Week 200: Yuan yang

Someone once asked me how I number the weeks on my IG feed. So, here’s a little secret. Due to the long hours I keep at work (when I am not working, I am usually abroad or sick), the only time I can afford to spend baking would be the weekend. So the week numbers actually refer to the number of weekends I have spent baking.

On this 200th weekend of baking, I decided to realise something from my youth, back when Hong Kong cafes were all the rage in town. Back then, my favourite drink is the “yuan yang”, which is a mixture of tea and coffee.

My dessert version of this old favourite consist of an Earl Grey cheesecake center, topped with a layer of praline, encased with delicious coffee mousse, set atop a pate friable base. What do you think?

Makes 6 portions of a 5cm x 5cm x 5cm cube dessert

For the Earl Grey cheesecake

12g praline paste x 6 portions

85g cream cheese, at room temperature

40g granulated sugar

1 egg yolk

1/2 egg white

60g heavy cream

2g Earl Grey tea leaves

1) Heat cream in a small saucepan with the teabags. Bring to a boil and let cool with the tea. Press on teabags to release as much flavor as possible, then open one tea bag and mix leaves into the cream.

2) Combine cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and cream together until smooth. Add egg and beat until incorporated, then add egg yolk and mix thoroughly. Add cream mixture and tea and blend until smooth and creamy.

3) Pour the batter into a mini cube silicone mould. This makes enough for 6 portions of 35g each.

4) Bake in water bath for 30 mins at 120°C fan.

5) Allow to cool to room temperature then set in the freezer until completely frozen.

For the coffee mousse

115g + 200g heavy cream

15g + 20g icing sugar

20g crushed coffee beans

15g coffee extract

3g gelatine powder + 20g water

1) In a saucepan, bring 115g cream and crushed coffee beans to a boil.

2) Cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes.

3) Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the coffee beans and correct the mixture to 115g by adding additional cream as required.

4) Stir in the gelatine mass until fully melted, followed by the 15g icing sugar and coffee extract and allow to cool to room temperature.

5) Whip the remaining 200g heavy cream with 20g icing sugar until firm.

6) Fold the whipped cream into the coffee cream and use immediately.

7) This makes enough for 6 portions.

To assemble

6 x (4.5cm x 4.5cm) pâte friable

Velvet cocoa spray, for decorations

1) Fill a cube mould cavity with 45g of coffee mousse.

2) Remove a frozen Earl Grey cheesecake mini cube and place it into the middle of the coffee mousse.

3) Top with another 12g of coffee mousse.

4) Place a pâté friable onto the coffee mousse then smooth it over.

5) Repeat for the remaining 5 cubes then allow to set in the freezer overnight.

6) Remove the frozen cubes and spray with cocoa spray.

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