Piece of chocolate heaven is back in Holywood restaurant
Sometimes it just takes a tweet to make your day. For Noble, the Holywood restaurant owned by chef Pearson Morris and manager Saul McConnell, a rave review tweeted by renowned international food inspectors from Michelin was as good as getting a Michelin star.
The tweet about a dessert caused such a stir that the dish in question - a glazed chocolate delice with salted caramel and peanut butter ice cream, which had since been taken off the menu - is making a comeback for the first time today.
The oblong chocolate bar is glazed in cocoa over which a sprinkling of sea salt crystals sit sparkling like tiny diamonds.
Inside is the mousse or delice, a set caramel line running its length, and the lot sitting on a fine chocolate sponge.
Beside this is a Mr Whippy-like mound of soft ice-cream packed with peanuts and white chocolate feuilletine.
The combination of both is the perfect microcosm of everything that is good in a hedonistic and sinful dessert: sweetness, smooth dark chocolate bitterness, salt, airy mousiness, crunch from the nuts and crispiness from the feuilletine.
It is utterly heavenly yet devilish and outrageously brilliant.
You eat it in tiny mouthfuls to make it last as long as is feasibly possible in adult company.
The work of pastry chef Aine Sherry, the delice is a triumph of engineering and flavour. She has to prepare and build the delicate structure over a period of two days.
But she will have done hours of research first; finding the right cocoa for the glaze (so many cocoa powders have an off-putting artificiality to them) was the hardest part.
She uses a mix of 70% cocoa content, valrhona and cream for the glaze, and said she created it as a challenge to herself.
"I wanted to make something that would test my abilities and reach a level of balance in flavours and textures which would be a knock-out," she said.
"It's important that while looking so simple and innocuous, this dessert is complex and therefore not something you could knock up in the house.
"That's the idea, anyway."
The white chocolate feuilletine in the ice cream along with the peanuts add a further dimension and the entire dish is a tribute to her and her head chef.
It shouldn't be long now till we hear more from Michelin and Noble.