Simon Hulstone is renowned for producing dishes of real invention and this pyro-gastronomic dessert is truly mind-blowing. 98% proof alcohol and freeze-dried strawberries are available online so if preparing for Bonfire Night - plan ahead and buy them well in advance for this challenging recipe.
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To make the chocolate sticks, place all the ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth dough forms
285g of pasta flour
15g of rye flour
4g of salt
135g of chocolate beer
10g of cocoa powder
2 tsp gravy browning
Knead and mix the dough for 5 minutes and then divide into quarters. Wrap in cling film and place into the fridge to rest for 1 hour
Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Dust lightly with flour and roll out to a thickness of 1cm. Roll the dough through a pasta machine and take the dough to a thickness of 2mm
Heat a deep fat fryer to 180˚C. Coat the dough with a little more flour to avoid any sticking. Cut strips of a 1cm thickness off the dough and shape until they resemble branches
Place the sticks into the fryer and cook them out until the sticks have stopped bubbling. Remove from the fryer, drain well, then place in a very low oven at 65˚C to dry out for a further 2-3 hours
Allow to cool and keep them in an air tight container until needed. Dust with cocoa powder just before use
For the meringues sticks, whisk the egg white and salt, slowly adding the sugars until firm peaks form. Place into a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle and pipe on to a non-stick mat. Cover with strawberry crisps or freeze-dried strawberries and dry out in a low oven at 70˚C until crispy. This will take up to 2 hours
100g of egg white
100g of caster sugar
85g of icing sugar
1 pinch of salt
40g of freeze-dried strawberries
To make the raspberry compote, heat the sugar and water to a soft boil - about 116˚C - and pour over the fresh raspberries. Mix well and cook the mixture for a further 5 minutes until thick
100g of fresh raspberries
50g of caster sugar
50ml of water
Pour the mixture into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pass through a fine strainer and store in a suitable container to cool in the fridge
For the vanilla cream, place the cream, milk, vanilla, sugar, egg yolks and agar agar into a thermomix and bring up to 81˚C. Once the mixture has come to temperature, soak the silver leaf gelatine in cold water to soften for 2 minutes before adding to the thermomix to combine
375ml of cream
150ml of full-fat milk
1 vanilla pod
75g of caster sugar
200g of egg yolk
2 gelatine leaves, silver strength
2g of agar agar
Alternatively, if you do not have a thermomix, combine the cream, milk and vanilla in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk together the yolks and sugar until pale and slowly pour in the hot cream mix - whisk to combine
Add back to the pan and bring to 81˚C while constantly stirring, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and add the softened silver gelatine and agar agar. Pass through a fine strainer and into a pouring jug
Arrange 4 serving glasses on a suitable tray. Divide the raspberry compote evenly between them and slowly pour over the vanilla cream. Transfer to the fridge to set, this will take at least 6 hours
Remove the glasses from the fridge and sprinkle with a thin layer of caster sugar. Spray the 98% proof alcohol on top of the sugar. Place a glass in the middle of each plate, and scatter the chocolate sticks and meringue around the plate
caster sugar for dusting
98% proof burning alcohol
Before serving, light the alcohol soaked sugar and do not blow out the flame. Use the marshmallows, chocolate sticks and meringue to dip into the vanilla cream
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