“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
Makes 4 pots
For the crystallized 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 teaspoon salt
15 g brown sugar
To finish the soil
60 g white chocolate
20 g cocoa powder
Toasted and caramelized Grape Nuts, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon salt
60 ml hazelnut oil
Crystallized dark chocolate
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 400ml water
100 ml Marsala
Basil and mint leaves to garnish
1. For the crystallized dark chocolate, put 75ml 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 color.
2. Remove from the heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Whisk to incorporate the chocolate and continue to whisk until the liquid has completely crystallized.
3. Pour the chocolate crystals onto a parchment-lined baking tray and allow to cool. This can be kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
4. To caramelize the Grape Nuts, place them 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.
5. Sprinkle the sugar over the surface of the Grape Nuts and stir with a spatula until the surface of the Grape Nuts is well-caramelized.
6. Pour the caramelized Grape Nuts on to a parchment-lined baking tray and allow to cool at room temperature.
7. To caramelize the white chocolate, preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5. Place the white chocolate on a parchment-lined baking tray and place in the oven for 15 minutes. After the first 5 minutes, begin to stir the chocolate every couple of minutes until fully caramelized.
8. Mix the crystallized dark chocolate and caramelized white chocolate with the cocoa powder and caramelized Grape Nuts then add the salt and the hazelnut oil.
9. To make the dark chocolate layers, break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
10. 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.
11. Using a pastry cutter roughly the size of the inside of the flower pots, cut out four discs. Store in an airtight container in between sheets of parchment in the fridge.
12. To start the Marsala cream, whisk the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy.
13. In a separate bowl, whisk the mascarpone, whipping cream and Marsala until soft peaks form. Fold the cream mixture into the sugar and eggs in three additions.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. Sprinkle the soil on top of each tiramisu flower pot to cover the surface.
18. To finish the tiramisù, brush some melted chocolate underneath mint and basil leaves and, when dry, ‘plant’ them in the edible soil.
Recipe from ‘Heston Blumenthal at Home,’ published by Bloomsbury. Photography: Angela Moore.
Heston Blumenthal at Home by Heston Blumenthal
Hardcover: 408 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
>>>>>>>> I WANT THIS! <<<<<<<<
If you’ve ever played with modeling clay or Play-Doh in kindergarten, you can make these beautiful veggies in a jiffy.
Yield: 24 cupcakes
2 whole graham crackers
1 stick mint chewing gum
1/4 cup white chocolate melting wafers
6 thin pretzel sticks
1 cup vanilla frosting
Green, red, orange and blue gel or paste food color
1 can (16 oz) chocolate frosting
2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (Nabisco Oreo or Famous Chocolate Wafers)
24 vanilla cupcakes baked in white paper liners
1 cup corn flakes
9 green fruit chews (Jolly Rancher)
1 vanilla fruit chew (Tootsie Roll Midgee, AirHeads)
4 red fruit chews (Jolly Rancher)
8 orange fruit chews (Starburst)
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
20 green M&M’s
Green apple and watermelon AirHeads
2 teaspoons multicolored chocolate-covered sunflower seeds
Seed Packs and Shovels: With a serrated knife, cut graham crackers in half crosswise. Cut two 3/4-in.-long triangles from gum to make shovel blades. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Put white chocolate melting wafers in a ziplock bag; do not seal. Microwave 10 seconds to soften. Squeeze, return to microwave and repeat until smooth. Press out air and seal.
Snip a small corner from the bag and pipe an outline around each graham cracker. Fill in with more chocolate and spread into a smooth, thin layer to cover cracker. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes.
Turn each cracker over and pipe a line of melted chocolate down the center of the uncoated side. Place a pretzel stick on top of the line of chocolate, leaving about a 2-in. overhang; refrigerate until set. Cut the remaining 2 pretzel sticks into two 2-in. and two 3/4-in. lengths. Pipe a small dot of melted chocolate on one end of a 2-in. pretzel stick and attach the smaller pretzel piece crosswise to make the shovel handle. Attach the gum shovel blade to the other end of the pretzel with a dot of melted chocolate.
Tint 1/2 cup of the vanilla frosting green, 1 Tbsp red, 2 Tbsp orange and 1/4 cup blue. Spoon each color, including the remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla frosting, into separate ziplock bags, press out excess air and seal. Spoon 1/4 cup chocolate frosting into a ziplock bag, press out the excess air and seal. Snip a tiny corner from each of the bags. Pipe the vegetable names in chocolate frosting and the vegetable shapes in the colored frostings on top of the chocolate-coated side of the graham crackers.
Place chocolate cookie crumbs in a medium bowl. Spread remaining chocolate frosting on cupcakes. Roll tops of cupcakes in crumbs to cover. Arrange in 4 rows of 6 on serving platter.
Lettuce: Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Put cornflakes in a small bowl. Spoon remaining green frosting into a small microwavable bowl. Microwave until smooth, stirring often, 5 to 10 seconds. Pour over cornflakes, toss well to coat, and spread the cornflakes onto baking sheet. Chill to set, about 10 minutes. Cut 2 green fruit chews in half and shape into balls. Place 1 green ball on top of each of 4 cupcakes and arrange 8 to 12 cornflakes around balls to make the leaves. Secure with a dot of green frosting.
Radishes: Cut the vanilla fruit chew into quarters. Roll 1 red fruit chew together with 1 vanilla piece, keeping colors separate, and shape into a ball. Pinch the white end to form the radish root. Place 1 radish on top of each of 4 cupcakes, and add green-frosted cornflakes for leaves.
Carrots: Cut 2 of the orange fruit chews in half; shape each piece into a small carrot. Shape remaining 6 fruit chews into 6 large carrots. Score the sides of carrots with a knife and rub with cinnamon for “dirt.” Use a toothpick to make a small hole in the large end of each carrot. Cut 2 of the green fruit chews into thin strips and roll each strip between fingers to look like carrot tops. Press 4 or 5 strips into the hole in the top of each carrot. Arrange carrots on top of 5 cupcakes.
Peas: Roll out each of the remaining 5 green fruit chews into a 3 x 1 inch oval 1/8 inch thick. Press 4 green M&M’s onto one side of each oval. Fold the other side over to cover the candies slightly. Pinch the ends and place 1 pea pod on top of each of 5 cupcakes. Cut thin strips from AirHeads and arrange around the pea pods as vines.
Insert the pretzel end of each sign into tops of 4 cupcakes. Place at the head of the rows. Insert the shovel blades into frosting of 2 cupcakes; scatter sunflower seeds around shovels. Place in rows with radishes and lettuce.
Excerpt from Hello, Cupcake! by Alan Richardson and Karen Tack, copyright ©2008. Published by Houghton Mifflin Co. Photography © Alan Richarson
Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson
* Paperback: 240 pages
* Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0618829253
>>>>>>>> I WANT THIS! <<<<<<<<
I love lemon curd! I always have a jar ready for me to spread the lemon curd over toast, scones, English muffins, or shortbread cookies or to fill cakes and tarts. Lemon curd is make by gently cooking a mixture of fresh lemon juice, sugar, butter, and eggs until thickened. It is very easy to prepare. Watch and learn a method of making lemon curd that is guaranteed to come out silky and smooth, without straining! This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.
Makes about 2 cups
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