Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blueberry vanilla chocolate entremet

I had a whole big box of frozen blueberries in the freezer that I had painstakingly prep and froze the last time blueberries were in season. I needed to clear the freezer, so I decided that I shall save them for using in an entremet. I researched for recipes, and finally found one from my scanned copy of "頂級法式時尚甜點" - Jennifer aux Myrtilles - a blueberry vanilla chocolate entremet. The only thing was - I needed a valid excuse/special occasion to make the cake.

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
4.75g gelatin
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.

*Blueberry caramel
55 sugar
20g water
3.5g glucose syrup
2.5g gelatin
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 :( )
10g gelatin
300ml blueberry puree
300ml whipping cream
30ml Chambord

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.

Soaking syrup
65g sugar
50g water
60g Chambord

Combine sugar and water and cook over stove till sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cool. Add Chambord and mix together.

Blueberry glaze
100g mirror gel
40g blueberry puree
30g water
20g glucose
10g Chambord

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.

Assemble
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.

46 comments:

  1. woah i'm amazed by yr neat layers, as always! i hv the book as well (which like i said cost me 70 bucks) but actually none of the recipes in the book appealed to me....until i see yours! makes me wanna try it out. i hv no idea how come yr italian meringue fail leh, could it be that there's something wrong with the recipe?

    i think the japanese (and maybe taiwan too?) their recipes are towards the lighter side, hence not so sweet. traditional french entremets would be really sweet! but can't really tell the level of the sweetness unless you're really experienced, else can only find out after u made it. and i seriously think yr isomalt decor looks damn nice, it reminds me of those artsy sculptures! i can't achieve such patterns with rounded corners like yours, mine will just end up with lotsa bubbles.

    sigh, i need to practice on my cake slicing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think the whole blueberries peeking out of the mousse just looks fantastic and as usual your photography and your cake slices look awesome! I just tried cutting my own entremet today and gosh was it horrible looking :S

    and I probably get the same grouses from my family members too - although my dad still hasn't praised me to the extent of becoming a patissier but he always complains about how electricity prices are going up so i shouldn't use the oven that much >.<

    Janine

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think the decoration looks cool. And the sweetness sounds just right. In the US treats are often waaay too sweet. I'm guilty of making things that way, myself. It startles me to look at UK/AU recipes sometimes b/c they have so little sugar.

    ReplyDelete
  4. WOW! What a stunning entrement! Thanks for sharing the recipe with us. It looks like a winning combination:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. These look amazingly pretty and delicious! Glad that I stumbled upon your blog :).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! Lovely photos! I love the look of this entremet of yours, the blueberries peeking out looks so good!

    ReplyDelete
  7. ha thanks dear, u have v neat layers too yourself what! don need to be amazed at mine lol. i think i might wanna go library again to borrow it, to see if there are other recipes i might nt have scanned :) i have no idea bout the italian meringue. v sad lar. :(

    i like non sweet cakes too so i think i shall go check out more of the chi/jap translated books. really? i prefer your isomalt decor u did for the citrus tarts. love all the bubbles in it. i was just lucky i broke mine the way it did so i ended up with quite cool designs. heh. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. janine: thanks! hmmm, using a ruler and clean knife might help with the neat slicing? try it the next time, it might work. haha totally get u on the family nagging bit!!! i'll just pretend to not hear the "nags" heh. ;)

    xiaolu: haha, quite true about the us desserts. they oft contain higher sugar lvls. but if u bake the same recipes repeatedly, u can prob tell which ones uses too much sugar and u can cut down the sugar lvls without compromising on taste. ^^

    phuoc: thanks, i love the fruity combination plus chocolate :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my this looks WOW~ There is no other word to describe this and the effort involved! The perfect layers and photography, I think I can go on and on about everything that's impressive about this post :) Really wonderful job and very lucky family and friends :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Absolutely gorgeous Michelle...this is a work of art! It's sensational and I love the flavours! WOW!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow. Fantastic work! I actually prefer sweet desserts, but I still your dessert looks absolutely splendid. Brava!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Spraying the isomalt with lacquer spray will help it hold up better against humidity! It's really helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  13. your entremet looks absolutely stunning! i can't wait to try this recipe out b/c i love berry desserts and the art is just my kind of challenge.

    i had a small question about the chocolate sponge cakes and the assembling--it says to bake in a 8x8 pan and then for assembling, cut to fit a 9x9" cake mold. could you tell me what your procedure was in the assembling?? or could i just bake the sponge cakes in a 9x9 pan? thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. i have lots of blueberries in my freezer too :D recipe bookmark. can i omit the liquor ?

    ReplyDelete
  15. thanks everyone! ^^

    nicole: er, is lacquer spray edible? just asking cos the only kind i know is not. hee.

    laura: thanks for pointing out! i re-used the recipe instructions from my previous post and forgot to amend the measurements. i've amended it now! i actually poured the batter into 2 9"x13" pans and cut the 9"x9" cake shapes out. (:

    homecookbaker: i think u can actually, i'm nt a pro, but i reckon the liquor is just to add a subtle zing to the finished product. ^^

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yes, they make food grade lacquer spray! I know there are several places to find it online and you could probably also find it in a decorating supply store.

