28 May 2009

Burch & Purchese Dishes 5 -Violet Crumble v1.1

For those of you not here in Australia, we have a confectionary bar sold in retail stores called Violet Crumble. It is basically a honeycomb bar covered with milk chocolate, a bit like the U.K's crunchie bar. This was the inspiration behind this dish of ours. We have created a silky violet ice-cream flavoured with all of the dried violet flowers we have collected throughout the year. The ice-cream is coloured with a corn called Morado found in Peru. In its native country it is used for all sorts of dishes and sweet beverages but here we are using it for its remarkable violet colour. This plant provides one of the only natural violet colourings and is far preferable to using artificial colours. The ice-cream adorns a fresh and light Burch & Purchese version of honeycomb. To start at the beginning of assembly, we first painted the plate with melted cocoa butter and sprinkled over Burch & Purchese spice mix which we feel really compliments the flavours of violet, chocolate and honey. Next we added the theatrical honeycomb and sprinkled around the base crystallised violets, chocolate charcoal and then finished with the ice-cream. The subtle and smooth violet lends itself magnificently to the textures and spices found in this dish. This is really an initial version of a dish we feel has potential to evolve and grow. We will continue to research, test and update you with results.

21 May 2009

Burch & Purchese Love Books For Cooks, Fitzroy

As you know, Burch and Purchese are serious about our cookbooks. Our extensive collection is invaluable to us and we are always on the the lookout for the latest titles or old and rare, out of print editions. This is why we spend a lot of our spare time in Books For Cooks in Gertrude Street. This shop is our idea of heaven and has too may titles to mention. Tim & Amanda who own and operate the store are friendly and helpful and work tirelessly to acquire books to expand the collection. There is always something of interest when you enter the store and a lot of the titles are signed by the author. This delightful shop is a haven for chefs in this area and frequent bumping in to people occurs here. Tim and Amanda have been great supporters of Burch and Purchese and we would like to recommend their store to you. One word of warning, once you start shopping here you may not be able to stop.

20 May 2009

Darren Purchese Pastry Demonstration

In August this year, Darren Purchese will be presenting a cooking class at the fantastic produce store and cookery school, The Green Grocer in Fitzroy. Fresh from a trip to Barcelona in July, Darren will showcase plated desserts using flavours and techniques from the Catalan capital. Whilst in Spain Darren will visit some of the finest restaurants including elBulli and Celler de Can Roca, so expect to see some interesting and unique creations. Darren will also be meeting up with Spanish chocolate legend Ramon Morato and we will update you further on progress in later weeks.

Burch & Purchese Recommended Books 2 - The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal

It is no secret that Burch & Purchese admire Chef Blumenthal's work immensely. His ethos and meticulous approach to cooking has been an inspiration to us and this hefty tome encapsulates the essence of The Fat Duck. We were lucky enough to have eaten at Chef Blumenthal's fantastic restaurant last year and we met up with him again for this years Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. This book is a fascinating insight into his cooking and beliefs on food. It features all of the recipes from his current tasting menu as well as an amazing photographic archive, this is coupled with delightful artwork which is prominent throughout. The illustrations really highlight the thoughts of this great chef and makes this book really unique. Not all of the recipes are achievable at home or even in a commercial kitchen but some are really worth the time and effort as the results are spectacular. Burch & Purchese have attempted quite a few of the recipes and have certainly incorporated a number of techniques offered. This book is a joy to own and has so much depth, for the scientist in you there are essays, researches and findings on food, senses and technologies. At nearly 7 kilos The Fat Duck Cookbook is worth its weight, we cannot recommend this book highly enough. Well done Chef Blumenthal and we eagerly await your new book on Umami later on this year.

19 May 2009

Food Cocktails - CLICK HERE FOR THE TIPPLING CLUB http://www.tipplingclub.com

Burch and Purchese love to experiment with different aspects of food and photography and it's not always limited to patisserie. Our good friend Ryan Clift of whom we have worked with in the past has opened his own restaurant in Singapore along with his partner Matt Bax. Ryan is a talented chef and Matt is the owner and master barman of the award winning cocktail bar Der Raum here in Melbourne. The Tippling Club is a product of Ryan and Matt's vision is to find a natural synergy between food and beverages. They pair interesting and often unconventional combinations and they are on the road to great success if they carry on what they have been doing. Above is a link to their website and we recommend you visit next time you are over there. These photos shows two variations on cocktail 'flights'. We especially are fond of the four variations of Bloody Mary, each with a different and complementing component. Burch & Purchese had great fun experimenting with this and we hope to do more soon.

