Baking for my younger brother allows me the chance to reach into the crazy section of my creative side and try things and combinations that I usually wouldn’t try out on other people.
I’m just going to come out and say it; he’s a complete weirdo.
Since he is returning home from college this week, I decided to be a nice sister and bake something for him. This time my train of thought started out with a layer cake. Maybe I’ll make an exotic layer cake covered in coconut, I thought. Then I flipped to Miette’s Coconut Mousse Cake and thought maybe I would add in some coconut mousse layers… and then that led me to thinking about adding in some mango…and before I knew it, the idea had changed into an entremet with a never-before-seen liquid mango juice center.
So I started in with my experimental creation–making a mango puree and simmering it with some simple syrup before straining it and putting the juice into some silicon molds. At the same time, I made a very think vanilla kappa coating and stuck it in the fridge overnight as my little juice domes froze up.
The next morning, crossing my fingers that everything would work out, I heated up my kappa coating and very quickly stuck tooth picks in my little juice domes before dunking them into the hot liquid–creating little alien-like juice pods.
Since the juice pods seemed to have worked, I continued on with the rest of the entremet–making a hot milk cake with coconut milk and an amazing coconut mousse using a combination of coconut milk, whipped cream and italian meringue. Once everything was the correct temperature, I quickly built my little entremet domes and (carefully) shoved them back in my freezer to once again wait for my creation to solidify.
However, while the entremet seemed to be well on its way, I had a ton of the mousse left over as well as several cake scraps and an entire 6″ cake! So, I put the cake scraps in the bottoms of six ramekins with some fresh raspberries and topped off with about 1/4 cup each of the mousse. The cake I cut in half and stuck one layer in the bottom of a 6×3″ cake pan–adding on top a layer of mousse, a layer of chopped aloe pieces I spontaneously had bought the day before, more mousse, and finally sandwiched on the other layer of cake. Who knows how that will turn out…
After my little domes had been in the freezer overnight, I whipped up the glaze (which is now my favorite glaze ever and I plan to use it again in the future a million more times) and poured it over my entremets. While I was waiting for my glaze to get to the proper temperature, I toasted up some coconut flakes to use as a decoration–both because I was already anticipating hiding any defects or rough edges and also because I like it to be obvious from the outside what is going to be on the inside of a dessert.
Really the only problem with creating a dessert like this in a home kitchen, with my current level of supplies, is that if the dessert turns out amazing, I only have 6 of whatever I make because I only have 6 dome molds… And since I inevitably use one or two for my pictures–usually cutting into them and semi-demolishing them in order to get the picture I want–that really only leaves about 4 to share with other people.
1 mango, cut in cubes
3 tablespoons sugar (or less if you have a ripe and sweet mango)
1/2 + 1/2 cup water
1) Place the mango, sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mango begins to really soften.
2) Puree the mixture with a blender or immersion blender, then return the puree to the saucepan with the remaining water and simmer for another 10 minutes.
3) Strain the puree and use the liquid to fill several domes in a silicon mold. Freeze overnight.
4) When the domes are frozen, remove from the mold, stick a toothpick in the top of each mold, and dip in the kappa coating. Use a bit of kappa to cover the hole when you remove the toothpick, or the liquid will escape. Keep in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.
1 tablespoon kappa
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1) Place all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
2) Boil for a good 10 minutes, then transfer to a container and refrigerate overnight. (If the mixture is not thick enough, add more kappa 1/2 teaspoon at a time, being careful not to create lumps).
3) The following day, place the mixture in a saucepan and heat until the entire mixture is liquid once again. Transfer to a smaller container to help coat the domes easier.
Coconut Milk Cake
1 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare two 6″ baking pans.
2) Place the butter and coconut milk in a small saucepan and heat until the butter is completely melted. Whisk well to combine the ingredients and set aside.
3) Place the sugar, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and put in over a small saucepan filled with simmering water. Whisk constantly over a low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.
4) Transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip for about 10 minutes–until the batter is just above room temperature and it is light and fluffy in texture.
5) While the eggs are beating, measure out the flour, salt and baking powder into a small bowl.
6) Fold the flour mix into the egg mix until just incorporated, then mix in the butter mixture on low speed until just incorporated.
7) Use a spatula to scrape the sides and to give the batter one more good mix to ensure everything is homogenous, then divide evenly between the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.
8) Partially cool on a wire wrack before removing the cakes and cooling them completely. For best results, place the cakes in the freezer once they are at room temperature for at least an hour before cutting into them.
Coconut Mousse (from Pastry Workshop)
1 can coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1) Bloom the gelatin in cold water and strain.
2) Bring the coconut milk to a simmer then remove from the heat and add the vanilla and gelatin. Allow to cool to room temperature.
3) When the coconut mixture is just above room temperature, beat the heavy cream to medium peaks and place in the refrigerator.
4) Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and begin whipping on medium speed.
5) At the same time, place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and cook until it reaches 116 degrees Celsius on a candy thermometer.
6) When you have reached the desired temperature, pour the sugar in a slow but steady stream into the egg whites, then turn up the speed to high and beat until the egg whites are stiff, shiny and room temperature.
7) Whisk in half of the whipped cream into the coconut milk, then fold in the remaining cream. Fold in the meringue in 3-4 increments, and carefully use a whisk if there are any lumps remaining in the mousse.
8) Use the mousse immediately, as it will begin to solidify.
White Chocolate Glaze
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup wildflower honey
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
150g white chocolate (I used Valrhona because its the best)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (but I used olive oil cuz I’m a rebel)
food coloring (if you like, I didn’t use any)
1) Bloom the gelatin in cold water and strain to remove excess liquid.
2) Place the water, sugar and honey in a small saucepan and heat to 103 degrees Celsius.
3) When the sugar is at the correct temperature, remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin until it is completely dissolved.
4) Whisk in the condensed milk and then pour the entire mixture over the white chocolate. Let this mixture rest for 5 minutes.
5) Using a spatula, stir the chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined, then pour it into a smaller container and use an immersion blender to combine the ingredients.
6) Add in the oil and the coloring if using, and blend again with your immersion blender, being careful not to add air bubbles into the mixture.
7) Use the glaze when it has dropped to about 35 degrees Celsius–otherwise it will be too hot and will be too thin when you pour it.