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Chelsea Flower Show inspired menus from Tom Aikens and Alain Ducasse

By Great British Chefs •


In honour of this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show (20th – 24th May), two world class chefs are launching stunning dishes drawing inspiration from the wonderful displays at the famous exhibition.  Discover what Tom Aikens and Alain Ducasse have created and which of the dishes you can create at home. 


Pistachio and Wild Strawberry Field - Alain Ducasse

Just moments away from Royal Hospital Chelsea where the show is hosted, Tom's Kitchen Chelsea will be serving a floral inspirted menu showcasing the best British seasonal ingredients. Tom's dishes also make superb use of the spring's  finest flowers.


Courgette and Pistachio Risotto with Courgette Flowers - Tom Aikens

On the menu will be crab marinated in basil mayonnaise, cucumber, and nasturtium leaf; cod with apricot rose and saffron and a stunning courgette and pistachio risotto with courgette flowers.


Diners can finish their meal with a vibrant dessert of rose-poached cherries, elderflower served with lavender panna cotta (pictured above). 


If you'd like a wonderful drink to round off your experience try Toms’ Garden Cocktail.  Presented in a charming porcelain planter for two to share this gin-based cocktail features hibiscus syrup, lemon juice and a dash of violet syrup.
 
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester has re-launched its classic lunch hour menu to celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show.
 
The dishes pair traditional French delicacies with seasonal ingredients inspired by the show. The menu features delicate Vegetable Tarte in Bloom; a classic French COOKPOT of Hereford Snails marinated in wild mushroom and parsley butter; Lemon sole with a side of spring garden; and a dessert of Pistachio and Wild Strawberry field.


All dishes are perfect examples of  Ducasse’s passion for cooking with the freshest seasonal ingredients and offer diners a great opportunity to celebrate the start of  summer.
 
The set menu is served Tuesday to Friday and is extremely well priced at £55 for 3 courses, 2 glasses of wine, half a bottle of mineral water and coffee or tea.

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester have very kindly shared the recipe for the strawberry dessert for you to create at home

 


Pistachio and Wild Strawberry Field


Ingredients

Crumbly Shortbread:

100g softened butter 
30g powdered sugar (also known as icing sugar)
2g salt 
1g fleur de sel 
90g flour 
20g starch (also known as corn flour)
Extract of vanilla 
 
Crème brulée pistachio/olive oil:
 
115cL milk 
235cL cream 
70g sugar 
80g egg yolk (about 4 egg yolks) 
20g extra pistachio paste 
10g olive oil lemon 
3g gelatine leaves 
 
Strawberry Marmalade:
 
250g frozen strawberries 
55g special sugar for jam 
15g lemon juice 
 
Optional : Coconut biscuit:
100g sugar 
80g desiccated coconut 
80g egg white (about 2 egg whites) 
65g melted butter 
1g salt 
 
Strawberry sorbet:
500g fresh strawberries 
500g frozen strawberries 
300g brown sugar 
 

Method


1.  To make the crumbly shortbread-mix the powdered sugar, butter, the different salts, and end with the flour, starch and the vanilla to form breadcrumbs. Bring together and knead briefly to make it smooth. Don’t over-handle the dough as this will make it greasy and ‘tough’
 
2. Roll out the dough to a 1.5cm thickness and cut the dough using a 8cm circle ring. Leaving the ring on, add to the oven to cook at 160°C for 10 minutes until a pale, golden colour and firm to the touch

3.  To make the crème brûlée pistachio/olive oil – scald the milk and cream in a saucepan then remove from the heat. In a bowl, mix the sugar and the egg yolk and gradually add the milk and cream, mixing together with a wooden spoon
 
4. Heat the custard mix over a bain marie, making sure that the temperature rises no more than 90ºC - stir the mix quite often during the cooking as it thickens. Your cream should remain a bit wobbly in the middle
 
5. Remove from the stove and set aside to cool to room temperature. Weigh out 380g of the custard mix. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for about 5 minutes until soft, then squeeze out the liquid and add to the custard along with the olive oil and the pistachio paste
 
6. Blend the mix to incorporate it fully, then pour a 1.5cm thick layer on top of the cooked and cooled shortbread, with the ring still in place
 
7. Add the shortbread and crème brûlée to the freezer

8. Meanwhile, make the strawberry marmalade. In a casserole dish, gently heat the strawberries and the 55g of sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the strawberries have broken down. Slightly increase the heat to thicken the mixture and achieve a  marmalade texture
 
9. Add the lemon juice, increase the heat and reduce the mix until thick
 
10. Reserve in the fridge
 
11. To make the coconut biscuit, blitz the coconut to form a crumb and mix with the sugar. Add the salt and melted butter. Lightly whip the eggs whites to a soft peak and fold into the mixture
 
12. Spread carefully onto a lined baking tray and cook at 150°C for 10 minutes. Whilst warm, and the dough is flexible, cut and shape the biscuit around the 8cm ring. Leave to cool on a wire rack

13. To make the strawberry sorbet, dissolve the sugar in a pan along with all of the strawberries. Pass into a paco jet and freeze for 24 hours - 3 hours before serving, churn the mixture

14. To dress the plate, de-freeze the shortbread/crème brulée and surround it with the coconut biscuit. Decorate the crème brûlée with small dots of marmalade, add strawberries on the top and half pistachios. Serve alongside a scoop of strawberry sorbet


 
For more flower inspired recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.


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