Heston’s Exploding Gateaux

From the TV show How To Cook Like Heston, I sincerely hope his cake didn’t taste as weird as mine, a big let down considering the hunting that was involved to make it. I’ll share the recipe and my experience none the less.

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

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 mixture inside a 15cm cake ring placed on a tray lined with baking paper, flatten using a spoon and 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 base has set use a pastry brush to brush 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 into the fridge to sent for 2 hours (4 hours in freezer if flocking).

After the gateaux is fully frozen, sit the gateaux on a wide upturning glass or pot, remove the metal ring by lightly warming with a blow torch or hot cloth. Remove carefully sliding the ring downwards. Place back in the freezer.

For the flocking break the chocolate into chunks and place in a small bowl, melt 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. Set a large cardboard box on its side the 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.

First of all, you can not buy neutral popping candy in Australia, let down number one. I ended up buying some chocolate coated popping candy instead because I figured it would taste better than cola or strawberry flavour. The other thing that was almost impossible to get was a 15cm cake ring. I bought a 15 quiche tin at the last minute after not being able to find a cake ring, then decided I didn’t like the quiche tin so used a 20cm springform pan instead. This meant the cake was really flat, only about 2-3cm high.

The next issue I had with this cake was the ganache, chocolate passionfruit ganache sounded wonderful to me, it was one of the main reasons I decided to make this cake. It was not at all as I expected and from the time I mixed the cream with the chocolate I knew it didn’t taste quite right, as my friend Georgie said to me, it doesn’t taste bad, but if you didn’t tell me it was passionfruit I wouldn’t know. The chocolate ganache had such a strange taste, edible and enjoyable with some custard on the side as Daniel discovered with half a cake to eat this week. I wouldn’t however make this again. For me it was a waste of time. I originally wanted a paint gun to do the flocking as my birthday present and I am glad I changed my mind.

Although it would have been a lot prettier with the flocking on the outside, it would have been a waste for a cake that no one really wanted to eat. I will have to wait until I find another amazing looking cake until I get to venture in to man land to assist with my baking skills. If you want to try this cake, please do, but try to get the right sized cake ring and don’t put the passionfruit in, it’s just too weird. I’m working on something tonight to use up the passionfruit that I know you will love, so I hope you have enjoyed all the posts this week and you’ll hear from me soon.

Love Sonia


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