Counting Sheep

Heston takes it to the next level with his exquisite dish titled Counting Sheep

Recipe by: Heston Blumenthal

Ingredients

Coriander Yoghurt:

White Mousse Spray:

Malt Meringue:

Lychee Fluid Gel:

Earl Grey Caramel :

Steamed Vanilla Sponge:

Milk Ice Cream:

Tonka Panna Cotta:

Coconut Ice Cream:

Orange Blossom and Lychee Yoghurt:

Earl Grey and Lavender Mousse:

Pistachio Fluid Gel :

Frozen Yoghurt Powder:

Bergamot Curd:

Milk Crumble:

Malt Crumble:

Crystallised White Chocolate:

Finished Crumble:

Yeast Spray:

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Method

  1. Preheat one underbench domestic oven to 75C. Preheat another domestic underbench oven to 130C. Preheat a third underbench oven to 150C. Preheat the combi oven to 120C, steam setting, no fan. Preheat water bath to 48C.
  2. For the Coriander Yoghurt, place the coriander and yoghurt into a bowl and stir to combine. Transfer to a vac bag and seal under full pressure. Set aside to infuse in the fridge for 3 hours.
  3. Once infused, pass through a fine drum sieve then transfer to a piping bag and set aside in the fridge until needed.
  4. For the White Mousse Spray, place the vac sealed bag of spray mixture into the water bath set at 48C and ensure that the bag is fully submerged. Leave in the water bath until needed.
  5. For the Malt Meringue, place all ingredients into a stick blender canister. Blitz with a stick blender until completely dissolved.
  6. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip on maximum speed for 2 minutes. Reduce speed to 4 and whip for a further 2 minutes. Reduce speed to 2 and whip for a further 2 minutes, until thick and glossy.
  7. Line a large gold baking tray with a silpat mat.
  8. Transfer the meringue mixture from the stand mixer to a piping bag. Snip the piping bag tip to 3cm wide.
  9. Pipe at least 8 meringue pillows, 5cm in length, onto the tray lined with silpat. As you come to the end of each length of meringue, stop applying pressure and, in one swift motion, move the tip downwards, then upwards so that the edge of the bag creates a flat end on each meringue.
  10. Place meringues in the oven, with the door kept slightly ajar, and bake at 75C until completely dry, at least 4 hours.
  11. For the Lychee Fluid Gel, prepare a ½ gastronorm tray with iced water. Sit a second gastronorm tray on top and set aside.
  12. Shake the tub of lychee purée to recombine, then place lychee purée, sugar and Gellan f into a Thermomix and set at 100C, speed 4, for 10 minutes or until boiling. Once boiling, boil for a further 2 minutes on speed 4, scraping down the sides of the jug at intervals. Ensure that all of the Gellan F is dissolved.
  13. Add the citric acid and the lychee dilution and mix well to combine. Pour into the gastronorm tray over ice and allow to cool and set completely.
  14. Once the lychee gel is set, break up and place into a clean Thermomix jug. Gradually increasing the speed, blitz well, scraping down the sides of the jug at intervals as the speed increases, to achieve a smooth gel. Pass through a fine chinois, transfer the mixture into a piping bag and set aside in the fridge until needed.
  15. For the Earl Grey Caramel, heat the infused cream in a small saucepan to 70-80C then set aside.
  16. Meanwhile, sprinkle the sugar in an even layer into a large frypan and heat to form a light amber dry caramel, stirring occasionally to prevent the caramel from burning.
  17. Remove the caramel from the heat and, in three stages, whisk in the hot infused cream, ensuring it is fully combined before each new addition.
  18. Place the mixture back over low heat and gradually add the cubed butter, whisking to emulsify between each addition. Transfer to a shallow tray and place into the freezer to cool. Once cool, transfer to a piping bag and set aside on the bench until needed.
  19. To begin assembling the Insert, lay the sheet of red 2.8cm half sphere moulds onto a flat tray.
  20. Pipe the Lychee Fluid Gel in to mould, 1/3 full, then tap on the bench to level and remove air bubbles. Place the tray of moulds into the blast chiller to freeze solid.
  21. Once Lychee Fluid Gel is frozen, pipe the Earl Grey Caramel a further 1/3 of the way up the mould and place back into the blast chiller to freeze solid. Leave in the blast chiller until ready to add the Coriander Yoghurt layer.
  22. For the Steamed Vanilla Sponge, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to 115C. Brush down the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystallisation.
  23. Place the egg whites and egg white powder into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk to soft peaks.
  24. When the sugar syrup is at temperature, with the mixer running on high, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites. Mix on high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy, yet not too firm, then reduce speed to low. Continue to whisk until the meringue cools to 35C, being careful not to overmix the meringue.
