Saturday, July 17, 2021

                             Castella cake
                                 103gr                                                   egg yolks (~5) 
                                 94gr                                                     milk
                                 62gr                                                     butter
                                 90gr                                                     flour
                                 180gr                                                   egg whites (~6)
                                 116gr                                                   sugar
                             White chocolate filling
                                 250gr                                                   light cream 
                                 250gr                                                   heavy cream
                                 167gr                                                   white chocolate, chopped
                                 7,5gr                                                    gelatin sheets, soaked in cold water
                                 25gr                                                     lemon juice
                                 about a handful                                      red fruit


For the cake, line the bottom of a 20cm-diameterX>6cm-height pan with parchment paper and prepare a bigger pan for bain marie. Put the last in the oven and preheat at 150oC (convection).  Heat butter at 80oC and combine with the flour. Mix well, whisk in the milk, yolks and vanilla and set aside. In a separate bowl start whisking the egg whites, and when foamy, add half of the sugar. Continue whisking at high speed and when they reach soft peak stage, add the rest of the sugar and whisk on medium-low speed until just before the stiff peak stage. Fold the meringue in the yolk mixture by portions and fill the lined pan with the batter. Tap 2-3 times to bring any big air bubbles to the surface and pop them with a toothpick. Bake at 150oC for 30min and continue at 140oC for another 40min. 

You may need to place a same size cake ring on top of the pan to prevent uneven baking and side burning when using a convection oven.  When ready, having fully risen on the center with a golden brown color, remove from the oven and tap 2-3 times on the counter. Remove from the pan, let cool and cut in three layers.For the filling heat the light cream with zest just before boiling point and stir in the gelatin until completely dissolved. Add the mixture to the white chocolate and stir or blend until melted. Lastly incorporate the heavy cream and lemon juice and let cool. Keep in the fridge overnight or until set. When ready, whisk on high speed to aerate the cream into chantilly and spread two even layers with interspersed fruit between the three cake pieces. Leave just enough cream for lightly covering the top and sides of the cake and for decorating. Garnish with fresh fruit.

Monday, May 4, 2020

                                 2                                                          eggs
                                 60gr                                                     sugar
                                 2                                                          yolks
                                 60gr                                                     cake flour
                                 to taste                                                vanilla 
                                 about a handful                                    raspberries
                                 for dusting                                            powdered sugar
                                 about 80ml                                           simple syrup (optional)

                                 Strawberry jelly
                                 120gr                                                   strawberry puree 
                                 20gr                                                     lemon juice
                                 30gr                                                     sugar
                                 4gr                                                       gelatin sheets
                                 20gr                                                     water
                                 about a handful                                    chopped red fruit

                                 Strawberry mousse
                                 154gr                                                   strawberry puree
                                 22gr                                                     sugar
                                 77gr                                                     white chocolate
                                 5,4gr                                                    gelatin sheets
                                 27gr                                                     water
                                 132gr                                                   whipped cream (soft peaks)

                                 Piping cream
                                 110gr                                                   whipped cream
                                 40gr                                                     raspberry jam                            

For the spongecake whisk the egg whites with 3/4 of the sugar to medium-stiff peaks and separately beat the yolks with the rest of the sugar and vanilla until they are pale and a thick ribbon forms when lifting the whisk. Incorporate the meringue in the yolks by folding in 3 portions while also gradually adding and folding in the flour. Do not overmix. Spread a layer of batter at about 0,8-1cm thickness on a baking sheet making sure that you cover one round surface 20cm in diameter (or an octagon with the same diagonal dimension) that will be the bottom layer and a rectangular surface about 32x7cm (or 30x7cm for the octagonal shape) for the sides. 

You can draw those shapes on the bottom of a parchment paper sheet. Sprinkle a few raspberries on top and bake at 185oC for 8-10min until the cake has a golden color and springs back when lightly pressed down. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and set aside to cool. Turn the sheet upside down and follow the design drawn on the parchment paper to trim the edges for the bottom and side cake piece respectively. Prepare the simple syrup by combining 60gr sugar and 60gr water and bringing to boil. Let cool. For the jelly insert, soak the gelatin in the water until soft.  

