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Godiva Chocolate Challenge Winner

Heather Bennett wins the Godiva Chocolate Challenge



Last week saw the finals of The Godiva Chocolate Challenge at the Boffi kitchen showrooms in Chelsea. Four talented young finalists produced their entries in front of the formidable judging panel of William Sitwell, the MasterChef TV critic, Mark Hix, the leading UK chef, Thierry Muret, Godiva’s Maitre Chocolatier and Juliette Nothomb, Belgian chef and author of the Godiva recipe book ‘Life’s A Praline’.


Heather Bennett wins the Godiva Chocolate Challenge


Heather Bennet Godiva Chocolate Challenge

The ecstatic winner, Heather Bennett from East London explained to the judges “This dish has been inspired by Godiva’s use of the finest quality ingredients and by Mark Hix’s love of British seasonal produce. Kent Pears and locally sourced honey combined with dark chocolate, compliments the dish that like Godiva’s namesake, needs no frills and laces. It is easily scalable for a commercial kitchen production with no compromise to presentation or flavours. ”

Godiva Chocolate Challenge

The prize for winning (in addition to the trip to Brussels for all four finalists) will be for Heather to see her dessert featured on the menu, at HIX Selfridges’. Heather said, “I can’t wait to see it being made in Mark Hix’s restaurant and then to see it on the menu will be amazing. I am also very excited about visiting Godiva and learning more chocolate skills with Thierry Muret.” Initially Heather’s dish will be on the menu for a week but Mark Hix said ”If it proves popular with the customers it will stay there!”

Godiva Chocolate Challenge judges

Thierry Muret, Maitre Chocolatier for Godiva summarised the event by saying, “ This was our first competition of this kind and we had no idea what quality of entries would come in from the public. The level has been impressive and certainly all four finalists showed some impressive pastry skills. Heather’s dessert was very accomplished indeed and I am looking forward to welcoming her to our Godiva kitchens later this year.”

Juliette Nothomb and William Sitwell both commented that it had been an impressive finals and that the winning dish was of an excellent standard.



Heather Bennett : A Conference of Chocolate

conference of chocolate


A Conference of Chocolate

Serves 4

Preparation time 3 hours (all can be done in advance)


Chocolate Crumb Ingredients:

150g soft brown sugar

150g ground almonds

115g plain flour

5g cocoa powder

1g salt 150g salted butter


Pre heat over to 150ºc

Mix all dry ingredients

Rub in butter to a crumble and scatter onto a tray Bake for 35 minutes


Pear Sorbet Ingredients:

60ml water

60g granulated sugar

630g pear puree


Boil the water and sugar to create stock syrup

Pour over pear puree and mix, pour into ice cream machine until quite thick and gloopy (10-15mins)

Place in freezer until 25 mins before being required


Honey & Chocolate Cremeux Ingredients:

2 Egg yolks

30g Honey

120ml Whole milk

120ml Whipping cream 1

40g 72% Godiva


Heat whole milk and cream Whisk honey and yolks Bring cream to the boil and take off gas.

Pour ¼ onto the yolk mixture and whisk, return to the pan and using rubber spoon mix well

Place pan on gas and heat to 85ºc, check consistency by running finger to create a line on the back of the spoon, if the mixture holds its own and doesn't seep then it’s ready

Sieve 225g of mixture into plastic bowl to retain heat

Pour ¼ over Godiva and leave for about 15 seconds, mix in well from center to create an emulsion, once mixed add remaining liquid a ¼ at a time until all used

Blend with stick blender to ensure a smooth cream

Place in fridge to chill and set


Caramelised Poached Pears Ingredients:

2 conference pears

300g granulated sugar

600g water ½ tps freshly grated nutmeg

10 dried juniper berries

1.5 cinnamon stick 6 tbsp honey


Put water in pan along with nutmeg, juniper berries and cinnamon stick and bring to boil

Peel and core pears and place in water, cover with cartouche and plate, place lid on pan

Boil for 15-20 minutes until soft to touch and knife goes in smoothly

Remove pears from cooking liquor, which is reserved to one side, and leave to chill

Roll pears in cooking liqueur if drying out too much

Cut pears in half and remove stems, place on kitchen towel to remove excess liquid

Heat small shallow frying pan and when hot add honey

Heat honey to a medium or dark caramel, taking care not to burn honey

When caramel is ready and excess moisture has evaporated, place pears flat side down into caramel, pressing lightly to ensure coverage

Move caramel round the pan to avoid burning

Once desired colour has been achieved remove from pan and place on kitchen town, flat side up to cool to room temperature

Dry pears on rounded edge before plating if require


Toasted Nuts Ingredients:

¼ tsp Ground Pepper Pinch sea salt

50g Honey

70g Water

100g Whole blanched almonds


Heat oven to 150º c Mix together water, honey, salt and pepper Soak nuts for a few minutes Scatter on lined baking tray and bake until golden (check after 10mins) Remove and scatter with additional pinch sea salt Leave to cool, then break in half


For the Plate

2 dsp Pear Puree

Spoonful toasted ground almonds


Place a thin line of pear puree down the plate

Place chocolate crumb over the top of the puree, creating z 2/4’s and ¾’s down the plate

Place room temp pear on the line between the z tilted towards you, prop with toasted nuts if required

Place 8 almond halves on chocolate crumbs

Place quinelle of cremeux angled at lower end of line, following the direction of the pear (slightly off)

Sprinkle toasted ground almonds at top of pear line, next to crumb where sorbet is being placed and place a quinelle of sorbet on top

Add tempered chocolate curl between cremeux and pear to finish decoration


Godiva Chocolate Challenge 2014