Hey there guys,
I came to apologise. No, really. I disappeared for a while, I know. BUT, fortunately for all of us, I am coming back. Not empty-handed, but with a recipe of an amazing Pear-Goat Cheese Mousse Cake with Hazelnuts.
The recipe that is one of those bit complicated ones, but super worth trying because they usually turn your gastronomic taste upside down and leave you full of memories and even wracked, because they are gone so fast.
Monday is a good time for that, don´t you think?
If you are now at work and reading this post – plan your evening ahead so that you have time to drop to a nearest supermarket and get nice fresh pears… Wait, you would also need creamy soft goat cheese and very good quality hazelnuts. The rest, I suppose, is a pretty basic stuff in your fridge.
And if not… then you would probably need some help:)
I, personally, love shopping for groceries… I can spend hours of my time.. touching the food, smelling it, reading the packages and dreaming what else can be done with these ingredients.
Since I went paleo, my choice didn’t narrow down… just vice versa. I opened up so many new foods I never knew about. And the variations of taste. Natural tastes. Not enhanced with refined sweetness.
This cake is, of course, a classy one. But so you know… I always pursue the only goal – to preserve the taste given by nature and only emphasise on it, not make it more sweet.
That is why I always insist that the ingredients you use have to be the BEST you can get.
I am not joking.
I am pretty serious about it.
Pears I am using in this recipe are organically grown, they smell like ones that my grandpa used to grow in his small garden. And they taste divine, don´t you think?
Goat cheese… well… I go for classy. It should be a bit sour, a bit intense, still light. Smooth. In this recipe I prefer the soft version of goat cheese. I haven´t tried, but I suppose you can try hard cheese as well. the technology of preparation will change though. If you veer decide. give me a shout and share your results!
Hazelnuts… I am super picky about nuts. Hazelnuts is not exception. Really, how often do you get to find really cool hazelnuts? Big ones, aromatic ones, ones that when you try to fry them, they give this amazing nutty/woody smell in your entire apartment? Exactly… very rarely.
Only few weeks ago I found out why Italians use so many hazelnuts in their pastry making. The thing is that Hazelnut from Piedmont, or as they originally call it with a sexy accent ´Nocciola del Piemonte´ is a valuable heritage of Italian agriculture and is a real golden standard for hazelnuts. Not to mention that everything that grows in this area is of an extreme quality, is protected by the government and is a cradle for many exclusive products, including that most expensive white Truffle.
However.. there are many other regions in Italy that grow hazelnuts. Good ones. So be aware of that when you chose your ingredients – know their origins and try your best to find the ones that will become a magic ingredient of every cake you make.
Okay, I am thinking it is already time to move to an actual recipe.
Pear-Goat Cheese Mousse Cake with Hazelnuts
Eggs 120 g (2 large eggs 60 g each)
Brown Sugar 30 g
Hazelnut Flour( ground hazelnuts) – 60 g
Soft caramel sauce(see recipe I used in this post) 60 g
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl using a stand mixer whisk the eggs with brown sugar till light and fluffy (8-10 minutes on a high speed).
- Mix in the flour, folding the batter with a silicone spatula.
- Add cooled soft caramel sauce.
- Spread over the baking sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes depending on your oven.
- Take out of the oven, leave to cool on the metal grid.
- Cut out the circle around 16 cm using a metal ring.
- Cover with a food film and place in the freezer till assembly (this will allow the cake to be more even and you won´t get problems with the sponge because its is quite delicate).
Tip: I suggest you grind your hazelnuts yourself. The flour that you can buy from a supermarket is very poor in taste. I suggest you buy nice hazelnuts, toast them till their are golden and crunchy and then grind them using a kitchen machine. They have to be powder-ground, but small pieces won´t her if you are a fan of nuts.
Ground Hazelnuts 30 g
Brown Sugar: 20 g
Ground Almonds 30 g
Unsalted Butter 30 g
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl using your hands mix the butter and the dry ingredients. Spread on the baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes.
- After the freezing time, crunch the dough into random pieces (not too big though) and bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes at least, or until golden brown.
- Spread the crumbs onto the hazelnut sponge immediately. Freeze together until assembly.
Tip: this crumble is dry and crumbly. I suggest you freeze it on the sponge so that during the assembly you get even layers of everything.
Caramelised Vanilla Pears:
Pears 300 g
Unstalted Butter 25 g
Brown sugar 30 g
Lemon zest (half lemon)
Vanilla Extract 1 tbsp
Pectine (citrus) 3 g mixed with 15 g of white sugar(to activate)
Hazelnut Paste (100%) 40 g
- Prepare the pears. For that, peel them, core them and cut into small cubes 1*1 cm. Leave aside.
- In a saucepan on a medium-to-high heat melt the butter. Add the pears. Stir fry them till golden brown. Better to do it fast, so they don´t lose too much juice.
- Reduce the heat to low. Add brown sugar, salt, zest. Cook until sugar melts and you get a nice caramel mixture of pears and buttery caramel.
- Start adding pectin-sugar mix slowly, stirring all the time using a spatula.
- Cook for another 1-2 minutes. You will notice that the mass is thickening. Do not overcook, or it will be too tough.
- Add the hazelnut praline. Mix well and leaved aside to cool.
- Place into the metal ring covered with food film and freeze till assembly (it has to be relatively hard for you to comfortable place it in the middle of the cake).
Goat Cheese Mousse:
Egg Yolks 60 g (3 egg yolks)
130 g Whole Milk
White Sugar 30 g
Creamy Goat Cheese 150 g
Philadelphia Cream Cheese 175 g
Hard Cream 33% 350 g
Leaf Gelatine 6 g (3 leaves, 200 bloom)
White Chocolate 30 g
- Soak gelatine in cold water.
- In the meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat the milk. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolk with sugar till fluffy texture. Do not overbeat.
- Temper the egg yolks with hot milk, by pouring the milk over the egg yolks and mixing constantly with a silicone or wooden spatula.
- Place the mixture back on low heat. Cook as an English Cream till the mixture thickens and becomes smooth (it will reach approx. 82 degrees).
- Take off the heat. Add soaked and strained gelatine.
- Add white chocolate. Wait 1 minute, then mix well till it is homogenous. I recommend you use also a hand blender to emulsify it.
- Cool for a few minutes. Then add heated cream cheese with goat cheese. Mix with a spatula.
- In a large cold bowl using a stand mixer beat the cold hard cream till stable peaks.
- Fold in the heated cream to the cheese pastry carefully using a spatula to preserve the texture and fluffiness of the mousse.
- Use immediately.
This cake, as all other mousse caked, is assembled upside down.
1. Pour half of the mousse into a silicone form of your choice.
2. Place the frozen circle of pears.
3. Pour the rest of the mousse.
4. Place the frozen disk of sponge and crumble on top, slightly pressing into mousse.
Place in the freezer for 8-10 hours.
I used a velvet cacao-butter spray to decorate the surface.
I also created a decoration using the silicone mould with white chocolate ganache and covered it with spray as well.
If you like the glaze, I HIGHLY recommend caramel glaze used in this recipe. It is divine.
Enjoy this beautiful day and I hope you enjoy this recipe as well.