Clancy's fancy pud

Justine Tyerman is not well-known for her culinary skills but meeting celebrity chef Clancy Atkinson again was a huge thrill . . . not that they talked much about recipes or food.

Justine Tyerman is not well-known for her culinary skills but meeting celebrity chef Clancy Atkinson again was a huge thrill . . . not that they talked much about recipes or food.

DECADENT DESSERT: Clancy’s yummy date and milk pudding with salted caramel and ice cream.
Clancy Atkinson

WE had met the delightful chef Clancy Atkinson a few years ago when he cooked lunch for us at Luxe Houses’ La Corniche so were excited to see him again and savour what he had in store for us this time.

The Sydney-based chef is a real gem, and does not fit the modern image of a celebrity chef — he’s sweet-natured, smiley, affable, unpretentious, amusing and not at all temperamental. What’s more he’s highly entertaining and more than happy to talk about his life in the fast lane.

Clancy worked for Gucci and other luxury brands for six and a half years in the world’s most exotic locations with the world’s most beautiful people including Elle MacPherson.

His work involved preparing tiny exquisite canapés the size of a 10 cent coin so glamorous women in expensive attire could eat without opening their mouths more than 2.5 centimetres.

Now the official chef for the ultra-luxury villa rental agency Luxe Houses, Clancy prepares dinners and cocktail parties for celebrity, private and business events.

Since we last saw him, he says a career highlight has been cooking lunch for renowned Fat Duck chef Heston Blumenthal who was in Sydney hosting an intimate media lunch.

“Heston’s team asked me to design and produce a fun, relaxed menu showcasing local seasonal produce,” says Clancy.

“Cooking for one of the world’s greatest chefs was such a surreal experience.”

For the last 12 months, Clancy has been travelling extensively with a VIP Luxe Houses’ client on his private jet.

“He’s a billionaire PR mogul from Riga in Latvia. I’ve cooked for him all over the world in some incredible locations — Jackson Hole, St Bart’s, Cape Town, Kruger National Park in Africa, Dominica Republic, Capri, Riga and Istanbul.”

Clancy always has a story to tell.

“It was December 30 and I was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with the Riga guy. We were there for the world-class skiing and it was mid-winter of course.

“My client decided he wanted white truffles for the New Year’s Eve gala dinner, a virtually impossible request as it was -25C and the day before NYE.

“Desperate, I called a friend of mine in New York who had truffles on the menu at his restaurant. He arranged for four white truffles to be FedEx-ed to Jackson Hole which was great.

“The only problem was when they arrived, they were frozen solid — $USD1000 for four frozen truffles! All was not lost though. I shaved them over the top of handmade gnocchi and they tasted fantastic.”

Next on his itinerary is New York City where he’s working at the US Tennis Open.

Despite the high life he leads, Clancy has a kind heart and regularly contributes to charity. He donated a dinner to the Sydney Children’s Hospital Gold Lunch, raising over $4000 for the hospital to buy a Cone Beam CT scanner for children in need of facial and dental reconstruction.

He also agreed to share this fabulous pudding recipe with The Weekender.

www.luxehouses.com

INGREDIENTS:

Pudding450ml milk
400 grams pitted dates, coarsely chopped
Scraped seeds of 2 vanilla beans
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
120 grams softened butter
200 grams caster sugar
3eggs
225 grams self-raising flour, sieved
Pinch each of ground allspice and ground cinnamon

Salted Caramel:
200ml pouring cream
50 grams unsalted butter
250 grams brown sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

METHOD:

For salted caramel
Combine sugar and 100ml water in a saucepan, bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, then cook until dark caramel (10-12minutes).
Add cream, butter and 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (be careful as hot caramel will spit), stir until dissolved (1 minute) and set aside.


For pudding

Combine milk, dates and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat, gently bring to the boil, remove from heat, add bicarbonate of soda and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 175C. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until smooth, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, spices and date mixture and mix to just combine.
Divide among 6 sprayed oven-proof ramekins. Bake on a tray, turning tray occasionally, until puddings are golden and spring back when touched (30-35minutes). Cool slightly then serve warm in ramekins with a scoop of ice-cream and salted caramel.

