Friday, June 17, 2011

Giving it another shot

It's been a while since I've made a cake 'with the works' at home - a layered buttercream cake or a layered mousse entremet. Last year, I made them week after week at school. These past few months, I was always tired after work and spent weekends going out. Plus, the tiny apartment's kitchen equipment and oven can't be compared to the professional's that I just thought it would be impossible to make anything worthwhile.

This week, I decided to give it another shot. Since I'll be moving to Petits Gateaux, I felt inspired and wanted to try something more elaborate than just cake bases at home. In French Pastry, a complex multilayered cake is called an entremet. It usually has one to two layers of cake and more layers of different creams, mousses and jellies. Sometimes, it has a tart base and most of the time, it's glazed. But it's always very rich in flavor and texture - in most pastry shops, it's made up of 4 to 5 different elements in one.

At school these were some of the entremets we made:
And they were considered the basics. So armed with the Pain d'epices, a bargain square cake ring and some pastry magazines and sites, I set to experiment. Here are pain d'epices entremets two ways (over 2 posts).

White Chocolate and Spicebread
with peach puree


  1. Pain d'epices
  2. Peach puree (from here)
  3. White chocolate mousse
  4. Strawberry and speculoos crumbs

White Chocolate Mousse
adapted from So Good magazine, June 2009 edition

85ml milk
218ml whipping cream
200g white chocolate
3 gelatin sheets


  1. Soak the gelatin in plenty of water.
  2. Whip the cream and store in the fridge until needed.
  3. Weigh and chop chocolate. Place them in a bowl.
  4. Boil the milk and add the gelatin, previously drained. Bring to a boil again.
  5. Pour the boiling milk over the chocolate. 
  6. Whisk in the center until the chocolate turns to a smooth, elastic, glossy texture.
  7. When the mixture is at 37C, pour over the whipped cream (If the chocolate mixture is less than 37C after being whisked, reheat it over a bain-marie.)
To Assemble: 
  1. Cut the pain d'epices to the shape of the mold and place on the bottom.
  2. Spread the peach puree immediately after it's cooked in the saucepan.
  3. Freeze.
  4. After the peach puree is firm, pour in the white chocolate mousse.
  5. Freeze.

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