Macaroner for the DB challenge

There was a time I hated French and France. I felt ill before every French class in high school, and I had 5 classes per week. Before I finished high school I was even forced to have a French certificate because everybody in my class had it and I felt really frustrated about it. When I went to University I didn’t tell anyone I knew French as I wanted to forget about it. But, some time ago I started to love all things french again and it was due to a few wonderful people and confections: Pierre Herme, Hellen and macarons to name just the most important. You can imagine my joy when I saw October’s challenge: french macarons. Huray!!!!
The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
Thank you Ami!!! Thank you Lis and Ivonne for the wonderful group you have managed to gather. Every month I am more and more amazed of the marvelous phenomenon that the DB group is.

For the macarons

90 g egg whites (24-48 hours old – separated from their yolks)
30 g granulated sugar
200 g powdered sugar
110 g almonds

Beat the egg whites till they are foamy. Then add the sugar slowly, until the whites become thick and glossy. (over beating can dry them too much and ruin your cookies, so be careful).
In a food processor ground the almonds and then add the powdered sugar and pulse a couple of times. Pass the mixture through a sieve.
Add the almonds and sugar to the whites, folding quick (3-4 times) at the beginning and then carefully until fully incorporated (no more then 50 folds) – the batter is supposed to form a ribbon when you drop it from a spoon and to flatten by itself if dropped on parchment paper.
Put the batter in the pastry bag and make small rounds on the parchment paper covering the baking sheet. Leave the cookies at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to harden their shells.
Preheat the oven at 150 degrees Celsius and bake the sweeties for 20-25 minutes, making sure you rotate the sheet at half time or so.
Let them cool down and then they can be stored in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature.

For the pistachio macarons, use half almonds and half pistachios.
For the rose macarons, after piping them sprinkle rose petals. For the coffee macarons sprinkle with crashed coffee beans – I used caramel flavored coffee beans from Gurmans.

The fillings:

Whiskey chocolate ganache – vanilla macarons with caramel coffee beans

Dark chocolate ganache with Earl Grey caramel sauce – vanilla macarons

Matcha white chocolate ganache – pistachio rose macarons

Vanilla mousse – rose macarons
Ginger chocolate mousse – pistachio macarons

Matcha white chocolate ganache
150 g white chocolate chopped
33 g butter
66 g heavy cream
5 g matcha

Place the finely chopped chocolate in a clean bowl and set aside. Bring the cream to a boil and incorporate the matcha powder. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let sit 1-2 minutes and them gently mix until the chocolate is melted completely. Add the butter, mixing as little as possible.

Ginger chocolate mousse

75 g chocolate
180 g whipped cream
ground ginger
4 g gelatin softened in 20 ml water
45 g pate a bombe
25 g cream
10 g chopped fresh ginger

Bring the cream and the ginger to a boil. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes
Melt the chocolate over a double broiler and set aside.
Pour the cream through a sieve and reheat it. Add the softened gelatin and mix until dissolved. Pour the cream mixture over the pate a bombe. Add the chocolate and then gently fold in the whipped cream.

Dark chocolate ganache

100 g heavy cream
140 g dark chocolate
20 g soft butter

Chop the chocolate and place it in a clean bowl. Bring the cream to a boil. Pour it over the chocolate. Let sit a few minutes and then gently stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted. Add the soft butter and stir only until combined.

Whiskey chocolate ganache

70 g heavy cream
30 g whiskey
140 g dark chocolate
20 g soft butter

Chop the chocolate and place it in a clean bowl. Bring the cream to a boil. Add the whiskey. Heat the mixture briefly but do not let it boil. Pour it over the chocolate. Let sit a few minutes and then gently stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted. Add the soft butter and stir only until combined.

