As I was considering what I should cook for the Old New Year (that’s how we call this holiday) for dessert I realized that it would be hard to beat the success of “Tanzanie” cake that I had made two weeks before. Yet, I figured out that choosing another creation of a whimsical pâtissier Adriano Zumbo would be the best thing to do (and since I had stepped on the path of recreating his cakes I didn’t feel like deviating from it).
My choice was quite simple (comparing to the previous very sophisticated gateau) – Chocolate Mousse Cake which actually brought Mr Zumbo popularity after he appeared with it on TV – in the finals week of Masterchef
in 2009. I was not in Australia at the time, so I didn’t see the first series of the show. Later on, however, I watched a video of the episode where Julie Goodwin (who eventually won the title of the first Australian Masterchef) gasps in astonishment as the cake is cut through and all the layers – the chocolate mousse, the salted caramel, the apple tatin insert, jaconde biscuits with cigarette décor and pate sable – are seen clearly and distinctly. India
As I made the cake for the New Year, I decided to use special templates for making the side décor on jaconde and I also made an edible “Christmas ball” – the same way as I made ghosts for Gingerbread house on Halloween. To say true, it took me quite a while to make all the elements of the cake but it was really worth all the pains! The rich chocolate mousse, the crunchy cinnamon flavoured shortcrust pastry and the spiced apple filling (with ginger and orange zest) produced a delightful concoction and a perfect treat for a winter holiday!
Recipe adapted from the original one by Adriano Zumbo (masterchef.com.au)
Pate sable cinnamon
1 egg yolk
Texture apple tatin insert
2 granny smith apples, peeled & diced
1 ½ granny smith apples, peeled & diced
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp Cointreau
Salted caramel layer
Cigarette decor paste
50g egg white
50g icing sugar
30g plain flour
1 gelatine leave
60 ml Earl Grey tea, strained
strawberry ganache (see recipe above)
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp raisins (soaked in rum)
1 tsp orange zest
a handful of edible small silver drops
Christmas ball (recipe above)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1.For pate sable, preheat the oven to
2. For texture apple tatin, start with making part one. Caramelize the sugar using dry method, and then emulsify the caramel with the butter. Add the apples, cook until the they are are translucent and caramel in colour. Cool the mixture.
3. Make part two of the tatin insert. Add butter, orange zest, & ginger to a pan and cook until aromatic. Add sugar and apples. Cook over high heat for 1 minute, add the liquor and flambé. Cool the mixture.
4. Mix the two apple mixtures together. Place in a mould (smaller than the mould in which you’ll be assembling the cake) and put in a freezer until set.
5. For salted caramel layer, soak gelatine in a small amount of cold water. Heat the cream. Place sugar, glucose, water in a saucepan, cook to caramel colour. Deglaze sugar with the cream. Heat the gelatine gently over low heat till it dissolves, and then pour it into the caramel, stirring. Add butter and whisk till smooth. Place in a mould (smaller than the mould in which you’ll be assembling the cake) and put in a freezer until set.
6. For cigarette décor, mix all the ingredients together. Put a template on a baking tray lined with baking paper and use palette knife to spread some of the mixture over it. Carefully remove the template and place the baking tray in the freezer.
Cut 2 rounds out of a baking paper (smaller than the size of the mould in which you’ll be assembling the cake) and spread the remaining mixture over them. Use your fingers to make some swirl patterns. Place the rounds in the fridge.
7. For biscuit jaconde, preheat the oven to
200C. Beat eggs, icing sugar, and almond meal together. Whip egg whites till soft peaks, add castor sugar and beat till stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into egg almond mixture alternating with butter and flour. Take the rounds with cigarette décor out of the fridge and the prepared pattern out of the freezer and spread the jaconde mixture over them. Bake for 10 minutes till golden in colour. While still hot, flip and carefully remove the baking paper.
8. For strawberry ganache, soak the gelatin leave in cold water. Push the strawberry puree through a fine sieve and heat it in a saucepan with icing and castor sugar till the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and immediately pour over the chocolate and stir till it melts. Squeeze water out of gelatine and add it to the chocolate mixture. Add butter and stir till smooth.
9. For sabayon mousse, place tea, sugar and eggs in a bowl over simmering water and whisk till they start to thicken. Remove the bowl from bain marie and beat the mixture with electric mixer till it cools down and expands. Add the chocolate and strawberry ganache to the sabayon, then fold in the whipped cream.
10. For edible Christmas ball, crumble the cake and mix it with orange zest and raisins. Pour the juice over it. The resulting mixture should be wet but still holding its shape. Make a ball and pour the melted white chocolate over it. “Glue” silver drops to the surface of it. Make decorations using the dark chocolate (stars, rounds and hemispheres) and place one of them on the top of the white Christmas ball (you will use the remaining ones to decorate the sides and the top of the cake).
|Step-by-step decoration of the Christmas ball|
|That's how it looks when cut through|
1. The original recipe calls for using blackberries for the ganache. I don’t think there’s much difference: there’s such a small amount of it in the mousse that one should probably have a really sensitive palate to identify the fruit in it.
2. The preparation can be divided in several days: make the elements that need to be frozen first, then make jaconde, mousse and assemble the cake. The decorations can be made on the day of serving.