Week 37: Chocolate Intense

Lately I have been fascinated by entremet, which is basically a moussed-based layer cake with multiple flavours and textures. The interest probably started from the first time I successfully glazed a cake. And that is pretty much all I have been reading up on since.

For my first official entremet, I decided to go with something safe, which includes lots and lots of chocolate. I mean, it’s almost difficult to go wrong with chocolate, right? I came across this recipe and thought it looked straightforward enough to give it a try. But since I was not able to get the specified size of cake rings, I had to make some changes to the amount of ingredients.

Makes 1 6″ by 2″ cake

For the brownie layer

100g fine granulated sugar

35g plain flour

20g cocoa powder

¼ tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

30g unsalted butter

28g dark couverture chocolate (70%)

1 large egg

8g vegetable oil

1) Preheat the oven to 175C.

2) Grease a 5″ round cake tin. Lay a 5 inch round piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the tin.

3) Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl.

4) Melt the couverture chocolate together with the butter in a mixing bowl over a bain marie. Once melted, mix until well combined.

5) In a large mixing bowl, add the fine granulated sugar and eggs. Using a mixing spoon, mix the sugar with the eggs until you have a combined wet mixture.

6) Add the vegetable oil to the wet mixture and mix until well combined.

7) Add the warm chocolate mixture to the wet mixture and mix until well combined.

8) Fold in the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Fold carefully until combined.

9) Pour batter into the cake tin and bake for roughly 20 to 25 minutes. You will know when the brownie is done when the centre is somewhat firm to the touch.

10) Remove from oven, let cool, wrap the cakes and place it in the fridge or freezer for cake assembly later on.

11) You will have a rather thick brownie, but for this cake, you will need a layer of roughly 1.25 cm in height, which is about half the height of your cake.

For the Praliné Feuilleté

45g Nutella

24g pailleté feuilletine

15g whole hazelnuts

15g milk chocolate couverture (35%)

5g unsalted butter

1) Toast hazelnuts on a saucepan until slightly browned. Then, chopped into rough pieces and let cool.

2) Melt milk chocolate together with unsalted butter over a bain marie.

3) Add melted chocolate mixture to Nutella and combine

4) Add pailleté feuilletine and hazelnut pieces to chocolate/praliné paste mixture

5) Line a 5″ cake tin with parchment paper and spread the mixture into the tin

6) Put into fridge or freezer to set

7) Once set, wrap up and store in the fridge or freezer for cake assembly later on

8) The praliné feuilleté layer should be roughly 1.25 cm in height.

For the chocolate cremeux

80g fresh milk

80g heavy cream

20g egg yolks (roughly one large)

8g fine granulated sugar

56g dark chocolate couverture (70%)

1 tsp powdered gelatin

1) Prepare a 5″ cake tin and lay some cling wrap in the inside of the tin.

2) Put chocolate into a mixing bowl

3) Combine fresh milk with heavy cream in a small pot

4) In a small bowl, mix powdered gelatin with a little water. Let sit for 5 minutes and leave to bloom.

5) Put egg yolks and sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Heat milk/heavy cream mixture until it starts to boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, pull from heat and slowly pour the hot liquid into the egg yolk mixture while mixing with a whisk at the same time

6) Pour egg mixture back into pot and continue to heat over a small fire. Continuously whisk over the fire until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon

7) Pour cooked egg mixture over the dark chocolate.  Wait for 5 minutes and then combine together

8) Pour in dissolved gelatin into warm chocolate mixture.

9) Pour mixture into prepared cake pan and place into a freezer to freeze until set. Once frozen, remove from cake pan and then wrap with cling wrap and store until cake is ready to be assembled

10) The chocolate cremeux should be roughly 1.25 cm in height You will probably have a thicker layer and if so, you can slice is down to the required height.

For the dark chocolate mousse

190g heavy cream

123g dark chocolate couverture (70%)

63g egg yolks (roughly four medium)

19g egg whites (less than one)

72g simple syrup (50% granulated sugar / 50% water)

1) Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks. Cover and place in the fridge.

2) In a large mixing bowl, melt the dark chocolate over a bain marie. Once melted, take the mixing bowl off the bain marie and put aside.

3) In another mixing bowl, mix egg yolk, egg whites, and simple syrup together.

4) Place the mixing bowl with the egg mixture over a bain marie and whisk until the egg mixture thickens to a point where you can coat the back of a spoon or until it reaches 80C. Once the egg mixture thickens or reaches the right temperature, pull the mixing bowl off the bain marie. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, mix the egg mixture on medium speed until cooled. You will notice that the egg mixture will thicken and grow in volume as you cool the mixture. The mixture will be considered cooled when you touch the bottom of the mixing bowl and it feels lukewarm to the touch. Place aside.

5) Ensure the melted chocolate is still slightly warm. If it has cooled significantly, quickly place the chocolate over a bain marie to warm it up a little. Once warmed, pull off heat.

6) Take the whipped cream from the fridge and put a quarter of it into the melted chocolate. Using a whisk, immediately whisk the whipped cream into the chocolate and don’t stop until it is fully incorporated.

7) Next, pour the whipped egg mixture into the chocolate mixture and fold with a mixing spoon. After a few folds with the mixing spoon, pour in the rest of the whipped cream into the egg/chocolate mixture. Fold until the ingredients are incorporated but not too much as to deflate the mousse. Use immediately.

To assemble

1) Place a 6″ by 2″ cake ring on a cake board. Line the inside of the cake ring with acetate liner.

2) Place the brownie base at the bottom of the cake ring and make sure it is centered.

3) Pour a bit of chocolate mousse over the brownie base and using a mixing spoon, spread the mousse so that it fills the sides of the cake ring around the brownie base.

4) Place the praliné feuilletine layer over the brownie base and press down so that it sticks to the top of the brownie.

5) Pour a bit of chocolate mousse over the praliné feuilletine layer and using a mixing spoon, spread the mousse so that it fills the sides of the cake ring.

6) Place the chocolate cremeux layer over the praliné feuilleté layer and press down so that it sticks to the top of the praliné feuilleté layer.

7) Pour the rest of the mousse over the chocolate cremeux layer and using an offset spatula, smoothen the top of the cake ring with the chocolate mousse. You’ll have excess chocolate mousse as result. Put this chocolate mousse aside for now.

8) Immediately place the assembled entremet into the freezer and freeze for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pull out the entremet from the freezer. You’ll notice that the chocolate mousse has deflated a little and you’ll see the top of the entremet a little depressed. Using your remaining mousse, spread and smoothen the mousse over the top of the entremet with your offset spatula. Once smoothened, immediately place entremet back into freezer and freeze overnight.

Except for the brownie layer, there really isn’t that much leftovers of the other ingredients. And no, I did not nick them during the long process. I use my usual chocolate ganache (125ml heavy cream and 125g 70% chocolate couverture) and mirror glaze to cover the cake. I think the glaze was a bit thicker than usual, which explains the not-so-smooth final result. But, it is shiny enough so I am not complaining.

For the chocolate decoration, I melt 30g of 70% dark chocolate couverture, and spread it thinly over the acetate sheets. Leave it to cool for about 15 minutes, then roll it up and let it set in a large glass in the refrigerator.

This is definitely a cake fit for celebration, and I am pleased to say, it is absolutely delicious!


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