I had another Japanese themed inspiration following one of my recent post here of sesame chiffon cake and Niseko, Japan.
This time, its azuki beans. I've always had something for azuki bean flavored desserts. My dad loves those asian style azuki bean ice popsicles and as a kid I would often find some in the freezer at home. It was a memorable cold treat after a hot sunny day in Singapore.
I wanted to recreate the childhood memory, and an important part of it is using whole beans (sweetened from a can) instead of azuki bean puree, so that one could enjoy the munch of whole beans, resembling the taste of whole azuki beans in the ice popsicles my dad used to buy.
Everthing else was kept simple to ensure the taste of azuki beans were clearly distinct. The azuki bean mousse was paired with matcha génoise.
Recipe below makes about 4 mini cakes
40g granulated sugar
35g plain flour, sifted
7g matcha powder (sifted together with flour)
(There will be left over génoise but I find its easier to work with these quantities than something smaller. You could half the ingredients and there would still be enough génoise for about 4 mini cakes. Extra génoise can be wrapped in plastic and kept in the fridge for other uses.)
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 & matcha 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 & spread evenly into approximately 8 by 11 inch lined cake tin and bake for about 16 to 18 mins (if you are using half the quantity, use a smaller cake tin so your génoise would still have sufficient thickness). Invert cake onto a wire rack and let cool before cutting out pieces of génoise rounds (or squares depending on your cake ring) that is slightly smaller than the cake ring you are using. Place génoise rounds at the bottom of lined cake rings. Set aside.
2 gelatin sheets
180g azuki beans, sweetened (from a can)
180g whipping cream
Soak gelatin sheets in cold water till bloomed. Melt gelatin over bain marie and stir into azuki beans. Whisk cream on medium speed till soft peak forms. Fold cream into azuki beans mixture. Pour over matcha génoise in cake rings and leave it fridge until set.
Remove mousse from cake ring (using hot towel or flame torch on external of ring to loosen mousse). Wrap with dark chcolate and top with fruits and sprinkle of crushed pistachios as desired.