Many of us have probably grown up hearing the name Rick Stein and perhaps flicking through his many recipe books. I would say he’s probably one of the first TV chefs I remember watching. I love his passion for food and now as an adult (with a tad more food knowledge) I really appreciate and respect his simple style of cooking and his ‘paddock to plate’ philosophy. It’s great to now see one of his sons walking in his footsteps and working to keep his dad’s legacy alive.
I’m not sure how many of you already know that his son Jack Stein is now on the TV cooking scene. Jack, who in recent years became executive chef directing the family’s nine restaurants in the UK, has his first very own TV series called Born to Cook: Jack Stein Down Under which is airing on Food Network over the next two weeks. I’m really looking forward to seeing this series, especially after watching him in a couple of episodes of his dad’s shows.
When I recently read an article about the Born to Cook series, which explores the produce of the Margaret River region in South Western Australia, I did some foraging to find out more. I came across a number of his recipes and immediately I was drawn to his Chocolate Pavé with cherries recipe! Chocolate and cherries are one of my favourite dessert combos. Fresh cherries especially! But, unfortunately cherries are not in season at the moment (Jack filmed it last November) so instead I decided to take Jack’s recipe and put my own take on it, just in time for me to sit down and enjoy his first episode tonight (I couldn’t possibly do that on an empty stomach, now could I 😂 )
Since there are some beautiful Queensland strawberries all over the place at the moment I thought I’d use them as an alternative to the cherries. Now Jack also uses vodka to macerate the cherries so I wanted to do something similar that’s non-alcoholic with the strawberries. I thought balsamic vinegar would be a great alternative. It’s something I’ve made a few times before and in a similar way to what I’ve read vodka does to fruit, the balsamic vinegar also works to highlight and draw out the unique flavour of strawberries. I know it sounds like a strange combination of ingredients but trust me, if you’ve never tried this before, you really must! Once paired with the decadent Chocolate Pavé too, it’s just perfect.
- 130 g unsalted butter, softened
- 125 g caster sugar
- 1 shot espresso
- 120 g egg yolk
- 50 g honey
- 80 g bitter cocoa powder
- ½ pinch salt
- 225 g double cream
- 70 g dark chocolate
- 30 g pistachios (chopped)
- 30g walnuts (chopped)
- 4 g caster sugar
- ¼ pinch Salt
- 23 g water
- 33 g caster sugar
- ½ tsp golden syrup
- 250g (1 punnet) strawberries
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a food mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the espresso and honey. Reduce the speed and add cocoa powder and salt. Add egg yolks and mix until smooth and evenly combined, then set aside.
- In a clean bowl, whip cream until soft, slightly stiff peaks form, and set to one side. Melt chocolate gently in the microwave in 10 second bursts for 30 seconds. Gently fold the chocolate into cream, then add to butter and sugar mix, beating until evenly combined, but being careful not to overwork. Pour into a 26 cm x 16 cm x 3 cm brownie tray that has been lined with greaseproof paper and set overnight in the fridge.
- In a pan set over medium heat, add the roasted peanuts, 4 g of sugar and a pinch of salt. Let the sugar melt. In another pot, make an indirect caramel over a high heat by mixing the water, 33 g of caster sugar and the golden syrup. Using an electric thermometer, bring the ingredients up to exactly 140° Celsius and then add the pistachios and walnuts. Quickly stir through then pour out onto baking parchment to cool. They should set together like a peanut brittle.
- Wash, remove stems and leaves from strawberries and cut them in half. Set aside in a bowl.
- Place the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a simmer. Allow this mixture to simmer for a 10 minutes until it is reduced by half. Set aside to cool.
- Once this liquid has cooled, pour over the strawberries and toss to cover.
- Leave this to rest for about an hour.
- Toss again before serving.*
To serve, cut a thin slice of pave´, top with brittle and balsamic strawberries and a scoop of ice cream (I've used a scoop of roasted pistachio Booza mastic ice cream).
Recipe above for Pave´ & Brittle is by Jack Stein. I've used a mix of pistachios & walnuts in my version instead of the peanuts.
*The Strawberry Balsamic recipe is my own. These strawberries only work when served and eaten on same day. They don't keep too well.
*This post is in collaboration with and sponsored by Food Network. Opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. You can watch Born to Cook: Jack Stein Down Under on Wednesday, 28 June at 7.30pm and Wednesday, 5 July at 7.30pm on Food Network, free-to-air Channel 33. Find more of Jack Stein’s recipes via the Food Network section of the SBS Food website here.