Friday, April 23, 2021

Melon cake


When the going gets tough, the tough gets baking! 

How's life so far, guys?

Remember the trending Japanese melon cake last year? Here's my cheaper version 😜 It's actually pretty easy to make than it looks! 

Well, this is the second time that I made it, I helped one of my taste tester to make a cake for her husband's birthday more than a week ago. We didn't expect much but how hard can it be?! Surprisingly it turned out pretty awesome, with layers as good as the one we've seen on Instagram! *pats my back again* 🙄🤣

Onto the melon, as you can see from the photo of the melon below, it has a Japanese label, and since melon from Japan is pretty expensive, the one I bought was probably grown elsewhere as it's dirt-cheap! Those wily fruit vendors and gullible consumers! 😁 In fairness, the melon tastes good, it's sweet with a bit of crunch, the way I like my melon....

Making this cake is really easy though a much riper melon is easier to handle as the inside is much softer. 

Basically a layer cake, with Chantilly cream aka dairy whipping cream with a bit of sugar to hold the layers together. No step by step photo though but it's easy to figure it out.

I used the same old, same old genoise sponge recipe, it's a forgiving recipe and will come out delicious no matter how you manhandle the batter....

The only issue I have with this cake is the melon jelly, this is the first time that it doesn't hold its shape after several hours in the fridge 😞 Maybe I overheated the jelly mixture but I usually do that most of the time and no problem at all......

Warning! This is a light, sort of boring cake but perfect if you love less sweet cakes and not for those who loves buttercream frosted cake....

Matcha genoise sponge, recipe adapted from Okashi

115 grams cake flour

4 grams matcha powder (sifted once or thrice together with flour and salt)

2 grams fine sea salt

45 grams whole milk

30 grams butter

5 grams vanilla extract

170 grams (3 large)  eggs, at room temp, lightly beaten

100 grams caster sugar

15 grams (liquid) glucose 

** You can either bake this in a 7-inch round (30-35 minutes) or 12-inch square pan (20 minutes). Line pan with parchment paper.

* Preheat oven to 170ºC.

* In a small heat-proof bowl, combine milk, butter and vanilla, set aside.

*  Combine the eggs, sugar and glucose and stir until combine. In a pan of barely simmering water, heat  egg mixture while whisking (in broad strokes) until temperature registers 40ºC or 60ºC (faster to whip)

* Take out pan from heat and beat until mixture has tripled in size and when you lift the beater, the mixture will just stay on top rather than dissolving after few seconds. Fold in the flour mixture.

* Meanwhile, heat the milk-butter mixture until butter is melted, keep warm. 

* Add about 1/3 of the batter to the warm butter mixture, mix well. Pour it back to the remaining batter and gently fold until just combined.

* Pour batter in a prepared pan and tap several times to the counter to remove air bubbles.

* Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

* Take out sponge from the pan and place in a wire rack, cover with plastic wrap or place in a food-safe plastic bag to prevent it from getting dry. Cool completely and place in the freezer until needed.

* Cut out two 5-inch and one3.5-inch round, put back in the freezer until needed. You can use the leftover sponge to make other cake.

Melon jelly

120 grams melon purée
8 grams caster sugar
3 grams gelatine powder

* In a small heat-proof bowl, stir the purée and caster sugar, sprinkle the gelatine powder on top and let bloom for about 5 minutes. Mix well and place bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir until gelatine is completely melted. Let cool at room temp before pouring into the prepared mould.

* Freeze until needed.

Preparing the melon

* Rinse and wipe dry the melon, cut about 1-inch off the top. Using a rounded tablespoon, remove the seeds in the middle first. If you only have one melon, use the melon baller to cut out some balls. You can also use a pairing knife to hasten the work but be careful not to pierce the sides. Scrape as much melon as you can. 

* Once you hollowed out the melon, pat dry with kitchen paper towel. Put it on the plate upside down and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to further dry the inside so as to chill it.

Chantilly cream

325 grams dairy whipping cream
25 grams caster sugar

* Beat cream until stiff peak forms, chill in the fridge until need.

Assembling the cake

* Cut the melon and strawberries into desired shape. Pat dry each piece with kitchen tissue.

* Pipe some cream at the bottom of the hollow melon, place the (3.5-inch) sponge on top and cover it with the cream.....

