Blueberry vanilla chocolate entremet
When I received a text message from my cousin inviting me for her daughter's first month party, I knew for sure that's when I can make the entremet! As luck would go, I had a friend's birthday the same week, so I knew that the cake was plenty to go around for both of them (more to give out to others, lesser for me to nom and get fat on)!
As I mentioned, I had a huge ass box of frozen blueberries, so I actually made my own blueberry puree (steps can be found here). I breezed through the making of the chocolate sponge and vanilla bavarian cream. The first hurdle I faced was with the blueberry caramel. The first time I made the caramel, it hardened so fast after turning caramel that I never got a chance to use it. Waves first batch of caramel down the drain. The second time I made the caramel, I decided to remove it from the stove early when it was light amber colour (instead of dark as stated by the recipe) and hurriedly stir in the gelatin. It looked as though it was going to harden again so I added some hot water to the mixture and I returned it to the stove to dissolve the hardening caramel. I poured in the blueberries and lemon juice after and quickly stir, hoping fervantly that nothing will go wrong.
Luckily, the blueberry caramel turned out okay (*phew), but little did I know, that was just nothing compared to my second hurdle. For the blueberry mousse, I was supposed to make an Italian meringue. That should be easy, rights? After all, I've made it countless of times before for my macarons. Yet, when I tried making the meringue, it failed. Several times in fact. I just couldn't get to the glossy stiff peaks stage. It was like a "very thick foamy" meringue consistency.
I tried using it the first time anyway and followed the remaining recipe steps for the mousse. I failed of course, the results were not pretty and I had to dump everything away. :( Thank god I had a lot of leftover blueberry puree so I had just enough to make another batch of blueberry mixture. Then I tried my hand again at the meringue step but failed again. Thinking that it could be a matter of wrong proportions, I used another recipe I found online - and failed again. I gave up, it was already quite late in the night by then, so I decided on a whim that, I'll just omit the meringue bit then, and just fold the blueberry puree mixture into whipped cream. And pray for the best.
Thank gosh it worked! I was so relieved that everything was okay and I didn't have a disaster on hand.
The cake comprises of the following layers - chocolate sponge cake, vanilla bavarian cream, blueberry caramel, blueberry mousse and blueberry glaze. Oh and I added in an extra step of brushing a generous layer of soaking liquid on the cake to keep the cake moist in the refrigerator. I used Chambord (a black raspberry liquor) whenever the recipe called for blueberry liquor cos that's the only berry liquor I had.
While I was musing on how to decorate the cake, I remembered the isomalt that Evan had passed to me some time back. I was excited on trying my hand at using isomalt sugar decorations, so I was all set with the idea then. A pity I had no silipat, so my sugar decoration turned out quite thick (even after I sandwiched it between two layers of baking papers and two sheet pans). And it melted horribly fast too in the local weather, so after my photos, I had to remove them from the cake cos I doubt they'll survive the trip to my cousin's place.
Oh well, I hope to try my hand at the isomalt decoration again some time soon. And hopefully it'll turn out better the next time then. :)
Jennifer aux Myrtilles
The results? Mighty pleased with it. When I gave a piece to my dad, he tasted it, and said it was nice, again, not too sweet for his palate. And he even made a very very nice comment - that I should consider working as a patissier (his exact words were: you know, a chef that specialises in desserts, what's that called? Ha!). So happy to be complimented by him as such! Cos he's forever grumbling about my baking - I buy tons of ingredients and baking ware, I use so many bowls and utensils whenever I'm in the kitchen, and I used the oven, which uses electricity. Haha.
Oh, and my cousin and the extended family members all tried the cake and those who did try it said that it was nice and not too sweet too. Guess people nowadays don't really go for overtly sweet desserts? That's quite a key point to note when I make my cakes in future cos I need to cater to others' preferences too. So, overall? Success. ^^
Blueberry vanilla chocolate entremet (adapted (with modifications) from 頂級法式時尚甜點)
(makes a 9" square cake)
*Chocolate sponge (recipe from Kanae Kobayashi - previously used in my matcha azuki entremet here)
240g egg whites
135g castor sugar
120g baking chocolate, chopped
67.5ml whipping cream
67.5g cake flour
Beat the egg whites in a standing mixer until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat till stiff peaks. Heat the cream until it boils, remove from heat and pour over chopped chocolate. Stir till smooth. Fold in half of the meringue into the chocolate mixture till well-blended. Fold in the sifted cake flour, followed by the rest of the meringue. Pour into two 9"x13" greased and lined pans and bake at 170°C for 12-15 minutes.
Vanilla bavarian cream
126ml whole milk
39g egg yolks
26.5 castor sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
125ml whipping cream
Scrape vanilla into milk, cook over stove till just boiling. Remove from heat. Beat the yolks and sugar till combined. Temper the warmed milk into the yolks and whisk constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook till 82°C (or till thick and coats back of spoon). Add the softened gelatin and stir to mix. Cool till room temperature. Whip the cream till soft peaks and fold it into the vanilla mixture.
3.5g glucose syrup
250g frozen blueberries, defrosted
7.5g fresh lemon juice
Boil sugar, water and glucose till it becomes a light amber caramel mixture. Remove from heat immediately and cool till 80°C and add softened gelatin. Stir to dissolve gelatin. Pour in the defrosted frozen blueberries and stir to combine. Add lemon juice and mix.
*Blueberry mousse (what I ended up using, cos my egg whites just wouldn't form stiff peaks :( )
300ml blueberry puree
300ml whipping cream
Gently heat half the blueberry puree. Add the softened gelatin and stir to mix. Add the remaining puree and Chambord and mix till incorporated. Cool. Whip the cream till soft peaks. Add the cooled blueberry mixture and fold together.
Combine sugar and water and cook over stove till sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cool. Add Chambord and mix together.
100g mirror gel
40g blueberry puree
Combine everything (except Chambord) in a medium microwavable bowl. Zap for a few seconds (30s?) on high - check that mixture should be heated and just bubbling. Remove from microwave. Stir to combine. Add Chambord, mix and set aside.
Slice the cakes to fit a 9"x9" cake mold. Place one layer of cooled chocolate cake into the cake mold. Brush generously with soaking syrup. Pour the vanilla bavarian cream onto the cake. Brush second piece of chocolate cake generously with soaking syrup and place it on top of the vanilla bavarian cream layer. Press down to remove any air bubbles. Refrigerate till firm for a few hours.
Pour blueberry caramel into the cake mold and return to refrigerator for another hour or two.
Pour blueberry mousse over blueberry caramel layer. Refrigerate till firm.
Pour glaze over mousse layer and refrigerate overnight. (I find that the glaze look quite a long while to set - perhaps over the next few days? It was quite watery on the first two days and dribbled down the sides when I used my blow torch to unmold the cake from the mold. The glaze actually thickened only after two or three days of refrigeration - without covering.)
Slice into desired portions.