Earl Grey caramel sauce

150 g sugar
75 g honey
60 ml water
20 ml strong Earl grey tea (I used 25 g Earl Grey leaves for 100 ml boiling water)
40 g salted butter

Place the first 3 ingredients in a pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Rise the temperature and let them cook until thicker (about 5 minutes) and they start to become caramel in color.
Remove from heat and add the tea. Add the butter and stir it in. Let it cool.

Quince sauce and buckwheat snack cakes

Ever since I started baking I have been searching and trying new ingredients and new ways to combine them. I love it. At the beginning of this year, I was suspected of celiac disease and that is when I started searching and experimenting gluten free baking and the wonderful ingredients that are gluten free. By far, I fell in love with buckwheat. It is just divine and also healthy. My daughter loves it too, so many of her school snacks include buckwheat in the ingredient list.
This quince sauce and buckwheat cake is one of our all time favorites.

Quince sauce and buckwheat cakes

125 g dark chocolate
100 g butter
2 g salt
4 yolks
100 g brown or demerara sugar
4 egg whites
15 g brown sugar
30 g hazelnut flour (I used almond flour as well)
40 g amaranth flour
40 g buckwheat flour
cinnamon
125 g quince sauce
50 g white chocolate (optional)
50-100 g chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C. Place muffin liners in a 12-muffin tray.

Make the quince puree: core and peel 1 large quince. Cut the quince in small pieces and place them in a pan with water just to cover them. Add a few cloves and 1 cinnamon stick and simmer it until tender. Drain the quince pieces and puree them with an immersion blender or in a food processor.

In a clean bowl place the dark chocolate and the butter and place it over a pot of simmering water. Let them melt and then set aside.

Beat the yolks with 100g of sugar until pale and thick. Add the quince sauce and fold gently. Add the chocolate/ butter mixture and combine. Add the flours, the salt, the white chocolate and the nuts if using. Mix until incorporated.

Beat the whites to soft peaks. Add the 15 g of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Add the whites to the previous mixture and gently fold them in without deflating the batter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Let them cool in the tray for a few minutes and them remove them and let cool completely.

Happy birthday Dad

As I said before, September and October are special months for me. Busy, full, but so very special. In October I celebrate both my parents and also my sweet, lovely (bunny) daughter.
This past weekend, my sis and I planned a surprise party for dad’s 60th birthday. It was so tiring, driving 1200 km in 2 days, but it was so worthy – we were all together (mom, dad, my sis, her kids, me, M and my daughter) again after 6 years. It was short, but overwhelming and full of sweet memories. We stayed in my grandparents house, the house where I grew up, the house that brings me back to my childhood and it feels as if my grandparents are there again. I can hear their voices, feel their touch and go back to being a child for a few seconds.
I also had a real fruit feast. At my parents house, autumn means trees loaded with apples and quinces, grapes and as of late figs – the best I have eaten in my life. I brought 2 bags home with me and I am planning to make us some fig tarts. I also saved some to eat with my yogurt in the morning.
Among other things (salmon mascarpone filled vol au vents, mushroom thyme filled vol au vents, sushi, empanadas, sheep and pork steaks) we had vanilla macarons with salted caramel ganache, a vanilla and caramel mousse chocolate cake and a mango and matcha mousse cake.

For the cake layer

4 eggs
120 g sugar
53 g flour
53 g cornstarch
15 g cacao powder
15 g melted and cooled butter

Preheat the oven at 185 degrees C. Butter and line with parchment paper a 29*38 cm pan.
Sift the cocoa, flour and cornstarch and set aside. Put the eggs and the sugar in a heat proof bowl and place it over a pan with simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water). Mix the eggs until they are 35 degrees C. Take off the heat and whip them until they triple in volume. Add the flour mixture and gently fold it in taking care not to deflate the butter. Add the melted butter and mix it in taking care not to leave butter on the bottom. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for about 10 minutes or until the cake springs back when gently pressed with a finger. Remove from the oven and cover with parchment paper. Invert the cake onto a cool pan. Cool completely. Remove parchment paper.

