20 week Patisserie Course at Ashburton Chefs Academy

The new Patisserie course is officially up and running as the students delve into week 6 at the Ashburton Chefs Academy.

Headed by our in house pastry chef Colin Bennett. Colin has worked in leading hotels, including The Grovesnor and Dorchester, Michelin starred restaurants such as Pied a Terre, The Orrery and Viajante and alongside many of todays celebrity chefs including Simon Hopkinson, Nuno Mendez and Tom Aitkin. He also helped Jamie Oliver set-up his Barbecoa restaurant near St Paul’s, but probably the highlight of his professional career was the 4 and a half years spent as Hilton’s specialist patisserie, created as part of a £30m refit.

The first term has seen the students produce a whole range of sweet and savoury delights that have ranged from Gruyere gougeres to gateaux frasier, chocolate centre pieces to Danish pastries.

I was fortunate enough to always be in the right place at the right time, generally just as Colin was presenting his dessert!. So not only did they look amazing but tasted even better.

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Beetroot and chocolate brownies

So, I finally cracked. Having heard and seen so many variants of beetroot brownies I gave in and created a batch.

I understand the reasons for putting vegetables into cakes and I believe it can add moisture and longevity to a cake, but carrot cake has always been my limit!

@LoveBeetroot passed on their recipe for me to try via Twitter .

So I gave it a go. The results were a deliciously moist brownie with a subtle hint of beetroot but not to overpowering. What I also love about the recipe is that it’s gluten free.

The recipe can be found here on the love beetroot website:

http://www.lovebeetroot.co.uk/recipes/detail.asp?ItemID=355#.VGcUBKbfXCT

Give it a go, I would love to see your feedback and any other creations with beetroot.

Tweet them to me @JoechefBartlett

Here was my beetroot brownie

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#Gloop Popcorn!

I was fortunate enough to receive a jar of Gloop from the mesmerisingly amazing Frandie Macaron Team . A little jar of salty,sweet, caramel dessert sauce, it tastes that good I could have eaten the whole lot with just my fingers.

It arrived to me via Ally ( goddess of buns, uglibuns in particular) who passed it onto mike the veg man from plough to plate. Mike then snuck it in a veg box and the Gloop miraculously arrived! *deep breath*

So with the above being three of my food heroes this Gloop stuff had to be good.

I popped the lid off and dived in, the rest is history!

With all the flavour sensations going on, textures and even the smell my mind started working overtime.

I came up with a Gloop popcorn recipe , the real “once you pop, you can’t stop”

So here it is!

Ingredients:

200g popcorn, cooked
Half a jar of Gloop, approx 100g
Half a teaspoon baking powder

Method:
1, place the gloop in a large sauce pan and heat until it starts to bubble.

2, Add the baking powder and whisk vigorously. It will bubble up so be careful. Add the popcorn and stir off the heat until the popcorn is evenly coated.

3, Place the glooped popcorn in a bowl and allow to cool, it should become crisp. Then enjoy!

Top tips:

The baking powder will help the gloop to go crispy as it sets on the popcorn.

Add the popcorn accordingly, if you like a thick coating then out less in.

A little pinch of sea salt will give it that salty sweet contrast.

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It would be great to see your creations, if posting on twitter or Instagram please use the #Gloop hashtag and join the addiction ! : )

Quick and easy tiramisu to entertain the masses!

So my Mum invited me up to hers for a barbecue . Mother was cooking a paella and I was asked to provide a tiramisu!

I would like to share this quick and easy recipe that not only tastes great but looks the part also.

With tiramisu literally meaning “pick me up” it certainly does that !
I made the custard and used Kahlua as the liqueur. But you can use whatever coffee based liqueur you like.

Ingredients: serves 8

1 large serving dish/platter
2 packets of sponge fingers or savoiardi biscuits
500ml double cream
500ml fresh vanilla custard
500g mascarpone
1 mug strong coffee
Chefs splash of coffee liqueur
Good quality cocoa powder
Grated dark chocolate to finish

Method:
1. Lay the sponge fingers on a tray, liberally spoon over the coffee and liqueur until well coated and saturated.

2. In a bowl mix together the double cream, mascarpone and custard. Whisk until it forms soft peaks. Do not over whisk.

3. Place a layer of soaked sponge fingers in the base of your chosen dish. Top with a good layer of the cream mix followed by a good dusting of cocoa powder.

4. Continue stage 3 and then finish the top with more cocoa powder and lots of grated chocolate. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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