Sep 29, 2008

POPPING IN THE KITCHEN FOR A FIRST TIME...

It has almost been a year since I started my blog, but before that, I was of course a huge fan of some great food blogs out there including one which I particularly love: Chubby Hubby’s blog. I’ve been following his food adventures for a long time now, but when I recently saw his post on Heston Blumenthal’s “popping candy chocolate cake" my smile reached all the way to my ears and immediately I told myself “I HAVE to make this!!!”. But I was curious about two things: 1) doesn’t the candy start “popping” in contact with the other ingredients? How is this going to work?! 2) Where on earth am I going to find popping candy? I know in the U.S. there are “pop rocks” but in France… it’s a bit more difficult to find the equivalent. It’s a candy that goes waaay back, that it’s vintage status has almost led it to become an extinct candy specie! I had to look in a lot of places before I found some…and still, I didn’t even find the powder on it’s own. I only found those lollipop with powder bags- you know what I mean? The recipe calls for 100gr of popping candy which would had meant that I needed to buy at least about 50 of those bags… just imagine the look of the cashier if I showed up with that! I already got an odd look with the dozen of bags I had purchased for this first trial.

Anyway, so what I did – as I was really curious how this was all going to turn out- was test out only the popping-candy base, and I divided the quantities in half. I actually did it twice. The first time I was overexcited that I didn’t even follow the recipe and started to experiment on my own. Instead of the hazelnut, I put cream…the way you would make a ganache. But once I started adding the popping candy, it started making that famous fizzy noise which meant that the effect was destroyed! Argh, silly me! So I went back into the kitchen and followed the recipe precautiously. Let me tell you, you have to be extra careful that not a single drop of water falls in and that there is no humidity whatsoever…or else everything is ruined! The recipe says you have to make a paste out of the hazelnuts, but as my food processor is currently broken I could only grind it (which is why you don’t see any hazelnut paste in my photos). When it came to the stage of adding the popping candy, I held my breath and crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t hear a fizzy noise… which I did NOT end up hearing! What joy! With this small test quantity I made, I decided to place the hazelnut-chocolate paste into little cups and tried out a bite of it … the popping candy effect was there! I then took another bite a few hours later…the effect was still there! Then again I tried it at the end of the day, and the day after and … it was still popping! Yes, the recipe did indeed work out- but only if you follow it religiously. So next time, I will do the full cake recipe hoping that I can find the popping candy on it’s own without the lollipops!
The bags I loaded up on...and that felt like a blast in the past!
Teenage mutant ninja turtles, my goodness!!

I had tons of lollipops to throw out... just keeping the popping candy!
Adding the popping candy!


For Heston Blumenthal's popping candy chocolate cake recipe, click one of the links below:
Via Chubby Hubby's blog: click here.
On the Times Online: click here.
Or on The Guardian: click here.

9 comments:

Peter G said...

Marianna I'm really intrigued by this cake....how fascinating with all that popping candy! I can't believe it didn't pop until you ate it...sound lovely.

Peter M said...

NOW I know why you were looking for Pop Rocks...this idea is insane...I luv it!

Daziano said...

Wow, this looks like the perfect way to start this week!

Boots in the Oven said...

What fun! My husband's been talking about making this cake too, ever since it was mentioned in our local newspaper - perhaps you will be the final inspiration!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - ha!

Kara said...

I am totally making this for my sisters 21st birthday. Awesome! Thanks for the pictures too!

Darius T. Williams said...

Such innovation...really! This is a really great idea.


-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

jess said...

just a heads up ;) amazon.com ships internationally...

http://www.amazon.com/Rocks-Packs-Sugar-Free-Strawberry/dp/B00155UY64/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=grocery&qid=1222810288&sr=8-8

Marianna said...

Jess- a BIG THANK YOU for the link!! I am definately ordering that via amazon for my next trials! :-)

Kiriel du Papillon said...

What fun!