'Drench Your Palette In Gold' with Magnum

January 29, 2014
I just woke up with the slightest remnants of yesterday's pervasive headache. I think it could have been from drinking a double espresso on an empty stomach and not having eaten all day---I'm determined to lose a ridiculous but totally necessary amount of weight, you'll agree when you see from the following photos how fat I am now---but I would prefer to think that my headache had less to do with being a dehydrated empty husk of a person and more to do with giddying excitement and nerves for attempting to cook chocolate desserts drenched in gold with Magnum.

I was invited by Magnum to 'drench my palette in gold' to a dessert-making masterclass with Belgian chocolate and gold leaf by chef Nathalie Arbefeuille. I thought I'd wear my gold Michael Kors heels that I was saving for the first day of Chinese New Year, since I've already cheated and worn it before I guess one more time wouldn't hurt. So I trot in with gold nails and gold heels, feeling pleased that I've made an effort...then a gorgeous, statuesque beauty glides in wearing a magnificent long dress covered in gold foil pattern. Ok, I'm an underachiever. You'll see her dress later, we were baking at the same counter.

Mum's dress / Louis Vuitton / Michael Kors

The masterclass took place in the kitchens of Nathalie's Gourmet Studio in Solaris Dutamas. Why, only last weekend I was at the restaurant gorging myself on an imaginative, daring, and molecular 14-course Chinese New Year dinner, wondering about the source of that magic. So it was quite nice to be where the action happened.

I guilt-tripped and arm-twisted Michiekins and Arran into coming. I love you guys!

By our powers combined; we are---Ah Hwa! Ah Pin! and Ah Pin! Pin Square!

We started by making a chocolate lava cake, decorated with a delicate sheet of gold leaf.

I was terrified at the prospect of a) breaking something b) burning down the kitchen c) spilling something d) poisoning someone. I only perform well in the kitchen when nobody else is around.

My team got our chocolate lava cakes into the oven without much incident, unless you count the time I absentmindedly let go of the bottom of the piping bag and cake batter started dribbling everywhere.

Next was the more exciting and more challenging chocolate parfait.

Some serious dexterity and construction ability was required. Chef Nathalie made it look effortless but even her nimble and deft fingers would not conceal how tricky an operation is was, everybody gasped as though she pulled a rabbit out of a hat. I just prayed silently to every God I could think of. I whipped out my Little Black Book of Deities and phoned every number to be safe. Hello, Buddha?

We had to make the chocolate casing for the parfait, which was shaped like a bottomless and topless cylinder. A thin sheet of plastic acted as the base for which the melted chocolate would shape into and harden against. We dusted the plastic with gold powder. "Wah, just like Naked Palette 3!" exclaimed Arran.

Then, we poured melted chocolate on top, then spreading it completely flat without brushing away any of the gold powder underneath. 

Immediately we had to lift up the delicate plastic sheet, already wobbling from the weight of the melted chocolate, quickly roll and stuff it into a cylinder tin so that it could harden in that shape. Without dropping it, or smearing the chocolate, or ruining it, all under the watchful eye of a dozen cameras, Chef, her assistants, and the whole team.

Letting it sit to cool and for the chocolate to shape itself into the base that we would pipe the ice-cream into. Serious performance anxiety.


Our Magnum ice-cream and belgian chocolate parfaits dusted in gold.

Call me Nigella Lawson.

Thank you Magnum and thank you Chef Nathalie for a fun afternoon of dessert-making with you!



  1. That looks like a brilliant idea - I can see a bunch of tipsy hens attempting it and it going hideously wrong though! BTW I have a habit of scrolling all the photo's before going back to read the blog post itself and I was thinking how gorgeous you looked, so was a bit thrown by your opening paragraph. I'm hoping you are joking missy! You look stunning xx

    1. Hahahaha a bachelorette baking night, I've never thought of that! I don't think I could do that, I'd be too stressed. As for my weight, it's true, I'm overweight. Styling, good posing, and a bit of Photoshop helps but I've decided I can't be bothered anymore so I'm trying to get fit! Thank you for your kind words x

  2. stunning! we love your dress!
    xoxo Vera & Rony