Chocolate, Heritage Beetroot, Coffee & Cherry

By chef Jon Howe


Place the water, sugar, spices and orange peel for the poached cherries into a pan and bring to the boil. Leave to infuse for one hour before adding the cherry brandy. Place pitted cherries in a Kilner jar. Return liquor to the boil and pour over pitted cherries; leave to cool. These are best made one week in advance to allow to infuse.

For the beetroot crisps, place the water, sugar, lemon juice and citric acid in a pan, bring to the boil and leave to cool. Carefully cut the beetroot into 2mm thick slices using a mandolin and then cut to perfect rounds using a cutter. Dip the beetroot slices into the cooled syrup, drain off the excess and place onto a parchment paper lined tray. Dehydrate the slices by placing in a 65°C oven overnight until dry and crispy. Store in an airtight container until needed.

Steam the white beetroot quarters for 45 minutes or until soft; puree the beetroot in a blender and pass through a sieve. Place the remaining ingredients into a pan, except for the salt, and bring to the boil. Add the white beetroot puree and blend until smooth in a food processor; check the seasoning. Pass through a sieve into an ice cream machine and churn.

To make the coffee crumb, place all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add the melted butter and transfer to a tray lined with parchment paper. Bake at 170°C for 12 minutes until a sandy texture is achieved. Leave to cool and store in an airtight container until needed.

For the beetroot jelly, place all of the ingredients apart from the agar agar into a pan and bring to the boil. Allow to infuse for 1 hour before passing through a sieve. Return the mixture to the boil, whisk in the agar agar and boil for 1 minute until the agar agar has dissolved. Pass through a sieve into a small, cling lm lined container and allow to set at room temp before placing in the fridge, once fully cold remove from the mould and cut into 0.5 cm dice. Set aside until needed.

To make the cherry puree, blend some of the poached cherries with a little of the liqueur until smooth. Transfer into a piping bag and set aside until needed.

For the chocolate ganache, place 100g of the double cream and cherry brandy into a pan and bring to the boil. Pour the liquid over the dark chocolate, leave to stand for two minutes then stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Whip the remaining double cream to a soft peak and fold in the chocolate. Store the ganache in an airtight container at room temperature until required.

To serve, place a spoonful of the coffee crumb in the centre of your plate and top with a quenelle of chocolate ganache. Pipe the cherry puree into three of the poached cherries and place on the plate. Add a quenelle of the white beetroot sorbet to the plate and garnish with three pieces of diced golden beetroot jelly, Chioggia beetroot crisps and sorrel leaves.

Lumière Restaurant, Cheltenham

This recipe is featured in our book Signature Chefs South West & Channel Islands. Click here for more information

Click here for more information about Chef Jon Howe.

Ingredients for twenty servings:

Poached Cherries

  • 100G Water
  • 100G Sugar
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Strips Of Orange Peel
  • 150G Cherry Brandy
  • 500G Cherries, Pitted

Chioggia Beetroot Crisps

  • 50G Water
  • A Pinch Of Citric Acid
  • 1⁄2 Lemon, Juice
  • 2 Large Chioggia Beetroot, Peeled

White Beetroot Sorbet

  • 750G White Beetroot, Peeled & Cut Into Quarters
  • 150G Sugar
  • 100G Water
  • 1⁄2 Tsp. Citric Acid
  • 2 Tsp. Maldon Sea Salt
  • 45G Liquid Glucose
  • 1⁄2 Lemon, Juice
  • Salt, To Taste

Coffee Crumb

  • 100G Sugar
  • 160G Flour
  • 25G Cocoa Powder
  • 25G Finely Grounded Coffee
  • 4G Salt
  • 80G Butter, Melted

Golden Beetroot Jelly

  • 300G Golden Beetroot Juice
  • 15G Lemon Juice
  • 5G Maldon Sea Salt
  • A Pinch Of Citric Acid
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 3G Agar Agar

Chocolate & Cherry Brandy Ganache

  • 200G Double Cream
  • 50G Cherry Brandy
  • 150G 70% Dark Chocolate, Roughly Chopped

To Serve

  • Micro Red Vein Sorrel, As Needed