Optional: For texture scatter with sesame seeds.

WE had met the delightful chef Clancy Atkinson a few years ago when he cooked lunch for us at Luxe Houses’ La Corniche so were excited to see him again and savour what he had in store for us this time.

The Sydney-based chef is a real gem, and does not fit the modern image of a celebrity chef — he’s sweet-natured, smiley, affable, unpretentious, amusing and not at all temperamental. What’s more he’s highly entertaining and more than happy to talk about his life in the fast lane.

Clancy worked for Gucci and other luxury brands for six and a half years in the world’s most exotic locations with the world’s most beautiful people including Elle MacPherson.

His work involved preparing tiny exquisite canapés the size of a 10 cent coin so glamorous women in expensive attire could eat without opening their mouths more than 2.5 centimetres.

Now the official chef for the ultra-luxury villa rental agency Luxe Houses, Clancy prepares dinners and cocktail parties for celebrity, private and business events.

Since we last saw him, he says a career highlight has been cooking lunch for renowned Fat Duck chef Heston Blumenthal who was in Sydney hosting an intimate media lunch.

“Heston’s team asked me to design and produce a fun, relaxed menu showcasing local seasonal produce,” says Clancy.

“Cooking for one of the world’s greatest chefs was such a surreal experience.”

For the last 12 months, Clancy has been travelling extensively with a VIP Luxe Houses’ client on his private jet.

“He’s a billionaire PR mogul from Riga in Latvia. I’ve cooked for him all over the world in some incredible locations — Jackson Hole, St Bart’s, Cape Town, Kruger National Park in Africa, Dominica Republic, Capri, Riga and Istanbul.”

Clancy always has a story to tell.

“It was December 30 and I was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with the Riga guy. We were there for the world-class skiing and it was mid-winter of course.

“My client decided he wanted white truffles for the New Year’s Eve gala dinner, a virtually impossible request as it was -25C and the day before NYE.

“Desperate, I called a friend of mine in New York who had truffles on the menu at his restaurant. He arranged for four white truffles to be FedEx-ed to Jackson Hole which was great.

“The only problem was when they arrived, they were frozen solid — $USD1000 for four frozen truffles! All was not lost though. I shaved them over the top of handmade gnocchi and they tasted fantastic.”

Next on his itinerary is New York City where he’s working at the US Tennis Open.

Despite the high life he leads, Clancy has a kind heart and regularly contributes to charity. He donated a dinner to the Sydney Children’s Hospital Gold Lunch, raising over $4000 for the hospital to buy a Cone Beam CT scanner for children in need of facial and dental reconstruction.

He also agreed to share this fabulous pudding recipe with The Weekender.

www.luxehouses.com

INGREDIENTS:

Pudding450ml milk
400 grams pitted dates, coarsely chopped
Scraped seeds of 2 vanilla beans
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
120 grams softened butter
200 grams caster sugar
3eggs
225 grams self-raising flour, sieved
Pinch each of ground allspice and ground cinnamon

Salted Caramel:
200ml pouring cream
50 grams unsalted butter
250 grams brown sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

METHOD:

For salted caramel
Combine sugar and 100ml water in a saucepan, bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, then cook until dark caramel (10-12minutes).
Add cream, butter and 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (be careful as hot caramel will spit), stir until dissolved (1 minute) and set aside.


For pudding

Combine milk, dates and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat, gently bring to the boil, remove from heat, add bicarbonate of soda and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 175C. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until smooth, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, spices and date mixture and mix to just combine.
Divide among 6 sprayed oven-proof ramekins. Bake on a tray, turning tray occasionally, until puddings are golden and spring back when touched (30-35minutes). Cool slightly then serve warm in ramekins with a scoop of ice-cream and salted caramel.

Optional: For texture scatter with sesame seeds.

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