'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 tiramisu

This 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


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.

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