Tuesday, December 23, 2014

High tea edition vol 2: Passionfruit Pastilles

So last time, I talked about the Rosemary and Bay truffles, and gave an overview of the high tea menu.

Today, it's on to the Passionfruit pastilles - probably the most popular dish (apart from fruit mince pies, because I make a mean fruit mince pie courtesy of Nigella).

Passionfruit Pastilles
Heston Blumenthal at Home

So this was fun, if a little nerve wracking as I wasn't sure if it was going to work!

I made a half batch because I didn't have a lot of moulds, and even then it made plenty. I also used the pulp that comes in jars in the fruit and veg section, because I couldn't get the actual fruit. (It worked fine). I found it really interesting that there isn't any gelatin in the pastilles - just pectin and sugars and flavour. Kind of super set jam.


  1. Puree passionfruit pulp
  2. Mix the sugar, pectin and glucose with the pureed pulp
  3. Heat to 108 degrees *harder than it sounds
  4. Add lemon juice
  5. Pour into moulds, cool.
  6. Roll in sugar
Which all left me realise it is much like making caramel. Let's see...

Assemble your ingredients

I got the pectin from the health food store rather than a speciality grocer. Thanks to an excellent tip from a co-worker.

Puree your passionfruit pulp

I was a little unsure about leaving the seeds in. Husband felt they'd be better seedless - just keeping the flavour, but most guests were happy with them in. ("It's like actual passionfruit, isn't it. Because that has seeds, so you expect them")  Of course, removing the seeds would be a pain and also greatly reduce your weight of passionfruit pulp. Maybe if you have them growing in your yard, but at $5 a small jar... I'm happy to keep the seeds in.


Mix the sugar, pectin and glucose with the pureed pulp

This was labelled as "citrus pectin". I don't know if there are many kids, but it worked fine.
Pop it in and mix it up.

 Heat to 108 degrees 

*harder than it sounds

So there isn't a lot of photos of this, because it is very difficult to juggle a spatula for stirring, and an electronic thermometer and a hot saucepan and it's really very hot. It also took much, much longer than I expected.

It got to 100 (Celsius) or so  without any trouble, but then stopped for ages, and then stop again at around 104... and so on. It took maybe 20-30 minutes? I'm not sure, it felt like forever, and it was very awkward standing so close of the boiling sugar of threatening doom...I got really worried it just wasn't going to get there at all, and nearly took them off early. The colour went from a light-ish yellow to a very dark yellow-brown.

Once it hit the magic number it took it off very quickly! Then lemon juice goes in then. No photos, boiling passionfruit scented caramel stuff, not enough hands for photos.

Pour into moulds

Despite doing a half mix, I still had extra, so used some left over mini muffin silicon cups.
 Let them cool.

 Then, very nervously... pop them out!

 Roll them in sugar...

 I was taken aback by how great they looked. Yay!

Things I learned:

  • There is a world of confectionery out there. I may need to investigate further.


Other then the significant nerves over the getting-to-the-right-temperature problem, these weren't very difficult barring the usual dealing with molten sugar issue.

Product wise... they are really intensely flavoured and a soft, but not too soft texture. They are not the hard kind of jube, more like those fancy pastilles you might give as gifts.  Personally, I found the flavour too strong. But I was the only person to feel that way.

I'm tempted to buy about another 3 of the silicon trays, they do make the finished product look much more like the real deal.

Guest opinions:

Very popular, though more so for some than others. As in, for those who loved them, I could use them as gold currency. I now am tempted to try the caramelised apple variety...

Next: Chocolate sauce for Madeleines. For reals this time. ;)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

High tea: Rosemary & bay truffles

So, for a while now I've wanted to do an afternoon tea - a high tea. (Which is what we call a fancy afternoon tea. Which isn't actually the correct British definition as I understand it, but anyway..)

I have a thing for high tea. All those pretty dishes, and delicious delicate things...  Fortunately, I am far from alone in this love. So, a dear friend of mine offered to host the venue, while I brought the food.

