There was a strong smell of chocolate in the air last weekend in Shoreditch as Aero took over the Dray Walk Gallery at the Truman Brewery, Brick Lane. I was invited to the press launch on the Friday, before the doors opened to the public for one weekend only, on the 16th November. The venue certainly lived up to its ever-so-trendy East London address, even if I did have to endure half an hour of cursing over iPhone iOS 5 maps. You could hardly see the bare bricked walls through the bubbles in the air, creating a multi-sensory experience.I was greeted with a glass of champagne, which there was certainly no shortage of as waiters dressed head to toe in orange made sure glasses were never half empty, or half full (oops, wrong brand!). Once settled, we all gathered together for a bubbly masterclass run by Andrew Stellitano. Andrew has merged his background in graphic design with gastronomy to create his experimental masterpieces which include a laser cut Gucci Tiramisu for Selfridges and the world’s most expensive mince pie. Andrew demonstrated how to make an Aero Float which combined Aero mint chocolate with freeze dry cream to create an Aero milkshake oozing with bubbles. It certainly looked the part but its taste was nothing to write home about. Andrew’s second creation was an Aero inspired Eton Mess which included his homemade Aero chocolate mousse combined with tapioca maltodextrinl, which was frozen to keep the bubbly texture. Andrew mixed the frozen mousse with orange flavoured meringue to create ‘Aero Mess’. The chocolate mousse was certainly something different; very cold but not at all ‘icey’ like you would expect for something that had been frozen using chemicals. The meringue was flavoursome and just like in a bar of Aero, went perfectly with the chocolate. A full list of ingredients can be found here>. After Andrew’s demonstration, Sean Dockerty from Nestlé, gave a very brief talk on the history of the brand and the science of bubbly chocolate. Sean was clearly very passionate about Nestle’s unique chemistry and discussed how they are continuously experimenting to improve the size and shape of the bubbles. I was lucky enough to taste a few variations of mint chocolate and I hate to say it, but I actually preferred the chocolate with bubbles smaller than the original. Although I expect this was because it meant the outer chocolate layer was thicker and I much prefer milk chocolate to mint. Aside from the demonstrations and talk, there wasn’t an awful lot to do and I wondered how the experience would have turned out if I was visiting that weekend without these extras. Sitting at the back of the room was a hot chocolate fountain which dispensed aero hot chocolate when a cup was placed underneath. Clever as it was, the watery hot chocolate was luke warm but this was probably due to health and safely. Huge bouncy balls, coloured to match Aero’s two flavours (Orange and Mint), floated in mid-air supported by a light airflow which provided a unique decoration. Last but not least, the back wall was filled with Aero products, the majority mint flavoured which were free for all, now THAT’s how you ensure visitors leave happy! Sadly, I’m not one for mint flavoured chocolate but I did enjoy the sharing sized bag of orange Aero Bubbles, which were well received by my housemates that evening.The event was well organised and it was interesting to hear about the science of bubbles but the venue would have lacked information without the presence of Nestlé and their PR staff and visitors may have lost interest after the first 10 minutes. However, The Bar of Aero certainly opened my eyes to the science of gastronomy and reminded me of Aero’s expertise with over 70 years or perfecting bubbles.
Living life, loving cake,