Our cookery writer, Adam Bush, shares the personal inspirations behind some of his favourite – and most requested – recipes...

I learned a lot during my time as a restaurant chef. Experiencing each section of a kitchen was a different part of my culinary education. Working in a fine-dining pastry (dessert) section is an exercise in precision. There are detailed recipes to direct you, and these are needed because desserts cannot be made on instinct. They need to be perfect every time, and for that you need consistency.

Creating this crémeux – a custard-based ganache – brought back a few of those memories. In a restaurant it meant weighing out the chocolate exactly, and painstakingly chopping it to ensure it fully and evenly melted. Weighing the custard ingredients and cooking it using a digital thermometer (a difference of 1-2C will mean a change in the set of the custard, and therefore a different consistency in the crémeux). Cautiously checking the first ones I’d made before service was a nerve-racking experience. Fortunately at home you can afford to be slightly more relaxed and still get a great result.

When working in restaurants, the question that we asked every day is – how can we make this more delicious? Texture is always important. A ganache would be delicious on its own but crunching through caramel and honey nut corn flakes before the satisfyingly smooth and silky crémeux hits your palate heightens the experience. A sauce is also needed – ganache and praline can be a cloying mouthful, so I’ve added a cheat’s caramel sauce spiked with amaretto to bring the whole dish together.


  • 200g (70% cocoa) dark chocolate finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150ml whole milk


  • 100g caster sugar
  • 20g honey nut corn flakes
  • 20g roasted and salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • a large pinch sea salt flakes


  • 100ml salted caramel sauce, (we used Joe & Seph's)
  • 3 tbsp amaretto


  • STEP 1

    Put the finely chopped chocolate into a large bowl. Put the eggs and caster sugar into a separate large bowl and whisk until light. Gently heat the cream and milk together in a pan until just under a simmer, then pour over the eggs while whisking. Pour back into the pan and heat gently, stirring constantly until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Pour over the chopped chocolate, leave for 2 minutes then stir until the chocolate is fully melted. Pour into a bowl, cover the surface with clingfilm to stop a skin forming and chill for a few hours until set.

  • STEP 2

    For the praline, gently heat the sugar in a frying pan, swirling until completely melted. Continue cooking until the caramel reaches the colour of a rusty penny. Pour onto a baking-paper-lined tray so it forms a thin layer, then scatter over the corn flakes, peanuts and salt. Leave to set for an hour or until completely hard. Snap off 1/3 of the praline and whizz in a food processor to fine crumbs. Break the remainder into small shards.

  • STEP 3

    For the caramel sauce, whisk together the caramel and amaretto.

  • STEP 4

    To serve, use a warm spoon to scoop large quenelles or curls of crémeux and arrange them on 6 plates. Drizzle with caramel sauce, sprinkle over the praline crumbs and decorate with shards of praline alongside.


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