MFWF – Langham Masterclass – Alistair Wise

Alistair Wise and his wife Teena run a tiny, 8 seater patisserie in Hobart.  Aptly called Sweet Envy, you have to be quick to get a seat – otherwise you’ll be left outside, jealously looking in, drooling over the sweets, cakes and candy that they specialise in.  After attending Alistair’s Masterclass – it’s definitely on my hit list next time I’m in Hobart! I’ll stake it out if I have to.

Alistair & Tina

Alistair & Teena

I was originally drawn to this Masterclass by the descriptor:

After years working as a pastry chef for Gordon Ramsay in London and New York, Alistair returned home to Tasmania where he opened his “patisserie minus the froufrou connotations”, a place of old-time sweets, small batches and sweet memories, all given a modern twist to underline the premise that food is art.

I’m a big lover of the chocolate caramel slice – that’s an old time sweet, and the thought of getting a fine dining version of this, worthy of a Gordon Ramsay restaurant… Well… I was sold!  So, not sure what to expect, I took a seat and waited with rapt attention!

Alistair - 1

Alistair is an incredibly down to earth guy, Tasmanian by birth, his time with Ramsay contorted his accent so now it is an exotic blend of Australian and UK. He had a treat for us to start, bacon marmalade!  Hello!  This was a major component in the first dish he was preparing… get ready for it… Fat Elvis (The day the cream-between got punched in the face by a rock legend).  That is in fact the title in the recipe book.

Elvis - before and after

Elvis 3

Fat Elvis (The day the cream-between got punched in the face by a rock legend)
Top: Our mini version; Bottom: Alistair’s plated version

It was amazing – and definitely the winning dish for me.  Coffee flavoured icecream, made with real coffee beans; topped with bacon marmalade and a graham cracker!! It was amazing!! Words cannot describe the great flavours – and they all went together so well in a salty sweet conglomeration. Delicious!

Alistair & trifle

Trifle -One

Trifle - served

Wigwam and a Gooseberry Trifle (It’s the business) Gooseberry and Elderflower Gelee

The second dish he prepared also had a funky name: Wigwam and a Gooseberry Trifle (It’s the business) Gooseberry and Elderflower Gelee.  It probably shows my age, but I actually remember the reference to “Wigwam for a Goose’s bridle”.  That’s what your mum would say when you were badgering her about something she didn’t want to tell you!  Anyhoo…  a beautiful and modern take on trifle that included a lovely, light gooseberry and elderflower gelee, lemon posset, pistachio sponge, vanilla crémeux, meringue smash – and in our case, a cute little syringe of sherry!!  Again, great flavours combining to make a complete dish!

Arnold Schwarzwalder

Arnold Schwarzwälder (The macaron gets terminated)

Alistair and Teena also demonstrated the Arnold Schwarzwälder (The macaron gets terminated) – which unfortunately we didn’t get a taste of.   Schwarzwälder apparently means Black Forest Cake, and this macaron was an amazing construction of cherry cream, chocolate, kirsch cream, maraschino jelly and amarache cherry jam.  Brilliant!!  I have noticed that the MFWF website has the recipe here – check it out!

Alistair - taking questions

This session was an amazing Masterclass session and I’m so glad I attended. Not only will Sweet Envy go on my list of Hobart hangouts, but I might have to try out that bacon marmalade and coffee icecream with Graham cracker for myself – watch out Fat Elvis!!