Saturday, 7 January 2012

Raspberry mousse & vanilla cream cake

We couldn't get enough of the Christmas and New Year celebrations.  Two long weekends in a row was a luxury.  Dragging myself back to work on 3 January was not a pleasant experience.  Thankfully, I have the Chinese New Year holidays towards the end of January to look forward to - that will be another 5 consecutive days of holidays.

I made these raspberry mousse and vanilla cream mini cakes for New Year's Day for some friends who came over for dinner.  We had a little make-your-own-pizza party.  I had the dough prepared in advance, but each pair had to roll it out and decide on the toppings.  It was a lot of hands-on fun and laughs, especially when the last pizza was improvised into a calzone.  A great way to celebrate the start of 2012.

 
I served these mini cakes at the end of the evening while we sat around the table for some green tea and black fruity tea.  It may not be quite the expected dessert after some home-made pizza, but the raspberry mousse and vanilla cream are both light to the palate and not heavy at all.  It was also not overly sweet so one could really taste the raspberry and vanilla flavour separately.  I also added mini crunchy chocolate balls into the vanilla cream layer for additional texture.

Wishing all of you a good 2012 ahead!

 Recipe below makes 12 pieces using 6-cm round cake rings

Butter génoise:
2 eggs
40g granulated sugar
40g plain flour, sifted
20g unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 180 C.  Hand-whisk eggs and sugar over bain marie till mixture reaches 40 C.  Using an electrical whisk, beat eggs and sugar on high speed till fluffy and peaks form.  Melt butter over bain marie.  Fold flour into egg mixture in 3 batches.  Be careful not to overmix. Add a scoop of egg & flour mixture into melted butter and mix well.  Fold butter mixture back into remaining egg & flour mixture and fold gently till batter surface is uniformly shiny.  Pour into 9-inch lined round cake tin and bake for 18 mins.  Invert cake onto a wire rack and let cool before cutting out 12 pieces of 5-cm génoise rounds.  Place génoise rounds at the bottom of 12 lined 6-cm round cake rings.  Set aside.

Vanilla cream layer:
6 tbls milk
2 vanilla beans
2 tbls sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp custard powder
4.5 gelatin sheets
90g heavy cream
70g granulated sugar (for the italian meringue)
13g water (for the italian meringue)
45g egg white (for the italian meringue)
around 100 pieces of mini crunchy chocolate balls (optional)

Soak gelatin leaves for a few minutes in cold water till bloomed.  Split vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the seeds into milk.  Heat milk in a small saucepan but do not bring to boil.  Whisk yolks, sugar, cornstarch and custard powder together, then mix in a little of the heated milk, mixing till well blend.  Pour mixture back into saucepan with remaining milk and simmer slightly, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add gelatin, mix well.  Set aside to cool.

Whip heavy cream till soft peaks form.  Set aside in fridge, covered.

Prepare the italian meringue: Whisk egg whites using an electric mixer till soft peaks form.  At the same time, heat sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium to high heat.  Use a thermometer to measure the syrup, cooking the sugar syrup till it reaches 118C.  Carefully pour the sugar syup into the mixer bowl with egg whites while running the whisk.  Continue whisking till stiff peaks form and the meringue has cooled down and is glossy.  

Fold italian meringue into milk mixture, then fold in the whipped cream to finish the vanilla cream.

Pour vanilla cream over génoise rounds placed at the bottom of 12 lined 6-cm round cake rings.  The vanilla cream should properly cover the sides and top of the génoise rounds.  Optional: divide the mini crunchy chocolate balls evenly between the cake rings, pressing them into the vanilla cream.  

Leave cake rings to chill in fridge till the vanilla cream has set before removing them from the cake rings (using hot towel or flame torch). 

Raspberry mousse dome:
1 1/2 pieces gelatin sheet
135g raspberry puree
140g heavy cream
55g sugar
25g corn syrup
20g water
50g egg whites

Soak gelatin leaves for a few minutes in cold water till bloomed.  Heat half of raspberry puree in a small saucepan, stirring.  Do not bring to boil.  Remove puree from heat and add gelatin, stirring to dissolve.  Add remaining puree and mix well.  Set aside to cool.

Whip heavy cream till soft peaks form.  Set aside in fridge, covered.

Whisk egg whites using an electric mixer on high speed till soft peak forms.  At the same time, heat sugar, corn syrup and water in a small saucepan over medium to high heat.  Use a thermometer to measure the syrup, cooking the sugar syrup till it reaches 118C.  Carefully pour the sugar syup into the mixer bowl with egg whites while running the whisk.  Continue whisking till stiff peaks form and the meringue has cooled down and is glossy. 

Pour cooled puree over meringue and fold in using a spatula. When the puree has been incorporated, fold in the whipped cream till mousse is just blended evenly.

Pour mousse into 12 pieces of 6-cm dome molds and leave in fridge till set. 

Assembly:  
Gently remove raspberry mousse from dome molds one at a time (by carefully dipping bottom of molds in hot water, taking care not to allow water into the mousse, and rotating the mousse out of the molds), and immediately place mousse dome on top of the vanilla cream layer.  Repeat for remaining 11 pieces.  Wrap exterior of individual mini cakes with dark chocolate decoration and top with pistachios if desired, as shown in photos.

13 comments:

  1. These are absolutely gorgeous and pieces of art. Must have tasted fantastic as well.

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  2. Stunning! I love the presentation.

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  3. very nice! Love the color!

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  4. I am definitely going to try this recipe; YUM!

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  5. Thanks all for your kind compliments and visiting my blog!

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  6. So beautiful! Love the dome shape and the cute chocolate decorations!

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  7. hi, just wondering how you made the chocolate decorations??

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    1. hi, I temper the chocolate over bain marie till its fluid enough to be piped onto acetate strips. The strips are then laid on or around the mousse and placed into the fridge till chocolate hardens and the acetate strips can be peeled off leaving the chocolate behind.

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  8. Hi, I was just wondering if it was possible to do these without dome molds, by putting the raspberry layer on top of the set vanilla layer inside the cake ring? Or would this go horribly wrong? Thank you!

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  9. This is such a mouthwatering cake. I like the idea of making it compelling and enticing. It has a unique design as well. I would love to try making this cake. I'm just wondering if this could surpass the Best Cheesecake in New york I've tasted last month. Anyway, I am pretty sure this cake tastes great.

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