2009 is already here and I have such big plans for you. I have set up really high expectations for the next 12 months and the best thing is that I am sure that they will come true – I have to make them come true.
2008 was also full of surprises and wonderful discoveries. mostly of myself. I am filling proud when looking back to it. Most of all it has brought a new direction to my life that I think I was looking for.
And as all nice things in life need to be celebrated, what can be more appropriate then a stunning cake. An iced delight that I saw a few months ago on Aran’s site and wanted to try ever since.
I added one extra mousse to Aran’s cake, and that makes me wonder as she also did: “Although the recipes I used for the different gateau components are all from my archives, this cake was inspired by chef Glacier, which brings up a question that always roams around in my head… What makes a chef own a recipe? We all borrow ideas from others, so when can we call a recipe our own?”. I do not know who owns it, but I know it is delicious and it looks amazing. Thanks Aran for inspiring me!
For the sponge
The recipe yields two 24 cm cakes
53 g almonds
52 g raw pistachios
75 g powdered sugar
25 g flour
125 g eggs
93 g egg whites
38 g sugar
18 g butter, melted and cooled
Chop the almonds and pistachios. Add the powdered sugar and mix until you obtain a very fine meal. In another bowl, mix the above processed meal, the flour and the eggs for 5-8 minutes until a thick, ribbony mixture forms.
Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and slowly add the granulated sugar and whip to get a glossy meringue.
Add a part of the egg whites to the first batter and slowly incorporate the 2. Add the rest of the whites and then the melted butter.
Divide the batter between the 2 pans, lined with parchment paper on the bottom and bake at 180 degrees for about 12 minutes (when lightly pressed the cake should spring back).
50 ml coffee
50 ml water
30 ml Khalua
sugar to taste (aprox 50-75 g)
Mix everything on low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
14 g gelatin or 7 gelatin sheets
Puree the fruits in a food processor. Place the puree and sugar in a pan on medium heat and boil until all sugar is dissolved.
In the meantime soften the gelatin in cold water. Drain the gelatin and mix it in the puree.
Pour the jelly in 2 pans (the same size as your cakes or at least bigger) and put them in the freezer to set. You can line the pans with aluminium foil or plastic foil to ease removal.
Earl Grey mousse
400 ml heavy whipping cream (+more to complete to 400 ml after infusing the Earl Grey leaves)
220 g white chocolate
15-20 g Earl grey leaves
Bring the cream to a boil. Add the leaves to the cream and let them infuse for 15-20 minutes. Strain the cream in a clean sauce pan and add more cream to have 400 ml again. Reheat the cream and off the heat add the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes and then stir it until you have a smooth custard. Let it cool and then put it in the fridge to chill. After a coupl,e of hours whip it to soft peaks.
250 g cream
1 vanilla bean, scraped and seeded
63 g sugar
60 g yolks
7 g gelatin or 3.5 gelatin sheets
250 g heavy cream, soft peaks
Place the gelatin in cold water to soften.
Bring the cream, half of the sugar and vanilla bean to boil.
Whisk the yolks with the rest of the sugar. After the cream came to boil, start pouring it in a thin stream over the yolk mixture, mixing continuously. Return the mixture to heat and cook till the custard coats the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil or it will scramble the eggs.
Remove from heat and add the gelatin. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and then incorporate the whipped cream.
White chocolate icing
3 gelatin sheets or 6g powdered gelatin
200g white chocolate
180 g milk
Place the gelatin in cold water to soften. In a sauce pan bring the milk and honey to a boil. In a clean bowl chop the white chocolate and butter.
When the milk boils, add the gelatin and then pour the mixture over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until smooth.
Let cool while checking the texture regularly. As soon as the mixture is smooth and coats a spoon well (it is starting to gelify), use immediately.
I used a 24 cm pan with removable sides.
Place one cake round, lightly brush it with syrup. Spread half of the Earl Grey mousse and put it in the fridge or freezer to set.
Remove one round of jelly from the freezer and cut it to fit into the pan. Place it over the mousse.
Spread half of the bavarian on top of the jelly.
Place the 2nd round of cake and brush it with syrup. Spread Earl Grey mousse, top with the second round of jelly and with the rest of the bavarian. If at any point, the cake seems shaky or too moist, put it in the freezer for a while.
After the whole cake is ready, let it sit in the freezer overnight and then rmove the sides of the pan and decorate with the icing and whatever else you see fit. I sprinkled some chopped pistachios over the icing.