This should have been my St. Patrick’s Day entry.
A few weeks ago I missed Valentine’s Day in the blogosphere, so the next post I put up, 2 weeks later, I proclaimed my official Valentine’s Day post because it was red and pink, why not?. As you can see, these cakes are mostly green, so wouldn’t they have been the most perfect Saint Patrick’s Day post? What other time of the year does green food dominate (going down and coming up – after too many green beers)? SO, today is my official Saint Patrick’s Day post, and even though I’m not Irish, I feel it’s my duty as a food blogger to recognize these holidays, especially the color coordinated ones. Yes, Lisa at Parsley, Sage, and Sweet has rearranged the holidays to suit her bloginess.
These cakes are not just an answer to my blank Saint Patrick’s Day, but they’re serving three other purposes. Help, Win and Celebrate.
Help – After the disaster in Japan, outside of a few text donations, I felt like it wasn’t enough. This entry is dedicated to the vicitims in Japan, so for every comment I receive, I will donate 1 dollar to the American Red Cross and Unicef, in addition to what I’m already donating, to continue to help the earthquake-tsunami victims recover from this awful disaster.
Win – Dessert Wars March challenge just so happens to be ‘Go Green!’ aka green desserts using two green ingredients. How can I not enter these cakes? I could win the below whopper of a prize package;
Whisk and cupcake necklace from Moon & Star Designs
Beanilla Sampler Pack of Vanilla Beans
Lenox Personalized Musical Cupcake
1,000 ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes
Organic Valley $50 Gift Certificate
Organic Prairie $50 Gift Certificate
Theme Kitchen $50 Gift Certificate
BEKA Cookware Crepe Pan
Celebrate -I have a new nephew, born last Thursday. What better way to celebrate this joyous occasion than with a side of delicious, pretty, mousse and chocolate filled cakes? Meet Alex, isn’t he a cutie pie?
I got the idea for these cakes from one of my favorite ‘gawking’ blogs, Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings, and ‘idea’ is where it ends, since, 1) I added different components, and well, 2) mine do NOT even come close to hers aesthetically, or photographically for that matter. Regardless, it was another creation of hers I was dying to tackle.
I love matcha based desserts (matcha is a powdered Japanese green tea), so to be able to create my own take on her little entremet cakes, using matcha, of course, was a fun challenge. I used her recipe for matcha mousse, but made a pistachio – almond sponge, adding matcha to it. I only used one square layer of cake** (see notes at end of entry), and lined the bottom with white chocolate – pistachio feuilletine. I nixed the black sesame mousse and instead made a chocolate – black sesame truffle ganache with a bit of wasabi paste and ginger to liven it up a bit. It’s a ganache based on a chocolate truffle from Vosges Haut-Chocolat in Chicago, called a Black Pearl Truffle. The sesame brittle is from a recipe I’ve used for years, so I decided to use that – partly to avoid having to convert the measurements.
Converting recipes from metric to US measurements is not something I relish, as some of you know. Plus, my scale needs to be calibrated.
Having said all that..I kind of made a mess of this cake by not letting the mousse set completely before pouring on the ganache, plus, this cake is supposed to have two layers of sponge, one on the bottom also, beneath the feuilletine. I was rushing, so as I was transferring the second layer, wrapped in plastic, to the fridge, I tripped over my own feet, the klutz that I am, and down it went..breaking into pieces. This is why my bottom layer is the feuilletine only.
My cuts were also lopsided, so much so that my cakes leaned in odd positions. They keeled in weird ways – especially since the mousse and ganache could have set a little longer, and were still somewhat soft. You would have to see a side view to understand, but careful positioning and angles for photographs made them look quasi-straight . It may not be a clean cake, but it certainly tastes good!
Finally, there are some pastry chefs out there who name their entremet cake creations – like Hidemi Sugino’s ‘b-Caraibe’ and Sadaharu Aoki’s ‘Valencia’. I decided to name these ‘Desordre Vert’ (Green Disorder). I feel so special now.
