Friday, February 18, 2011

Matcha azuki entremet

Come to think of it, I've been in love with entremets for a year or so. Or should I say, I've only discovered the existence of entremets since a year ago. (Yeah, apparently for a dessert lover, I'm kinda a slow learner.) In common everyday language (to those who might be wondering), in the dessert world, an "entremet" actually refer to the "sweet course" which is always served after the "cheese course" in France. To me, an entremet represents a beautiful multi-layered cake. The allure of such a lovely concoction makes me want to produce such dainty looking pieces on my own.

Some might call me crazy, but I jumped straight into my first entremet almost a year ago, without any basic knowledge on how to assemble such a dessert. Prior to my first Matcha Opera, I rarely ever bake cakes, mostly sticking to simpler goodies like cookies and cupcakes. I wonder what made me so adventurous to explore the complicated world of french patisserie. Hmmm. Madness perhaps? :)

Once I got started, well, my interest in french patisserie styled cakes increased. Like tenfolds. I am constantly thinking of making entremets. For me, I enjoy the process of baking more than the products I make. Not to say I dislike eating the sweets I make, but it's just that the actual baking is much more interesting than just stuffing your face with the dessert. I wish I can make entremets everyday...but then again, who's gonna eat them up for me? Sigh.

Matcha azuki entremet
Mini matcha macarons (heh, doesn't that have a nice ring to it!)

I decided to make some mini matcha macarons for decoration, as per the original image of the recipe in 日本人氣糕點師傅創意蛋糕50款. As I wanted only a few shells for decorations, I decided to use only one egg white, and thus used the French method of making macarons. I first started making macarons using the French method, but has since learnt the Italian method and I prefer the Italian method shells as they look prettier. These mini matcha ones made using the French method had quite flat feet. 

I had bought the book a while ago, and one of the recipes that caught my attention was the Matcha mousse cake recipe by Japanese Patisserie Kanae Kobayashi. A picture of her Matcha mousse cake can be seen here, where it is known as Matcha Kyoto. A few months ago, Allie made a rendition of the cake, and I managed to sample it when she brought a slice of it into the office. Oh my gosh. It was so matcha-y! I love matcha goodies and vowed that I shall make that. Soon. She did mentioned that she switched the matcha measurements for the whipped cream and mousse so I followed her steps too while making mine.

One of my favourite girlfriend was back in Singapore for her school break and I had always been saying that I will bake something matcha-y for her as she loves matcha. Knowing that she was leaving again soon as her school break is ending, I decided to bake the matcha entremet in early February.

Layers (top to bottom) - Matcha whipped cream, matcha mousse, chocolate sponge, azuki chocolate ganache, chocolate sponge


After slicing the cake into individual portions, I attempted to balance a mini macaron atop a slice. But the matcha whipped cream texture was pretty soft and the tiny macaron actually half sank into it! I was dismayed and disappointed as I really wanted to replicate the macaron atop the cake decor. This was after a night of refrigeration after I made the cake. But another day passed, and when I attempted to balance the macaron again, it worked as the matcha whipped cream had sorta become firmer! Hooray!

Tastewise, I love love love it. I'm biased as I'm generally in love with most things matcha. But my Sis and Dad also gave the thumbs up. Rare. My Sis did mentioned that she didn't like the mousse layer, which was a tad jelly-ish - I think it's my fault. I didn't fold in the whipped cream into the matcha mixture well and the two sorta seperated during the chilling process, thus the jelly-ish texture. The Dad, who isn't a fan of sweets, said it was not bad as it was not overtly sweet (phew as matcha is actually slightly bitter, and thus perhaps toned down the sweetness level of the cake). For now, I judge my creations by the two taste judges in the house. So anything that pleases them, makes me happy for like a day or so. I'm kinda easy to please like that. ;)


Matcha azuki entremet (adapted from Kanae Kobayashi)
(makes a 7" square cake - sliced into 14 individual portions)

Chocolate Sponge Cake
160g egg whites
 90g castor sugar
80g baking chocolate, chopped
45ml whipping cream
45g 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 8"x8" greased and lined pans and bake at 170°C for 12-15 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache with Red Bean
80g bittersweet chocolate (I used 70% Valrhona)
125ml whipping cream
homemade chunky azuki bean paste (recipe here, I halved the portion and got about a cup)

Heat the cream until almost boiling and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Stir till smooth.