15 May 2009

New Food Shots By Jasmine Thom

Local photographer Jasmine Thom has been working with Burch & Purchese on some exciting food shots. As you know we are very interested in food photography and it was a joy to work with Jasmine who is very talented and professional. Here are just a couple of shots from a recent shoot, shown are our preserves, piggy banks and Gaudi inspired Easter pieces. Our work with Jasmine will continue and we will update you on what inspires and excites us.

Burch & Purchese Chocolate Pieces 1 - Rusty Tools

We try to create unique pieces for our records. These 'tools' were made by filling homemade moulds with chocolate, we then set about creating the 'rusty' effect. This was achieved by rubbing the set tools with gold lustre and cocoa powder. We think it is a striking effect and perhaps these would be the perfect Fathers Day Gift? Tell us what you think........

11 May 2009

Burch & Purchese Recommended Books 1 - Essential Cuisine by Michel Bras

We are both avid collectors of cookbooks (as we are sure you are too), and we have amassed a substantial collection between us. This is the first in a series of recommended cookbooks, in which we explain the reasons behind some of our choices. This first book is not pastry focused but has a large amount of desserts with stunning photography. Michel Bras is the chef owner of Bras restaurant in Laguiole, Aubrac, France. He now runs the restaurant with his son Sebastien and their wives and the restaurant has been awarded 3 michelin stars for ten years. The book focuses on Michel Bras love of the environment surrounding his restaurant which is his inspiration for his cuisine. Photography is second to none and the recipes easy to navigate. Featured in this book is the recipe for his famous 'gargouillou' of young vegetables as well as enough patisserie information, tips and photography to satisfy the most inquisitive of pastry chefs. This book is hard to find these days in English as they no longer publish it. It is however available in other languages and can also be found on second hand book websites. This book comes highly recommended by us and we hope you can find a copy and enjoy it as much as we do.

Burch & Purchese Cake Orders

Burch and Purchese have made celebratory cakes for many satisfied customers, they have both produced stunning and innovative designs for embassies and Royalty. Modern chocolate based creations are the favoured style for Ian and Darren, although all queries and requests will be considered. Whether its a wedding, birthday or any other occasion, Burch & Purchese will produce a superior product and certainly a unique talking point. If you wish to order a cake Burch & Purchese are now taking orders and enquiries should be sent to darren@burchandpurchese.com or ian@burchandpurchese.com We look forward to helping make your day special.

Burch & Purchese Dishes 4 - Coconut Ice-Cream With Warm Caramelised Rum Bananas v1.1

We have been making this dessert in one form or another for seven years now and it still hasn't lost any of its appeal. A cool, refreshing coconut ice-cream is produced and moulded into a demi-sphere. A centre is indented and this is blast chilled. Once the ice-cream is removed from the mould a chocolate/cocoa butter solution is made and brushed onto the curved side of the demi-sphere. The temperature of the 'coconut' makes an interesting matt brush stroke on the reverse which cleverly resembles the outside of a coconut. A paring knife is then used to 'chip' around the topside of the 'coconut' to produce a stunning finish. Neat cylinders of banana are then cut, a direct caramel deglazed with dark rum produced and the two combined together for a wonderful contrast. Warm meets cold and sweet and sticky meets cool and refreshing. A dehydrated banana chip is placed on top but not before the indentation is filled with coconut rum to resemble the coconut milk. We actually had a glass blower design this plate specifically for this dish and we have had lots of fun and great feedback making this over the years. We still continue to develop this dessert using different fruits and presentations. We look forward to showing you different versions later on.

06 May 2009

Burch & Purchese Reader Question 1

Food Blogger Haalo asked us........

This is more a question about setting agents. I've heard that cocoa butter can be used as a replacement for gelatine in a dish like pannacotta. So far my search for anything more specific has come up empty but I am hoping that you'll be able to help. I am wondering about the proportions involved - how much cocoa butter would be needed to set the liquid? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Burch & Purchese wrote......

