• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

Tyler Kinch

Heston Blumenthal's exploding chocolate cake: Popping sugar pre-popping

11 posts in this topic

I was wondering if anyone else has tried making Heston Blumenthal's exploding chocolate cake. One of the ingredients in the crust is "popping sugar", which is basically unflavored poprocks. My understanding is that the chemical reaction that releases the C02 from the sugar is caused when water is introduced, and that the sugar is stable in a fat mixture. However, as soon as I added the mixture to the crust it started popping away... I added some extra sugar on top of the crust, but when I added the chocolate, it started popping again......  I'm a bit worried that I'm going to miss out on this special effect. 

I'm sure it will taste good anyways...


Edited by Tyler Kinch (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I had the same issue. All the candy popped before we could eat it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not made the exploding chocolate cake, but I did use Heston's recipe for a popping candy dacquoise from the Fat Duck Cookbook, which is similar in principle.

 

The popping candy I used was coated in cocoa butter, and specifically designed to be cooked with (and not eaten directly).  If you have used pop rocks or space dust or something from a supermarket then it might not work as well.  The cocoa butter coating helps to stop the bits melting prematurely, but the trick is not to heat up your mixture so the cocoa butter melts, or the popping candy melts, and not to press it too firmly (crushing it makes it pop).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used Molecule-R's neutral popping candy, which I surprisingly found at bulk barn.

 

Next time, I think I will put the crust  mixture in the fridge for a bit before adding the popping sugar. This should give time for the melted butter to solidify again, and hopefully not interact with the popping sugar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ended up sprinkling some on top, and it worked good.

Obviously not as nice as hiding them in the crust... also you can fit a lot more in the crust, so the popping effect on top was a bit subtle.

Really loved the passion fruit flavour :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heat and moisture set off the popping candy. From the sounds of it the chocolate may have been too warm when you added it to the mix. I've found its best if the chocolate is appox body temp (ie: dip your finger in and it should feel the same temp as your finger.) when you add it the mix with the popping candy.

 

I've made several popping candy bases this way and haven't had a problem with the candt "pre-popping" so to speak.


E.D.E!

Eat / Drink / Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just made it this week for my sister-in-law's birthday.  This was done entirely on a whim, so I ended up buying cotton candy pop rocks (gasp!) and using them instead of the unflavored ones. It worked.

  When I crushed the biscuits, and added the sugar and butter, I waited a bit so the butter was entirely absorbed by the biscuits and it was cooled off.  I mixed the pop rocks in half of the biscuit crumbs, patted it into the pan, then sprinkled on some extra pop rocks (entirely for fun), and then sprinkled more crumb/butter mixture on top- just to make sure the rocks were sealed in there nice and securely. I just put it in the fridge while I finished getting the chocolate mixture ready.

Then, I spread some cooled chocolate mixture over it, froze it, and then finished the rest of the steps.  I flocked it using my Wagner paint sprayer, thinned the chocolate with coconut oil. Garnished with dark chocolate curls that I brushed with hot pink lustre dust. 

  The other departure from the recipe was using raspberry puree instead of passionfruit. We don't seem have them available where I live. (Plus, my SIL LOVES chocolate and raspberry.)   

 The look on her face was priceless when she took her first bite of it, and started popping like mad in her mouth. Totally worth the work and the mess, IMHO. :+)

1 person likes this

-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds like a *great* cake, ChocoMom. If you ever feel like going to that trouble again, I'd love to see photos!


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a variation as a birthday cake and it came out great. Mine was just the exploding crust, raspberry filling, and chocolate ganache on top. Techincally it was a truffle tart (someone suggested I call it a pop tart).

 

To keep the pop rocks from pre-exploding, I modified the recipe to use brown butter (cooks off the water, and tastes amazing). I dispensed with browning the shortbread cookies, because the ones I got were nicely browned already, and I'd be getting plenty of toasted flavor from the butter.

 

I also put a barrier layer of chocolate over the crust. This was dark chocolate, melted, and with a little butter swirled in for pliability.

 

The raspberries where cooked on low heat until soft. Then I strained out the juices, reduced them, and thickened with a bit of xanthan and arrowroot starch (pectin would probably work also, but I was on vacation and these were the thickeners I'd brought along). 

 

The ganache on top was just 50/50 dark chocolate and cream. I considered putting the raspberries on top, but the chocolate top let me make a stencil and dust with cocoa powder.

 

Despite the thickening, some raspberry juice oozed out of the springform pan while setting up in the fridge. But it didn't soak the base. There was plenty of popping. Even two days later the last of the leftovers had some pop left.

 

In the future I might up the proportion of popping candy (I got the stuff from Molecular Recipes). This was more of a crackling cake than an exploding one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the cake or tart recipe in a book? If so, which one? (I don't have any of his books.  Yet.)  We do a chocolate caramel tart (choc pate sucree, layer of caramel, topped with ganache) and  it would be nice to have a fun variation on that kind of truffle tart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the cake or tart recipe in a book? If so, which one? (I don't have any of his books.  Yet.)  We do a chocolate caramel tart (choc pate sucree, layer of caramel, topped with ganache) and  it would be nice to have a fun variation on that kind of truffle tart.

