Heston Blumenthal intrigues me, I definitely wouldn’t say no to indulging in the tasting menu at his restaurant, The Fat Duck. This menu consists of things such as snail porridge, “sound of the sea” (served with an iPod for accompanying sounds), mock turtle soup and many other weird and wonderful creations. He’s a huge fan of dry ice and several other techniques which make his cooking far from doable in the home. However, a recent TV series attempted to bring some of his techniques down to earth. His chocolate gateaux stole my imagination…
From as young as I can remember, chocolate torte has been a treat and one of my favourites – my parents used to hold parties on New Years Day and in the summer, during which each family would bring something for the table, the result was, without fail, a feast to rival no other. One family could always be relied upon to bring a chocolate torte, The Mills’. It got devoured promptly and I had to wait 6 or so months for the next to appear within my reach. But now I’m 23, the kitchen’s all my own and, to my delight, chocolate torte isn’t beyond my skill set.
So, down to business…I swapped in the shortbread base and loved the idea of infusing the cream with passion fruit, but I’m sorry Heston, the popping candy wasn’t a good shout and I’m not splashing out on a paint gun purely to coat my creations in a fine chocolate shell. I will just have to cross my fingers and hope my guests don’t hold it against me. [They didn’t].
1. Blitz up the shortbread biscuits and mix in the melted butter, before pressing into a small cake tin and placing in the oven [160°C] until just browning. Allow to cool.
2. While melting the chocolate in a bain-marie with the salt, warm through the cream with the pulp of the passion fruit in another pan (without allowing it to boil).
3. When the chocolate’s fully melted and the cream has been near simmering for a good few minutes, sieve out the passion fruit pulp, and combine gently.
4. Stir in the fresh custard before pouring the chocolate mixture over the biscuit base and allowing to chill.
5. Serve up at room temperature. (I sprinkled with edible glitter, although the picture doesn’t really do it justice). It was demolished in 24hours, a new record, even for the chocolate torte of my small-town memories!
Recipe adapted from How to Cook Like Heston.
200g Shortbread biscuits
30g Unsalted butter [melted]
300g Whipping cream
6 Passion fruits [pulped]
100g Custard [fresh]
200g Dark chocolate
50g Milk chocolate