There’s nothing more fun than making cakes for birthdays and special occasions, it gives creative license to go ‘big’ and do something different. And as it’s been a while since I’ve had time to bake, and my friend Af has been so supportive of my blogging/Instragram it felt fitting to make him something just for him. Inspired by Richard Bertinet’s blackcurrent mousse from Patisserie Maison, I decided to make a cherry mousse with a little layer of white chocolate bavarois.
It’s incredible what you can achieve when you put your mind to it, this took 4 hours on Wednesday evening and was quickly glazed in the morning before heading off to work. I’m not going to lie…it was a bit shambolic behind the scenes (I forgot to add sugar and Kirsch to my shopping order) but thanks to my hero of a husband who did a quick dash to Tesco it all worked out and looks/taste just as I wanted it too. And it was worth the effort as nothing will beat the smile on my friend’s face when he realised I made this just for him.
Cherry and White Chocolate Entremet
Makes: 8″ cake
Time: 4-4.5hrs cooking + chilling time
- Extendable cake ring
- Food grade acetate strip
- Handheld mixer
- Digital thermometer
- Piping bag
- Genoise sponge
- Cherry jam
- White Chocolate Bavarois
- Cherry mousse
- Kirsch glaze
- Mini meringues
- Crunched up Amaretti biscuits and grated white chocolate
This will make two layers of sponge, but you only need one for this recipe so you can either halve it, or freeze the other layer and save for another occasion (it lasts about 3 months in the freezer).
- 125g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 125g plain flour
- 25g butter
Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a 30 x 40cm flat baking tray with a non-stick baking paper.
Make a sabayon by putting the eggs and sugar in a clean bowl and whisking the mix over a bain-marie to 37°C. Remove the bowl from the pan of water and continue to whisk until it reaches the ribbon stage (lift the whisk and the mix should fall back on itself and a trail will be left across the surface that should hold shape for a moment, before sinking back into the mix).
Carefully fold the sifted flour into the sabayon using a spatula. When it is around three quarters folded through take 2 large scoops of the sabayon and mix it into the melted butter. Then add the butter mix into the sabayon and fold through until fully incorporated. Pour the mix onto the lined baking tray, spreading evenly with a palette knife and bake in a pre-heated oven for 12-15 mins. You’ll know when it’s done as the sponge will be golden brown and spring back when pressed gently. Leave to cool and then use immediately or freeze for up to a month.
White Chocolate Bavarois
- 1 gelatine leaf
- 72g white chocolate (min 29% cocoa solids) chopped
- 72g full fat milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 7.5g caster sugar
- 95g whipping or double cream
Start by making a custard: Put the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl start whisking together the egg yolks and sugar until they are well combined and light in colour. Pour half of the boiled milk onto the eggs and mix well. Return this back to the saucepan of milk and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking until it thickens (coats the back of a spoon) and reaches a temp of 82-84 °C.
Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes until it softens. Squeeze out excess water and add to custard. Strain the custard into a bowl with the chopped white chocolate and mix well. Pop in an ice bain marie and whisk for a couple minutes. Once the custard has cooled down take it out of the ice otherwise it will set too fast. In a separate bowl whip the cream to ribbon stage and then fold this into the cooled custard. Use immediately.
- 6 gelatine leaves
- 400g pitted sweet cherries (I used frozen as they aren’t in season at the moment)
- 15g caster sugar
- Italian meringue
- 170g caster sugar
- 45ml water
- 3 medium egg whites
- 150ml double cream
Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes until it softens. Squeeze out excess water and put aside.
Puree the cherries in a blender and then push through a fine sieve till you have removed all the skin/pulp. Heat half of the puree in a pan on medium heat and whisk in the gelatine, stir this mix into the rest of the pureed cherries and put aside to cool.
Start making the italian meringue put heating sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and has formed a colourless syrup and there are small bubbles forming, it’ll be ready when it hits 121°C which normally takes 5-10mins. Whilst that’s heating whisk your egg whites until they form soft foamy peaks (don’t over whisk them!). When the sugar syrup is ready you want to the pour this into your egg whites in a steady stream, whisking with your other hand. Keep whisking until you have a silky, glossy meringue. When it’s fully cooled down, take 3 tbsp’s and set aside for making the mini meringues. Fold the rest into the puree and use immediately.
- 2 gelatine leaves
- 50g caster sugar
- 150ml Kircsh Liquor (if colourless add some red food colouring)
Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes until it softens. Squeeze out excess water and put aside. Heat the sugar and the Kirsch in a pan until the sugar has fully dissolved, take off the heat and whisk in the gelatine. Leave to cool down to room temperature before using.
* I actually ended up with a mix of Kirsch/Creme de Cassis for the glaze as I ran out half way through and my husband was only able to find the latter at Tesco. And whilst it came out well I think the blackcurrent is a little too powerful, so I’d suggest raspberry liquor if you struggle to find Kirsch.
Pre-heat oven to 130°C
Brush some red food colouring on the inside of a piping back and fill with the 3 Tbsps of italian meringue you put aside earlier. Pipe mini meringue kisses onto non-stick baking paper and cook for 35-40mins. Leave in the oven overnight to dry out.
- Cut the génoise sponge into an 8″ round using the cake ring as a guide.
- Place the sponge on a cake board, and pop your cake ring around it loosely, line the inside with a strip of cooking grade acetate and tighten the cake ring around sponge so it’s snug.
- Brush the sponge with some Kirsch.
- Heat 2 Tbps of cherry jam in the microwave for 15 seconds and then spread this on the sponge.
- Pour your white chocolate bavarois over the jam and make sure it’s spread evenly with a palette knife. Cover and pop in the fridge for minimum 1hr to set.
- Remove from the fridge and pour over the cherry mousse, again using the palette knife to ensure an even/smooth layer. Cover and pop in the fridge for minimum 2 hours (preferably overnight if you can).
- Remove from the fridge and dab any wet condensation spots off the mousse with a bit of paper towel.
- Bring the Kirsch glaze up to room temperature and pour over the mousse (make sure it’s definitely cool as anything warmer will melt the mousse!). Pop back in the fridge for minimum 1-2hrs.
- Decorate with mini meringues, crushed amaretti biscuits, white chocolate shavings and fresh cherries (if in season).