One of my favourite food quote, “Les personnes qui vous offrent leur nourriture, vous offrent aussi leur cœur.” by Cesar Chavez, which translates into, “The people who give you their food, give you their hearts”. And I think that is quite appropriate for this Valentine’s weekend bake to share with some of the closest and dearest people around me.I have been searching for this Amorini mold for months! And I was so excited to finally got my hands on it that I felt I should “christen” it with a very special bake. Normally I would stick with chocolate. Different layers and textures but chocolate, chocolate and chocolate. But this time, in the name of something special, I decided to try something new.
One of Pierre Herme’s signature flavour is chocolate passion fruit. Although I was not a big fan of that particular macaron flavour, I find the passion fruit to be a little too tart for my palette, it is nonetheless a rather intriguing combination. So I did some research on passion fruit creams and jellies and finally settled on this version.
This entremet has 5 components: a layer of passionfruit insert, a layer of hazelnut Bavarian cream insert, encased in chocolate namelaka, lined with a thin slice of flourless chocolate cake. The frozen cakes are then covered in my favourite chocolate mirror glaze. Flourless chocolate cake is another thing I have been researching. This time I decided to try out the recipe from The Art of French Pastry by Jacquy Pfeiffer.
For the passion fruit inserts
Makes 8 portions
56g passion fruit purée
1 large egg
25g to 40g fine granulated sugar, depending on the sweetness of the passion fruit
70g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 gelatine sheet
1) In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, on low heat, slowly heat the passion fruit purée, egg and sugar. Whisk continuously to ensure lumps do not form.
2) Remove from heat when curd has begun to thicken.
3) Bloom and squeeze extra liquid from the gelatine sheet and add it to the curd.
4) Whisk gelatine together with butter into the curd until it is smooth.
5) Pour curd into your mold of choice and set it in the freezer overnight.
For the flourless chocolate sponge
Makes half sheet pan
60g egg yolks (approximately 3 large)
35g + 35g fine granulated sugar
35g dark chocolate couverture (> 70% cocoa butter)
6g unsweetened chocolate couverture (100% cocoa butter)
75g egg whites
Pinch of salt
1) Preheat convection oven to 180C.
2) Line a half sheet pan with baking parchment.
3) Add egg yolks and 35g of sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on high speed for 3 minutes, stopping to scrap the sides of the bowl. Then whisk on medium for another 3 minutes. Mixture should be pale and thick.
4) Melt chocolates in a bain-marie. Remove from heat once melted.
5) Pour egg yolk mixture into a large bowl and thoroughly clean the mixing bowl and attachment.
6) Pour the egg whites into the clean and dry mixer bowl, together with remaining sugar and salt. Whisk on high until meringue is stiff but still glossy. Turn speed down to low to maintain the meringue.
7) Fold the cooled melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture. Then, gently fold in the meringue.
8) Spread mixture onto the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes until the tip of a knife inserted into the middle of the sponge comes out clean.
For the passion fruit curd, I used a set of heart-shaped silicone molds for shaping the inserts. For this attempt, I made 8 portions of heart-shaped passion fruit curd pieces. The chocolate sponge was enough for more than 16 heart-shaped cut outs. So I was kind of overloaded with the leftover sponges. I weighed the chocolate mirror glaze this time and discovered that it took about 200g of glaze to cover 10 of these little cakes. That should be useful information. Now, I just need to remember to make a record of how much glaze is required to cover a 6″ round cake.
I also made a portion of chocolate namelaka and half a portion of Bavarian cream, fully flavoured with hazelnut paste. I used the same heart-shape mold to freeze the hazelnut Bavarian cream inserts. I made 8 portions here but I think next time I will split it into 10 portions for a thinner insert. The chocolate namelaka is more than enough for 10 portions. In fact, I filled 3 Amorini molds with only one layer of insert, and another one mold with only one extra slice of cake. Well, chocolate namelaka is good on its own anyway. 🙂