Thanks Haalo for this interesting question. Yesterday we conducted three experiments with cocoa butter and a basic panna cotta recipe. All three experiments we tried, used the same quantities, the difference was how we incorporated the cocoa butter. One recipe we melted the cocoa butter (in microwave) and added this to our milk, cream and sugar which had been boiled to dissolve the sugar. The next experiment was to melt the cocoa butter in a pan and add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil. The third was to boil the cream, milk and sugar and hand blitz this into cold melted cocoa butter. All three proved unsatisfactory, although they thickened, they were not totally set. To further add to the troubles was the fact that once chilled the fat (ie. cocoa butter) had in fact separated in all three mixes. This also left an unpleasant 'fat' film on the top of the mouth. The only solution we could think of was that Monoglyceride and diglyceride (obtained from glycerine and fatty acids) might help this as upon inclusion into a recipe with a watery medium they can act as emulsifiers. But this results in another problem, a 'panna cotta' is not an emulsion, it is a cooked cream which has been gelled. This brings us back to the question " I've heard that cocoa butter can be used as a replacement for gelatine in a dish like panna cotta", cocoa butter is not a hydrocolliod. Hydrocolliods are proteins and/or polysaccharides which are substances capable of forming gels in contact with water/liquids. Gelatine, the most commonly used gelling agent in panna cotta, is a hydrocolloid, as is agar agar, xanthan, gellan, guar gum and others. This brings us to the conclusion that yes, with the right quantity cocoa butter can and will set a panna cotta, but without the addition of stabilisers may prove an unsatisfactory product. The real problem arises that the addition of this 'fat' and stabilisers to the mix now makes this a different product to a panna cotta. Certainly cocoa butter by nature 'sets' ie. coagulates once chilled and this area should certainly be explored further. Ways of incorporating it into a recipe could be to first mix it into melted chocolate where it feels at home and is not prone to separation. Benefits of using cocoa butter in recipes is, its low cholesterol content and its neutral taste. This answers your question to the best of our ability so far but trust we will conduct further investigation. Thank you for your query and we hope you are satisfied with our response, however please lets us know if you find anything further in this matter. Thank you to everyone else if you are reading, we recommend you check out Haalo's excellent food blog at the link here CLICK HERE FOR HAALO

04 May 2009

Burch & Purchese Dishes 3 - Dundee Cake With Raspberries In Drambuie

This dish is a favourite of ours. A Dundee cake was made including flavours of orange, whiskey and spices. We produced this visually appealing two tone jelly by combining raspberry jelly with Drambuie syrup jelly and setting it onto a flat surface, this is then cut and placed onto the plate. The jelly is made with agar agar and gelatine to give a robust strength to it which facilitated the cutting and moving. Also the agar agar allows for the cake to be warmed and place ontop without fear of melting as the jelly withstands heat up to 70 degrees C. Our Dundee cake is cut to shape and soaked in warm Drambuie syrup. A dark chocolate foam provides bitter notes and a plaque of tempered chocolate dusted in Burch & Purchese spice mix is placed on top. Using the Pac-O-Jet and neutral ice-cream base we produced this clean looking Dundee cake ice-cream to help cut through the dessert. Burch & Purchese Drambuie soaked raspberries are placed on to the cake at the top right edge and this is topped with confit orange zest. Dehydrated Dundee cake crumb completes the dessert on top of the quenelle of ice-cream. This dish provides a feeling of warmth and depth, contrasts from bitter and sweet and leaves a cool clean finish on the palette. We hope you enjoy the look and of course we are happy to answer any questions. For our Raspberries In Drambuie we have provided a recipe, just click the label on the left.

Burch & Purchese Recipes 1 - Raspberries In Drambuie

WATER 1200 ml
DRAMBUIE 250 ml per 750 ml syrup
Put the sugar and water into a pan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Pass the syrup through a tamis or coffee filter. Cool. Measure and flavour with the Drambuie. Whisk briefly. Fill a kilner jar to the top with raspberries, pour the syrup and alcohol over them and up to the rim of the jar. Seal and sterilize according to home preserving regulations.
Drambuie is a herb and heather honey Scottish whiskey liqueur. It is made from malt whiskey and flavoured with local honey, herbs and spices. It is produced in West Lothian in Scotland.
Burch & Purchese use only quality ingredients throughout their work. We favour the fabulous raspberries of Silvan Estate in the Dandenong Ranges, we recommend you view their website and enjoy their passion and fantastic produce. CLICK HERE.
This recipe is a component in our dish Dundee Cake With Raspberries In Drambuie

03 May 2009

Burch & Purchese Dishes 2 - Chocolate 'Pebbles' v 1.1

Continuing our search for interesting textures, techniques and flavours, this dish encapsulates all of these. A dark chocolate mousse is made, once set, it is piped onto discs of thin chocolate sponge. A hot spoon pushes the mousse down to the desired shapes and they are then frozen. We make a chocolate cocoa butter spray mix with the addition of metallic and matt colours to achieve the 'stone' colour. The mousses are sprayed with this mix using our chocolate spraying gun. The texture of the 'pebbles' is achieved with the spray mixture forming small balls as it hits and solidifies on the frozen mousse. To accompany this main component, we produced chocolate 'soil' and made a 'polvoron' using a recipe given to Burch & Purchese by Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz from Mugaritz restaurant in Spain. Both of these components work flavour wise and visually capture the earthy essence we wanted to achieve. The final component is a rosewater jelly which looks like dew settling on the pebbles. We will post more on our these techniques such as chocolate spraying later on, but for now we hope this dish ours gives inspiration to experiment.