'How to cook like Heston' challenge: Dolce Dini & Rosana McPhee

Updated on 13 February 2012 | 0 Comments

Two Twitter friends come together to attempt the exploding chocolate gateau, with often hilarious results

Beguiled by the gauntlet thrown down by the lovefood team, two girls living at polar extremes of London came together to learn ‘How to cook like Heston’, or at least have a go, aided by lots of giggles.

Introducing @Rosana_McPhee (from www.hotandchilli.com/) and @DolceDini (from dolcedini.com). We met over Twitter and have become good friends due to our love of food. We chose Heston’s ‘Exploding Chocolate Gateau’ as it uses passion fruit, native to Rosana’s Brazilian homeland, and it's a definite ‘dolce’ dessert for Dini.

The drama of the flocking

Dini Pathmakanthan and Rosa McPhee attempt Heston Blumenthal's exploding chocolate gateauAfter a bit of research we found that Heston’s paint gun for the flocking process was a little pricey at £79.99 so we opted to create two different gateaux, so we could 'experiment' with the art of flocking using alternative equipment. We thought a spray water bottle (at a more reasonable £1.49) might be a viable alternative. We were reliant on a good nozzle, but alas our plan was scuppered as all we got were ‘squirts’.

Our two alternative methods

1. After several attempts at squirting, we decided to cover up the spray by pouring the ganache over and this created a cascade effect. We found, once it had set, it was glossy but hardened like a chocolate royal icing.

2. A cocoa powder sprinkling was the ‘get-out’ clause offered by Heston, for those without the elusive spray gun.

Our bit on the side

To present our gateau we decided on an ice cream accompaniment. Having scoured the menus of the Fat Duck and Dinner, we stumbled on a dessert from the latter restaurant, named the ‘Chocolate Bar (c.1730) with passion fruit jam and ginger ice cream’. We reversed the combination, instead churning stem ginger jam into a vanilla custard base ice cream and then drizzling with fresh passion fruit pulp. This meant that the ice cream was quite sweet and sticky with an acidic and refreshing topping, to cut through the dark chocolate gateau.

How did they do?

All in all, we 'almost' created a Heston’s gateau; it was our version, created with lots of love and laughter. There were wobbly bits (not unlike ourselves), but we did try to do the dessert justice and at least we were on a steep Heston learning curve of what not to do.

Dini Pathmakanthan and Rosa McPhee attempt Heston Blumenthal's exploding chocolate gateauThe gateau is literally an explosion of flavours and textures. It’s quite noisy from the popping candy fizzing, which made us giggle lots while eating it. The recipe was easy to follow and the results were glorious, even without the spray gun. It was great fun cooking in a bijou kitchen and, best of all, we were still talking to each other at the end!

Family and friends tried our efforts and they loved it, so that's what counts! To celebrate, we created the much easier and sumptuous ‘Hot Chocolate’, where we infused the milk with a little chilli to give it a gentle kick.

Want to join in? 

Thank you ladies, sounds like a lot of fun. If you want to join in and potentially win a tour of Heston's lab!, just register with lovefood, pick a recipe from the show, attempt it properly, and let us know how you got on by sending some pics and a few hundred words by email to contactus@lovefood.com


Our standard competition terms are here. You must be a registered user of lovefood.com to enter. The editor's decision is final. Closing date is 15th February.

More 'How to cook like Heston' challengers

'How to cook like Heston' challenge: Erik Jensen's oxtail pudding

'How to cook like Heston' challenge: Qin Xie's steak

'How to cook like Heston' challenge: Fiona Maclean's chilli con carne

'How to cook like Heston' challenge: Neil Hennessy-Vass's steak

'How to cook like Heston challenge': Jenny Davies's eggs

'How to cook like Heston challenge': Preeti Brar's flower pot tiramisu


Be the first to comment

Do you want to comment on this article? You need to be signed in for this feature

Copyright © lovefood.com All rights reserved.