

To caramelize the white chocolate, preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5. Place the white chocolate on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in the oven for 15 minutes. After the first 5 minutes, begin to stir the chocolate every couple of minutes until fully caramelised.

Mix the crystallised dark chocolate and caramelised white chocolate with the cocoa powder and chopped caramelised Grape Nuts, then add the salt and the hazelnut oil.

To make the dark chocolate layers, break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

Pour the melted chocolate over a sheet of acetate. Place another sheet of acetate on top and then place a heavy chopping board on top to create a thin, even layer. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Using a pastry cutter roughly the size of the inside of the flower pots, cut out four discs of chocolate. Store in an airtight container in between sheets of parchment in the fridge.

To start the Marsala cream, whisk the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk the mascarpone, whipping cream and Marsala until soft peaks form. Fold the cream mixture into the egg mixture in three batches.

Place 5 tablespoons of the cream mixture in a small saucepan. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine leaf, add it to the pan and warm up the mixture just enough to melt the gelatine. Whisk the mixture into the bulk of the Marsala cream.

To soak the sponge fingers, place them in a flat tray. Mix the coffee with the Marsala, and drizzle some of this over the top. Allow to soak for approximately 1 minute, then turn the sponge fingers over and drizzle with the remaining coffee mixture.

To assemble the tiramisù, place a chocolate disc on the bottom of each pot, then add some sponge fingers soaked in coffee and Marsala. Next add some Marsala cream. Place another chocolate disc on top then some more Marsala cream, one more disc and a final layer of cream. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Sprinkle the soil on top of each tiramisu flower pot to cover the surface.

To finish the tiramisù, brush some melted chocolate underneath mint and basil leaves and, when dry, ‘plant’ them in the edible soil.

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LEMON TART BY HESTON BLUMENTHAL

“For this tart to achieve greatness, the filling has to be exactly the right texture – not too soft but not too firm either. The most reliable way to get it right is to use a digital probe which takes out all the guesswork. When blind baking, the pastry should be treated like a biscuit; if you think it is done, cook it for a little bit longer. Also, use the best lemons you can so that they contribute great acidity.” – Heston Blumenthal

lemon tart recipe

Lemon Tart
Serves 12
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour
Chilling time: 1 hour
Freezing time: 30 minutes

Pastry
300 g (2 cups) plain flour
150 g unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
120 g icing sugar
3 large egg yolks
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
½ lemon, zest finely grated
1 egg, for the egg wash

Filling
5 lemons, zest finely grated and juiced
300 ml double cream
390 g white caster sugar
9 large eggs
1 large egg yolk

You will also need to allow time for the pastry case and the finished tart to cool completely.

To make the pastry, using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, butter and salt on low speed for about 2 to 3 minutes or until it becomes a sand-like texture.

In the meantime, in a tall container blitz together the icing sugar and egg yolks with a hand blender.

Add the vanilla seeds and lemon zest to the egg yolk mixture, and then add to the bowl of the mixer and continue to mix on low speed for about 3-5 minutes or until fully combined and a very soft dough has formed.

Mould the dough into a flat rectangle and wrap it in plastic wrap before placing in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 2 mm, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5. Line a 26 cm tart tin (2.5 cm deep) with the pastry, making sure to press it into the edges and leaving the pastry hanging over the edge. Reserve a little dough for the egg wash.

Take a sheet of baking paper and scrunch it up several times to eliminate any sharp edges. Prick the dough with a fork all over the surface. Place the baking paper on top and add enough coins (or baking beans) to fill the casing one-quarter of the way up. Place in the preheated oven to bake for approximately 20 minutes or until fully cooked.

In the meantime, mix some of the leftover dough with the egg using a hand blender.

After 20 minutes, remove the baking paper and coins and, using a pastry brush, brush the entire surface of the pastry case with the dough and egg mixture. This “liquid pastry” will ensure that any holes will be sealed. Return the pastry case to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Remove the pastry case from the oven and allow to cool completely.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 120ºC/gas mark ½. Place the baked pastry case in the oven to warm up.

Place all the filling ingredients into a heatproof bowl and mix together using a spatula. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and allow to warm up until the temperature reaches 60ºC. At this point, strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a jug. With a spoon, remove the bubbles from the surface of the liquid.

Slide the oven rack out a bit, then pour the mixture into the warm pastry case inside the oven. Fill the case to the top, slide the rack carefully back in, and bake the tart for approximately 25 minutes or until the temperature of the filling reaches 70ºC. Allow to cool completely at room temperature.

Just before serving, trim the overhanging pastry by running a sharp knife round the top of the tart tin and discard.

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HESTON’S EXPLODING CHOCOLATE GATEAU RECIPE

“Don’t tell your guests about the popping candy in this simple chocolate ganache gateau. Instead, sit back and watch the surprise on their faces as the base starts exploding in their mouths. This dessert recipe is the perfect excuse for getting the power tools out, namely a paint gun, which can be bought at any good hardware shop. It’s great fun to use and the effect is spectacular, but the gateau has to be frozen for it to work.” – Heston Blumenthal

Heston’s Exploding Chocolate Gateau
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours
Freezing time: 4 hours
Serves 12

Base
150 g all-butter shortbread biscuits
30 g unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons white caster sugar
25 g neutral popping candy

Chocolate ganache
175 ml whipping cream
1 pinch salt
6 passionfruit, pulp only
50 ml fresh custard
110 g dark chocolate (minimum of 60% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
50 g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

Flocking
500 g dark chocolate
200 ml vegetable oil

Cook’s notes
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C.
We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml.
All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed.
All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified.
All eggs are 55 to 60 g, unless specified.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Place the shortbread biscuits on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Place the biscuits in a food processor and add the melted butter and sugar. Blitz until the mixture resembles fine sand in texture.

Gently stir in the popping candy. Place the mixture inside a 15 cm cake tin placed on a tray lined with baking paper. Flatten using the back of a spoon then put to one side to set.

Add the cream, salt and passionfruit to a small saucepan and place over a medium heat until it almost comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the fresh custard.

Put the dark and milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place over a bain marie (a pan of gently simmering water) and allow to melt completely. Remove from the heat.

Strain the infused cream and add to the bowl of melted chocolate, one-third at a time, making sure to incorporate the cream thoroughly after each addition. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature.

Once the tart base has set, use a pastry brush to spread some of the ganache on top of the base and around the edges, then place in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will ensure that the ganache will not seep through.

After 5 minutes, pour the remaining ganache into the ring and place the tart in the fridge to set for 2 hours. Place the tart in the freezer for at least 4 hours before flocking.

After the gateau is fully frozen, sit the gateau on a wide upturning glass or pot. Remove the metal ring by lightly warming with a blow torch. Remove by carefully sliding the ring downwards. Place back in the freezer.

For the flocking, break the chocolate into chunks and place in a small heatproof bowl. Melt the chocolate by placing the bowl over a bain marie. Leave to cool slightly before stirring in the vegetable oil.

Fill the base of a paint gun with the melted chocolate mixture and attach the nozzle. To avoid redecorating the kitchen in chocolate brown, set a large cardboard box on its side to provide a protective roof and walls to work in.

Remove the gateau from the freezer and carefully lift it onto a plate. Place the gateau in the cardboard box then spray it with the chocolate, turning carefully as you go. Return it to the freezer until 20 minutes before serving.

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