If you’ve been following this blog you know that I like making entremets (for all you newbies, entremets are multi-layered mousse-based cakes). Well, I made another one.
This is a raspberry and white chocolate entremet with almond dacquoise, white chocolate mousse, raspberry gel, raspberry mousse, whipped white chocolate and coconut ganache, fresh raspberries, and edible flowers.
While this cake looks difficult to make, it’s really not. It does take some time and a special tool (a pastry/mousse ring), however. I’ve made more difficult entremets in the past. This cake only has three layers, but the Ambroisie I made, for example, had six.
At the bottom of this cake is a layer of warm, nutty almond dacquoise. The ingredients for dacquoise are similar to the ones for macarons (it uses all the same ingredients and adds flour), but it’s nowhere near as tricky to make. All you have to do is mix everything together, pretty much. You end up with a pillowy, soft layer of almond goodness. Great return on investment (wow, business school is getting to me).
On top of the dacquoise there’s a layer of white chocolate mousse. This was my first time making a white chocolate mousse, so I wasn’t really sure how much gelatin I needed. I put in a touch too much gelatin, so I adjusted the recipe here so it wouldn’t taste too jello-y. Still, it was quite good. The trick here is to use a really good white chocolate so that you can taste vanilla notes instead of just sugar.
I added the tart raspberry gel layer to bring down the sweetness—there’s no sugar at all in the raspberry layer, but lots of lemon juice.
Decorating the entremet was lots of fun. I used fresh raspberries along with dollops of fresh raspberry mousse and whipped white chocolate and coconut ganache. Originally, I wanted to make a raspberry, white chocolate, and coconut entremet, but I only ended up adding a hint of coconut flavour to the ganache. I couldn’t really taste it, so I’m not sure if there was a point.
My favourite part of this cake is the edible flowers. I’ve been looking for edible flowers in Toronto for a while now. A couple of years ago I wanted to make rose macarons from rose petals (instead of rose water/extract), so I searched everywhere for the petals. The trouble with using rose petals from a florist is that they are coated with a thick layer of pesticides that are definitely not safe to eat. Naturally, I visited a grocery store (Canadian readers may be familiar with Longos) and asked a lady who worked there whether they had edible flowers.
“Hi, do you have any edible rose petals?”
“Edible rose petals.”
You know, in hindsight, that conversation was not interesting enough to rewrite here. Oh well.
Anyway, she looked at me like I was crazy. I am crazy, but my question should not have been enough to come to that conclusion. Frankly, I’m surprised she isn’t asked that question daily.
I finally found some this week at Harvest Wagon, this classy organic store in downtown Toronto. They were expensive, but they were so pretty on top of this cake. Hey Harvest Wagon folks, if you ever see this post and want to send some edible flowers my way, I’m up for it! :)
- 60g almonds (or ground almonds)
- 40g powdered sugar
- 15g flour
- 3 egg whites
- 50g sugar
- a splash of vanilla extract
- 50g sugar
- 50g water
- 8g gelatin
- 270g milk
- 270g white chocolate, chopped and in a bowl
- 160g whipping cream, beaten to soft peaks
- 20g + 50g water
- 4g gelatin
- 150g raspberries
- 15g lemon juice
- 50g coconut milk (you can replace this with 50g of whipping cream)
- 100g whipping cream
- 150g white chocolate, chopped
- 2 egg whites
- 50g sugar
- a dash of pink food colouring
- 50g raspberry juice (strained from raspberries)
- Raspberries (you can coat these in leftover simple syrup, if you'd like)
- Coconut white chocolate ganache
- Raspberry mousse
- Edible flower petals (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- In a food processor, grind the almonds with the powdered sugar until finely ground. Empty into a bowl and sift in the flour.
- Beat the egg whites and the sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated (about ten seconds).
- Gently fold in the nut mixture, being careful not to deflate the egg whites but still incorporate the nuts. Keep as much air in the batter as possible.
- Spread over a quarter sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake until golden brown, about 14 minutes.
- Let cool, flip over, and peel off parchment paper. Cut out a round piece of cake with a 7 inch/18cm circular pastry ring and put the pastry ring, with the piece of cake at the bottom, onto a parchment paper lined tray to prepare for assembly.
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil, and then let cool.
- Brush over the cake until it is moist (you may not need to use all of it).
- Mix the gelatin and the milk and let sit for 10 minutes for the gelatin to absorb some moisture.
- Bring the milk to a simmer, being careful that it doesn't boil. Then, pour over the white chocolate and wait five minutes.
- Slowly whisk the milk-chocolate-gelatin mixture until all the chocolate dissolves. Whisking slowly is important. Wait for the chocolate to cool to room temperature.
- Pour in one third of the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream, and then fold until incorporated. Repeat with the additional chocolate in two more additions.
- Pour the mousse (it will be quite liquid) into the pastry ring, making sure you leave about centimeter at the top for the raspberry gel.
- Set in the fridge to chill for a few hours before preparing the raspberry gel.
- Dissolve the gelatin in 20g of water and let stand while you complete the other steps.
- Mix the raspberries with the 50g of water and the lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Puree with an immersion blender, or mash thoroughly with a spoon.
- Thoroughly strain the raspberries into a bowl and discard the pulp. Mix in the water-gelatin mixture while still warm.
- Let cool to room temperature and then pour over the set white chocolate mousse. Then, set in the fridge to chill.
- Bring the coconut milk and whipping cream to a simmer, and then pour over the white chocolate.
- Wait five minutes and then slowly whisk together.
- Set in the fridge until cold, a couple of hours.
- Whip on medium speed for a few minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Whip together the egg whites and sugar at medium speed until stiff peaks form.
- Add in the food colouring and whip for a moment more, until incorporated.
- Gently fold in the raspberry juice.
- Once the raspberry gel is stiff, scatter raspberries around the cake.
- Using a round piping tip, pipe dots of the ganache. Then, pipe dollops of raspberry mousse, filling in the gaps.
- Using tweezers, decorate with flower petals.
- Serve immediately, or else the raspberry mousse will start releasing moisture.