  25. Combine the flour and baking powder together in a bowl. When the meringue is ready, sieve 1/3 of the flour mix into the meringue mixture and use a whisk to combine, repeat this process until all of the flour mix is incorporated.
  26. Take a small portion of the sponge mixture and place into a small bowl. Mix the vanilla seeds into the portion of sponge mixture until fully combined. Fold this vanilla-sponge mixture through the remaining sponge mixture until combined. Fill a large piping bag with the vanilla sponge mixture.
  27. Set the 4cm white dome moulds onto a wire rack, and set in a deep gastronorm tray which is deeper than the height of the moulds. Pipe the sponge into the moulds to just above the level of the top of the mould. Wrap the tray tightly all around with cling film, then place into the combi oven set on steam at 120C (no fan) for 30 minutes.
  28. Once steamed, remove the tray of sponges from the oven. Working carefully to prevent burning with the steam, quickly unwrap the cling film away from you, holding it back from the sponges and allowing the steam to escape, ensuring it does not cling to the top of the sponges.
  29. Remove the wire rack and sheet of moulds from the gastronorm tray and place on a bench to cool. Once cool, place into the blast chiller to freeze solid, about 30-40 minutes.
  30. Once completely frozen, unmould the sponges and slice the pointed side off to level each sponge. Use a small knife to gently cut out approximately ½ a teaspoon of sponge from the centre of the cut side of sponge. Set aside on a paper lined tray on the bench until needed.
  31. For the Milk Ice Cream, combine all ingredients in a 4 litre pot. Use a stick blender to combine all ingredients until dissolved. Pass through a sieve into a clean 4 litre pot and set aside in the fridge until needed.
  32. For the Tonka Panna Cotta, place the gelatine into a bowl of iced water and set aside to soften.
  33. Place half the blended milk, along with the fructose and trehalose into a small saucepan over medium heat and heat until mixture reaches 70C, being careful not to boil. Remove from heat.
  34. Squeeze out the gelatine to remove excess water, then add to the warmed milk mixture and stir until dissolved.
  35. Add the remaining blended milk, evaporated milk, tonka solution and liquorice to the gelatine-milk mixture and stir to combine.
  36. Place the bowl of mixture over an ice bath and stir with a spatula until the mixture reaches 13C. Transfer some of the mixture to a liquid dispenser in readiness to pour into the mould.
  37. Set a sheet of white 2.5cm dome moulds onto a tray. Lightly spray the dome moulds with canola oil. Gently wipe excess oil from the mould with paper towel. Dispense the panna cotta mixture into the moulds all the way to the top.
  38. Place into the fridge to set, about 60 minutes. Then leave in fridge until needed.
  39. For the Coconut Ice Cream, combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the trimoline and mix into a paste.
  40. Shake the carton of coconut milk to recombine. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until combined and dissolved. Pass through a fine chinois into a clean large bowl.
  41. Put on all nitrogen safe equipment and travel to the nitrogen station with the ice cream mixture.
  42. Measure out 550g of the mixture and place into a stand mixer fitted with a creaming attachment.
  43. Turn the mixer on to low speed and pour in nitrogen to bring the temperature quickly down to 0C. Turn the mixer on to high speed, then continue to add small amounts of the nitrogen gradually, until the ice cream has set, being careful not to create ice crystals. Once set, transfer to a square gastronorm dish, cover the surface of the ice cream with freezer film and set aside in the freezer until needed.
  44. For the Orange Blossom and Lychee Yoghurt, place all ingredients into a bowl and whisk together to combine. Transfer to a piping bag, then reserve in the fridge until needed.
  45. For the Orange Blossom and Lychee Yoghurt, place all ingredients into a bowl and whisk together to combine. Transfer to a piping bag, then reserve in the fridge until needed.
  46. Smooth off with an offset palette knife, then place into the blast chiller to freeze solid. Reserve the remaining yoghurt in a piping bag in the fridge until needed for plating.
  47. For the Earl Grey and Lavender Mousse, lay a sheet of 4cm white dome moulds onto a tray and set aside. Place the gelatine in iced water and set aside to soften.
  48. Soak the Viscarin in 162g of the Earl Grey and lavender infused milk in a stick blender cannister and set aside. Reserve the remaining infused milk until needed.
  49. Place the Earl Grey and lavender infused cream in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip to soft peaks. Add the orange blossom water, whisk to combine, then set aside.
  50. Combine the sugar, isomalt, trehalose and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook to 112C. Brush down the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush as the syrup comes to temperature to prevent crystallisation.