Matcha Mousse (* start preparing only after step 1 of assembly)
160ml whole milk
10g matcha powder
50g castor sugar
6g gelatin sheets
125ml whipping cream

Soften the gelatin sheets in ice water and set aside. Combine matcha powder and castor sugar and whisk to mix. Heat the milk until it boils, remove from heat and pour over the matcha sugar mixture. Stir till smooth. Add the softened gelatin to the mixture. Stir till the gelatin sheets dissolve. Whip the cream until soft-stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the matcha mixture until combined.

Matcha Whipped Cream (* start preparing only after step 2 of assembly)
200ml whipping cream
20g castor sugar
5g matcha powder

Combine matcha powder and castor sugar. Gradually add the whipping cream and mix with electric mixer on low. When all the cream has been added in, whip on med-high speed until soft-stiff peaks.

Assemble
1.Place one layer of chocolate sponge into the mousse ring and pour the chocolate ganache over it. Spread a layer of chunky azuki bean paste on top and top with the second chocolate sponge layer. Press down to make sure layers are even and there are no "air gaps". Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
2. Pour the matcha mousse over the set chocolate base. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. Pour the matcha whipped cream over the matcha mousse. Refridgerate overnight. Dust a layer of icing sugar over the cake, before dusting a layer matcha powder. Slice into individual portions and decorate with mini matcha macarons.

34 comments:

  1. hmmm, it depends on the size of your eggs, i used XL eggs (70g) and use about slightly less than 5 egg whites. (:

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  2. very pretty! gonna try making this one of these weekends, have yet to try match, red bean and chocolate.

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  3. I love this. But, how many eggs make up 160g for egg whites?

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  4. your slices ARE straight, stop being so critical of yrself! haha. you're a good baker, y'know :) ahh, icing sugar no use, u need to use the snow powder which doesn't melt hehe.

    i'll go kino n take a look, if i manage to find (and buy) will show u nx time! yes, b-caraibe, here we come!! :))

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  5. This is a nice trick, about the icing sugar dusting before the macha powder. didn't know it.
    Recently I made macha macarons, and altough with italian meringue, they were not a great success. All of them were hollow inside.

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  6. ha i think my sis thought i was mad when she said that some of my slices were straight, and i was complaining, no they arnt! haha. i think im just a tad OCD. tsk. anw, yeah i did sifted a layer of icing sugar but it sorta melted into the whipped cream lol. nope, didn't see the macs book. yup, we're attempting hidemi's b-caraibe rights?? (:

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  7. thanks everyone for the kind words (:

    elle marie: mine always turn out wonky ONLY when i make matcha flavoured ones...
    xiaolu: i'm sure when u start on the macaron wagon, u'll realise how addictive it can get. ;)
    grub: try it! the azuki chocolate combo taste pretty good with the star matcha flavour.
    janine: well i took my time assembling the cake - perhaps one or one and a half day? if i actually sit down and focus, it probably took like less than one day heh. (:

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  8. omg, seriously amazing babe! the slicing is so neat for every single one and it looks exactly like kanae's version :) i think matcha macarons are tricky to make, i get the same feet when i make it, think its something to do with the matcha powder. and just wondering if you knew, if u wanna prevent the matcha powder from getting wet after u sift it on top, u can 1st sift a layer of anti-moisture icing sugar (or snow powder from phoon huat) before sifting the matcha powder over. i learned it from this recipe actually, previously i was really frustrated after sifting the cocoa powder on my tiramisu coz it was dark & splotchy. not anymore.

    btw kanae has a new macaron book :

    http://www.books.com.tw/exep/prod/lookinside.php?item=0010496718

    did u see this at kino? can't wait to bake tog again!! looking forward <3

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  9. Your matcha creations are totally gorgeous! Love matcha desserts too!

