In a pastry kitchen, water is often seen as the enemy of chocolate. When tempering chocolate — a process in which melted chocolate is agitated to form the right crystal structure so it dries with a glossy finish and a hard snap — just one drop of water can make the smooth-flowing chocolate seize up into a lumpy mess.
But Janice Wong, pastry chef of 2am Dessert Bar in Singapore — so named after the sweets-only restaurant’s late (or extremely early) closing time — has created a dish to reconcile these old foes. In her Chocolate H2O, which she conceived a year ago for the Madrid Fusion pastry competition, she uses Evian water –her choice after testing five different brands of water for taste and mouth feel — to make a low-guilt (that is, low-calorie and low-fat) chocolate cake.
The varieties are the following: Mousse, Truffle, Caramel Paper, Caramel Sand, Yuzu Sorbet. Here is the idea for Mousse Cake: In a siphon, Ms. Wong adds a batter made from sweetened chocolate, Evian water and egg whites, and freezes the entire mixture until it is semisolid (scoopable, like ice cream). The batter is then pumped out — much as instant whipped cream is sprayed from from an aerosol can — into the shape of a palm-size cake. “I had the ladies watching their figure in mind,” says Ms. Wong about her creation. The final product is flourless and doesn’t contain any cream or butter.