Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Find Flavour in the Flames

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Find Flavour in the Flames

Article excerpt

THERE'S so much more to cooking with fire than simply charring a steak over the flames of a barbecue or toasting marshmallows over a campfire.

In Finding Fire, Lennox Hastie, of the acclaimed Sydney restaurant Firedoor, shows how to harness fire to truly enhance the flavour of our food.

Coconut, chocolate, cherry granita

While botanically a coconut is a drupe and not a true nut, coconuts have a rich nutty flavour and creamy texture that is a good substitute for the richness of dairy.

Like the process of slowly cooking a tin of condensed milk and making dulce de leche, the idea was that, buried in the ashes, the coconut flesh would cook down slowly in its own sweet milk.

The result was incredible. The coconut retained all its natural juices but they had combined with the creamy flesh, taking on subtle notes of smoke and caramel, and an intense coconut flavour. We then froze it to make a refreshing sorbet, which needed nothing more than the addition of a little sugar.

For a bit of texture, we made a choc-top, combining high-quality chocolate with coconut oil, which sets and hardens to a crisp coating on contact and provides a delicate bitterness to the sweetness of the coconut. A chocolate with notes of dried fruit pairs well with the fresh cherry granita and grilled cherries, making it quite decadent.


WOOD TYPE: cherry

HEAT: medium-intense embers, hot ash, gentle embers

ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT: hacksaw, ice cream machine


2 coconuts (approximately 1.2 kg each)

150g liquid glucose

100g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids, such as Valrhona MacaAaAaAeAa[ 62%)

50g coconut oil

100g ripe, sweet cherries, washed, pitted and halved


75g caster sugar

150 ml filtered water

250g ripe, sweet cherries, washed and pitted

Pinch of sea salt

Squeeze of lemon juice

NOTES: The coconut mixture needs time to chill before churning, so begin this recipe at least 8 hours ahead of time. Be sure to use fresh coconuts that are heavy for their size.


Prepare your embers. …

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