Hello & welcome to my Blog.
I came up with the idea of this blog as I had been writing a cookery book for my Children after my eldest Son Simon left home and would ring me for all his favourite recipes. I thought that this way it would be easier to update & where ever they were they could cook their favourite recipes. This blog is that index card box of scribbled recipes, torn out recipes from magazines, lost somewhere in the house, all brought neatly together in one place.
What I didn't expect was the thousands of people that have looked at it since its creation, from all over the World, I have even created a Facebook fanpage so that I can chat to fellow foodies who have enjoyed the blog!
I really hope you enjoy the recipes, please feel free to post comments or recipes and I just want you to know that all recipes have been cooked time & time again by myself and all photographs, where possible, have been taken by me of the food that I have cooked.
I apologise in advance for any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, I bake better than I write.
Monday, 7 May 2012
Exploding Chocolate Gateau
I try to keep the recipes on my Blog either very simple or very traditional, this is because the purpose of the Blog is that my Children can access our family recipes where ever they are in the World, but sometimes I do derail a little and decide to add something just a little bit special, for example the gorgeous Sachertorte, http://dianastaveley.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/sachertorte-as-seen-on-great-british.html , this isn't a bad thing, it means that the kids can challenge themselves a little bit and also sometimes you may just need something that little bit special.
Saturday we were invited out to dinner by friends and I offered to take along the dessert, I love taking something homemade and as Simon & Mia both love to cook and love good food I felt something a little special was required.
Hubby is a Heston Blumenthal fan and has a couple of his books, so he suggested I made the Exploding Chocolate Gateau, not only is it an impressive dessert but also has an element of fun about it. Sophisticated and fun, sounds a little like me, LOL !
Well we had a lovely evening and as expected Simon's food was gorgeous and I am so pleased that they enjoyed the Exploding Chocolate Gateau.
Thank you Simon & Mia for inviting us.
The gateau itself isn't actually that hard to make, its just a little time consuming and there are quite a few different stages. The only tricky bit I found was painting the ganache onto the biscuit crumb base as it lifted the crumbs and stuck to the brush, I would advise tipping a little ganache over the bottom of your base and spreading from there, don't try dipping back into your ganache or you will transfer crumbs to it and it will spoil your lovely smooth finish, a mistake I very nearly made. The gateau isn't a rich as you would expect, the tartness of the passion fruit pulp really lifts it and we found it to be a very refreshing and enjoyable end to our meal.
For the base
150g all butter shortbread biscuits
30g unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp white caster sugar
25g neutral popping candy
For the chocolate ganache
175g whipping cream
Pinch of salt
Pulp from 6 passion fruits
50g fresh custard
110g dark chocolate (minimum of 60% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
50g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
For the flocking
500g dark chocolate
200g vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Place the shortbread biscuits on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.
Place the biscuits in a food processor and add the melted butter and sugar. Blitz until the mixture resembles fine sand in texture.
Gently stir in the popping candy. Place the mixture inside a 15cm cake ring placed on a tray lined with baking paper. Flatten using the back of a spoon then put to one side to set.
Add the cream, salt and passion fruit to a small saucepan and place over a medium heat until it almost comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the fresh custard.
Put the dark and milk chocolate in a bowl. Place over a bain marie (a pan of gently simmering water) and allow to melt completely. Remove from the heat.
Strain the infused cream and add to the bowl of melted chocolate a third at a time, making sure to incorporate the cream thoroughly after each addition. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature.
Once the tart base has set, use a pastry brush to spread some of the ganache on top of the base and around the edges then place in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will ensure that the ganache will not seep through.
After 5 minutes, pour the remaining ganache into the ring and place the tart in the fridge to set for 2 hours. Place the tart in the freezer at least 4 hours before flocking.
After the gateau is fully frozen, sit the gateau on a wide upturning glass or pot. Remove the metal ring by lightly warming with a blow torch. Remove by carefully sliding the ring downwards. Place back in the freezer.
(Personally, unless you really want to impress & can be bothered, I'd leave this part out, I just dusted the gateau with cocoa powder but below are the instruction for the flocking if you fancy giving it a go)
For the flocking, break the chocolate into chunks and place in a small bowl. Melt the chocolate by placing the bowl over a bain marie. Leave to cool slightly before stirring in the vegetable oil.
Fill the base of a paint gun with the melted chocolate mixture and attach the nozzle. To avoid redecorating the kitchen in chocolate brown, set a large cardboard box on its side to provide a protective roof and walls to work in.
Remove the gateau from the freezer and carefully lift it onto a plate. Place the gateau in the cardboard box then spray it with the chocolate, turning carefully as you go. Return it to the freezer until 20 minutes before serving.