For the syrup
100 ml coffee
30-50 ml Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
sugar (to taste)

For the mango mousse

4 egg yolks
130 g sugar
50 ml water
8 g gelatin powder
300 g mango puree
320 ml whipping cream

Place the gelatin and water to bloom.
Whip the cream to soft peaks and refrigerate.
Place the sugar and water in a pan over medium high heat, cover it and boil until all sugar is dissolved. Uncover the pan and cook the sugar syrup to 238 degrees F.
When the syrup is ready, melt the gelatin in the microwave.
Whip the yolks while slowly pouring the sugar syrup over. Next add the melted gelatin while still mixing. Continue beating the yolks until tripled in volume, thick and cool.
Add the mango puree and slowly blend it in. Add the whipped cream and incorporate it gently.

For the matcha mousse

4 egg yolks
5 g gelatin
130 g sugar
50 ml water
320 ml heavy cream
vanilla bean
20 g matcha powder (use more or less depending on how strong you like it)

Place the water, sugar and vanilla bean in a pan, cover it and bring to boil over medium high heat. When it boils, uncover it, lower the heat and let it cook to 238 F. In the meantime soften the gelatin in some water and whisk the yolks. Place the softened gelatin on a water bath or in the microwave and melt it.
Once the sugar syrup reaches 238 F, remove the bean (you can scrape it later into the mousse), and with the slowly pour the syrup over the yolks while mixing. Next, pour the gelatin over the yolks and continue mixing until the mixture increases the volume, thickens and cools.
Whip the cream and matcha together and carefully fold the mixture into the yolks.

To assemble

Place the cake layer on a piece of parchment paper, inside your cake ring. Brush with coffee syrup. Pipe the matcha mousse and spread it evenly. Refrigerate for a while until set. Pipe the mango mousse over and level it as good as you can. Refrigerate overnight (to ease cutting I always freeze mine).
To cut the cake, use a very sharp knife and dip it in warm water before each cut

Vols au vent – I dared again

As every year since I know myself, September was one of the most hectic months. I love September, but I never have the time to show my love as it goes away in a blink. I am born in September, school starts in September, the elegant autumn smiles in September, grapes are ripen in September, yelowish leaves are all over and the air smells so good in September.
If that was not enough, September brought with it the puff pastry challenge and I am for ever in love with pastry – especially with making it. It is such a magic process.
I will miss my precious September for another year, and will love it more each time.

The September 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

I have made half of the recipe regular puff pastry and the other half was matcha puff pastry. I filled the first with chestnut mousse (to be seasonal) and drizzled with some salted caramel ganache. The second half was filled with rose mousse and decorated with raspberry mousse.

Michel Richard’s Puff Pastry Dough

From: Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan
Yield: 2-1/2 pounds dough

Steph’s note: This recipe makes more than you will need for the quantity of vols-au-vent stated above. While I encourage you to make the full recipe of puff pastry, as extra dough freezes well, you can halve it successfully if you’d rather not have much leftover.

There is a wonderful on-line video from the PBS show “Baking with Julia” that accompanies the book. In it, Michel Richard and Julia Child demonstrate making puff pastry dough (although they go on to use it in other applications). They do seem to give slightly different ingredient measurements verbally than the ones in the book…I listed the recipe as it appears printed in the book. http://video.pbs.org/video/1174110297/search/Pastry

Ingredients:
2-1/2 cups (12.2 oz/ 354 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups (5.0 oz/ 142 g) cake flour
1 tbsp. salt (you can cut this by half for a less salty dough or for sweet preparations)
1-1/4 cups (10 fl oz/ 300 ml) ice water
1 pound (16 oz/ 454 g) very cold unsalted butter
plus extra flour for dusting work surface
* for the matcha puff pastry, I added 10 g matcha to the dough and 10 g to the butter.
Mixing the Dough:

Check the capacity of your food processor before you start. If it cannot hold the full quantity of ingredients, make the dough into two batches and combine them.

