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.