    And if you plan on eating isomalt decorations for any reason, be careful! It's fine in small amounts but in large amounts it works as a laxative.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It looks gorgeous and the slices looks very neat. especially when there are fruits in between the cake, it gets kinda squishy if it wasn't cut properly.. Lol I wished my weekends were longer so I could squeeze in more time to bake..

    ReplyDelete
  18. this is gorgeous!! you're really very talented :) everything's so neat and precise.. i cld never do that. i need to get my hands on one of these taiwanese/japanese pastry books

    ReplyDelete
  19. So well done Chelle... nom, I honestly prefer Japanese sweets or French, European, otherwise, others are just way too sweet for my liking, still, that's not to say there' aren't one's that I keep and enjoy, like Southern Pound Cake.

    ReplyDelete
  20. sweesan: haha i just wish i can cont bake as much as i want w/o the fear of expanding waistline. so even if long weekends are here, i *try* nt to bake lol. ^^

    eunice: thanks :) i love chi books cos they are more skewed towards french patisseries style cakes than the eng books.

    elle marie: heh, i think the only "western" style cake i enjoy is the rich dense chocolatey chocolate sorta cake. ^^

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Michelle! I have to say I love browsing through your blog :) your desserts and photography are awesome! I have a question about the white background you use for your cakes, what do you use to make the space looks all white and only the cakes stand out? Thanks in advance :D

    ReplyDelete
  22. thanks lilia. :) i use plain white boards tt i get from arts supplies shops. hope it helps!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This looks delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at foodepix.com.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Michelle, I've been following your blog and I love the cakes you baked, it's really very professional :) I hope one day I can bake as good as you :D By the way, where do you get your mirror gel and vanilla beans? can you get them from phoon huat? 

    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  25. hi grace! thanks for the words, im just bumbling around with recipes...;) yup, i got both from phoon huat. for the beans i used to use phoon huat until recently i received beans from madagascar and indonesia. (:

    ReplyDelete
  26. thanks Michelle! :) you are so blessed to have people giving you vanilla beans! one last question, is it okay if i heat the ingredients for blueberry glaze in a saucepan instead of microwave it?

    ReplyDelete
  27. hmmm i reckon u actually could, but be sure to make sure it's low heat i guess to avoid burning it. microwave is so much easier tho!

    ReplyDelete
  28. hi, may i know where to buy Chambord?
    ~jojo

    ReplyDelete
  29. brilliant recipe told in a brilliant manner..now if only i could taste it...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for this recipe! I've made this entremet 3 times and it was always a success! I put mixed berries instead of only blueberries :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. glad that u like the recipe. and that's certainly a good idea to use mixed berries..mixture of flavours. :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Your cakes look wonderful, so i decided to make them too. And guess what? My caramel hardened, wtf!? Maybe there is mentioned temperature in the book? Because "light amber" is very variable color :D Now gonna make the second try, hope it turns out ok

    ReplyDelete
  33. oh dear so sorry to hear about that Olivia. I had also experienced the hardening of the caramel on my first try. I only succeeded on my second try too > more on that mentioned on the top of the blog post. I hope your second try works! *crosses fingers*

    ReplyDelete
  34. Yeah, second try was good, thanks! But it was sooo much panic when first attempt failed!! Okay, now about results: the cake is not just pretty, but it tastes wonderful and is quite easy to make:) i changed blueberries to blackcurrant tho, love them so much

    Love your blog and recipes! Gonna try raisin & rum and b-caraibe entremets next! I want to bake together with you :D you're such a pro!

    ReplyDelete
  35. phew that's good to know! thanks for the compliments! :P haha, whereabout are u located at? im no pro la, just another amateur chugging along with trials and errors. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  36. do you have special education or so? i dream about going to France for studying patisserie base... but for now - just like you, trying and making my own experience.

    I live in Riga, Latvia, very far from you :(

    Oh, I wanna show you my cake! Sorry for mobile photo :D

    ReplyDelete
  37. nope im not trained in patisserie...wish i was tho :) ooo interesting design for the cake! love how u white choc strips (?) at the sides. :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. thanks! i'm trying to learn how to temper chocolate :D

    ReplyDelete
  39. oh my! this recipe is so wonderful. I do have a question and sorry for the ignorance, but can you tell what is mirror gel and where do I get it or how do I make it?? thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. hi it's not an ignorant qn, no worries. mirror gel is smth tt i got from a baking supplies store, it's like a glaze that u use for cakes/fruits.

    ReplyDelete
  41. hmm it's sort of a clear glaze that you can use for cakes - i got it from phoon huat. hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Fantastically looking entremet! I stole my heart from the moment I say it. However, I tried to make cassis instead of blueberry caramel (it doesn't matter I suppose as my troubles happened b4 berries come into play). Michelle, how do you thing, what was my mistake: I heated sugar, water & glucose over medium-high heat, when it turned amber I took it off & left in my tiny casserole then it turned a bit deeper amber. As it got to 80C it has already harden so that gelatin started boiling but the caramel stood as it was :( Terrible outcome! I was so looking forward to making this part of the entire entreat

    ReplyDelete
  43. hi masha, i had problem with the blueberry caramel part too. i recommend using low heat rather than med high heat, and removing from stove when it was light amber rather than amber. what i did was add a lil extra hot water and returning the mixture to the stove to warm it up a lil to dissolve the hardened caramel.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Michelle, May i know what is the height of your cake ring? Im making this soon.
    Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
  45. the height is about 2.5 inch. hope it helps!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...