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Masterclass with Ben Batterbury

With Ben Batterbury

Lightly Curried Lamb Sweetbreads with Parsnip, Vanilla Mash and Liquorice Glaze

Serves 4
Cost per person approx. $5
Prep Time - 1 hour + 24hrs for soaking sweetbreads
Cook Time - 10 mins


500g lamb sweetbreads (soaked overnight in cold water)
3 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp ground cocoa nibs (optional)
4 large parsnips, peeled, centre wood removed
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 vanilla bean seeds scraped from pod
500 ml chicken stock
250 ml red wine
5 grams crushed liquorice root
1 parsnip
handful of spinach leaves
few coriander leaves
Vinaigrette made with curry oil and rice wine vinegar


After soaking the sweet breads overnight in the fridge rinse and drain them. Have a pan of salted boiling water ready and drop the sweet breads in for about 30seconds to a minute then plunge into iced water. Remove the outside membrane from the sweet breads and chill.

Take a heavy bottomed sauce pan and place the 4 parsnips, butter, vanilla and just enough water to cover the parsnips. Boil rapidly until the water has evaporated and the butter emulsified then season and mash. If you prefer a smoother puree, place in a blender. Reserve.

To make the glaze place the chicken stock, red wine and liquorice into a pan and reduce until almost syrupy and pass through a sieve to remove the liquorice root.

Thinly slice strips from the remaining parsnip with a peeler and deep fry at 140C until golden and crispy.

To serve mix the flour, cocoa if using and curry powder and then coat the sweet breads in this. Fry in a hot oiled pan until golden add the spinach and drain on a cloth. Arrange the sweetbreads on top of the parsnip mash and spinach, drizzle with the liquorice glaze and curry dressing then top with the crispy parsnips and coriander leaves. Enjoy!

Pinot Noir poached pear "Belle Helene"

This classic French recipe stands a poached pear in ice cream topped with chocolate sauce like a sundae.

Serves 8
Cost per person approx. $4-5
Prep Time - 1/1.5 hours
Cook Time - 5 mins


500ml Central Otago Pinot Noir
100g sugar
4 hard pears ie Packhams


Peel the pears leaving the stalk intact. Using a melon baller remove the core. Boil the wine and the sugar together, add the pears and a greaseproof paper lid. Poach until just cooked and remove from heat. When cool reduce some of the cooking liquor down to make a syrup.

150g dark chocolate preferably 72% or above
150g hot milk
100g cold milk
To make the chocolate soup add the hot milk to the chocolate slowly whisking all the time to emulsify the mix then add the cold milk. Reserve.
250g marzipan
2 eggs
40g flour
3g baking powder
100g melted butter

To make almond pain de gene, place the 2 eggs and the marzipan in a food processor and blend. Whisk the 3 eggs until light and fluffy and fold in the dry ingredients and the marzipan mix. Finally add the butter. Line baking rings with butter and flour and add the mix and top with sliced almonds, bake at 160C until golden.

Serve either half a pear per person, scoop some vanilla ice cream onto the pain de gene, drizzle over the pinot syrup and serve with the warm chocolate soup. Finish with a violet biscuit or flowers if available. Enjoy!

(TX: 11 July 2011)