It is time for me to share one of my exclusively developed recipes with you!
I decided not to search for an easy way to start, and the first recipe I publish – is a very complicated one. It includes multiple layers, it need long time preparation, decoration, BUT! The result is beyond amazing.
This cake became absolute favourite among my friends and I still receive positive feedbacks about it..)
Just imagine that… caramelised bananas, creamy milk chocolate and cacao-nibs…mouthwatering,huh?
And it can all be accomplished in your kitchen!
What you need? A pinch of creativity, few grams of patience..and a smile to infuse your dessert with love and care!
This entremet is a perfect combination of light caramelised banana flavour with savoury cacao nib infusion and 40% Milk Chocolate. Salty crumble in between the sponge and the flavour enhances the natural sweetness and light bitterness of cocoa nibs. I like to generously add sea salt in my desserts along with chocolate, as both perfectly enhance each others.
You can divide the cooking process into two days. For example, on the first day you can cook the sponge, cover it with the crumble, prepare the namelaka, caramelise banans. Assemble it and freeze. On the second day you can prepare the mousse and assemble the cake. While the cake is in the freezer, you can prepare the galzing. This cake is assembled upside down and decorated with caramel mirror glazing. Hence, we freeze the cake in the freezer for 8-9 hours before it can be beautifully glazed.
and the beautiful inner world:
and here is a small illustration of how to assemble the cake (I usually draw the cake before I start cooking it):
Check-list of tools and ingredients before cooking:
- silicone mould (1.5-1.6 kg cake)
- metal rings
- parchment paper
- Cacao beans
- Glucose syrup
- Milk Couverture chocolate (pastry chocolate)
- Almond/hazelnut flour:
And few more things before we start cooking this amazing cake together:
- I would definitely recommend using leaf gelatine. First of all, it is much easier to use it and not make a mistake. Secondly, the gelatine power is important. The power of gelatine is measured in blooms. Normally, the supermarket gelatine has the power of 150 blooms. Gold gelatine – 180 blooms. Professional pastry chefs use only 200 bloom gelatine. In case you do not have gelatine leaves, in my recipes, 1 gelatine leaf equals to 2 grams of gelatine powder.
- I normally do not like all-purpose wheat flour in my pastries. That is why i always substitute it with nut flours (almond, hazelnut, cashew, etc.). Joconde sponge is usually cooked with nut flour AND pastry wheat flour. Naturally, such pastry is puffier and softer. If you like, substitute 1/4 of nut flour in the recipe to starch or wheat flour), but in this case mix the wheat flour after you mix in the whipped egg whites and then add butter.
Cacao-nib/tonka beans/milk chocolate cake Recipe:
For a 1.6 kg cake (8-10 servings):
50 g hazelnut flour
50 g sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
20 g unsalted butter
Pre-heat the oven to 180.
Put 2 eggs and 50 g sugar in the mixing bowl. I use my KitchenAid planetary mixer to do the job:)Beat well till the pastry gets lighter and thicker (3-4 minutes, on a maximum speed). Add 50 g of hazelnut flour. Whisk for 10 minutes till the batter gets fluffier and more white. In the meanwhile, melt the butter. Let it cool down. Beat the egg whites till fluffy and thick. Add 1/3 of the whipped egg whites to the egg-hazelnut mixture. Add melted butter. Carefully mix so that the pastry remains fluffy. Add another 1/3, and repeat after careful mixing of each of the parts.
Spread the pastry on the baking sheet on the tray and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Afterwards, put it on the grid and let it cool.
Cut out the 16 cm circle using a metal ring.
Small hint: you can freeze your sponge while you prepare the rest of the cake, so that it will be easier to assemble as the sponge will be more resistant and will not damage during the assemblage.
35 g feulletine (french crunchy waffles, can be substituted with puffed rice or just omitted)
20 g hazelnut flour
50 g milk chocolate
20 g unsalted butter
20 g cocoa butter
20 g almond flour
20 g brown sugar
10 g wheat flour
Pinch of sea salt (I recommend Maldon salt)
These are feuilletines (french crunchy waffles). They can be found in pastry and cooking shops, but also can be prepared by yourself (if you need a recipe, give me a shout and I make a separate post dedicated to these amazing waffles!):
Mix the dry ingredients in the bowl. Melt the milk chocolate with butter, add cocoa butter afterwards. Add the buttery mixture to the dry ingredients. Add a great pinch of sea salt. Mix well. Spread over the baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 160. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool down. Spread over the Joconde Sponge. Freeze.
Cacao-nib infused namelaka:
Namelaka is a silky textured Japanese cream. The cream receives a perfect texture due to the adding of the glucose syrup, which gives more elasticity and flexibility to the mixture, as well as gelatine, that is used to maintain the form. I have infused the namelaka base with cacao nibs (crashed cacao-beans) for an hour in order to convey the authentic aroma and flavour of cocoa nibs.
30 g cacao nibs
100 g milk
5 g glucose syrup
1 gelatine leaf (=2 g)
150 white chocolate
150 g 33% cream
Boil the milk with cocoa nibs. Let it infuse for 1 hour. Strain the milk. Leave aside.
Soak the gelatine in cold water. Melt the chocolate. Add glucose syrup. Boil the milk, add the gelatine. Gradually pour the milk with gelatine over the chocolate mass – in three reps. Using the blender, mix well. Add cold cream. Mix well and leave aside for few hours in the fridge to stabilise.
When ready, spread over the frozen sponge-crumble layer in the metal ring. Freeze.
I know bananas usually don´t sound very exquisite in a dessert, but I decided to bring out the best of it by the way I prepared them. I have decided to fry the bananas in order to receive the most flavour this fruit has. However, you should be very careful so not to ruin the banana texture or overcook it, otherwise, it will lose its natural sweetness and elasticity.
130 g banans
20 g unsalted butter
20 g brown sugar
Heat the pan. Melt the butter in the pan. Add banana, sprinkle them with the sugar and cook them for few minutes on both sides on a high temperature. Let them cool. When ready, place over the namelaka cream. Freeze.
Milk-chocolate Tonka Bean Musse:
This mousse is outstanding for its rather light composition. We don not use eggs, english cream or sugar. On the contrary, we use milk and chocolate, and gelatine for stabilisation.
The tonka bean aroma is highly intense, reminding of vanilla and sweet spices. The most important hint you should use is that tonka beans cannot be consumed, but only used for the infusion of creams and liquids.
150 g milk
4 leafs of gelatine (7-8 g)
260 g Milk Chocolate
200 g whipped cream
1 Tonka Bean
Soak the gelatine. Boil the milk. Cut the tonka bean into two pieces and put into the hot milk. Let it infuse for at least 40 minutes. After that time, strain the milk. The tonka bean can be used multiple times for aromatising. Melt the chocolate. Add the gelatine to the milk. Pour the milk gelatine onto the melted chocolate in three sessions. Mix well using the blender. Whip the cream. The texture has to remind a beak on the whisk. Stable, but still fluffy.(do not overdo, otherwise the cream will stratify and gain the unpleasant flavour). Carefully add to the chocolate in three sessions, preserving the overall fluffiness and lightness.
Prepare the silicone cake form. Pour the entire mousse. Wait few minutes for it to stabilise. Put the frozen part of the cake upside down in the middle of the form. Freeze for 8 hours minimum.
150 g glucose
150 white sugar
60 g milk
100 g cream
10 g gelatine
50 g milk chocolate
Orange Food Color (few drops)
Metallic Food cooler (1 tsp)
Titanium Dioxide Food Color (few drops)
Soak gelatine. Prepare the light caramel by melting glucose and sugar in the pan. Boil the milk and cream together. Temper the caramel with hot milk-cream mixture. Remove from heat. Add soaked gelatine. Melt the chocolate, add to the caramel mass. Add food colours. Mix well using the blender, preventing the appearance of bubbles ( in order to avoid that, place the blender into the bowl not vertically, but inclined). This glaze should only be used at 33-35 temperature.
Microwave Sponge cake:
25 g sugar
15 g glucose syrup
5 g cacao
15 g flour
5 g baking powder
Beat the egg with sugar. Add glucose and beat lil fluffy and thick mixture. Add the sifted flour with baking powder and cacao. Cook in small forms or plastic cups on the maximum heat in the microwave for 1-1.5 minutes.
Take out the cake from the freezer. Place it on the grid. Pour over the caramel mirror glaze. Using spatial get rid of the excessive drops. Decorate the sides with the rest of the crunchy crumble. Place the songs cake and pecan nuts on the top. I also used contrasting colour candied violets for decoration.
P.S. If you ever have any questions regarding the recipe – I am always there, feel free to contact me and I hope you enjoy the process! Also, comment below and share the pictures of your cakes with me!