Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Great British Bake Along: Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse Entremets

So last weekend I told you that this week was French patisserie on the Bake Off and I had no idea what to do.

Well luckily, inspiration struck. I watched the trailers and saw that the bakers were making entremets.

I wouldn't have known what an entremet was if it hit me in the face (although that would be delicious), so I asked Google. The impression I got was that there are layered cakes including some kind of filling, often a mousse and a sleek, shiny coating of chocolate.

So that is exactly what I made.

Or attempted to make. What I actually made was mostly a mess. I think the most heart-rending moment was when I carefully picked out the prettiest looking cake with the intention of giving it to my parents and painstakingly cleared a space in the freezer before placing it in there on a plate. Only for the plate to fall out of the freezer and smash on the floor, smearing my cake on the floor.

I stood there, torn between crying and pawing it off our filthy floor into my mouth. Luckily common sense and stoicism prevailed, so I did neither, just wiped it up and chose another cake for my parents.

Here's what the finished product looked like:

I feel like this is a good time to say I am really really tired of this self-imposed bake-along challenge. Yes, I've produced some pretty cool stuff, but baking is not feeling all too fun at the moment.

Anyway, I don't want to bring anyone down, so I'll leave it at saying I have to take a break from baking soon - I am actually currently in Spain so am having a break right now. I don't think the Spanish eco-hotel I'm staying in will take too kindly to me barging into the kitchen and shouting IT'S BAKING TIME.

So here's the recipe. It will make between 4 and 5 entremets, depending on how many you drop on the floor.

Apologies for the lack of pictures to go with the instructions for the marzipan roses – there are countless YouTube tutorials out there if you need to see it done.

You will need:

For the sponge layers:
250g softened butter
250g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
4 eggs, beaten
50g cocoa
a large biscuit cutter of your chosen shape - I used a heart shaped cutter
2 large rectangular baking trays, greased and lined

For the raspberry mousse:
225g raspberries
500ml double cream
70g icing sugar
1 packet of powdered vege-gel or gelatine
1 piping bag or icing syringe

For the chocolate glacage:
35g cocoa powder
80ml water
65ml double cream
1 packet of powdered vege-gel or gelatine
90g granulated sugar
20ml water

For the lime jelly:
juice of 3 limes
zest of 1 lime
125g caster sugar

To decorate:
either fresh raspberries and grated chocolate
or 200g marzipan and pink and green gel food colourings

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Weigh out the cocoa and flour for the sponge, mix in a bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar for the sponge until light and fluffy.

2. Beat in the egg a bit at a time, adding a tbsp of the flour and cocoa mixture every time you do so – this ensures the mixture does not curdle. Sift in the rest of the flour and cocoa and fold in gently with a large metal or plastic spoon or spatula.

3. Split the mixture between the two baking trays, using the spatula or back of the spoon to spread it flat, about ½ a cm thick. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

4. Use your biscuit cutter to cut as many shapes out of the sponge as possible.

5. Make the raspberry mousse by simmering the raspberries, icing sugar and gelatine in a saucepan over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and out base of saucepan in cold water to cool mixture rapidly.

6. Whip cream to stiff peaks and when raspberry mixture is lukewarm, fold it in. Leave to set until it is the consistency of set custard then spoon into piping bag or icing syringe.

7. Put one layer of sponge into biscuit cutter and push to the bottom. Pipe a layer of raspberry mousse over the sponge and then even it up with a knife. Put another layer of sponge on top and repeat, then place a final layer of sponge on top and carefully lift off biscuit cutter.

8. Repeat step 7 until all the sponge layers are used up, then use the remaining raspberry mousse to cover the sides and tops of the cakes and put in the freezer.

9. Make the lime jelly by putting the juice, zest, sugar and gelatine in a saucepan and bringing to the boil, then simmering for 10 minutes and pouring out onto a sheet of baking paper. Leave to set for at least 2-3 hours.

10. When the cakes are frozen solid make the glacage. Mix the packet of powdered gelatine with the 20ml water. In a saucepan, mix the cocoa and 80ml water to make a smooth paste then add the cream and sugar and bring mixture to the boil. Pour into a heatproof jug, leave to cool for 10 minutes then add the gelatine and mix.

11. Leave the glacage for 30-45 minutes, stirring every now and then to stop it from forming a skin. If you have a thermometer then 30C is the ideal temperature – if not leave it until it feels lukewarm.

12. Remove the cakes from the freezer and set them on a wire rack over a baking tray to catch the drips. Pour over the glacage evenly, then remove the baking tray (resting the rack on something else to catch drips), pour the glacage in the baking tray back into the jug and repeat until used up. Leave to set.

13. When glacage is set, see if the jelly has set. If it is solid, use the biscuit cutter to cut out a slice to place on top of each entremet. If it is still runny pipe it over the entremets, again using a baking tray and wire rack to catch drips. Leave to set.

14. Decorate with fresh raspberries and grated chocolate or make marzipan roses. Knead pink food colouring into two thirds of the marzipan and green into the remaining marzipan. Gel food colouring is a lot stronger than liquid so dip the very end of a cocktail stick in and wipe it on the marzipan then knead the colour in and add more if needed.

15. Roll out the pink marzipan and cut out 10 circles of 1cm across. Place them in a semi-circle, with one edge overlapping the previous circle then roll them up loosely so they form a kind of cone. Pinch together the thin end of the cone.

16. Fold out the edges of the outermost circles and move inwards – your marzipan cone should be beginning to resemble a rose. If you think it needs more petals then mould more around the rose you have made. Cut off the end of the cone so the rose can sit flat. Roll out the green marzipan and use it to make leaves to mould around your roses.

There you have it – not perfect but not an abject failure either. My jelly didn’t set too well, which has affected the finish a little but my parents ate one and assured me it tasted lovely. I didn’t eat a finished entremets, but I did lick all the component parts off my fingers at one point or another and they did all taste pretty damn good.

Tomorrow it is the final of GBBO and I probably won’t be able to watch it here in Spain. I can promise you I will be very violent towards anyone who so much as breathes a word of a hint as to who the winner is.

You’ve been warned.

Au revoir,



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