Earlier this week, a few friends and I got together to make a surprise cake for a friend’s early birthday get-together. This friend of ours likes lemon and blueberry. And while this is not the final cake we presented to her, it is very much inspired by her favourite flavours.
This petit gateau is made up of a layer of blueberry compote, a layer of lemon cremeux and a layer of almond feuilletine, enrobed in cream cheese mousse, and sits on a pistachio sablé. Covered with pink glaze of course, just to make it extra sweet.
For the blueberry compote
250g fresh blueberries
50g to 100g granulated sugar (depending on the sweetness of the berries)
30g freshly squeezed lemon juice
1) Add the pectin into the sugar and mix well. You can start with 50g of sugar and add more later if required.
2) Put all the ingredients into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cooked on medium heat while stirring to prevent the berries from burning.
3) Bring to a boil and continue to cook until berries have soften and some have burst.
4) Remove from heat, pour into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer compote to a clean jar store in refridgerator.
For the lemon cremeux
1 large lemon
1 large egg
40g to 50g fine granulated sugar
70g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 gelatine sheet
1) Clean the skin of the lemon thoroughly, then measure the sugar into a bowl, and zest the lemon into the bowl of sugar. Stir lightly to distribute the zest.
2) Juice the lemon. You should get about 50g of juice.
3) In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, on low heat, slowly heat the lemon juice, egg and sugar. Whisk continuously to ensure lumps do not form.
4) Remove from heat when curd has begun to thicken.
5) Bloom and squeeze extra liquid from the gelatine sheet and add it to the curd.
6) Whisk gelatine together with butter into the curd until it is smooth.
7) Pour curd into round molds just slightly smaller than your cake rings of choice and set it in the freezer overnight. Each round should be around 5mm in thickness. There should be leftover.
For the cream cheese mousse
160g heavy cream, very cold
20g icing sugar, sifted
35g granulated sugar
2 tbsp cold water
2 small egg yolks
1 gelatine sheet
113g cream cheese, at room temperature
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the heavy cream to the icing sugar and whisk until stiff peaks. Cover and refrigerate until required.
2) In a small saucepan, combine granulated sugar with 2 tbsp water and boil until soft-ball stage (118C).
3) In a bowl, beat the egg yolks using a hand mixer. Then pour the hot syrup in a thin stream into the yolks while beating, making sure to avoid the whisk. Continue whisking until egg yolk mixture has cooled to room temperature and is pale and ribbony.
4) Bloom the gelatine sheet in cold water then squeeze out excess water.
5) Warm the cream cheese in a bowl set over a bain-marie. Whisk until cream cheese is smooth. Do not overheat.
6) Add the bloomed gelatine into the cream cheese and stir until completed melted.
7) Continue to whisk until cream cheese has cooled to room temperature. Gently fold in the egg yolk mixture. Finally, fold in the cold whipped cream.
For the pistachio sablé
227g unsalted butter, room temperature
90g icing sugar
1/2 tsp fine salt
190g plain flour
100g coarsely chopped pistachios
1) In a food processor, process butter, icing sugar and salt until smooth. Add flour and pulse until a dough forms. Stir in pistachios.
2) Shape dough into a disc, tightly wrap in plastic, and freeze until firm, 30 minutes (or up to 1 month).
3) Preheat convection oven to 175C. Roll out dough to the thickness of 1/4-inch and cut out rounds just slightly larger than your cake rings.
4) Bake cookies until set and barely golden at edges, 10 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
23g gelatine sheets
225g granulated sugar
225g glucose syrup
225g white chocolate couverture
160g condensed milk
90g neutral glaze
Red color paste
1) Bloom gelatine in cold water, squeeze out excess water and set aside.
2) Bring the water, sugar and glucose to boil at 103C. Stir in the gelatine until melted.
3) Place the chocolate in a large bowl and pour the hot liquid onto the chocolate. Emulsify with a hand blender.
4) Stir in condensed milk and neutral glaze. Add color paste to the desired shade and mix with a hand blender.
150g white chocolate, tempered
Some fondant flowers, optional
1) Line 3 8cm round cake rings with acetate, wrap one side tightly with cling wrap, and place on a baking sheet, cling-wrap side down.
2) Spoon a dollop of cream cheese into the cake ring, about a quarter of the height of the ring. Allow to set in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
3) Then, arrange a layer of blueberry compote on the cream cheese mouse, leaving a slight gap around the sides. Fill with cream cheese mousse until about half the height of the cake ring.
4) Remove a lemon cremeux insert and lightly press it in the cream cheese mouse.
5) Fill with cream cheese mousse up to the top of the ring. Scrapping it to get a flat top.
6) Allow to set in the freezer overnight.
7) If you prepared the glaze beforehand, blend with a hand blender again just before using.
8) Remove the mousse from the cake rings, peeling away the acetate and set the individual cakes on a cooling rack.
9) Glaze each cake, smoothing away excess glaze.
10) Place each cake on a pistachio sablé cookie.
11) Prepare 3 acetate strips just slightly longer than the circumference of the cakes.
12) Spread melted tempered white chocolate on each strip. Allow to set about 30 minutes at room temperature, then, using a toothpick, draw out curve lines around the middle of each strip. Scrap away one side of the chocolate. Then, wrap the malleable chocolate strip around each cake. Allow to set in the refrigerator.
13) Fill a mini dome with melted tempered white chocolate, pouring away excess.
14) Once chocolate collar has set, carefully peel away the acetate. Remove a mini white chocolate dome and set it on top of each cake. Decorate with fondant flowers.
I was originally intending to go with a light pale shade of pink but was a little heavy handed with the color paste and ended up with this hot pink. Lol. Well, it looked okay, I supposed. The glaze was a lot thicker than I expected. And this recipe made a huge batch of glaze! I will most probably try to thin it out next time.
The flavours came together very nicely. Blueberry, lemon, cream cheese and pistachios – who would have thought! The cream cheese mousse recipe is the same one from before, but here I made half the portion, and added on more gelatine. I like it. This is going to be my go-to cream cheese mousse recipe from now on.