Desserts

Desserts

By
Ben Tish
Contains
17 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
ISBN
978 1 84949 715 2
Photographer
Kris Kirkham

Admittedly, barbecues aren’t generally associated with desserts, but all the more reason to show you what you can do.

When I decided to write this book, I talked to a few of my friends and colleagues about it and, happily, everyone thought it was a great idea. However, one subject that kept cropping up was desserts – or puddings, as I still like to call them. It seemed like a bit of a cop-out to just tack a list of sweet treats on to the end of the book that had no connection to barbecuing. So the only thing to do was create some delicious, mouth-watering puddings that involved the lick of an open flame or the aroma of smoke. I hope this puts the doubters firmly back in their place!

Most things you can do in an oven you can do on the barbecue, given a bit of know-how. Softer fruit, such as strawberries, figs and plums, work particularly well cooked directly over hot charcoal, as their natural sugars caramelize into jammy heaven. Harder fruit, such as apples and pears, require a little longer on the barbecue or in the coals but benefit all the more for that; wrapping them in a protective foil jacket while they slowly bake shields the fruit from the fiery heat while also helping them to cook more evenly.

I urge you to try the smoked-milk ice cream, which was inspired by one of my food jaunts to the Spanish Basque Country, where I had a memorable meal at Asador Etxebarri. The chef there, Victor Arguinzoniz, is a genius, producing refined grilled food that is consistently sublime. The puddings are always seasonal, made by treating the very best local produce very simply, with just a little twist of smokiness to enhance, rather than mask, its taste.

The chocolate recipes proved really interesting: I’ve discovered that cocoa butter takes on smokiness really well. However, the resulting complexity of flavour is difficult to sum up in words, so I’m afraid you’ll just have to get cooking and eating – you’ll soon understand what I mean! In case you develop a taste for smoke with your chocolate, I’ve also included a recipe for cold-smoking your own chocolate, so you can experiment with using it in other recipes, or just have a bar or two around to munch on. It’s dangerously addictive stuff.

All the recipes in this section are straightforward to prepare and cook. There are no perplexing techniques; just simple cooking and fantastic flavours. It may have become somewhat of a cliché now, but it’s still so very true: when you have fantastic ingredients, you don’t need to mess around with them – let them sing.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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