Hello valued readers! It is August and officially vacation season in France. Many of my favourite boulangeries and patisseries are shut down for the summer. Therefore, if there's ever a time to be self-sufficient sweets-wise, it is now!
Before I came to Paris to study cuisine and patisserie, I was a music student in Auckland majoring in Jazz. What I loved most about composing and soloing, is the freedom and virtually limitless possibilities that it afforded me. However, though complete creative free-range is all good and well, it can make it more difficult to focus your ideas. Therefore, I would often look to specific scenes/objects/emotions and other genres of music for inspiration.
In creating and designing my own cakes, I feel as though the same process could be employed. After favorable results and feedback from last week's lipstick-inspired cake, I decided to ask one of my favourite bloggers Natalie Smith who blogs for the Simon James Concept Store, to suggest an object from which I could base my next pastry. I was a little nervous to be honest, but I knew that opening this up to suggestion would force me to think outside of the box.
Before long, my next delicious mission was set for me:
"A dessert with a wedding focus and inspired by one of the Curio Noir candles."
So I jumped online to the Simon James Concept Store and scoped out their Curio Noir candles. I was quickly drawn to the Curio Glass Vetyver - which has notes of orange flower and jasmine along with vetyver and cypress. The choice was easy as I am absolutely obsessed with floral flavours. I would sooner leave Pierre Hermé with a box full of rose and jasmine macarons than anything else!
And this is what I came up with!
|Orange Flower and Jasmine Cake|
I incorporated orange flower water lightly into the chiboust cream which has a meringue-like melt-in-your-mouth quality. I chose to make a rich "crème brulée" by infusing jasmine tea into the cream. The two main components are separated by the subtle nuances of the caramelized pear center. The cake is enrobed by an apricot and vanilla glaze which is totally OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD. It was probably my weekend's proudest moment to have adapted this Adriano Zumbo glaze recipe.
The cube is placed on a square of almond and cinnamon streusel for crumbliness and textural contrast. I topped the cake with a caramel-dipped hazelnut. The reason being because to me, not only does it resemble a burning flame of a candle, it also brings the "glass" element into the dessert. The cake is finished with rose petals for a romantic wedding feel. I am very happy overall with this cake - which I find to be the most flavorfully successful dessert I have created to date :)
I am glad to be able to share the recipe for this heavenly dessert with you!
Talita's Jasmine and Orange Flower Cake
- inspired by Curio Noir's Vetyver candle
Almond and cinnamon streusel
100 gr sugar
100 gr flour
100 gr ground almonds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
tiny pinch of salt
tiny pinch of vanilla
- - -
100 gr butter - cold, cubed
Place all dry ingredients in a food processor and combine
Add in cold butter and process into a dough
Cool in the fridge/freezer until very cold but not frozen
Whizz again in the food processor into small lumps
Spread out on baking sheet at about 8mm thickness, press down with palm of hand
Bake at 170 degrees C until golden - about 12 minutes
Cool completely and cut into squares slightly bigger than the moulds
Orange flower chiboust
80 ml heavy cream
20 ml milk
20 ml orange flower water
3 egg yolks
15 g sugar
10 g custard powder
2 gelatin leaves - soaked and drained
- - -
90 g egg whites
35 g sugar
Warm up cream and milk to a gentle simmer
Pour cream into the egg yolk mixture, whisk and return to saucepan
Bring to the boil, whisking to prevent burning
Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with cling wrap (in contact)
Cool to room temperature
Whisk egg whites and sugar to very firm peaks
Fold in 1/3 of meringue into the pastry cream with a whisk
Mixture should be light and voluminous
Jasmine tea and brown sugar crème brulée
600 g heavy cream
3 tbsp jasmine tea leaves
90 g brown sugar
9 egg yolks
3 gelatin leaves - soaked and drained
Warm up cream to a simmer
Add in the tea leaves, take off heat, add on lid and steep for 10 minutes. Strain.
Blanche egg yolks and sugar, add to cream and cook to 84 degrees C
Add in the gelatin off heat, strain if needed
Cool to 35 degrees C before piping into moulds
1 pear - washed, peeled, cubed
12 g butter
20 g sugar
tiny pinch of salt
Cook over medium heat until pear is soft and caramelized
40 g glucose
35 g water
200 g sugar
5 gelatin leaves - soaked and drained
400 g cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
150 g apricot flavoured pastry glaze
Warm up cream and vanilla until it almost comes to a simmer
Cook glucose, water and sugar in a saucepan until a light caramel - around 170 degrees C
Deglaze caramel with warm cream, whisk to dissolve caramel
Add in gelatin leaves off heat, stir to combine
Add in apricot glaze and blend with an immersion blender
Cover with plastic wrap in contact
Set aside to cool, use at 20 degrees C
recipe from MarthaStewart.com
Fill silicon molds half-way up with orange flower chiboustPlace a teaspoon's worth of caramelized pear over the chiboust - being careful not to touch the sides
Freeze until set
Freeze completely - preferably overnight
Unmold cakes and glaze
Place on top of a streusel square
Decorate with caramel-dipped hazelnut and rose petals..
Delicious! So what's next?