'How to cook like Heston' challenge: Fiona Maclean #2

'How to cook like Heston' challenge: Fiona Maclean #2

I made the Heston chilli recipe a few weeks ago and entered it to the lovefood competition. But as a couple of members of a Facebook group of cooks I'm part of were coming round for supper, I thought it would be an ideal time to try another Heston dish. And since I needed new flowerpots for the garden anyway, what better dish than flowerpot tiramisu?

Growing the 'soil'

I started quite early in the week, making the ‘soil’ components.

Caramelised grapenuts from Fiona Maclean's version of Heston Blumenthal's flowerpot tiramisuThis part was actually rather good fun: the crystallised dark chocolate is a bit like powdery chocolate fudge, the caramelised white chocolate is like sandy caramac (as Heston says) and even the caramelised grapenuts are like a very posh breakfast cereal.

I then started to make my chocolate circles. Now, here’s the first glitch in the recipe. There are two errors in this part of the recipe: firstly, 250g of dark chocolate is a LOT and would make (probably) about 100 circles. 

Secondly, the recipe instructs you to make four, where actually I think it needs 12 if you are making four flowerpots of tiramisu for the three layers that Heston suggests.

I made up about 16 or so circles, using overhead projector acetates (clean ones of course) and put the rest of the chocolate in the cupboard to use later! Even if you do like eating the chocolate that’s a lot extra; maybe it was meant to be 25g?

Time for the tiramisu

Then, on the day of the supper party, I constructed the tiramisu. Here’s the second major glitch. I was making up coffee to soak the sponge fingers. The recipe says to use 150ml of ground coffee with 400ml of water.

Now, a millilitre is a volume measure and not really that accurate for dry mixtures, but I started measuring out the coffee into my cafetière. That was until I realised that I would have been adding 10 tablespoons of coffee for about two-thirds of a six-to-eight-person cafetière. That’s around three times my normal amount, and I like strong coffee!

In the end I used about half the recommended amount and I still think the coffee was dangerously strong. There’s the equivalent of two-three double espresso coffees per portion in the recommended recipe quantities, without adding in the caffeine in the chocolate!

Fiona Maclean's version of Heston Blumenthal's flowerpot tiramisu The mascarpone cream worked like a dream and my flowerpots went in the fridge looking like snowy versions of the Heston finished item. 

I finished off my soil by making up about half of the dry ingredients with two tablespoons of oil. It is REALLY yummy stuff and I can see myself using it on other desserts or with ice cream. Again, I’m not convinced by the recipe quantities. After quite a lot of taste testing, I was still left with spare ‘soil’ at the end, plus half the recipe quantities in an airtight container which I am hoping will keep.

The verdict

Was it worth the effort? The result was pronounced fabulous, though we ate one and a half flowerpots apiece between three of us (and that was being greedy!) so I think it could easily serve six to eight people. 

If I made it up again, I think I’d buy one larger flowerpot and make a tiramisu ‘garden’, as well as adjusting the ingredient quantities as noted above.

Want to join in? 

Thank you (again) Fiona. If you want to join in and potentially win a tour of Heston's lab!, just register with lovefood, pick a recipe from the show, attempt it properly, and let us know how you got on by sending some pics and a few hundred words by email to contactus@lovefood.com

Terms

Our standard competition terms are here. You must be a registered user of Lovefood.com to enter. The editor's decision is final. Closing date is 15th February.

More 'How to cook like Heston' challengers
'How to cook like Heston' challenge: Erik Jensen

'How to cook like Heston' challenge: Qin Xie

'How to cook like Heston' challenge: Jenny Davies

'How to cook like Heston' challenge: Neil Hennessy-Vass

  • Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report 25 minutes ago
    Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report

    Here are today’s top trending stories in case you missed them.

  • Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day 11 hours ago
    Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day

    If there's one car that's particularly sought-after among today's well-heeled car collectors, a Ferrari 250 would be it. Usually it's the GTO variant, like the 1963 that sold for a record $52 million last year. A 250 of any sorts demands unfathomable cash, however, which is why we can but gawk at this 250 Testa Rossa. It's as close as any mere mortal will ever come to owning one.

  • Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners 12 hours ago
    Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners

    Buyers of Ferraris or Jaguars are used to perks from manufacturers – including racetrack lessons to help master their exotic machines. But for enthusiasts on a tighter budget, the Ford ST Octane Academy might be the sweetest deal in motoring: Buy a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST hatchback, and the reward is a free day of training at one of America’s longest, most-lavish road courses.

  • David Moyes statement after Man United firing
    David Moyes statement after Man United firing

    Statement released by David Moyes on Wednesday, a day after Manchester United announced he left as manager after less than a season in charge.

  • Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia
    Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Armed pirates boarded a Singapore-managed oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, kidnapping three Indonesian crew and stealing some of the vessel's shipment of diesel fuel, the International Maritime Bureau said Wednesday. The attack occurred early Tuesday off Malaysia's west coast, said Noel Choong, head of IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre. The diesel oil tanker was believed to be en route to Myanmar. "IMB is aware of the attack on the Singapore-managed ship in the Malacca Straits.

  • Indonesian general says his flashy watch is a fake
    Indonesian general says his flashy watch is a fake

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's military commander said critics who called him out for wearing an especially luxurious watch should be quiet because the timepiece is actually a cheap Chinese fake.