  51. Meanwhile, place the egg whites into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk to soft peaks.
  52. Once the sugar syrup has come to temperature, with the mixer running on high speed, slowly pour in the sugar syrup in to the egg whites and continue to whisk until the meringue becomes thick and glossy. Increase the speed and continue to whisk until cooled to 35C.
  53. Place the remaining 25g of infused milk in a bowl and microwave until warm. Add the gelatine and stir until dissolved. Microwave for 15 seconds to help dissolve the gelatine if required.
  54. Blitz the Viscarin infused milk with a stick blender until well combined. Continue to blend for a further 2 minutes to fully hydrate. Add the dissolved gelatine mixture and blitz until completely dissolved.
  55. Place the infused, blended milk into an extra large bowl and whisk until mixture thickens slightly, enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  56. Whisk in a little of the meringue, then a little of the whipped cream until combined. Repeat this process until the three elements are all mixed together and fully incorporated.
  57. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag, then, immediately pipe the mousse into the moulds so that they are completely filled. Tap each mould on the bench to ensure that no air bubbles remain.
  58. To assemble the Mousse Dome, remove the 2.8cm, 3 layered frozen Inserts from the blast chiller. De-mould the inserts and push, round side down, into the Earl Grey and Lavender Mousse in the mould tray so that the flat side is just below the top of the mould.
  59. Allow excess mousse to push up the sides, then smooth over the top with an offset spatula, to create a flat surface completely covered with mousse. Place into the blast chiller to freeze solid.
  60. For the Pistachio Fluid Gel, prepare a ½ sized deep gastronorm tray with iced water, and place a second ½ size gastronorm tray on top and set aside.
  61. Combine 400g of the pistachio milk with the salt, sugar and Gellan F into a Thermomix, speed 4, 100C for 10 minutes. Reserve the remaining pistachio milk unitl needed.
  62. As the mixture comes to temperature, ensure that the Gellan F has distributed evenly and has not clumped on the blade or the sides of the jug, as is completely dissolved.
  63. Pour the mix into a the gastronorm tray set over the ice bath and allow to cool and set.
  64. Once set, break up and place into a clean Thermomix jug with the remaining 100g of pistachio milk and gradually increase the speed to blitz to a smooth purée, scraping down the sides of the jug at intervals until a smooth gel is formed. Pass through a fine sieve then transfer to a piping bag and set aside in the fridge until needed.
  65. For the Frozen Yoghurt Powder, place the gelatine into a bowl of iced water and set aside to soften.
  66. Combine the Greek yoghurt and vanilla yoghurt in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  67. Place the cream into a glass bowl and microwave until warm. Squeeze out the gelatine to remove excess water, add to the warm cream and stir until dissolved.
  68. Add a portion of the yoghurt to the warm cream and mix well, then pour into the bowl of remaining yoghurt mixture and mix well to combine. Transfer to a small siphon gun and seal. Turn the gun upside down and charge twice with cream chargers.
  69. Travel to the liquid nitrogen station with the siphon gun, and put on all nitrogen safety equipment.
  70. Point the siphon gun downwards, and gently shake so that the mixture moves to the top of the gun. Siphon a small amount of the mixture from the gun into a small gastronorm tray. Use a dessert spoon to spoon a little of the mixture into a nitrogen safe bowl. Then pour a little nitrogen into the bowl and carefully crush using a large pestle. Add more of the mixture and cover with nitrogen, crushing with the pestle to make a coarse crumb.
  71. Travel back to the cooking bench and transfer the Frozen Yoghurt Powder to a metal bowl and set aside in the freezer until needed.
  72. For Bergamot Curd, shake the tub of bergamot purée to recombine, then place all the ingredients into a Thermomix set at 100C, speed 3, for 5 minutes and blitz together. When mixture reaches 100C, cook for a further 1 minute, then pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Cool completely over an ice bath. Transfer into a piping bag and set aside in the fridge until needed.
  73. For the Milk Crumble, spread the mixture onto a paper lined baking tray.
  74. Bake the tray of crumble in the oven preheated at 150C, stirring at 5 minute intervals, for 15 minutes.
  75. For the Malt Crumble, mix the malt powder and raw Milk Crumble base together in a bowl.
  76. Spread out onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  77. Bake in the oven at 130C for 15 minutes, stirring at 5 minute intervals.
