Published on 17 November 2020
He says: Bottlebrush and cherry mousse with pistachio #alandofplenty. Some R&D for @vuedemonde. – @hughsallen
We say: Don’t be fooled by that spiky exterior: what lies beneath is soft and sweet. The backbone of this bottlebrush dessert by Vue de Monde chef Hugh Allen is cherry mousse that hides a layer of pistachio sponge. The whole lot is glazed with pistachio and white chocolate, then comes the fun part: piping 80 to 90 strands of tempered white chocolate flavoured with bottlebrush. When the strands have cooled, they’re stuck into the cherry mousse, to mimic the distinctive Australian flower we know and love. All up, one bottlebrush dessert can take hours to create. But Allen has had plenty of time to kill recently.
“When you’re just busy with lunch and dinner service all day every day, it’s hard to focus on your creativity,” he says. “It’s been easier lately to pursue something like this and make it look perfect.”
The bottlebrush dessert went through about six different versions before he landed on this one. And he’s not done yet: a summery version, made with meringue, cream and fruit curd, riffing on the pavlova, may be on the horizon.
Native foliage seems to be a frequent source of inspiration for the chef. In October he showed off a “gum nut” he created using silicone moulds, a shell of white chocolate and roasted wattleseed, and a filling of strawberry gum, sheep’s yoghurt and white chocolate. And just last week, he crafted an edible billy button where passionfruit is the star of the show.
Vue de Monde is open now. Level 55, Rialto Towers, 525 Collins Street, Melbourne, vuedemonde.com.au
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