Week 133: Ambroisie

When I was in Tokyo last year, pastry was on the top of my list (if not the only thing). And at the top of my pastry list was renowned Japanese pâtissier, Hidemi Sugino.

I saw so many of his recipes online and they sounded so amazing I just had to try it for myself. And it was truly amazing. I managed to try 4 different petit gâteau at the pastry and shop and they were so delightful, both in taste and appearance.

It took me long enough to finally try my hands at one of his recipe. Unfortunately his books were only available in Japanese so I can’t be sure how accurate this is, but I love the flavour combination. And (I know, I know) since I was too lazy to temper chocolate, I resorted to trying my hand at doing some marble glazing instead.

Makes 8 x 7cm round cakes

For the chocolate joconde

35g almond powder

35g powdered sugar

35g egg yolks

15g + 65g egg whites

27g cake flour

10g cocoa powder

13g unsalted butter, melted

23g sugar

1) Sift together the cake flour and the cocoa powder. Set aside.

2) Combine the almond powder, powdered sugar, egg yolks, and 15g egg whites together and whisk until thick and pale.

3) On a separate clean bowl, whisk the  remaining egg whites until foamy and add the sugar a little at a time until it form firm peak.

4) Fold some of the meringue into the yolk mixture to lighten it.

5) Add in the sifted flour mixture, and fold well.

6) Fold in the melted butter, followed by the rest of the meringue.

7) Spread the batter into a parchment lined 9″ x 13″ baking tray.

8) Bake in the preheated convection oven at 230C for 5-6 minutes.

For the pistachio joconde

45g almond paste

20g pistachio paste

23g whole egg

20g egg yolks

12g + 40g egg whites

22g cornstarch

10g unsalted butter, melted

25g sugar

1) Mix the almond paste and the pistachio paste together in a mixer bowl. Add the whole egg, egg yolks, and 12g egg whites and beat until thick and pale.

2) Make french meringue in a separate bowl using remaining egg whites and sugar.

3) Mix some meringue into the batter, fold well.

4) Sift cornstarch into batter and fold in together the melted butter.

5) Lastly, fold in the rest of the meringue.

6) Spread the batter into parchment-lined 7″ x 7″ baking tray.

7) Bake in the preheated convection oven at 230C for 5-6 minutes

For the sirop d’imbibage

20g sugar

15g + 15g water

15g raspberry liquor

1) Mix sugar with 15g water and bring to a boil just until sugar has dissolved.

2) Take mixture off the heat, then add the remaining sugar and liquor and stir.

For the pistachio mousse

130g heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peak and refrigerate until ready

20g pistachio paste

70g milk

1/4 tsp vanilla paste

40g egg yolks

15g sugar

2g gelatin leaf, bloomed

1) Boil the milk, pistachio paste, and vanilla bean in a saucepan.

2) Lightly whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl.

3) Temper the yolks with the boiled cream and return it back to the pot under a low heat. Cook while whisking continuously until temperature reached 84C.

4) Take it off the heat and add the softened gelatin and stir until it melts. Allow to cool to room temperature.

5) Fold in the whipped cream.

6) Pour the mixture into 7″ x 7″ baking tray lined with plastic wrap, overhanging on the side. Level the mousse.

7) Take the baked and cooled pistachio joconde, and brush it generously with the sirop d’imbibage. Place the pistachio joconde onto the pistachio mousse in the baking tray, sirop side down. Then, brush the other side with remaining sirop and freeze overnight.

For the raspberry jam

18g sugar

10g glucose

4g water

50g frozen raspberries

2g pectin mixed with 11g sugar

3g lemon juice

1) Bring the sugar, glucose, and water to a boil in a saucepan.

2) Pour in the raspberries and continue to boil.

3) Add the pectin-sugar mixture and boil until raspberry has soften.

4) Take jam off the heat and stir to cool before adding in the lemon juice.

5) Refrigerate until needed.

For the dark chocolate mousse (make this just before you are ready to assemble the cake)

60g whipping cream

50g sugar

100g egg yolks

200g 66% dark chocolate, melted and cooled

440g heavy cream, whipped to soft peak, and refrigerate

1) Make the pate a bombe by boiling the 60g of heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan.

2) Whisk the egg yolks in a stand mixer until thick and pale.

3) Pour in the hot cream mixture in a thin stream while mixer is running and continue to whisk until mixture is light and fluffy.

4) Pour this mixture into the cooled melted chocolate, fold gently.

5) Fold in 1/4 of the whipped cream to lighten it, then pour half of it into the whipped cream, and fold well. Finally, pour the last half of the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream and fold.

To assemble

Dark chocolate glaçage and coloured glaçage

1) Prepare 8 x 7cm cake rings by lining the inside with acetate and covering one side of the ring tightly with cling wrap, making sure the cling wrap is pulled tightly. Place ring, cling wrap side down on a flat baking tray.

2) Remove the frozen pistachio jocondo-mousse from the baking tray. Using a 5cm cookie cutter, cut out 8 round pieces.

3) Using the same 5cm cutter, cut out 8 round pieces of chocolate joconde.

4) Slather a generous layer of raspberry jam onto the pistachio joconde side of each round.

5) Spoon approximately 60g of chocolate mousse into the cake ring, ensuring the bottom and sides are covered.

6) Place a pistachio round into the center of the cake ring, raspberry jam side down. Pushing down gently so the chocolate mousse fills the side of the cake ring.

7) Spoon another 30g of chocolate mousse into the cake ring.

8) Finally, top with a piece of chocolate joconde, pressing down to ensure chocolate mousse fills the side. Layer the top of the ring by scrapping away extra mousse.

9) Allow to freeze for at least 4 hours.

10) Heat the dark chocolate and coloured glaçage. Pour roughly a tablespoon of coloured glaçage into a glass. Then add the estimated dark chocolate glaçage enough to cover one cake. Give it a little stir.

11) Take one frozen cake, removing the acetate and place on a cooling rack. Pour glaçage onto cake.

12) Repeat glazing for the rest of the cake.

I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful the glaçage turned out. Well, maybe not all of them. But a few (like the one pictured) is just the way I hope it would be. I love the flavour combination. Unfortunately, the raspberry jam just didn’t really come through for me. I reckon I will tweak this further, maybe by adding more raspberry jam, and potentially a crunch layer for texture. Stay tuned.


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