Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Heston Blumenthal's Unused Ideas

hestonhero.jpg

Heston Blumenthal has a new book out. It will surprise you not one jot to learn that it’s packed full of utterly bizarre concoctions, many based on medieval recipes. Having sampled a few delights from the book at an exclusive dinner, we asked the man himself to talk us through a few of his madder ideas that haven’t yet come to fruition…

Savoury candy floss

“About 10 years ago, I knew a guy who’d been a radiologist for BP, but was then later headhunted to work on yoghurts and jellies. He worked in a laboratory for ‘edible soft matter’, which I’ve always thought would make a brilliant name for a [brand of] jelly. Anyway, this guy was using maltodextrin, which is a sugar but also contains a high amount of carbohydrate bonds, so it’s less sweet. I then started to think of all the things you could make that looked like sugar, but were actually savoury. So, I got hold of a candy floss machine, and spun this maltodextrin in it – as well as some chilli – but it didn’t actually come out as fine as normal candy floss; I just got these thick, crunchy strands.”

Flaming sorbet

“I’ve managed to get a sorbet to ignite – to flame up, and not melt – but the texture’s not very nice. It’s very gummy. I have to make it work. Do I worry it would be unsafe? No, I mean, people light Christmas puddings, right? I don’t think anybody’s ever done themselves damage by lighting a Christmas pudding. Well, actually, there’s probably someone out there…”

Heat-resistant carrot puree

“I’ve made a heat-resistant jelly, which involves using carrageenan and agar, which are seaweed-based jellies used in classic Thai cooking. They can resist higher temperatures than gelatine, so they don’t melt, and instead go crunchy. Imagine you set this jelly into a rubbery block, put fresh carrot juice in, then get a hand blender and blitz it. You’d have this beautiful sort of fluid gel carrot purée.”

Our Thoughts After Sampling a Few Dishes From Heston's New Book...

Meat Fruit (c1500)

Silky chicken liver and foie gras parfait, offering sweet and savoury taste.

Spiced Pigeon (c1780)

Stacked high like a medieval platter, this unlocks more sweetness with every bite.

Tarte of Strawberries (c1591)

Masterful, and ably aided by a bonus strawberry sorbet.

Historic Heston is out now, priced £125 (Bloomsbury). He will sign copies at Selfridges, London on 10 October at 6pm; call 020-7318 3678 for details

Related

food-hero-1.jpg

Famous film food

BaconHERO.jpg

World's Most Expensive Bacon Sandwich

food.jpg

10 Food Apps You Don’t Know About

More

The 10 cheapest places in the world to buy a beer in 2017

Important holiday planning information

by Tom Victor
22 Aug 2017

25 discontinued British foods we need to bring back immediately

Gone before their time

by Gary Ogden
22 Aug 2017

Your veggie mates are probably getting drunk and eating meat

Know anyone who does this?

by Alex Finnis
21 Aug 2017

We asked burger experts to design the perfect patty for the apocalypse

May as well die happy - while eating a burg

by Chris Sayer
18 Aug 2017

You can get free chips delivered right to your desk today

It's easy, and anyone can do it

by Tom Victor
18 Aug 2017

The 50 best restaurants in the UK have been named

Prepare for some 10/10 food porn

by Tom Victor
17 Aug 2017

What your coffee order says about you

According to an actual barista

by Carl Anka
16 Aug 2017

Aldi’s £18 whisky has been crowned one of the best in the world

They're getting good at this booze thing

by Tom Victor
16 Aug 2017

All hail Nigel Slater, the Quiet King of Cookery

The dangerously sensual chef makes cooking seem like the most enjoyable thing in the world

by Josh Baines
15 Aug 2017

There's a very cynical reason behind why crisp packets are so noisy

God damn them

by Emily Reynolds
15 Aug 2017