There were, of course a few Heston dishes to add to the list for me to talk about. I'll do one per post, keep it easy for people reading. (And yes, there was a lot of Nigella love going on. She does ace the baking thing.)

We had: (origin of dishes marked in brackets)
  • Scones (Nigella Lawson - How to be a Domestic Goddess)
    • plain with strawberry jam and cream
    • cheese and chive with butter
  • Sandwiches (None. They are sandwiches. I don't need no recipe for sandwiches.)
    • cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches
    • honey baked ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches
  • Cupcakes (Nigella Lawson - How to be a Domestic Goddess)
    • Chocolate Cherry
    • Carrot with cream cheese frosting
  • Fruit mince pies (Nigella Lawson - How to be a Domestic Goddess)
  • Coconut Maccaroons (Nigella Lawson - How to be a Domestic Goddess)
  • Madeleines (Stephanie Alexander - Cook's Companion, 2ed.)  with chocolate sauce (Heston Blumenthal - Heston Blumenthal at Home.)
  • Florentines - (Heston Blumenthal - Heston Blumenthal at Home.) 
  • Rosemary and bay truffles (Heston Blumenthal - Heston Blumenthal at Home.) 
  • Passionfruit Pastilles (Heston Blumenthal - Heston Blumenthal at Home.)

Today we're talking...

Rosemary and bay truffles

Heston Blumenthal at Home

I've made a variant of these before. And they were nice, but I really wanted to try the rosemary and bay truffles. Such a savoury flavours as a sweet? It's classic Heston. I also made the crispy chocolate coating this time. Yum.


  1. Warm the milk and flavours.
  2. Melt the chocolate separately
  3. Mix together
  4. Chill
  5. Make the crystallised chocolate coating
  6.  Roll chocolate into balls and then in coating

I decided to do a half batch, as I recall it making quite a lot, and I was worried it would be awful, and didn't want to have a whole bunch of chocolates no one would eat.

Step 1: Warm the milk in flavours. 

For this one, its rosemary and thyme. Warm it up, and let it infuse for a while.

Then strain out the bay and rosemary.

Step 2: Melt the chocolate

As I've mentioned before, I do this in the microwave..

Step 3: Mix together

I used double cream, rather than whipping cream. This was a mistake, because it was too high on the fat content, meaning it separated (just a little).

Step 4: Chill. 

Pour it into your prepared tin.

Step 5: Make the Crispy Chocolate topping. 

I recognised this as a similar thing to some of the chocolate dirt from the Tiramisu flowerpots.Version one and two.

Heat up water and sugar ...

Until it hits 135 degrees, or starts to colour slightly on the edges. I went for the latter because it was a lot easier than juggling a thermometer. (Basically you're using a similar technique to making wet caramel).

Add some chopped chocolate...

And whisk like crazy..

It turns to powdery lumps. Totally freakish and not what you expect from chocolate. I recommend getting a spoon and squishing some of the larger lumps to make it more powdery and better suited to rolling into balls.

Step 6: Roll into balls and then into coating.

You can see below some the fat has separated out. Sigh. I scraped it off before rolling it into balls.
I found the large sized melon scoop was perfect truffle size.

I don't have any pictures of that. What can I say, it was really messy and my usual photographer was excitedly helping roll balls of ganache in chocolate crystals.

I also managed to not take a photo of them after making them. You can see them on the top tier, with the lighter coloured coating.

Things I learned from this recipe:

  • Use the right cream asked for in the recipe. If double cream was better, it would have asked for it.


They were tasty! Unexpectedly so. The rosemary was definitely noticeable, but not in anyway unpleasant. Just... different.

Guest opinions:

Well received. Apart from husband who feels rosemary has no place in chocolate. Otherwise generally enjoyed, especially by the other member of our household, who ate four.

Next: Chocolate sauce for Madeleines.