I’m always in absolute awe of Heston Blumenthal’s recipes and approach to cooking – he is a genius in modern cooking and makes everything so thought-worthy. Added to that, I love his reductionist methods that get into the basics behind the recipes he creates. As an ex-lab-rat scientist, this really appeals to me. I’ve seen this cake made on one of Heston’s TV shows, involving a spray paint can and requiring a lot of outdoor space… so like most of Heston’s recipes, I thought, not for me…. But from Heston’s original (I think) recipe, this sublime, rich chocolate mousse cake with a silky hit of chocolate glaze on the top and a bit of a surprise in the base, is surprisingly easy to make!
I was a bit nervous about making the chocolate mousse using dark chocolate with 55% cocoa solids, thinking it would be too strong for a dessert for kids, so I made a 50:50 mix of dark and white chocolate, using regular (35% fat) cream and created a marbled pattern. The cake is best eaten the day you make it, to maximise the effect from the popping candy. Using coated popping candy really helps to keep it ‘fresh’ and I wouldn’t recommend using untreated popping candy (such as ‘pop rocks’), as they will lose their pop pretty quickly. That said, if you buy ‘pop rocks’ or similar, it is not too hard to make your own coated popping candy using chocolate (instructions below).