Combine and bring half of the puree with the sugar to boiling point and then remove from heat adding the water and gelatin mixture. Stir well until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Mix in the rest of the puree along with the lemon juice, preferably being cool to temper the mixture. At this point you can have a taste and add more sugar if needed accordingly. Keep in fridge until partly set but not completely hardened. For the mousse soak the gelatin in the water and set aside to soften. Heat the puree with sugar just before boiling point.

Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin mixture until completely dissolved. Add the white chocolate, chopped, and stir until fully combined. Let cool until lukewarm to touch and fold in the whipped cream. Set aside and prepare the spongecake layers. Cut the rectangle shaped one lengthwise into two pieces 3,5cm in height that will run along the sides of the cake. Trim the sides of the bottom piece so that the side piece can fit between that and the cake ring. Place in position in the cake ring and if using, moisten the bottom layer with some syrup and just a little for the sides.

Pure in about 2/3 of the mousse filling on top covering completely the side cake pieces and leaving a hollow center for the jelly insert. Spread a thick layer of the jelly in the center and press some of the red fruit inside. Cover with the rest of the mousse filling and level the top. Refrigerate or freeze overnight and unmold. For the topping add the jam in the whipped cream and give a quick whip finishing combining with a rubber spatula. Pipe round shapes with a star shaped nozzle on top of the cake and finish with red fruit and white chocolate decorations.   

Monday, June 3, 2019

                                   Almond crust
                                   60gr                                                granulated sugar
                                   60gr                                                butter, melted
                                   100gr                                              almonds
                                   60gr                                                plain flour

                                   Cream cheese mousse
                                   800gr                                              cream cheese (low fat works as well)
                                   26gr                                                lemon juice
                                   about 2tsp                                       lemon zest
                                   300gr                                              whipping cream
                                   200gr                                              granulated sugar
                                   76gr                                                water
                                   6                                                     egg yolks room temp
                                   2                                                     small eggs room temp
                                   as preferred                                    vanilla extract

                                   15gr                                                gelatin leaves

                                   Red fruit gelee
                                   about 2 cups                                    coarsely chopped strawberries
                                   about 1 cup                                      raspberries
                                   about 1/2 cup                                  mixed red fruit juice or water
                                   5gr                                                   gelatin leaves, softened in cold water
                                   about 1/2-1 Tbs                                lemon juice (to taste)
                                   about 100gr                                      sugar (to taste)

For the crust, blend the almonds with one Tbs of the flour in a food processor until finely ground and combine the ingredients into a crumbly dough. Spread it on the bottom of a 24cm-diameter ring and press lightly for an even surface. Bake in a preheated oven to 170oC for about 15min or until golden brown on top. Set aside to cool.
For the filling, blend with a spatula the cream cheese with lemon zest and juice, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and then fold the two mixtures together and refrigerate until use. Soak the gelatin in cold water, roughly as much as needed to get all the sheets just covered, and let it sit while preparing the egg mixture. Bring the water with sugar to boil and combine the yolks, whole eggs and vanilla in a heat resistant bowl. When the syrup reaches 110oC start whisking the eggs at high speed and as soon as it reaches 125oC, pour it in stream in the egg mixture avoiding hitting the whisk as it keeps beating at high speed. As soon as you finish with the syrup, continue whisking, and in the same pot used for it, combine 1-2 Tbs water and the gelatin, drained, stirring until completely dissolved. You may return to low heat if needed but don't bring it to boiling point. In the same fashion with the syrup, pour the gelatin mixture in the eggs and keep whisking until lukewarm or slightly warm to touch.    

Remove the cream cheese mixture from the fridge and with the help of a spatula, or carefully with a mixer for persistent lumps , add the egg mixture in portions and fold until fully combined but not deflated. Pour the filling into a 24cm-diameter ring on top of the almond crust and refrigerate until set.
For the topping, bring the strawberries with half of the raspberries, sugar and water or juice to a saucepan and boil for 2-3min. Remove from heat and use a fork to roughly smash the fruit. Add the lemon juice and the gelatin, drained, and stir until fully dissolved. Finally add the rest of the raspberries and set aside to cool. Pour the mixture on top of the filling as soon as the surface is set and return to the fridge, preferably overnight.