Put the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse a couple of times just to mix. Add the water all at once, pulsing until the dough forms a ball on the blade. The dough will be very moist and pliable and will hold together when squeezed between your fingers. (Actually, it will feel like Play-Doh.)

Remove the dough from the machine, form it into a ball, with a small sharp knife, slash the top in a tic-tac-toe pattern. Wrap the dough in a damp towel and refrigerate for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the butter between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and beat it with a rolling pin until it flattens into a square that’s about 1″ thick. Take care that the butter remains cool and firm: if it has softened or become oily, chill it before continuing.

Incorporating the Butter:

Unwrap the dough and place it on a work surface dusted with all-purpose flour (A cool piece of marble is the ideal surface for puff pastry) with your rolling pin (preferably a French rolling pin without handles), press on the dough to flatten it and then roll it into a 10″ square. Keep the top and bottom of the dough well floured to prevent sticking and lift the dough and move it around frequently. Starting from the center of the square, roll out over each corner to create a thick center pad with “ears,” or flaps.

Place the cold butter in the middle of the dough and fold the ears over the butter, stretching them as needed so that they overlap slightly and encase the butter completely. (If you have to stretch the dough, stretch it from all over; don’t just pull the ends) you should now have a package that is 8″ square.

To make great puff pastry, it is important to keep the dough cold at all times. There are specified times for chilling the dough, but if your room is warm, or you work slowly, or you find that for no particular reason the butter starts to ooze out of the pastry, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it . You can stop at any point in the process and continue at your convenience or when the dough is properly chilled.

Making the Turns:

Gently but firmly press the rolling pin against the top and bottom edges of the square (this will help keep it square). Then, keeping the work surface and the top of the dough well floured to prevent sticking, roll the dough into a rectangle that is three times as long as the square you started with, about 24″ (don’t worry about the width of the rectangle: if you get the 24″, everything else will work itself out.) With this first roll, it is particularly important that the butter be rolled evenly along the length and width of the rectangle; check when you start rolling that the butter is moving along well, and roll a bit harder or more evenly, if necessary, to get a smooth, even dough-butter sandwich (use your arm-strength!).

With a pastry brush, brush off the excess flour from the top of the dough, and fold the rectangle up from the bottom and down from the top in thirds, like a business letter, brushing off the excess flour. You have completed one turn.

Rotate the dough so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. Repeat the rolling and folding process, rolling the dough to a length of 24″ and then folding it in thirds. This is the second turn.

Chilling the Dough:

If the dough is still cool and no butter is oozing out, you can give the dough another two turns now. If the condition of the dough is iffy, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Each time you refrigerate the dough, mark the number of turns you’ve completed by indenting the dough with your fingertips. It is best to refrigerate the dough for 30 to 60 minutes between each set of two turns.

The total number of turns needed is six. If you prefer, you can give the dough just four turns now, chill it overnight, and do the last two turns the next day. Puff pastry is extremely flexible in this regard. However, no matter how you arrange your schedule, you should plan to chill the dough for at least an hour before cutting or shaping it.

Forming and Baking the Vols-au-Vent

Yield: 1/3 of the puff pastry recipe below will yield about 8-10 1.5” vols-au-vent or 4 4” vols-au-vent

In addition to the equipment listed above, you will need:
-well-chilled puff pastry dough (recipe below)
-egg wash (1 egg or yolk beaten with a small amount of water)
-your filling of choice

Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Using a knife or metal bench scraper, divided your chilled puff pastry dough into three equal pieces. Work with one piece of the dough, and leave the rest wrapped and chilled. (If you are looking to make more vols-au-vent than the yield stated above, you can roll and cut the remaining two pieces of dough as well…if not, then leave refrigerated for the time being or prepare it for longer-term freezer storage. See the “Tips” section below for more storage info.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll the piece of dough into a rectangle about 1/8 to 1/4-inch (3-6 mm) thick. Transfer it to the baking sheet and refrigerate for about 10 minutes before proceeding with the cutting.

