BFG (black forest gateaux)

Another Fat Duck Recipe that is absolutely amazing is the BFG (black forest gateaux not big friendly giant FYI). This is the piece de resistance of the tasting menu and it is beautiful. It probably takes around 8hrs to make start to finish and involves some of the most wonderful fat duck techniques, the aerator, chocolate spray gun, liquid nitrogen ice cream plus a few more classical ones, maceration, chocolate sponge, cut vanilla pod…… unusually Heston uses quite a few classic flavours, essential a black forest gateaux inside out. So you have a core of aerated dark chocolate and a macerated cherry and a layer of chocolate sponge doused in kirsch liqueur.  Then surrounding that you have dark chocolate mousse, around that you have a white chocolate mousse, and then the base is the most amazing praline crunch. This is then all sprayed with tiny particles of dark chocolate for a furry effect (better than it sounds) and then topped with a second macerated cherry with a vanilla pod slice stuck in the top to look like a stalk (I know attention to detail) all served with a heavenly unsweetened kick of kirsch ice cream to cut through that amazing richness. All the flavours of a BFG without that I think I may throw up clogginess you get after eating it. On top of all this there is a trail of chocolate ‘soil’ and cherry sauce. J

HESTON’S VERSION

It is intricately amazing and when you chop into it you can’t imagine the effect of all the different textures and flavours – so goooood. Interesting fact about Michelin dessert techniques – they tend to freeze everything (mousses, chocolates, biscuits ) until serving so that you can get the shape right and get it neatly onto the plate plus ensure nothing melts

BFG (my version)


Ingredients (serves 6)
Macerated Cherries
10  cherries, de stoned
200g sugar
150ml kirsch
Almond base
60g blanched almonds
100g 75% dark chocolate
50g white chocolate
25g butter
35g ground almonds
Kirsch Ganache
100g 75% dark chocolate
100ml double cream
50ml kirsch
Chocolate sponge
3 eggs
60g sugar
20g cornflour
20g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
White Chocolate Mousse
150ml double cream
1 egg yolk
45g sugar
100g white chocolate
50ml kirsch
Dark Chocolate Mousse
75ml double cream
½ egg yolk
20g sugar
50g dark 60% chocolate
To Serve
Dark chocolate aero
Cocoa powder
50g 100% dark chocolate
20g ground almonds
1 vanilla pod
Kirsch ice cream (if poss)


1.     For the macerated cherries, heat the sugar in a pan with 150ml water and reduce to a thin syrup consistency. Leave the cherries steeping in it for at least 5hours.
2.     For the base, roast the almonds in a dry frying pan over a high heat till toasted. Then chop to small pieces.  Melt the chocolates and butter in a microwave. Meanwhile place the ground almonds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 3mins at 200oC, making sure not to burn. Mix the almonds into the chocolate mix and spread on a baking sheet, place in the fridge to set.
3.     For the ganache, chop the chocolate into very fine pieces. Heat the cream in a pan to the point of boiling but don’t boil. pour over the chocolate and leave for 1min then combine with the kirsch. Pour into a shallow lined pan and place in the freezer.
4.     For the sponge, whisk the eggs together, and then whisk in the sugar till light and frothy. Fold in the flours and cocoa and place in a ined baking tray, bake at 170oC (150oC fan) for 15mins. When removed from the oven, soak using a little of the syrup the cherries have been soaking in.
5.     When the Ganache has frozen, cut out squares of the almond base and place in square individual moulds. Cut out smaller squares of the ganache, sponge and dark chocolate aero (all same size) place in centre of almond base, top with a cherry and refrigerate.
6.     For the mousse, whip the cream and kirsch to soft peaks and set aside. Then whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, then fold in the egg mix and cream mix, pour into the square moulds so it encases the ganache, cake, aero and cherry, freeze.
7.     For the dark mousse, whip the cream to soft peaks and set aside. Then whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, then fold in the egg mix and cream mix. Layer on top of the frozen white chocolate mousse, freexe, placing a lollipop stick in the centre.
8.     To serve, remove the BFGs from the moulds then freeze again. Meanwhile grate the 100%chocolate and toast the ground almonds as before. Leave the almonds to cool completely, then mix with the chocolate. Remove the BFGs then dust with cocoa powder, sieved. Freeze again. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer 5-10mins before, remove the lollipop stick. Put the remaining cherry syrup in a piping bag. Dust a little of the 100% chocolate almond mix onto the place like soil and top with the BFG, on the left side. Squeeze a little syrup into the central hole and squeeze a little more down one corner (if need be, thicken the syrup by reducing further). Slice the vanilla pod finely to resemble cherry stalks. Place a cherry on top of the hole on the BFG and stick a cherry vanilla stalk in. Serve with a quenelle of kirsch ice cream on the right side. 

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