Annual Starfish Greathearts Foundation Charity Dinner

Rather late than never, I’ve decided to post some pics of the dishes from this year’s Starfish charity dinner that Tiron Eloff and I created.

Every year we donate our services and a multi-course dinner gets auctioned at a gala event.

This year we planned a rather special menu with our wonderful hosts loosely based on a “classics-with-a-twist” theme.

After the guests had some oysters and champagne in the foyer, we started the dinner off with a Beet Tartare

Beet Tartare

and followed up with a Heston classic Chicken Consommé poured at the table of a jasmine flower.

Chicken Consomme

The salad course was a Duck and Smoked Cherry salad with Mano purèe.

Duck and Smoked Cherry Salad with Mango Puree

A quick palate cleanser of Champagne Sorbet preceded the main events.

Champagne Sorbet

These were a fillet of Sea Bass on Jet-black purèe (made with lentils and squid ink) with seared endive.

Sea Bass with Jet-black Puree

This was followed by the most decadent Beef Wellington ever, made with prosciutto and foie gras (Get the recipe here) and plated with some inspiration from Dexter .

Beef Wellington

The composed cheese plate consisted of whipped ricotta, aged Gouda, Saint André, gorgonzola, grilled nectarines, fresh figs, baguette crisps and candied walnuts.

Composed Cheese Plate

The lovely, sweet end to the night consisted of a silky-smooth Crème Brûlée (cooked sous-vide at 80C for an hour).

Creme Brulee

It was a marvellous evening and we can’t wait to do it all over again.

Making the Black Death Macaroons that sent two Masterchefs home

I was delighted and horrified by the wicked dessert that David Higgs presented for the five contestants to replicate in last Wednesday’s pressure test on MasterChef SA.

The dish was beautiful. I loved the complementary black and white colours and the flavours of liquorice and litchi. It was painful, though, watching people that I have grown very close to struggle with a slightly sketchy recipe and only two hours within which to recreate it.

Full of empathy and bravado, I decided to attempt it myself. Because I don’t have an ice cream machine and neither does my masochistic streak extend that far, I ignored the time constraints.

Here’s a link to the recipe: Liquorice Macaroon with Litchi Panna Cotta, Lichi Sorbet and Black Crumble

Here’s the result:

Liqurice and Litchi Dessert of Death

Not too shabby, I suppose. David himself remarked on Twitter (@David_Higgs) that it looked good enough to eat. I’ll take that as high praise.

What a mission it was though! I’m very glad that I wasn’t in that pressure test.

Will I be silly enough to try any of the other challenges coming up? We’ll have to wait and see.

My stab at David Higgs' dessert

The JIA Emptiness dinner plate was kindly supplied by entrepo Hyde Park. Tel. 087 150 5369
R 279.95









I wish I had one of these. I had to churn the sorbet by hand in a bowl over ice and salt. Old skool.

Le Glacier Turbine Ice Cream Maker
R 6 960









You’ll also need a stand mixer (Kenwood, Kitchen Aid), silicone macaron baking sheet (Silpat, Tescoma, Sweetly Does It), piping bag, whipping siphon with NO2 chargers (iSi, Ibili), isomalt and black gel colouring. These last two are available at good baking shops.

Happy baking!?

P.S. (2013/07/30) The liquorice and white chocolate ganache filling for the macaroons is the most delicious thing ever. It’s seriously addictive. Be warned.