(This assumes you will be using round cutters, but if you do not have them, it is possible to cut square vols-au-vents using a sharp chef’s knife.) For smaller, hors d’oeuvre sized vols-au-vent, use a 1.5” round cutter to cut out 8-10 circles. For larger sized vols-au-vent, fit for a main course or dessert, use a 4” cutter to cut out about 4 circles. Make clean, sharp cuts and try not to twist your cutters back and forth or drag your knife through the dough. Half of these rounds will be for the bases, and the other half will be for the sides. (Save any scrap by stacking—not wadding up—the pieces…they can be re-rolled and used if you need extra dough. If you do need to re-roll scrap to get enough disks, be sure to use any rounds cut from it for the bases, not the ring-shaped sides.)

Using a ¾-inch cutter for small vols-au-vent, or a 2- to 2.5-inch round cutter for large, cut centers from half of the rounds to make rings. These rings will become the sides of the vols-au-vent, while the solid disks will be the bottoms. You can either save the center cut-outs to bake off as little “caps” for you vols-au-vent, or put them in the scrap pile.

Dock the solid bottom rounds with a fork (prick them lightly, making sure not to go all the way through the pastry) and lightly brush them with egg wash. Place the rings directly on top of the bottom rounds and very lightly press them to adhere. Brush the top rings lightly with egg wash, trying not to drip any down the sides (which may inhibit rise). If you are using the little “caps,” dock and egg wash them as well.

Refrigerate the assembled vols-au-vent on the lined baking sheet while you pre-heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). (You could also cover and refrigerate them for a few hours at this point.)

Once the oven is heated, remove the sheet from the refrigerator and place a silicon baking mat (preferred because of its weight) or another sheet of parchment over top of the shells. This will help them rise evenly. Bake the shells until they have risen and begin to brown, about 10-15 minutes depending on their size. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC), and remove the silicon mat or parchment sheet from the top of the vols-au-vent. If the centers have risen up inside the vols-au-vent, you can gently press them down. Continue baking (with no sheet on top) until the layers are golden, about 15-20 minutes more. (If you are baking the center “caps” they will likely be finished well ahead of the shells, so keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when browned.)

Remove to a rack to cool. Cool to room temperature for cold fillings or to warm for hot fillings.

Fill and serve.

*For additional rise on the larger-sized vols-au-vents, you can stack one or two additional ring layers on top of each other (using egg wash to “glue”). This will give higher sides to larger vols-au-vents, but is not advisable for the smaller ones, whose bases may not be large enough to support the extra weight.

*Although they are at their best filled and eaten soon after baking, baked vols-au-vent shells can be stored airtight for a day.

*Shaped, unbaked vols-au-vent can be wrapped and frozen for up to a month (bake from frozen, egg-washing them first).

For the chestnut mousse

3 g gelatin
15 ml water
2 yolks
65 g sugar
50 ml water
175 ml whipped cream
a vanilla bean
200 g chestnut puree
1-2 tsp cognac
75 g milk chocolate

Roast or boil the chestnuts. Let them cool and then puree them in a food processor. Set aside.
In a clean bowl, on bain mare, melt the chocolate. Set aside.
Place the water, sugar, and vanilla bean in a pan, cover it and bring to boil over medium high heat. When it boils, uncover it, lower the heat and let it cook to 238 F. In the meantime soften the gelatin and whisk the yolks. Place the softened gelatin on a water bath or in the microwave and melt it.
Once the sugar syrup reaches 238 F, remove the bean (you can scrape the bean later into the mousse), and slowly pour the syrup over the yolks while mixing. Next, pour the gelatin over the yolks and continue mixing until the mixture increases in volume, thickens and cools. Add the chocolate and incorporate it gently into the yolks. Add the chestnuts and fold them in. Add the whipped cream and carefully fold it into the yolks.

