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Fancy yourself a bit of a Masterchef…?


Were you glued to MasterChef: The Professionals?  Marcus and Monica putting the contestants through their culinary paces, watching as they produced spectacular dishes that were more like works of art than things you could actually eat – then Gregg making those mmm… and ooo…. noises that he does so well, especially when it comes to pud.


Scott Barnard, one of the three finalists this year, is a sous chef at the Grove Hotel, near Watford, and he’s back there now – after his MasterChef adventure – and planning a number of pop-ups round the area.  How great is that?  A chance to actually taste some of the dishes he made on the show – and locally, too.


He’s been living round this way since he was little, and is excited about coming ‘home’ after his time on the telly and sharing his food.  The first of the pop-ups is at The Grove – very glam – on 28 Feb and then there’ll be one on 20 Mar at The Olive Tree in Berkhamsted, and then later at The Artichoke in Amersham.  Tickets are going fast for the evening at The Grove – and if there’s enough interest, he might repeat them, so pop your name on the waiting list if you call and you’re too late.  The more the merrier!


In the mean time, fancy having a go at one of those delicately exquisite desserts that Scott produced on the show?  Scott’s very kindly given me the recipe for his – brace yourself – Chocolate Dark Chocolate Ganache, Passion Fruit and Banana, Cocoa Nib Tuille.  It’s not going to be easy – but how about giving it a go?  I dare you.


Chocolate Dark Chocolate Ganache, Passion Fruit and Banana, Cocoa Nib Tuille


 For the Ganache

225g Valrhona Caraibe 66% dark chocolate

100g Valrhona Jivara 40% milk chocolate

280g UHT whipping cream

65g butter

45g glucose

Pinch of Maldon sea salt

  • warm the cream and glucose and pour onto the chocolate, then mix until smooth and glossy
  • add the butter piece by piece and emulsify
  • once all the butter is mixed in, place into a piping bag
  • pipe approximately 40g per mould
  • allow to set at room temperature

For the Sorbet

250g banana puree

200g passion fruit puree

250g water

50g sugar

50g Trimoline (inverted sugar)

1 vanilla pod

  • bring the water, sugar and Trimoline upto the boil
  • pour onto the purees and blend, then pass through a fine sieve and churn in the ice cream machine
  • once it is set, place in the freezer.

For the Banana and White Chocolate Panna Cotta

65g whole milk

8g glucose

1 ½ leaves of gelatine

90g Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate

125g banana puree

  • soak gelatine in cold water until soft
  • bring the milk and glucose to the boil and pour onto the chocolate
  • add the puree and mix
  • add Gelatine and dissolve into the mix
  • pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, and set over ice in the fridge

For the Crumble

30g sugar

30g ground almonds

18g soft flour

12g cocoa powder

pinch of salt

15g butter

  • place all the dry ingredients into a Kitchen Aid bowl and mix
  • place diced butter into the dry mix
  • mix until a course texture is achieved
  • place onto a baking sheet and put in the oven at 180c for 20 minutes – mix every 5 minutes to achieve even cooking
  • allow to cool

For the Crunch

50g Valrhona Caraibe 66% dark chocolate

50g feuilltine

  • melt the chocolate and add the feuillitine
  • mix until the feuillitine is coated in the chocolate
  • place onto a tray and place in the fridge to set

For the Tuille

100g Isomalt

100g glucose

10g cocoa nibs

5g butter

  • put the Isomalt and glucose into a small pan and slowly take it to a caramel
  • deglaze with the butter and mix together
  • pour onto the cocoa nibs and allow to set
  • once cold, blitz to a powder and sieve over a Silpat mat
  • sprinkle some cocoa nibs evenly over the tuille mix, and place in the oven at 190c for approximately 5/6 minutes
  • allow to cool slightly and pull until it sets and place onto a tray

And then you put them all together, assembling them beautifully and elegantly, just like Scott, so that it looks like it did on the telly….

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