I couldn’t believe how difficult it is to find a good book on entremet, when one does not read French. Says something about the quality of cakes amongst the non-French-speaking society, doesn’t it? One of the most popular English book I managed to find is Karen Krasne’s Extraordinary Cakes. It is not quite a book on entremet but there is quite an interesting selection of mousse and cake flavours to make it a good read. And there are a lot of cake decoration ideas too, which I appreciate. The only drawback is that the measurements are in imperial while I would much rather work with the metric system.
Most of the cakes in a book is quite big. I supposed if you are going to go through that much trouble making so many components, you might as well make it worth while. So I had a fair bit of adapting to do when my friend requested this white chocolate mousse cake as a birthday gift.
Makes a 6″ round cake
For the sour cream pound cake
2 large eggs
111g granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
77g sour cream, at room temperature
½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
128g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the vanilla simple syrup
33g granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the white chocolate sour cream mousse
77g sour cream, at room temperature
70g good-quality white chocolate, chopped
100g heavy cream
1.5 gelatine leaves
1 cup mixed red fruit (if using frozen, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight)
2 cups (480g) + 1.5 tbsp heavy cream
60g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp gelatine powder
60g white chocolate, for chocolate curls
Cocoa powder for decoration
1) To make the cake, preheat the oven to 150C. Grease the bottom and sides of a 6-by-3-inch round cake pan with removable bottom and line the bottom with parchment paper round.
2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip tighter the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture is very thick and lightens in colour, about 7 minutes.
3) In a separate mixing bowl, whack together the oil, sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the sour cream mixture to the eggs and sugar and whip just until blended.
4) Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the sifted ingredients to the batter and fold in by hand until incorporated. Do not overmix
5) Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and place on a rack in the centre of the oven. Bake the cake until golden brown, about 60 minutes. The cake is done when a knife blade inserted into the centre comes out clean and when the top of the cake springs back lightly when touched.
6) For the vanilla syrup, combine the sugar with ¼ cup water in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, pour into a clean bowl, and allow to cool.
7) Once fully cooled, stir in the vanilla until combined.
8) For the white chocolate mousse, place the sour cream in a mixing bowl and whisk quickly to loosen.
9) Place the chocolate in a medium, heatproof mixing bowl.
10) Soak the gelatine leave in a bowl of cold water and allow to bloom.
11) Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate and let sit for a couple of minutes before whisking until smooth and fully combined.
11) Squeeze excess water from the gelatine leaves and add to the warm ganache, and fold in, ensuring that the gelatine is melted into the ganache.
12) Using a hand whisk, mix the sour cream into the white chocolate ganache in 2 additions. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the mousse and refrigerate overnight to set. This mousse recipe can be used cold, directly from the refrigerator.
13) To assemble, prepare the whipping cream by blooming the gelatine powder in 1.5 tablespoons of cold water.
14) In the bowl of the stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream until thickened slightly. Fold in the icing sugar in 2 additions and resume whisking until stiff peaks.
15) Heat 1.5 tablespoons and heavy cream, and add to the bloomed gelatine. Stir to melt.Then add to the whipped cream and fold in to incorporate.
16) Place the pound cake on a flat work surface. If the top of the cake has domed, cut to even it using a leveller. Then, cut the remaining cake horizontally into 3 equal layers.
17) Place the top layer of the cake onto a cake board, cut side up. Drizzle half the vanilla syrup onto the cake and allow it is soak.
18) Using an offset spatula, cover the syrup-soaked cake layer with approximately one quarter of the white chocolate mousse. Spread half a cup of the mixed fruits onto the mousse layer. Then cover with approximately one quarter of the sweetened whipped cream.
19) Top with the second cake layer and repeat.
20) Put the last layer of cake on, cut side down, to ensure a smooth top for decorations.
21) Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining white chocolate mousse. It will be a rather thin layer. Then allow it to set in the freezer.
22) Remove cake from the freezer, then cover the entire cake with the remaining sweetened whipped cream, If you have leftover cream, you can use it to pipe some decorations on the top or side of the cake.
23) Prepare the white chocolate curls by melting the white chocolate and using an offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate onto the back of a baking tray. Allow to set in the fridge. When chocolate is firm, use a clean metal scrap to make shavings.
24) Place chocolate curls on the cake and dust with some cocoa powder to finish.
The original recipe did not call for any gelatine in the mousse nor the whipped cream. However, the mousse seemed a little too runny for me so I decided to stable it. For the whipped cream, I added the gelatine powder as the weather is rather hot and humid and I did not want the cream to melt too quickly. I did not get to eat the cake as it was a present, but, having tasted the individual components, I have to say, it definitely has potentials.