Ever since I attended the Boutique Desserts course, I've been dying to try some of the recipes that we learnt, but never got around to doing it, because, A. it's VERY time consuming, B. the ingredients are VERY expensive, C. I dont have the proper equipment, eg tart rings, industrial oven, etc, D. I was actually quite intimidated.
But WIASO, (Woman I Am Scared Of) who had given me the gift certificate to attend the course, was in town, AND it was also good friend's (owner of Isthmus) birthday, so I decided to attempt the first of many recipes so that WIASO can see if her gift voucher was put to good use or not.
The Chocolate Jasmine Flower Entremet. It consist of four different components, a Sable Base, two acquoise intermediate layers, a filling of jasmine infused chocolate mousse, and a cocoa glazing.
I think it took me one continous hour to put everything together, and that didn't include the glazing.
Sable (Sa blay,...pffft)
Blitz the following ingredients in a processor to get a biscuit dough (or pastry like dough)
50g ground almond
50gm icing sugar
30gm chopped walnut (which i just blitzed also, before blitzing the dough)
After a 15 minute stint in fridge, roll out to 8" dia, and bake in 160C for 15 mins. Actually this qty makes more than 1 x 8" dia....but I didnt now how to prorate the recipe exactly.
Dacquoise (DAH KUAH)
As you'd make a meringue,
210g egg white, (this is when I really appreciated my virgin digital scale)...works out to about 5 eggs
beat till soft peaks, gradually add
When stiff, add the following:
210 gm icing sugar (Dam sweet man!)
120gm ground almond
240gm chopped nuts (whatever tickles your fancy I guess. I used almonds and walnuts)
150gm chopped dark chocolate ( I just blitzed the dark bitter couverture droplets in the processor)
When incorporating, use a light feathery movement to avoid losing too much air.... a task I found almost impossible.
Pipe onto 8" diameter rounds on baking paper or silpat (except you cant mark a silpat)
Bake for 15mins in same oven
What you should get is a crispy meringue type biscuit, crispy on outside, a bit chewy on inside but crunchy coz of all the nuts
What a pain to make
Infuse 30g jasmine tea leaves (hiong peen) in 250ml warm milk. Think of infusing a warm bath with the dirt from your body as you soak in a warm bath. That's the idea, to transfer the flavours from A to B
Whisk 60g sugar with 3 yolks
Strain the milk into the yolk mixture and cook until slightly thickened, like pouring custard.
Pour warm mixture onto your dark chocolate. Surprisingly, it melts.....
What you will have now is a glorious dark chocolate mixture that probably overpowers your jasmine flavour, making it the infusing an exercise in futility. I suggest infusing MORE tea leaves if you like that jasminey taste.
When cooled, incorporate into 600gm of whipped cream, and when all cool, add 10gm of gelatine mixed in 50gm water. Apparently it's one part gelatine to five parts water.
Chill the mousse mixture.
When the sable and dacquoise have cooled down to room temperature, you can start assembling. Ideally, use a 8" tart ring, (quantities probably enough for 9", but adjust your biscuit sizes accordingly), but if you're like me, and didn't have one, just use a tin with removable base.
Place sable at bottom, as the base. Put 1/3rd of the mousse mixture. One layer of dacquoise. Another 1/3rd mousse mixture. Another layer dacquoise. Remaining mousse. Chill. It should set gloriously. Unlike my strawberry meringue pie. The French guy said in our climate, its best to use gelatine, and not chance it. It says Freeze in the instructions, but I reckon chilling in fridge is sufficient.
The next day, glaze with a cocoa glaze. Oops, I dont have that recipe on me.
I cant seem to get a good picture, because the glaze is too shiny, and the flash reflects off the surface, and without flash, it's too dark, since I don't have a fancy camera. The sides arent even, because I didnt have a tart ring, nor did I use the plastic liners, so when I shoved out the cake with the removable base, the sides were a bit rough.
You can see here the layers of the entremet. The verdict: Well, my mother raved about it, though the opinion of a mother is usually biased, so we have to discount that.
My friends said it was good, they liked the bitter chocolatey taste, which thankfully overpowered the sickly sweet dacquoise. But then again, friends have to be polite. So we have to discount that opinion as well. Oh, the chocolate did overpower the jasmine, so there was hardly any jasmine taste.
Wife of course, is very supportive of anything I make, even the landslide meringue....so that opinion also is biased.
My OWN verdict: Very rich, quite interesting, because of the different textures. I also like the bitter chocolate. But really, a very small slice would suffice. It is very very rich.
I can't resist posting these pics of the starter platter we had last night. No prizes for guessing which restaurant we were at....