Matcha Mousse from Evan's Kitchen Ramblings
Black Pearl Ganache adapted from Vosges Haut-Chocolat
- ¼ cup pistachio paste
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 ounces good quality, chopped white chocolate
- *1/2 cup paillete feuilletine (OR rice krispies, or corn flakes, or crushed sugar cones)
- ¼ cup chopped, toasted pistachios
- adapted from a Dorie Greenspan recipe
- 3 large egg whites (room temperature)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ cup ground, shelled, skinned pistachios
- ½ cup ground almonds
- 1 cup icing sugar (sifted)
- 1 tablespoon matcha powder *
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoon unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon matcha powder *
- From Evan's Kitchen Ramblings
- 1½ teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons of cold water
- 1 teaspoon matcha powder *
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- from Vosges Haut-Chocolat
- 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon wasabi paste or 1 teaspoon wasabi powder *
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds *
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 6 Tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 6 Tablespoons black sesame seeds
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 2 Tablespoons water
- ½ Tablespoon butter
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- In a medium bowl set in a saucepan of simmering water, heat the pistachio paste with the butter and white chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth and melted. Remove from the heat and fold in pailette feuilletine and toasted pistachios.
- Line a 12-inch by 17-inch jelly roll pan with parchment and grease it with butter.
- Beat the egg whites in a bowl until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy.
- Beat the almonds, pistachios, icing sugar, matcha and eggs in another bowl until light and voluminous.
- Fold in the flour, then beaten egg whites, then melted butter.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake in a preheated 425F oven until lightly browned and just springy to the touch, about 5-10 minute. Run a knife along the edges to loosen the cake form the pan.
- Cover the cake with parchment paper, flip and unmold the cake. Peel of the parchments paper flip and cover the cake while it cools
- Cut out one 7 x 7 square of cake, using the 7-inch square cake pan as a guide. Save the rest of the cake for other preparations (can be frozen), or just eat it.
- Wrap cake square in plastic wrap, and set aside until ready to assemble.
- In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water and mactha to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Don't let it caramelize. Pour into a glass measuring cup to cool.
- Sprinkle gelatin powder over cold water and let soften.
- Combine matcha powder and sugar in a bowl In the mean time..heat milk to boiling. Whisk boiled milk in with matcha and sugar.
- Heat softened gelatin for 15 seconds in the microwave, then stir into matcha, sugar, and milk mixture. Strain and let cool.
- Beat heavy cream to soft peaks, then fold into matcha mixture.
- Place chocolate in medium bowl. Bring cream, ginger, and wasabi to boil in small pot.
- Pour hot cream over chocolate; cover with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes. Whisk cream and chocolate until smooth.
- Mix sesame seeds and corn syrup in small bowl to coat; stir into chocolate mixture. Let cool to lukewarm.
- Place the sesame seeds in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, corn syrup, water and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Continue cooking for about 10 minutes without stirring once the mixture has come to a boil until it reaches 300 degree F on a quick-read candy thermometer. Grease a parchment or silpat lined jelly roll pan with butter or cooking spray.
- Remove the pan from the stove. Stir in the baking soda. Pour the hot mixture carefully onto the jelly roll pan and spread it to ¼ inch thick with a metal spatula. Let cool and harden.
- Break the sesame brittle into pieces. Store in a covered, airtight container for several days.
- Line a 7-inch square baking pan with plastic wrap (you won't need plastic wrap if you're using a mousse ring or removeable bottom baking pan).
- Press the pistachio feuilletine into the bottom of the pan so it reaches all 4 corners. Try to press it down evenly so there are no thicker or thinner areas. (I didn't..lol)
- Pour half of matcha mousse on top of feuilletine, refrigerate until set.
- Pour all the chocolate ganache on top of set matcha mousse. Top with reserved cake square. Brush cake square with matcha syrup, then pour reamining matcha mousse on top, smoothing until even. Refrigerate cake until set.
- Using overlapping plastic wrap, lift cake out of baking pan. Brush top of cake with a mixture of matcha powder and hot water, to make a pattern or design, if desired. Let dry. Trim the edges of the cake evenly and cut into 6 or 7 1-inch slices. Top each slice with shards of sesame brittle.
** You can use two 7-inch squares of cake, if desired (cut out TWO 7-inch squares from sheet of sponge). Just line the bottom of the pan with one square of cake, brush with matcha syrup, then press feuilletine on top of it and continue as directed. I didn't use two layers because one of my cake squares hit the floor and broke, so I wrote out the recipe using only one cake square.