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  10. your photography is just exquisite! I only wish I can take as beautiful food photography as you one day! and how long did you spend baking and assembling the entire cake?!

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  11. So yummy!!! I wish I can get my hand on matcha powder!

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  12. flat feet or not your macarons and entremet are gorgeous! i'm loving the sound of the chocolate azuki cream! yummmm :)

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  13. Gorgeous! They look so pro!!

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  14. amazing! i really wish i could just reach into my computer screen and grab a slice! :)

    http://www.tiemeabow.blogspot.com

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  15. crap... I mean layer... I can't speak or write English anymore...

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  16. Simply beautiful, even with the flat feet. I haven't yet attempted macarons though so I can't judge 8).

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  17. ahha That is true, the feet are a bit flat... I wonder why? After so many years of making macaron's and using the same recipe... some come out differently each time, I put aside at least 8 or less that didn't quite make the cut.

    Entremet's are fun, my first time was in France, there after, I've been having them in Japan... I am too, a favorite fan of matcha.. my favorite drink to make is matcha au lait, with toasted marshmallows on top.... I don't think having the jelly lawyer is a bad thing, I quite like it.

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  18. came upon your blog as i was googling how to make an entremet. this is gorgeous and i'd love to try to make it as i love matcha cakes too! how do you cut it so straight?? even when i use a hot knife it doesn't come out so clean :( your photography's great as well! will be checking back often :)

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  19. thanks eunice, i love ur photos too! er, im kinda ocd, i use a ruler and measure before i slice it (: it helps to use a big knife too so u can one shot slice it at once. oh i don dip my knife in hot water. but i do wipe it clean with a paper towel aft every slice to ensure my sides are neat and clean. hope it helps!

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  20. haha! wow ruler and markings, i'm not as precise hehe but will try your method (when i successfully even make an entremet!) one more question, how do you unmould the round types cleanly? do you line the rings, or is it just hot towel/blow torch? thanks so much for dropping by my blog as well, did not expect it at all. i've got a lot to learn from u!

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  21. hmmm i just remove it like tt for the round ones and hope for the best, so my sides for the round ones are a hit miss thing ^^. perhaps i shld try using the blow torch next time, but cos it's small, im afraid tt the heat will melt the insides quickly...

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  23. Hey are you in the UK?If yes wondering where you bought that "日本人氣糕點師傅創意蛋糕50款" ? Is it online? Thanks!

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  24. hi there, nope im not in the UK, i'm actually in singapore. i got my copy from kinokuniya (:

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  25. Just tried out this recipe, I hope it'll be a success (: Do you have any suggestions with regards to how I can keep these entremets from melting if I transport them across Singapore on public transport (a 1.5hour ride zzz)? Perhaps I could freeze them or something? Thanks!

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  26. hi there nicole! i hope u enjoy it too. hmmm, normally if im bringing cakes out, i use a bigger than required cake box, then place the cake in a smaller container in the middle of the big box and surround it with a few ice packs. that should help. ive not yet tried freezing cos im not sure how the texture will be affected. hope it helps! :)

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  27. hi can i use gelatin powder instead of the sheet if i do not have? how should i substitute? by weight?

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  28. hi, yes im sure u can replace with powder, but for conversion im not too sure...perhaps u can google for conversions? eg: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/04/how-to-use-gelatin/ or http://britishfood.about.com/od/glossary/g/gelatin.htm? hope it helps!

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  29. hey there! I really want to make this entremet but I have no clue what "baking chocolate" is..Would it be dark chocolate?

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  30. hi Emmi, baking chocolate = unsweetened chocolate, or bitter chocolate. it should be avail in the supermart. :)

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  31. I love matcha and red beans combo!!

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