While most Australians start the day with Vegemite, British chef Heston Blumenthal has found a way make it the last thing people eat in the evening at his Melbourne restaurant.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Crown Towers will feature Vegemite ice cream on the menu this Thursday to mark Australia Day.
The three star chef, famed for his egg and bacon ice cream and snail porridge, turned to his executive chef Ashley Palmer-Watts to come up with a way to turn the distinctly savoury spread into a sweet dish. The fellow Englishmen, who divides his time between the Dinner restaurants in London and Melbourne, spent six months trying to figure out what makes Australia’s favourite toast topping tick.
Tasting the spread most foreigners think looks and tastes like axle grease, an intrigued Palmer-Watts came to the conclusion that caramel and chocolate salt alongside the distinctive saltiness.
“I had never really eaten Vegemite until I came to Australia”, he said.
“Heston was intrigued by the flavour immediately and pretty insistent for some time that we explore a dessert dish based on the spread. There are notes of caramel and a rich chocolate back-drop as well as a yeasty saltiness. It was great fun exploring the flavours which led to actually a pretty complex dessert from a real cult Australian product”.
The end result is a dessert that features the ice cream made from Vegemite, served on a biscuit sourdough crumble base with toasted puffed spelt, cocoa nibs, burnt honey and macadamia.
He’s also added salted caramel with a barley chocolate ganache and verjuice curd. When it lands on the table, a waiter drizzles caramel sauce directly from a Vegemite jar, adding Blumenthal’s customary theatrical flare.
The ice cream dessert is part of a 4-course lunch on January 26, which also features a cocktail inspired by the dried rosella and nerina strawberry used by Rosella in its jams in the late 1800s. It will then become a permanent feature on the Dinner by Heston Blumenthal menu in Melbourne.