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Ispahan Cake

plaisirs sucres, lychee, rose, litchi, raspberry, Ispahan, macaron

In my previous post, i said something about being busy with some mysterious affair :). As the mystery turned out better than I have ever expected, I am ready to share it with everybody.
On Friday, I took part in an International Cooking Contest. You had to choose your section (I was part of the dessert section), prepare whatever you wanted to show to the jury and impress them :).
I prepared a series of desserts and they were all impressed that an amateur was able to do so many nice things.
I have made a few batches of macarons: almond macarons with chocolate nougat filling, almond macarons with white chocolate and coffee filling, cocoa macarons with chocolate ganache and salted caramel sauce, rose macarons with mint meringue filling.

plaisirs sucres, lychee, rose, litchi, raspberry, Ispahan, macaron

Then, I made an adaptation of Pierre Herme’s Plaisirs sucrees, using white chocolate coffee Chantilly instead of the milk chocolate ganache, dark chocolate cardamom Chantilly instead of his milk chocolate Chantilly, and dark chocolate wafers instead of milk chocolate ones.

plaisirs sucres, lychee, rose, litchi, raspberry, Ispahan, macaron

Next, there was a cake I made for my daughter’s birthday 2 years ago – an Opera cake with matcha genoise, salted caramel ganache and Earl Grey mousse. Another treat was a crumble tart inspired from Aran – I used a polenta almond crumble, topped with basil roasted peaches, a lemon mousse filled sponge cake and with a quenelle (which melted a little) of goat cheese mousse.

plaisirs sucres, lychee, rose, litchi, raspberry, Ispahan, macaron

I also had some simple, but ohhh so good almond and dark chocolate biscotti. But the star of the show was the Ispahan cake: a moist almond sponge, lychee jelly, raspberry jelly and rose mousse.
My daughter was my assistant both during the preparation phase and during the contest and this is why she was even prouder when we won the first prize. For a few days, this was her favorite topic of discussion. She even created a diploma for me and brought me lots of flowers to show how much she enjoyed „our moment of glory”.

plaisirs sucres, lychee, rose, litchi, raspberry, Ispahan, macaron

Ispahan Cake
For the almond sponge
2 X 20/ 20 cm (8X8in) pans
200 g almond paste (recipe follows if you do not want to use store bought)
4 eggs, separated
15 g sugar
40 g flour
2 g baking powder
30 g butter, melted and cooled
salt
Almond paste
100 g blanched almonds
100 g powdered sugar
30 g egg white
Pulverize the almonds in a food processor. Add the sugar and mix until evenly combined. Add the egg white and mix until a paste is formed.
Preheat the oven at 175 degrees C (350 F). Butter the pans and line them with parchment paper.
Place the almond paste in the bowl of your mixer together with the yolks and whip them for about 5 minutes until pale and thick.
Whip the whites with the salt until stiff peaks are formed.
Add the butter to the yolks and gently mix it in. Add half of the whites and gently incorporate them into the batter. Add the flour and baking powder and fold them in. Add the rest of the whites and gently fold them in. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 12 minutes (they should spring back when lightly pressed with a finger).
Let them cool completely before using.

plaisirs sucres, lychee, rose, litchi, raspberry, Ispahan, macaron

For the lychee jelly
400 g lychees (fresh or in syrup)
50 g sugar (if using fresh fruit or unsweetened compote)
8 g gelatin
20 ml cold water
Puree the fruits in a food processor. Place the puree and sugar in a pan on medium heat and boil until all sugar is dissolved.
If using fresh fruit, place about 150 ml water and the sugar in a pan and bring to a boil. Add the fruits and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
In the meantime soften the gelatin in cold water. Drain the gelatin and mix it in the puree.
Pour the jelly in a pan that has the same size as your layers and put it in the freezer to set. You can line the pan with aluminum foil or plastic foil to ease removal.
Reserve the syrup from the compote or from boiling the fruits.
For the raspberry jelly
400 g fresh or frozen raspberries
80g sugar
8 g gelatin
20 ml cold water
Puree the fruits in a food processor. Place the puree and sugar in a pan on medium heat and boil until all sugar is dissolved.
In the meantime soften the gelatin in cold water. Drain the gelatin and mix it in the puree.
Pour the jelly in a pan that has the same size as your layers and put it in the freezer to set. You can line the pan with aluminum foil or plastic foil to ease removal.
For the rose mousse
3 g gelatin
15 ml rose water
2 yolks
65 g sugar
50 ml water
10 edible rose buds
175 ml whipped cream (+10 ml rose water)
a vanilla bean
Place the water, sugar, rose buds and vanilla bean in a pan, cover it and bring to boil over medium high heat. When it boils, uncover it, lower the heat and let it cook to 238 F. In the meantime soften the gelatin in some rose water and whisk the yolks. Place the softened gelatin on a water bath or in the microwave and melt it.
Once the sugar syrup reaches 238 F, remove the bean and the buds (you can scrape the bean later into the mousse), and slowly pour the syrup over the yolks while mixing. Next, pour the gelatin over the yolks and continue mixing until the mixture increases in volume, thickens and cools.
Add the whipped cream and carefully fold it into the yolks.
Syrup
Lychee syrup
15-20 ml Limoncello (optional)
To assemble
Place your cake ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Fit the first layer inside the ring and brush some syrup over. Spread a small amount of mousse over it (it should act as a glue between the cake and the jelly). Place the lichyee jelly over and spread another small amount of mousse. Place the second cake layer on top, brush it with syrup, spread a tiny amount of mousse over, place the raspberry jelly on top. Then, pipe all the remaining mousse and level it. Place the cake in the freezer for a few hours.
To cut it, use a very sharp knife dipped in hot water.

Comments

  • septembrie 20, 2009

    That is so beautiful.

    reply
  • septembrie 28, 2009

    This is all so gorgeous! Sounds amazing.

    reply
  • octombrie 1, 2009
    Iulia Guillot

    salutti anda si felicitari pentru concurs, unde si cand a avut loc si..cand deschizi patiseria:))???serios, faci niste chestii super, ar fi pacat sa nu beneficiem si noi, aia lenesi, de ele:)))muaaaaaaaah

    reply
  • octombrie 27, 2011
    monika

    how long should the cake sit out before i can serve it? a few hours in the freezer would harden it, no? wouldn’t the rspberries be hard/frozen? i need some help with the serving end of things as i’m thinking about making this for an engagement party this weekend. thanks in advance for your help.

    reply
      • octombrie 27, 2011
        monika

        oh, i will; thanks for the quick reply. can i skip the freezer and let it set in the fridge or is the freezer vital? same questions applies for the jellies…can they go in the fridge or freezer is a must? i’m SO looking forward to making this cake…

        reply
          • noiembrie 11, 2011
            monika

            hello again!
            so, i made the cake; and i made a gigantic version, a half a sheet, to serve 60 people. it was a huge hit! your recipe is easy to follow and the only problem i encountered was making a „spring form” that size–14″x16″. i made a stand-up collar from tin foil and had to freeze the jellies in pieces and then assemble them like a puzzle. thankfully it was a cold weekend so the cake sat outside, in a cooler, and the natural elements took care of the cooling and freezing process. now i have to buy a bigger–wider–freezer 🙂 many thanks for the idea, the recipe and the tips. happy baking!

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