Saturday, 17 August 2013

Chocolate Chantilly – A Random Recipe

Some of the recipes on As Strong As Soup can be pretty simple, but I think this is the first with only two ingredients. For this month’s Random Recipe cookbook challenge Dom of Belleau Kitchen asked ‘If you had 10 seconds to grab one book, which one would it be?’ I was pretty certain that I would either grab a comprehensive, general recipe book or one that would give me a nostalgic glow (Floyd on France, perhaps).

It didn't work out that way. When I gave myself 10 seconds, I panicked and just grabbed the biggest book available. On my shelves that’s Larousse Gastronomique. Not an obvious choice since it’s not really a recipe book as such. But I randomly opened the book and randomly selected a column and was somewhat disturbed to see that the first recipe was included in the entry for Molecular Gastronomy.

Fortunately, though, it turned out to be Hervé This's method for creating Chocolate Chantilly. Essentially this technique allows you to create a chocolate cream or mousse using only chocolate and water. It gives a purity of taste that’s impossible to equal by any more normal method. Conventional wisdom and experience tells you that water and chocolate never mix and this technique demonstrates just how wrong that is. You may have seen Heston Blumenthal demonstrating this recipe on TV and you can find it on the BBC site here, although sadly Dr This is not credited with its creation. I’d never tried this before, but I'm very pleased (and a little surprised) to say that it works beautifully.
Chocolate Chantilly
There’s not much I can add to Mr B’s version of Dr T’s recipe except:
  • Don’t expect it to work instantly. You could be whisking for 5 minutes or so – it depends on how quickly the chocolate emulsion cools.
  • You can substitute some other flavoured liquid for some or all of the water. Some fresh orange juice or coffee are probably the obvious choices. In fact a little orange heightens the flavour very nicely.
  • Mr B says that it will serve 4 and that’s true but it’s such an intense and pure flavour that it could easily serve twice that number alongside berries or something creamy.

15 comments:

  1. Yes, I think I've seen Heston made this before... At first it looks strange because I always thought that chocolate and water should never mix. I really must try this method. It looks brilliant.

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    1. It is strange. It seems very unlikely but that's half the fun.

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  2. wow... it's like grabbing the complete works of shakespeare!... what a book to reach out for but I guess you'd never get bored... love the fact that it could have been stupidly complicated but in fact you came off quite lightly... the chocolate looks incredible and I must say I am utterly intrigued to give it a go.. off to buy a bar! thank you so much for entering random recipes this month, nice to have your friendly face back on the train! x

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    1. It's good to be back, even if it is with such an unlikely recipe.

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  3. Hello from a fellow Surrey foodie! I'm so intrigued by this recipe, mainly because it's chocolate, but also I'm curious to see how it works. Looks delicious...

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    1. Well, I promise that it really does work, even if it seems unlikely and, if you like chocolate, then it's just perfect for that pure taste. I'll definitely be making it again in some form.

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  4. This looks seriously delicious Phil, so tempting :)
    Ozlem

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  5. That does sound good, must make that for my husband it sounds perfect for his taste ;-) Take care Diane

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  6. Dear Phil,

    This is a chocolate lovers delight! and that would be me. It sounds heavenly.

    Blessings, Catherine

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  7. Ooh Phil, how wonderful. I've made water ganache a number of times, but not tried this chantilly cream. Off to investigate the recipe now, but guess it's just making a water ganache and whisking - a lot.

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  8. Amazing that it becomes a cream - I would have thought it would separate - I guess its the whisking that holds it
    Mary x

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  9. I could really go some of that now Phil!

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  10. You know, that could be just the thing if you fancy pudding and don't have much in the house. We can always find some kind of chocolate in the baking cupboard!

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  11. Wow, this looks incredible, I'll have to give it a go!

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  12. This looks amazing. Will have to try it

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