We review Heston Blumenthal’s Ultimate Chocolate Bar, his latest festive Christmas dessert from Waitrose.
How long does it take from something to become a tradition? Because this is the 5th year in a row when Waitrose have released a new Heston Blumenthal Christmas dessert.
Of course there’s the notorious Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding. Add to that the underwhelming Black Forest Buche, a feeble Baked Alaska, a Popping Candy Passion Fruit Chocolate Tart (that offered more of a limp crackle than the promised explosion) and then last year’s jaw-dropper, the Strawberry and Lychee Gateau.
In 2014 the Heston from Waitrose frozen Christmas dessert is the Heston Ultimate Chocolate Bar. We don’t know if it’ll be Waitrose’s best ever Heston Blumenthal Christmas dessert, but it’s certainly got the biggest box.
Product: Heston from Waitrose Ultimate Chocolate Bar
Availability: Very good
Considerably improved from the flimsy packaging for the Black Forest Buche. A massive box in the shape of a bar of gold made from thick, glossy card. The presence, the promise, the iconic black Heston branding. It looks spectacular.
Then you pick it up out of the freezer and it weighs less than a bag of sugar. When you do finally open up your Heston from Waitrose Ultimate Chocolate Bar it’s the usual story of opaque protective plastic. And that plastic’s usual ineffectiveness at preventing minor scuffs to the cake.
It feels like a petty complaint, but a Heston dessert should look spectacular when served up, not look like the cat has been at it. Especially with the Heston from Waitrose Ultimate Chocolate bar, where the outside should be all about unbroken, uniform perfection.
Cut the Heston from Waitrose Ultimate Chocolate Bar open and you can see how it’s composed of layers of soft mousse, some kind of crispy bits, and then even more mousse. Loads of mousse in fact. This cake is pretty much all mousse.
And yep, it’s light and delicate and balanced. And it tastes great. The crispy layers, whatever they are, have a happy, snappy shattering mouthfeel. But as a whole Heston’s Ultimate Chocolate Bar dessert cake just didn’t blow us away.
It’s a massive come-down after last year’s utterly fantastic Strawberry and Lychee Gateau, a dessert that looked the way it tasted: complex and beautiful. Here we’re just getting a few assorted layers of sweet, mushy brown and sweet, snappy brown.
While the Heston from Waitrose Ultimate Chocolate Bar was universally enjoyed by every single one of our taste testers we couldn’t shake the feeling that this could have come out of a box calling itself something like “M&S Millionaire Mousse Cake” or “Tesco Finest Cocoa & Caramel Terrine”, and we’d never have known the difference.
This dessert could have been from the fancy range of any supermarket. And, personally, we think anything bearing Heston Blumenthal’s name should feel a bit more special than that.
For Heston Blumenthal Waitrose product reviews that are better, funnier and more comprehensive than ours be sure to go check out Michelin Microwave.
Have you tried this dessert or would you like to? What would you put in your Ultimate Chocolate Bar? Let us know in the comments below.