For the rose mousse

3 g gelatin
15 ml rose water
2 yolks
65 g sugar
50 ml water
10 edible rose buds
175 ml whipped cream (+10 ml rose water)
a vanilla bean

Place the water, sugar, rose buds and vanilla bean in a pan, cover it and bring to boil over medium high heat. When it boils, uncover it, lower the heat and let it cook to 238 F. In the meantime soften the gelatin in some rose water and whisk the yolks. Place the softened gelatin on a water bath or in the microwave and melt it.
Once the sugar syrup reaches 238 F, remove the bean and the buds (you can scrape the bean later into the mousse), and slowly pour the syrup over the yolks while mixing. Next, pour the gelatin over the yolks and continue mixing until the mixture increases in volume, thickens and cools.
Add the whipped cream and carefully fold it into the yolks.

For the raspberry mousse

3 g gelatin
15 ml water
2 yolks
65 g sugar
50 ml water
200 g raspberry puree
20 g sugar
175 ml whipped cream

Puree the raspberries and place them together with the sugar over medium heat, cooking until the sugar melts. Set aside.
Place the water, sugar, and vanilla bean in a pan, cover it and bring to boil over medium high heat. When it boils, uncover it, lower the heat and let it cook to 238 F. In the meantime soften the gelatin and whisk the yolks. Place the softened gelatin on a water bath or in the microwave and melt it.
Once the sugar syrup reaches 238 F, remove the bean (you can scrape the bean later into the mousse), and slowly pour the syrup over the yolks while mixing. Next, pour the gelatin over the yolks and continue mixing until the mixture increases in volume, thickens and cools. Add the puree and incorporate it gently into the yolks. Add the whipped cream and carefully fold it into the yolks.

For the salted caramel ganache

150 g bitter sweet chocolate
200 g half and half
50 g butter
10 g honey
110 g sugar
50 ml water
fleur du sel

Place the chocolate in a clean, dry bowl and set aside. Heat the cream and keep it warm until the caramel is ready. Have the butter at room temperature.
Place the sugar, honey and water over medium high power, cover and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Uncover and cook until the mixture turns a deep amber color. Take off the heat and add the butter. Then add the cream. Pour it slowly as it may overflow. Replace the pan over medium heat and stir until all the caramel is melted. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute and then stir to combine. Add the fleur to sel.

Ispahan Cake

plaisirs sucres, lychee, rose, litchi, raspberry, Ispahan, macaron

In my previous post, i said something about being busy with some mysterious affair :). As the mystery turned out better than I have ever expected, I am ready to share it with everybody.
On Friday, I took part in an International Cooking Contest. You had to choose your section (I was part of the dessert section), prepare whatever you wanted to show to the jury and impress them :).
I prepared a series of desserts and they were all impressed that an amateur was able to do so many nice things.
I have made a few batches of macarons: almond macarons with chocolate nougat filling, almond macarons with white chocolate and coffee filling, cocoa macarons with chocolate ganache and salted caramel sauce, rose macarons with mint meringue filling.

plaisirs sucres, lychee, rose, litchi, raspberry, Ispahan, macaron

Then, I made an adaptation of Pierre Herme’s Plaisirs sucrees, using white chocolate coffee Chantilly instead of the milk chocolate ganache, dark chocolate cardamom Chantilly instead of his milk chocolate Chantilly, and dark chocolate wafers instead of milk chocolate ones.

plaisirs sucres, lychee, rose, litchi, raspberry, Ispahan, macaron

Next, there was a cake I made for my daughter’s birthday 2 years ago – an Opera cake with matcha genoise, salted caramel ganache and Earl Grey mousse. Another treat was a crumble tart inspired from Aran – I used a polenta almond crumble, topped with basil roasted peaches, a lemon mousse filled sponge cake and with a quenelle (which melted a little) of goat cheese mousse.

