HESTON BLUMENTHAL’S LOVE OF AUSTRALIA INSPIRES HIS LATEST DESSERT DISH
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in Australia, located on the third floor of Crown Towers Melbourne, celebrates a brand new dessert, VEGEMITE Ice Cream, inspired by the country’s love of the quintessentially Australian breakfast spread. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to an exclusive preview of the exciting and stunning new dessert.
The team, led by Group Executive Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts have been exploring the origins of the Australian pantry staple, to create a dessert that amplifies the distinct flavour of the iconic spread. Over six months in development back in Bray, UK the favourite Australian spread, created in the early 1900’s, was deconstructed to uncover a unique blend of flavours. (We began with Meatfruit - a great way to tart any meal!).
The more dominant notes Ashley identified were caramel, rich chocolate, yeast and of course saltiness. The result of this creative exploration is titled VEGEMITE Ice Cream however the surrounding components of the dish are the flavour bursts that set the stage for the ice cream itself. (Image above: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal Instagram).
Served on a biscuit sourdough crumble base with toasted puffed spelt, cocoa nibs, burnt honey and macadamia the dish offers a complex mix of flavours and textures. There are elements of salted caramel with a barley chocolate ganache and a verjuice curd. The ice cream will nestle amid all of the other complementing flavours.
At the table the dish will be expertly finished by the waiter who will drizzled a rich caramel sauce directly from the familiar spread jar. VEGEMITE’s Category Manager Tania Trapla was invited to taste the dessert ensuring this very precious ingredient was honoured. She applauded the end result saying, “It was a great tribute to have chefs of Heston and Ashley’s calibre work with our product. We have always been aware of the versatility of VEGEMITE’s taste and to have their innovative take on our famous Australian spread was truly remarkable. They have managed to take VEGEMITE to another dimension”.
Australia Day, 26th January 2017 saw the launch of the dessert at a special 4-course lunch celebration presented by Ashley Palmer-Watts. The lunch featured the very best Australian produce and wines including the new Rosella Wine cocktail- inspired by the dried rosella and nerina strawberry used in the jam of the Rosella Preserving and Manufacturing Company, originating back to late 1800’s.
The Melbourne menu embraces the wealth of exceptional Australian produce and 2017 sees both the restaurant menu and the Dinner by Heston Bar’s bespoke cocktail list, explore more quintessential Australian offerings. In just over a year since opening, Dinner by Heston has been acclaimed throughout Australia for its modern cuisine, uniquely inspired by historic recipes.
With both Heston and his Group Executive Chef, Ashley calling Australia their second home, Ashley says there was no other Australian ingredient that they were more intrigued by than the cult spread, “I had never really eaten Vegemite until I came to Australia”, explains Ashley Palmer-Watts, “Heston was intrigued by the flavour immediately and pretty insistent for some time that we explore a dessert dish based on the spread.
There are notes of caramel and a rich chocolate back-drop as well as a yeasty saltiness. It was great fun exploring the flavours which led to actually a pretty complex dessert from a real cult Australian product”.