Homemade Chocolate Ethereal from Quay – How to DIY!

Anyone who watched the 2014 season of MasterChef Australia will have seen the Chocolate Ethereal, the stunning, intricate dessert created by Peter Gilmour of Quay. The two finalists had to recreate this dish as their last challenge (in 3 hours mind you!!) to decide who would be crowned the new Masterchef!

I had the absolute pleasure of trying this dish, when my two best friends surprised me with dinner at Quay. It really tasted better than it looked. Each shard not only looked spectacular, but gave a different textural element and flavour to the dish. The Oloroso cream that held the spikes up was literally to die for and other small touches such as the nougat and alcohol soaked muscatels only added and lifted this already spectacular dish.


The Real Deal – Chocolate Ethereal at Quay

My Mum and I who both like a challenge, decided that we would recreate this dessert, especially as it used no fancy equipment. We finally got around to it this weekend (the recipe can be found here).

We calculated that it took us 7 hours (or 14 man hours) to complete!! And it was definitely the most work I have ever put in for a dessert – or possibly any one meal! And while it definitely didn’t look as pretty as the real thing, it worked brilliantly and exceeded my expectations – it honestly tasted like the real thing!


Our homemade Chocolate Ethereal


The nougat recipe was fantastic – it was soft and chewy, what a good nougat should be but rarely is. Again the Oloroso Whip is seriously to die for – it should honestly be illegal it’s that good!!

Mum and I had to make a few changes to account for ingredients we couldn’t find because they were a bit unusual. I just wanted to tell you a bit more about the changes we made so you can spend 7 hours recreating it if you wanted!


Nougat, Praline, Muscatels!


The production line!

Korean Starch Sheets

So these were impossible to find, but I’m not going to lie, what we substituted for these was inspired!! We used rice paper sheets, cut to size. As rice paper is derived from rice, a starch, these were in fact a brilliant substitute. We then soaked them in warm water for 20 seconds so they softened and then followed the rest of the instructions.

Hazelnut Praline Paste

So for this element, we made our own hazelnut praline paste and honestly this stuff was amazing! It tasted like an intense nutella and we now use it as a topping for ice-cream! Yum! The recipe for this can be found here. The recipe is so simple and involves just hazelnuts, sugar and water. Once you have made the praline you just blend it, it will initial form a powder, but keep blending long enough and all the oils will come out of the hazelnuts and you will get a delightful paste that will keep in the fridge for ages!


The recipe calls for a number of different (and expensive!!) types of chocolate like Valrhona and Amedei Chuao chocolate. We substituted for other brands of good quality cooking chocolate, trying to make sure the chocolate we used was similar in terms of cocoa solids. So for example, the recipe calls for 70% Amedei Chuao chocolate, so we used 70% Lindt Cooking chocolate.


We used plain honey as a substitute for trimoline and while it gave the pulled chocolate sheet a slight honey flavour the sheet still worked well and there is nothing wrong with chocolate and honey! 🙂


Silpats are a silicone sheet that is used a lot in professional kitchens. We substituted baking paper, which worked perfectly well.

There is also a slight error in the recipe online. Step 32 seems to be a copy of 31, however it follows the same same process as the pulled chocolate, so skip back to Step 29 when you get to 32.

Finally, be prepared for the fact that the quantities you make will far exceed what is required for serving 4 people – but this just means you can have seconds OR more the next day!

This dessert is nothing short of phenomenal and while I am so glad I made it and that it truly did work, I wont be making it for some time! So much respect for the chefs who make this ever day and I am totally amazed that one person could recreate this in 3 hours! Wow!


6 thoughts on “Homemade Chocolate Ethereal from Quay – How to DIY!

  1. I had heaps of trouble finding the Korean Potato Starch Sheets under that name but after searching on and off for days under various titles, I finally found them. They’re under Edible Film-square. Edible Film is popular for use in Molecular Gastronomy. They also come in Round Sheets, Cupcakes and Cones. They don’t say they’re Korean either or what country they’re from, for that matter.

  2. I hope I’m not posting this twice but when I looked back at this site, the comment wasn’t there, so here goes again. Like you, I had terrible trouble finding the Korean Starch Sheets. I was looking on the internet and tried Korean Potato Starch Sheets and other combinations of these words but to no avail. After several days of leaving it then coming back to it, I finally found them under Edible Film-square. They’re see-through and flexible. They also come in Round Sheets, Cupcakes and Cones. Edible Film is popular for Molecular Gastronomy. The packets have Asian writing but doesn’t say if from Korea or any other country for that matter. (They are not the Green Bean/Potato, Mung Bean, brittle, wide strip Noodles from China). You were very clever and inventive to use the White Rice Paper instead, when you couldn’t find them.

  3. I’ve left 2 comments here. 2nd one was extended after I didn’t see the first comment here. I still can’t see the comment. Where do you view them? The icon is there to say I’ve made a comment but it’s not there. Do I have to subscribe to wordpress? It is not clear how to reply on this website. The first time, my message was still there after I pressed Post Comment then disappeared. 2nd time the message wasn’t there after I pressed Post comment. Can you clear this up for me (If you even see this message).

    • Hey thanks so much for your response – I’ll check those things out! And as for the comments I just have a setting on where I need to approve comments before they appear! Sorry for any confusion!!

      • Thanks for getting back to me. I hoped it was a delay from being vetted but nothing came up to say this was happening, so I wasn’t sure & I really thought the information would be helpful. Wonder if Peter Gilmore deliberately put us off the track? Surely Garry had seen edible film before. I had. Secret? They absolutely look like what Peter used, see through & flexible, not white & brittle. Can be used without wetting & are made from Potato.

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