Chocolate Torte, honeycomb & chocolate sorbet

By David Hetherington, Head Chef, Bridge of Orchy Hotel, Argyll

As the new head chef at Bridge of Orchy, I’m really looking forward to leading its mission to create a foodie haven, serving up the very best in local Scottish produce, as well as a variety of indulgent sweet treats.

I’m originally from Arrochar on the Cowal peninsula in Argyll, so I take a lot of inspiration from the region’s local producers and natural landscape when creating menus. I also took part in BBC MasterChef, The Professionals in 2012, which is where I developed my enthusiasm for eye-catching dishes with bold flavours, created using locally sourced, seasonal produce.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I’ve indulged my sweet tooth and love for chocolate with this deliciously moreish chocolate torte, honeycomb and chocolate sorbet recipe, which was created by me and the Bridge of Orchy’s pastry chef, Adam.

This recipe is so simple, but oh so good. There are a few technical elements to this dish that are great fun to try at home, although they can go very wrong, as Adam knows fine well.

We serve a chocolate and passionfruit sorbet with the torte at the hotel, though for this recipe I suggest a good quality shop-bought sorbet or ice-cream. I’ll save that for a future recipe. To keep the flavour profile similar, we will incorporate the passion fruit into the tart itself. As with all ingredients use the best you can afford it will create the best product.

Sweet Pastry


225g plain flour

110g butter

80g icing sugar

4 egg yolks

1 egg yolk (for egg wash)


1. Combine flour and butter by hand carefully until it resembles breadcrumbs (people with cool hands will be great at this. I have warm hands, so it can be a nuisance).

2. Add in the sugar, then mix in one yolk at a time until it forms a soft dough ball.

3. Wrap your pastry in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for a minimum of one hour. This will prevent the pastry from shrinking.

4. Roll the pastry out on a very lightly floured surface, as you don’t want to dry it out. Line a large tart case with pastry, allowing a slight overhang. I think a sign of a good tart is the thinnest pastry and the deepest filling.

5. Line the pastry case with parchment paper, and fill with baking beans to blind bake (we use lentils the hotel).

6. Bake at 180C for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven, take out the baking beans/lentils and parchment.

7. While the pastry is cooked and hot, brush liberally with egg yolk. This will help seal any hairline cracks and strengthen the case, while giving it a crispness.

8. You can trim the overhang off now with a sharp knife.

Chocolate Ganache


225g double cream

Pinch of salt

120g dark chocolate (min 60% cocoa solids)

50g milk chocolate

4 passion fruits, pulp of


1. Pour the cream, salt and passionfruit pulp into a small saucepan and place over a medium heat until it almost reaches boiling point. We call this scorching


2. Melt both chocolates in a bowl over a pot of simmering water.

3. Take the bowl off the heat and stir in the cream. Mix thoroughly until fully incorporated and allow to stand for 10 minutes, then pass through a sieve to remove the passionfruit seeds and leave to cool at room temperature.

4. Once the tart base is cool, spread some of the chocolate ganache on top of the

base and around the sides, then place in the freezer for five minutes. This is a

good little trick to ensure the ganache won’t seep out.

5. Pour the remaining ganache into the tart case, then place the torte into the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.


Making honeycomb requires care and attention. Hot sugar can take skin off, but the resulting bubbly crunchy toffee is worth it.


Butter for greasing

200g caster sugar

3 tbsp honey

3 tbsp maple syrup

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda


1. Butter a high sided baking tin.

2. Mix the caster sugar and both syrups in a deep saucepan. Cook over a gentle heat until the sugar has melted.

3. Once the sugar has completely melted, turn up the heat and simmer until you reach an amber coloured caramel. Keep an eye on this as it won’t take long. Working as quickly as you can, switch off the heat, and add in the bicarbonate of soda. Beat it in with a wooden spoon until it has all been incorporated, then pour into the greased tin immediately, but be very careful as the mixture will be very hot.

4. The mixture will be foaming rapidly and will continue to do so, but simply leave it for one to two hours until cool. It will now be crunchy and hard and ready to crunch!

5. Cut a big wedge of chocolate torte and allow it to sit out for 10-15 minutes before serving to soften the ganache. Whack on a big chunk of honeycomb, and a scoop of sorbet… simple, Yummers.

Bridge of Orchy Hotel is taking bookings for Mother’s Day on March 22. For reservations, call 01838 400 208 or visit