plaisirs sucres, lychee, rose, litchi, raspberry, Ispahan, macaron

I also had some simple, but ohhh so good almond and dark chocolate biscotti. But the star of the show was the Ispahan cake: a moist almond sponge, lychee jelly, raspberry jelly and rose mousse.
My daughter was my assistant both during the preparation phase and during the contest and this is why she was even prouder when we won the first prize. For a few days, this was her favorite topic of discussion. She even created a diploma for me and brought me lots of flowers to show how much she enjoyed “our moment of glory”.

plaisirs sucres, lychee, rose, litchi, raspberry, Ispahan, macaron

Ispahan Cake

For the almond sponge
2 X 20/ 20 cm (8X8in) pans

200 g almond paste (recipe follows if you do not want to use store bought)
4 eggs, separated
15 g sugar
40 g flour
2 g baking powder
30 g butter, melted and cooled
salt

Almond paste
100 g blanched almonds
100 g powdered sugar
30 g egg white

Pulverize the almonds in a food processor. Add the sugar and mix until evenly combined. Add the egg white and mix until a paste is formed.

Preheat the oven at 175 degrees C (350 F). Butter the pans and line them with parchment paper.
Place the almond paste in the bowl of your mixer together with the yolks and whip them for about 5 minutes until pale and thick.
Whip the whites with the salt until stiff peaks are formed.
Add the butter to the yolks and gently mix it in. Add half of the whites and gently incorporate them into the batter. Add the flour and baking powder and fold them in. Add the rest of the whites and gently fold them in. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 12 minutes (they should spring back when lightly pressed with a finger).
Let them cool completely before using.

plaisirs sucres, lychee, rose, litchi, raspberry, Ispahan, macaron

For the lychee jelly

400 g lychees (fresh or in syrup)
50 g sugar (if using fresh fruit or unsweetened compote)
8 g gelatin
20 ml cold water

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.
If using fresh fruit, place about 150 ml water and the sugar in a pan and bring to a boil. Add the fruits and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
In the meantime soften the gelatin in cold water. Drain the gelatin and mix it in the puree.
Pour the jelly in a pan that has the same size as your layers and put it in the freezer to set. You can line the pan with aluminum foil or plastic foil to ease removal.
Reserve the syrup from the compote or from boiling the fruits.

For the raspberry jelly
400 g fresh or frozen raspberries
80g sugar
8 g gelatin
20 ml cold water

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 a pan that has the same size as your layers and put it in the freezer to set. You can line the pan with aluminum foil or plastic foil to ease removal.

For the rose mousse
3 g gelatin
15 ml rose water
2 yolks
65 g sugar
50 ml water
10 edible rose buds
175 ml whipped cream (+10 ml rose water)
a vanilla bean

Place the water, sugar, rose buds and vanilla bean in a pan, cover it and bring to boil over medium high heat. When it boils, uncover it, lower the heat and let it cook to 238 F. In the meantime soften the gelatin in some rose water and whisk the yolks. Place the softened gelatin on a water bath or in the microwave and melt it.
Once the sugar syrup reaches 238 F, remove the bean and the buds (you can scrape the bean later into the mousse), and slowly pour the syrup over the yolks while mixing. Next, pour the gelatin over the yolks and continue mixing until the mixture increases in volume, thickens and cools.
Add the whipped cream and carefully fold it into the yolks.

Syrup
Lychee syrup
15-20 ml Limoncello (optional)

To assemble

Place your cake ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Fit the first layer inside the ring and brush some syrup over. Spread a small amount of mousse over it (it should act as a glue between the cake and the jelly). Place the lichyee jelly over and spread another small amount of mousse. Place the second cake layer on top, brush it with syrup, spread a tiny amount of mousse over, place the raspberry jelly on top. Then, pipe all the remaining mousse and level it. Place the cake in the freezer for a few hours.
To cut it, use a very sharp knife dipped in hot water.