I’ve always enjoyed Heston Blumenthal’s cooking programmes, the theatricality of his food is impressive and comes from his understanding of the science behind his ingredients, which adds something different to his programmes – they’re as much about the spectacle of the food as they are about the flavour.
However, until now I’ve never really been tempted to try any of his recipes as they always seemed that bit too intricate/required too complex a set of tools to complete them – dry ice, a huge science lab . . . you get my drift! But his new programme How to Cook Like Heston focuses on key ingredients in the kitchen – eggs, chicken, chocolate – and gives us an insight into how to create Heston’s recipes in your own kitchen.
This week’s episode was about chocolate. Smooth, rich, delicious chocolate. Originating in South America from the seed of the cacao tree, chocolate is one of the world’s favourite foods and is such a lovely ingredient to work with. It’s a thing of brilliance and has something of a mystical feel to it, just read Joanne Harris’ book Chocolat to get a sense of this.
Heston made various recipes using chocolate but the one I most wanted to try was his chocolate ganache gateau* – minus the paint gun and blow torch this seemed like the easiest one to recreate!
I missed out a few steps in order to make this gateau in my little kitchen but it still tastes incredible! The only thing I need to adjust next time is the quantity of ingredients as Heston’s recipe didn’t say what size tin to use, mine must be a lot bigger than his as my gateau is very thin – delicious, but thin! So next time, I either have to use a lot more ingredients or a much smaller tin to get the size right!
This recipe is handy as the ganache part is the same recipe for making chocolate truffles. It’s so easy to do and looks particularly impressive – perfect if you want to make someone a home-made present or just show off your culinary skills! Make the ganache the same as in Heston’s recipe, then instead of adding it to the biscuit base, just leave the ganache to set in the fridge. When it’s set, use a melon baller to scoop out rounds of ganache, drop it in chocolate powder or whatever you’d like coating the chocolates, and ta-dah – you have delicious chocolate truffles!
*Heston’s recipe can be found here.