* In a nutshell: 
      toppings (melon balls and jelly)

* Decorate the top with melon balls and only add the melon jelly 30 minutes before serving.

* Chill in the fridge for at least 12 hours before serving, less time during winter.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Mango-yogurt (no bake) cheesecake

 Life is short, eat more cheesecake...

Since Thai mangoes are abundant and cheap in this side of the world, I decided to make another no-bake cheesecake. This a just a simple cheesecake but using a cheese-shaped silicone mould (check photo below) makes it a bit less ordinary.

You can always use any mould, be it silicone or stainless steel or drinking glass(es). The mango batter will nicely fill in a 6-inch heart-shaped or 7-inch round mould. 

The recipe calls for 1 egg yolk, you can omit it, if prefer, but it gives the cheesecake batter a certain richness. Use full-fat yogurt rather than low-fat. 

The jelly has no sugar, my diy mango purée is so sweet it doesn't need any added sweetener. 

Recipe adapted from Charles Ho

Mango jelly:

200 grams mango purée
6 grams gelatine powder
40 grams cold drinking water
10 grams Grand Marnier, optional

* Pour water in a heat-proof bowl, sprinkle gelatine and let sit for about 5 minutes or until spongy. Stir in the purée.

* Place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir until gelatine is dissolved completely. Stir in the Grand Marnier, if using. Let cool slightly before pouring into the cheese mould, chill in the fridge until needed.

Mango cheesecake batter:

120 grams mango purée
18 grams/1 egg yolk, lightly beaten 
5 grams gelatine powder
40 grams milk, cold
170 grams cream cheese, at room temp
60 grams caster sugar
110 grams dairy whipping cream, whipped
100 grams mango-flavoured yogurt or plain or Greek
5 grams lime juice

200 grams mangoes, cut into small cubes

* Pour milk in a heat-proof bowl and sprinkle gelatine powder, let sit for 5 minutes or until spongy. Stir in the beaten yolk and mix to combine. Place bowl in a saucepan with barely simmering water, stir mixture continuously to prevent yolk from curdling. Keep warm.

*** If you have a food thermometer, check the temperature of the yolk-gelatine mixture, I heated mine to 68ºC/154ºF but you can do 76ºC/170ºF to be safe.

 * Combine cream cheese and sugar, beat until fluffy. Add in the whipped cream and beat until mixture is smooth. Add in yogurt, purée, lime juice and the gelatine mixture, mix until well-combined. Place cheesecake batter into a piping bag.

* Take out the mould from the fridge, add about 15 grams mango cubes on top of the jelly, pipe in cheesecake batter. Gently tap the mould on the table several times to prevent air pockets, use spatula to smoothen the top. Freeze overnight. 

Cheesecake crust:

190 grams shortbread cookies/biscuits
40 butter, melted

* Place ingredients above in a food processor and whizz until well combined. Use a triangle-shape cookie cutter to form a crust at 20 grams each. Chill in the fridge until needed. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Green tea, lime and mango mini entremet

Spring has sprung!

Hey, there, lurker, still remember me?! 

How's the situation in your side of the world? Hopefully, all is well and good, if not, take care! 

If you're into French pastry, you've probably tried or made an entremet. Entremet is a multi-layered mousse-based dessert with various complementary flavours and textural contrast. It's a bit time-consuming but actually pretty easy to make.

This refreshing East meets West dessert is made of green tea genoise sponge, lime cream cheese mousse, chunky mango gelée, green tea mirror glaze and the shortbread crust base. The shortbread crust is not a typical base layer for an entremet but I was to lazy to make a pâté sucrée/ sweet shortcrust pastry crust.

Rome wasn't built in a day and so as this entremet. You can make each component if you feel like it, leave it on the freezer for days while contemplating the meaning of life 🙄🤣 

Make  Green tea genoise sponge, you can use half of the recipe if prefer. Using a 5 cm/2 inches cookie cutter, cut 7 round sponge about 8 to 10 mm thick, freeze until needed.

Chunky Mango Gelée, recipe adapted from Indulgence Mousse cake, a bilingual book

50 grams mango purée

10 grams water  

10 grams caster sugar

1 gram gelatine leaf, soak until softened and squeeze off excess water

100 grams diced mangoes

* Combine water, sugar and softened gelatine in a small heat-proof bowl, place bowl in a saucepan with barely simmering water, stir until gelatine is completely melted. