Wednesday, 9 July 2008

And a dessert in between...

I have just started at my new job -- one that is less demanding than the last, thus leaving me more time to the setting up of my little project. The 2-month hiatus I took has obviously done me some good as I finally have clarity of thought and the might of a nourished spirit to actuate what I have been pussy-footing about the past couple of years. Yes, it's about bloody time!

I thought I would leave loyal followers of this space a little something I made whilst awaiting my post-interview news earlier this week. Admittedly pleased, I was a little astonished by the girl-y pallette of the final product as most of you may already have realised, I struggle a little with the concepts of pretty and cute. I consider my style: rustic.

The inspiration for this dessert came from my longing for the warm weather I have grown accustomed to during my time away. I wanted to create something bright and summery but not incredulously so, like a summer berry pudding in the middle of winter, so I settled for the flavours of rhubarb and tangelo - both currently in season, in a Charlotte.

My initial attempts at incorporating the puree of poached rhubarb into a mousse base resulted in a curdled mess and my suspicion lies in the puree being too acidic (but I could be wrong) so I altered my game plan and made bavarois flavoured with fruit instead.


130ml whole milk
3 egg yolks
50g sugar
130g rhubarb puree/tangelo juice
1/2tsp vanilla paste/grated zest of 1 tangelo
11g sheet gelatine, allow to bloom in cold water
250ml cream, lightly whipped

pre-chill a medium sized stainless steel bowl heat milk with vanilla paste or tangelo zest until the surface is just quivering whisk yolks and eggs in a medium bowl gradually add heated milk to egg mix and whisk to mix return milk and egg mixture to saucepan and cook gently until custard coats the back of a spoon add gelatine and stir until melted and dissolved add rhubarb puree or juice at this point and mix well strain custard into a pre-chilled bowl and set over a ice/cold water bath stir custard until gelatin just begins to set and mixture is visibly thicker remove from water bath and whisk in 1/3 softly whipped cream then fold remainder of the cream into the mixture pour into cake ring lined with a thin layer of genoise.

Although lengthy in procedure, one can definately derive a lot of satisfaction in delicately folding the flour into the genoise batter and then painstakingly piping regular lengths of batter for the ladyfingers that "fence" the perimeter of the cake. Again, if you lack the patience or would rather challenge your technical skills another day, you are most welcome to use store bought sponge cake and ladyfingers, also known as savoiardi - but they wouldn't be pink! I do urge you however, to give the recipes below a go because you will be rewarded with a product with less sugar and superior in both quality and taste.

preheat oven to 190C line the base of a 20x30cm baking tray with baking paper melt 110g unsalted butter and set aside to cool sift 150g flour 3 times and set aside whisk 360g eggs with 180g sugar until triple in volume (NB it helps if the eggs are at room temperature) add flour into egg mixture at once and gently fold without compromising too much volume remove a third of this mixture and place into a medium sized mixing bowl stir melted butter into this mixture until well combined fold butter-ed mixture into the remaining batter pour into prepared pan tap the pan on the counter top to ensure no large bubbles are trapped bake for 15 minutes or until the cake springs back when press gently.

lady fingers
preheat oven to 180C line the base of a baking tray with baking paper and draw lines measuring the height of the cake ring you decide to use for your Charlotte (NB this helps with piping equal length lady fingers) whisk 3 large egg yolks with 75g sugar until thick and pale (it should form a ribbon) **optional add colour of your choice** whisk 3 egg whites in a separate bowl until frothy and gradually add 50g sugar, whisking the entire time until sugar has dissolved and a shiny stiff meringue is obtained fold meringue into the yolk mixture then sift 75g flour into the egg mix and fold to combine well pipe ladyfingers onto the prepared baking tray sift icing sugar over the piped ladyfingers allow to stand for 10 minutes then bake for 10-12 minutes allow to cool before removing from baking paper

to assemble Charlotte
line the outside of the mold you decide to use with the ladyfingers place a disc of genoise on the bottom to fit snugly brush with tangelo juice or the liquid used to poach the rhubard in top with the rhubarb bavarois allow to set in the fridge for 15 minutes place another genoise disc and top with the tangelo-flavoured bavarois allow to set for 3 hours or overnight finish with a berry jelly (heat 150g strained raspberry puree and 10g sugar add 5g gelatin sheet (bloomed) allow to cool).


IntelliRuff said...

Hey sis... looking at your cakes make me want to have more cake. Goodness...

Congratulations on your job. I'm really proud of you. Good luck!

The Afro Scientress said...

This Charlotte looks beautiful and tastes great Li. Thank you :)
Mum wanted the recipe but i was hesitant to ask you. Parents both loved it.
Hey, all the best with your new project. I will give my support whenever i can.
Still looking forward to catching up and hearing about your travels and other things :)
AS x

li said...

thanks for dropping by guys.

AS -- hope your mum gives the recipe a go. although there are a few components to it, it is very simple. good luck! :)
we'll meet up soon... i still want to see the photos you took on your trip!

pea & pear said...

for someone who struggles with "pretty and cute" you have a pretty good way of hiding it!! These desserts are amazing, very feminine! Gorgeous work!!

li said...

thanks for your comment pea & pear! I often find myself lacking the patience and perserverance to make "pretty and cute" things. Lately, Ive found myself calmer and been able to focus on endeavours requiring more technique, skill and patience and have found them very rewarding.
whereabouts in australia are you?