Friday, 22 May 2015

White Chocolate and Cardamom Mousse Cake

Okay I kind of cheated a little.  I needed to test out a recipe, just the mousse, and I was too lazy, so the sponge is store-bought *gasp*
I am in search of a new hobby.  I'm thinking something artsy, like oil painting or pottery.  School's been stressful and I come home with the life drained out of me.  I am physically and emotionally parched.  I'm tired, I'm lost, I'm sad, and time's ticking away and I desperately need a new therapeutic activity to restore some joy (cooking's long gone -- this was just so I could test a recipe for my exam dish at school).

But these new ideas all have problems.  With oil painting, I don't have the space and I don't think my flatmates would appreciate me taking up the house for that.  With pottery, it's expensive.  I've always wanted to learn how to tap dance, but again, no money for lessons.  Tap dance and beat box, my two life ambitions.
So for my exam I have to produce a mousse cake with a sponge, a gel insert, a crisp layer, a glaze, tuile and chocolate decorations on top.  It's ridiculous, yes.  Ok, for this, the texture's quite nice, just make sure you get good white chocolate.  Not something like milky way or whatever they're called, they're too sweet.  You can soak the sponge in an alcoholic syrup (equal parts water and sugar, bring to the boil, cool and add spirit of choice).  You can make your own sponge.  You can do what I did and buy a block of sponge cake and cut it up.

Makes one 16cm cake
Store bought sponge cakes cut to size would do or you can go for homemade - homemade lady fingers would do well here.

95g whipping cream
4 cardamom pods, crushed
45g egg yolk
235g white chocolate
2 leaves gelatine
300g whipping cream

Cut the sponge to size -- cut out strips to line the inside of the cake ring.  Then with the remaining cut out a disc, or do some patchwork and place them at the bottom of the cake ring on a cake board or plate.  Make sure there are no gaps.

Make the mousse
Place the 95g of cream with the cardamom pods in a small pan over very low heat to infuse.  Infuse for about 10 minutes, don't let too much of it evaporate.

Put the gelatine leaves in a bowl of ice water.

Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler (ie bowl on top of a pan of simmering water where the water doesn't touch the bowl).

Whisk the yolks in a bowl, then, whilst whisking, pour the hot cream into the yolks in three inclusions, then put it back into the pan over low-medium heat.  Stir with a soft spatula and cook until it thickens to that it coats the back of a spoon.  By then, the gelatine leaves should be softened, squeeze them dry and stir into the mixture.  Stir until all is dissolved. 

Pass through a strainer and mix into the chocolate.  When all is incorporate leave to the side to cool.

Whip the 300g of cream to medium peaks.  When the other mixture has cooled down to about 30-35C, fold the cream into it.  Pour into the lined ring, flatten top.  Put in the fridge to set for a few hours.

Carefully remove ring and serve.

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