 

It's from one of his tv shows (might be in a book too) http://www.channel4.com/programmes/how-to-cook-like-heston/articles/all/exploding-chocolate-gateau-recipe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Franzisaurus_Rex
      FOOD BRETHREN!
      I need some advice. I have one last piece of pork belly confit in the fridge. I brined these bitches for about 5 days (brine included pink curing salt), vacuum sealed the squares of pork belly with lard and sous vide them at 158 F for 16 hours. I cooked this on 11/10/16 and its been in my refrigerator since. 
      Here is the general recipe I followed, with some modifications based on my taste: https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/...
      The last piece is still vacuum sealed and submerged (mostly) in lard. Any visible pork only has contact with the bag. 
      It's staring at me. And calling my name.
      I want to deep fry this sucker and have a little date night with the handsome devil I see in the mirror every morning, but the last thing I want is spoiled food. I can't find any conclusive information about how long pork confit lasts for. I've only seen references that duck confit or in general that the confit technique will last for months in the fridge. I have found no sources which directly addresses pork confit.
      Questions/Factors I'm Considering:
      - Does pork confit keep for as long as duck confit?
      - Does vacuum sealing have any effect on the length of preservation?
      - Does sous-vide cooking method affect the length of preservation?
      I know I am probably being a bit paranoid, but I thought I would do my due diligence before taking the plunge, so to speak. Any advice on these questions would be extremely helpful and appreciated!
      The Franzisaurus-Rex
      PS - you should totally make this if you are into sous vide, confit, food, or have any respect for the enjoyment of life. Flash-searing these things after cooking was OUT OF THIS WORLD.
    • By JoNorvelleWalker
      The NY Times has a current article in the science section "A Universe of Bubbles in Every Champagne Bottle".
       
      The article asserts that it is better to serve Champagne at warmer than refrigerator temperatures so that the bubbles are larger and convey more flavor.  Also to serve in a narrow glass.
       
      However Gerard Liger-Belair (who is referenced as an authority in the Times article) points out in his book Uncorked (forward by Herve This) that the colder the wine the more viscous and the more dissolved CO2.  Liger-Belair also prefers a goblet to a flute.  I bought Uncorked after reading about it in Liquid Intelligence from Dave Arnold.
       
      Discuss.
       
    • By weedy
      I made a Gellan based fluid gel that I think is 'too thick'.
      (One could say, I'd like more fluid and less gel!)
       
      Anyone know what the best way, if any?,there is to thin it so I can squeeze bottle it? at the moment it's spoonable but way thick.
       
      Could I add water and blender it again?
      or is there another idea?
       
      thanks in advance.
       
       
    • By Gary Burns
      Hello,
       
      This is my first post here -- apologies if I'm making any mistakes on protocol -- I have spent some time checking prior posts but this seemed the best place to jump in.
       
      I have a 13lb skin-on, loin attached pork belly I'm going to cook for Christmas dinner. Coincidentally I also have an Anova sous vide circulation heater and a new plastic tub with a lid.
       
      The recipes I've saw mostly call for seasoning, a water bath for 36 hours and then a deep or pan fry to crisp. Now I have the setup, and look at the combination of the roast and the container I realize I have some questions about what I'm doing -- I've attached a picture below of what we're starting off with. 
       
      Here are those questions:
       
      The fit seems a little tight to me -- is the container size fine? I was planning on seasoning, tying and double bagging it in large ziploc bringing bags ( water displacement, no vacuum sealer ). I've convinced myself the ziplock method is fine, but is standing the meat vertically in a space close to it's dimension for a 36 hour cook ok? After the 36 hours in water, it is Ok to refrigerate? The main recipe I've been using as a base calls for removing it, shocking it and then removing the liquids for sauce before deep frying -- would it be ok to shock, refrigerate for several hours, then bring to temperature in the bath again before proceeding with browning/bringing to temp? If this isn't a bad idea, how long would you keep in the water bath after refrigeration? Deep frying vs. a quick hot oven? I'll rub baking soda on this, and I'll fry if need be -- but does anyone have experience or thoughts on whether you'd be defeating the purpose of using sous vide in the first place if you just used a suitably hot oven to crisp the skin after cooking sous vide and drying the skin beforehand? I'd prefer not to to do an inside stove top fry for something this large right before dinner if it wasn't sacrificing too much.    
      Thanks for any help, would also be great to hear any other useful advice from anyone that's went through a similar process.
       
      Gary
       

    • By pmilas
      HI guys,
       
      I'm here for a bit of advice. We are building a house (in Croatia, Europe), and finally have a chance to build a kitchen as i want it
      We would like to get a professional combi oven, something like this new Rational (a bit pricey) or this UNOX (better price) so that we have a long term solution for our needs.
      The reason we are going for the professional oven is that, for example UNOX, is cheaper than "home combi ovens" from brands like Miele, Gaggenau, etc. and are much better than those.
       
      Does anyone have any experience with pro combis at home? i have only seen a couple of people, at least on the internet, that have them at home. I guess that setup would not be a problem, because we designed a water inlet and outlet for the oven, and the voltage is OK. is there anything we didnt think of? Will that oven have higher maintananace cost, even if its used only couple of days a week?
       
      Thanks for help
       
      P
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.