Thursday, December 09, 2010


I wanted to do something special for myself in November (my birthday month). Flipping through all of my newly bought Chinese baking books, I finally settled upon the Ailette. I was drawn in with the words "caramelised bananas" and "caramel mousse"...

Caramelising the bananas

I made some amendments, like doubling the quantity of caramelised bananas and rum raisins cos when I finished making the required portion and divided it, it seemed a little too sparse for my liking. And one great thing about baking for yourself is that you can add as much of a good thing as you want... So I whipped up a second batch. The recipe below is the doubled portion I used, trust me, you'll be wanting more of that caramelised banana and rum raisins in your cake...

I didn't have rum in the house (how can I not? I have brandy, whisky, vodka, grand marnier, limoncello, chambord, etc etc. NO RUM.), and after asking all my friends who stay near me, hooray for a girlfriend who had white rum. She loaned me her bottle of rum (which I did return of course!) and thus thanks to her, I did manage to make the rum raisins. Right after making the cake, we went for our Bangkok trip, and I got myself a bottle of dark rum from the airport's DFS. :) Yay to more rum flavoured goodies...

Chocolate mirror glaze
Ailette - Caramelised banana, rum raisins, caramel mousse chocolate cake
Chocolate ladyfinger biscuit; Layering; Layers; Ailette

I've also doubled the mousse recipe, and it was a great idea cos I am sure I would have found myself short of mousse if I had just stick to the original quantity. I had leftovers, enough to fill two small cups, which I then topped with some cocoa nibs.

Verdict? I didn't really like the taste of the chocolate biscuit, it was too dry for my liking. Perhaps I over baked it? Not too sure. The caramel mousse texture was good, just that it was lacking...something. I should have gone with my urge to add salt while making the mousse. I had been thinking, caramel mousse? Why isn't it salted caramel mousse. Damn. For those who intend to make the cake, my suggestion is perhaps you can add in some salt? To add a little oomph to the overall flavour. One thing I loved about this was how good the caramelised bananas tasted. That and the pairing of the rum raisins. I think caramelised bananas and rum raisins have now become one of my favourite flavour combination.

And I found an excuse to use my edible gold that Evan kindly helped me buy! The gold is so pretty and really made the desserts looked so glamourous. I can't wait to use it again... ;)

Ailette (adapted from 熊谷裕子 - 8种精致蛋糕装饰技巧:蛋糕彩妆师)
Makes six-seven 2.5 inch small cakes

Chocolate ladyfinger biscuit
2 egg whites
60g  granualated sugar
2 egg yolks
15g milk
45g flour
15g cocoa powder
40g diced almonds (I roughly diced up some whole almonds)

Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Beat egg whites with electric mixer till foamy. Add sugar in two batches and continue beating till stiff peaks.
Add egg yolks and continue beating till just combined.
Fold in flour and cocoa powder with spatula, ensuring the dry ingredients are folded in thoroughly.
Spread onto two 22cm x 22cm baking tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle diced almonds on top of one of the biscuit mixture. Bake for 7-8 minutes till cooked. Remove from oven and cool.

Caramelised banana and rum raisins filling
2 small bananas
20g granulated sugar
40g raisins, soaked in rum

Slice bananas into 5mm rounds. Place an empty pan on stove and heat till medium hot. Add banana slices, then sprinkle the sugar atop. Cook till banana slices are caramelised (remember to flip them over to caramelise both sides) and remove from heat. Add in the rum soaked raisins. Stir gently to combine. Cool.

Caramel mousse
60g granulated sugar
few drops of water
90g whipping cream (35% fat)
60g sugar (pâte à bombe)
20g water (pâte à bombe)
2 egg yolks (pâte à bombe)
6g gelatin sheets (soaked in 15g water)
240g whipping cream (35% fat), whipped till soft peaks

Heat sugar and water in a saucepan till amber tea red. Remove from heat, add the cream, stir to mix. Cool.
Make the by pâte à bombe - Cook the sugar and water to 116°C. Whip the yolks until fluffy and pale. Add the cooked sugar to the yolks and continue beating until mixture is light and thick and the bowl has cooled.
Add the softened gelatin and cooled caramel to the pâte à bombe mixture and stir to combine.
Fold in the whipped cream.

