Little bears are out for dinner to try out the Cherry Isle Bar at Dinner by Heston.
At Dinner by Heston Blumenthal every item on the menu has a celebrated historical connection and fascinating backstory.
Apparently Australia’s oldest chocolate bar, Cherry Ripe, was actually inspired by a song – a rhythmic rambling of the 17th century English poet Robert Herrick, with the same name Cherry-Ripe. It was a story too good to be ignored by a Heston Blumenthal restaurant.
Ashley Palmer-Watts, group executive chef of Dinner by Heston restaurants, stumbled upon the story during a trip to Australia in 2016 when he met renowned food historian Professor Barbara Santich. In Melbourne to make some changes to the menu, Ashley asked the professor what she thought was the most iconic Aussie sweet. It had to be the Cherry Ripe, she replied.
Having never tasted a Cherry Ripe, Ashley headed straight for a convenience store, bought one, and slowly and carefully studied each bite of a bar usually speedily devoured by its fans. From there, it was off to the test kitchen to draw from these iconic flavours and make something really special, while keeping the theatre of the bar’s history.
After playing around with countless kilos of cherries, chocolate, coconut and other well-matched flavour compounds, the Cherry Isle Bar was born, and it’s a beauty.
Although inspired by the Cherry Ripe, it’s unique and like nothing you’ll have tasted before. Says Ashley: “If you can deliver something familiar but that still has a surprise, that’s a brilliant thing to do in a dish.”
So what actually goes into a Cherry Isle Bar?
It starts with a coconut cake soaked in coconut rum (which, of course, Dinner by Heston brews itself). A morello cherry jam is spread over a piece of the cake, which is then topped with cherries soaked in Amarena (a black-cherry-based digestive). This is then encased in a very smooth Valrhona chocolate mousse and set into the spherical bar that floats on a light and crispy chocolate and coconut biscuit. Now here comes the mega-fun part. Using a paint spray gun (yes, just like one from the hardware store), the bar is coated with chocolate and cocoa butter to give a velvety finish. Finally, to prove this ain’t no ordinary chocolate bar, it’s paired with cherry and coconut gels, grated coconut and almonds, and an almond-and-bay-leaf-infused ice cream.
Before desert, little bears had to eat their veggies 🙂
And for being such good little bears, they got an extra complimentary desert 🙂
🐾 🐾 🐾 🐾 🐾 🙂