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Caramel Cooked Cream
450 millilitres Cream
25 grams icing sugar
70 millilitres Milk
1.75 gold-strength gelatine leaves
50 grams dark sugar
Popcorn Crumble
25 grams candied pinenuts blitzed in spice grinder
25 grams popped popcorn blitzed in robot coupe with the candied pinenuts
25 grams maltodextrin
50 millilitres corn oil
Milk Chocolate Caramel Ganache
140 grams milk chocolate
65 grams honey
50 millilitres corn syrup
200 millilitres Sugar
50 millilitres Water
200 grams Cream
Candied Fried Pinenuts
65 grams pinenuts
125 grams Sugar
125 millilitres Water
300 millilitres Vegetable Oil
Caramel Pear Balls
5 pears
35 millilitres Frangelico
150 grams Sugar
  • Medium


  • Caramel Cooked Cream

  • Popcorn Crumble

  • Milk Chocolate Caramel Ganache

  • Candied Fried Pinenuts

  • Caramel Pear Balls



Caramel Cooked Cream

  1. Reduce cream to 375ml add the bloomed gelatin
  2. In a small saucepan, make a dry caramel using the caster sugar. Gently heat the milk and slowly add the milk to the caramel. Using a stick of a jug blender, emulsify mixture until smooth. Combine caramel mixture with the reduced cream. Chill mixture over ice bath.
  3. Whisk cream and icing sugar until soft peaks forms. Fold cream into cooled caramel cream mix.
  4. Pour into six glasses and chill for at least 3 hours.

Popcorn Crumble

  1. Everything in a bowl except oil, slowly add oil while rubbing in gently with finger tips.

Milk Chocolate Caramel Ganache

  1. Melt chocolate and honey over bain marie, Whisk until combined.
  2. Place sugar, water & corn syrup in a saucepan and cook until a light amber caramel forms.
  3. Whilst caramel is cooking, warm the cream in another saucepan.
  4. Once caramel is cooked, gently add warmed cream. Mixture will foam up.
  5. Pour hot caramel over the chopped chocolate and stir to combine.

Candied Fried Pinenuts

  1. Bring sugar and water to boil. Add pine nuts and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Strain.
  2. Using a candy thermometer and a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil until it reaches 170 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, lower the candied nuts into the oil and fry for approximately 5 minutes. Removing using slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Caramel Pear Balls

  1. Using a small-headed melon baller, ball the pears, avoiding the core & stem areas. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, make a dry caramel with sugar. When caramel is golden, add pear balls and cook caramel for a further 15 minutes. Add frangelico.


  1. Spoon the chocolate ganache on to the set caramel cream, place on three or four pear balls, some candied pine nuts and cover with popcorn crumble.


Nicholas Bennett

Nicholas Bennett, Executive chef at Arbory Bar & Eatery, Melbourne, brings years of experience working in leading restaurants both nationally and internationally. Having only ever wanted to be a chef in his younger years, Nicholas spent much of his apprenticeship at the Gold Coast’s Royal Pines Resort admiring the likes of Charlie Trotter and Ferran Adrià, before setting off to Melbourne to gain valuable experience from some of Melbourne’s leading chefs. After his time in Melbourne, Nicholas spent several years in London, where, in 2005 he gained valuable experience as a Chef de Partie at Tom Aikens Restaurant; the restaurant was voted number 8 in S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Keen to further broaden his knowledge and exposure to innovative food and cooking techniques, Nicholas undertook “stages” in some of London’s best restaurants. Before heading home to Australia in 2007, Nicholas headed up Geronimo Inns, a gastro pub group that saw him assist in the menu development of 19 pubs throughout London. His experience abroad, combined with Nicholas’ extensive travel and dining experiences throughout Europe’s best restaurants is what can be credited to the enthusiasm and skill that he brings to the Arbory. Upon his arrival back into Australia, Nicholas assisted with the reopening of Persimmon restaurant at the National Gallery of Victoria, alongside Raymon Capaldi. Working with Raymond allowed Nicholas to further develop and refine his skills in modern Melbourne dining. In 2010 Nicholas moved to Cecconis, Melbourne, a well known one hatted Italian restaurant. Then in 2012 Nicholas was chosen to head the kitchen at the Van Haandels, new brassiere and bar, Trocadero. During his time at Trocadero Nicholas’ food gained significant positive media coverage by leading publications. Nicholas then played an important roll in the rebranding of Trocadero into the newly named Fatto bar and cantina. Nicholas is excited to be making the shift to his role as Executive Chef at HQ group’s Arbory Bar & Eatery where he will be assisting HQ group’s management team in the creative direction of the food.  

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