Chocolate chantilly cream
20g chocolate
60g whipping cream (35% fat)

(*I recommend making this only after the cake has been refrigerated for two hours, or till it has set.)
Melt the chocolate to 45°C.
Whip the cream till soft peaks. Fold half of the cream into the chocolate using a heatproof spatula till well blended. Fold in remaining cream.

Chocolate mirror glaze
45g milk
30g granulated sugar
10g cocoa
1g gelatin (soaked in 5g water)

(*I recommend making this only after the cake has been refrigerated for two hours, or till it has set.)
Heat milk, sugar and cocoa in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly to dissolve sugar and cocoa.
When mixture starts to bubble vigourously, use a heatproof spatula and continue to stir and cook till mixture is reduced (to a sticky consistency). Don't burn the mixture, it should be kept around 103°C.
Remove from heat, cool. When warm, add the softened gelatin and mix to dissolve gelatin.
Pour glaze through sieve into a small bowl. If not using immediately, cover with cling wrap to prevent skin from forming.

Line ring molds with acetate plastic.
Cut rounds of chocolate biscuit (without almonds) with ring molds. Line the molds with the cake rounds.
Cut strips of chocolate biscuit (with almonds) and line the molds, with the almonds side facing outwards.
Divide caramelised banana and rum raisins mixture equally among the ring molds.
Pour the caramel mousse on top of the filling. The layer of mousse should be higher than the cake strips. (Refer to pictures above to get what I mean...)
Refrigerate till set (about two-three hours). Remove from molds and peel off acetate plastic.
Pipe chocolate chantilly cream around the edges of the caramel mousse. Sieve cocoa powder over the top of the chocolate chantilly cream.
Pour the chocolate mirror glaze in the area within the chocolate chantilly cream. Garnish with chocolate decorations and edible gold if desired.


  1. OMGGGG this is so pretty!!! at 1st i thought which book was it from coz i don't recall seeing this, then i saw the title. i hv this book too :D anyway choc biscuit sponge is usually dry esp when its fatless. the butterless biscuit joconde i made from the hidemi sugino's book is also the same thing which is why the soaking syrup (imbibage) usually will make it better. i don't see the imbibage in yr recipe? nx time u can try!

    oh and yr top part, the cocoa powder really looks like choc pistolage aka. sprayed on choc :D i wanna spray gun!!

    can't wait til our baking session! i'll bring the laduree & hidemi sugino book :D

  2. evan: haha thanks. OH was that why it was so dry bleah. the book didn't recommend the imbibage and i thought that the rum raisins would be sufficient to "soak" it (guess not). will keep in mind for ALL such dry goodies next time thanks!
    YES. when will u be free? we can fix a date and also what we'll make. are we still fixed on the choco raspberry entremet we had discussed or shall we try smth new? since i now know what's the choco mirror glaze hahaha. :)

  3. They look super Chelle... The photos are fabulous... oh.. I mean to ask, do you use a 50 mm? I'm using a Nikkon... but my camera is still in the shop..BOO...

    These really are fantastic... you should open up a shop = )

  4. I think people - in the USA anyway - have forgotten how much alcohol improves desserts. In the 60's cookbooks, you find many desserts with rum... now, not so much. I think it's about to circle back into fashion.. so good on you for recognizing that! Happy (belated) birthday.

  5. try about a gram of salt in your caramel mousse. add it to the caramel with the dairy. it should improve the sweetness of the caramel :) great site, can't wait to look through the rest of it!

  6. Hello from a silent reader!! I recently made this and took onboard some of your suggestions! In particular, I used a different recipe for the chocolate cake and salted the caramel mousse!!! Thank you for the recipe and suggestions!! I did posted the adapted version of the recipe on my blog and was wondering if that's okay with you. :) ps. I cannot stop reading your blog and staring at your beautiful pictures!!! xx

  7. hi there! glad to hear that u tried it with the amendments. sure, no prob with the re-posting of the adapted recipe. thanks for the kind compliment! :)


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