Heston Blumenthal has been described as a mad food scientist. If this is true, then his madness is borne of an exquisitely focused curiosity of food.
In his books "In Search of Perfection" and "Further Adventures in Search of Perfection", Blumenthal turns this curiosity to classic dishes that evoke fond memories and nostalgia. They are last meal dishes. He dissects them and goes to extraordinary lengths to execute each component according to his standards of perfection, which are high indeed.
There is much to be learned from these books; simple and practical lessons on how to properly roast a chicken, knead bread, fry potatoes. He almost had me convinced that he is not mad. Then he goes and vacuums chocolate with a Dyson.
fill a small saucepan with 2" of water and bring to a simmer
place whipped cream dispenser in a bowl of warm water
place plastic container in large canister and surround with ice
attach hose from vacuum sealer to lid of large canister
step 1 (melt chocolate)
place 18 oz (500g) of good quality chocolate that has been chopped into small chunks into a metal or glass bowl. Add 1/3 cup (65g) peanut oil. Set bowl over simmering water in saucepan. Stir occasionally until completely melted and smooth.
step 2 (foaming)
pour the melted chocolate into the warmed whipped cream dispenser. Screw on the top and charge with 3 N2O charges. Shake vigorously and discharge into the bottom of the plastic container, stopping when the chocolate foam is halfway up the container. Immediately place dish on ice in large canister.
step 3 (aerating)
place lid securely on canister. Begin vacuum. When the chocolate has doubled in bulk, stop the vacuum. Remove the hose attachment and carefully transfer the canister to the refrigerator to chill.
step 4 (chilling)
let canister chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Remove and release pressure from canister. Remove plastic container from inside canister and unmold aerated chocolate by running a thin knife along the sides. If the chocolate does not release, wrap a towel that has been soaked in hot water around the outside of container.
* in ISoP, Blumenthal uses a plastic storage container to hold the foamed chocolate,then places it into a plastic baggie and inserts the nozzle of a Dyson vacuum into the opening.