  78. For the Crystallised White Chocolate, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to 130C. Brush down the sides of the saucepan with a pastry brush to prevent crystallisation.
  79. Finely chop the caramelised white chocolate. Once the sugar syrup has reached temperature, remove from the heat.
  80. Add the chopped caramelised white chocolate to the saucepan of sugar syrup and whisk until the mixture becomes crumbly. Spread onto a baking tray and allow to cool completely. Measure out enough for the Finished Crumble, then place the remaining Crystallised White Chocolate into a bowl and set aside on the bench until needed for plating.
  81. For Finished Crumble, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside on the bench until needed.
  82. To finish the Earl Grey and Lavender Mousse Domes, de-mould the frozen mousse domes onto a wire rack lined with baking paper. Set aside in the freezer until needed.
  83. Remove the melted White Mousse Spray from the water bath. Travel to the spray booth and transfer the spray into the spray gun canister.
  84. Remove the frozen domes from the freezer and travel to the spray booth.
  85. Spray the domes lightly with the White Mousse Spray so that they are evenly coated, then transfer the rack of white sprayed domes to the fridge until needed.
At the end of the cook, each contestant should have:
  1. Malt Meringues, on a silpat lined tray, in the oven with the door slightly ajar, set at 75C.
  2. Milk Ice Cream mixture, in a 4 litre pot, in the fridge
  3. Coconut Ice Cream, in a gastronorm container, topped with plastic film, in the freezer
  4. Pistachio Fluid Gel, in a piping bag, in the fridge
  5. Bergamot Curd, in a piping bag, in the fridge
  6. Coriander Yoghurt, in a piping bag, in the fridge
  7. Orange Blossom and Lychee Yoghurt, in a piping bag, in the fridge
  8. Tonka Panna Cotta, in moulds, in the fridge
  9. Frozen Yoghurt Powder, in a bowl, in the freezer
  10. Yeast Spray, in a vac bag, in the fridge
  11. Finished Crumble, in a bowl, on the bench
  12. Crystallised White Chocolate, in a bowl, on the bench.
  13. Sprayed Earl Grey and Lavender Mousse domes, on a paper lined wire rack, in the fridge.
  14. Steamed Vanilla Sponge domes, on a lined tray, on the bench
To finish the dish:
  1. To finish the Steamed Vanilla Sponge, remove mould tray of panna cotta from the fridge.
  2. Spoon a little of the Crystallised White Chocolate into the centre hole of the sponge dome. Push a Tonka Panna Cotta dome out of the mould and insert, flat side up, on top of the Crystallised white Chocolate to fill the hole in the sponge. Ensure that the flat bottom of the panna cotta is flush with the base of the sponge.
  3. Set the filled sponge dome aside on a lined tray until needed.
  4. Spoon some of the Finished Crumble onto the centre the serving plates. Use a pipette to drop small drops of the Yeast Spray around the crumble. Pipe several dots each of the Pistachio Fluid Gel, Orange Blossom Lychee Yoghurt, Bergamot Curd and Coriander Yoghurt across and around the crumble.
  5. Place the filled sponge, flat side down, to one side of the crumble. Carefully place the sprayed white mousse dome to one side of the crumb, next to the sponge.
  6. Spoon the Frozen Yoghurt Powder around the white domes so that all crumble is covered. Spoon a little more powder to one side of the domes to create a space for the Coconut Ice Cream.
  7. For the FLOATING PILLOWS, take the pot of Milk Ice Cream from the fridge and travel to the nitrogen bench. Measure out 550g of the mixture and place into a stand mixer fitted with a creaming attachment. Put on all nitrogen safe equipment.
  8. Turn the mixer on to low speed and pour in nitrogen until the mixture begins to solidify. Turn the mixer on to high speed, then gradually add small amounts of the nitrogen until the ice cream has set, being careful not to create ice crystals. Once set, transfer some of the mixture to a piping bag and set aside in the freezer until needed.
  9. Take the Malt Meringues out of the oven. Being careful not to crack the meringue, use a fine microplane to gently file and flatten the underside of 8 meringue pillows to create a flat, smooth base. Using the microplane, gently file the curved top side of 4 of the meringue pillows to create a flat surface on both sides.
  10. Using a Parisian scoop, scoop out a portion along the underside of each of the meringue pillows to create a small crevice, being careful not to crack the meringue.
  11. Place the 4 meringues, which have been filed on both sides, onto a square white plate so that the scooped side is facing upwards. Pipe a little of the Milk Ice Cream into the crevice of the 4 meringues.
  12. Top each filled meringue base with a second, unfilled meringue, with the curved side facing upwards to create a closed pillow.
To serve:
  1. Very carefully place the 4 meringue pillows on to the floating pillow
  2. Use the rocher spoon to scoop out one rocher of Coconut Ice Cream place on to the Frozen Yoghurt Powder on each plate.
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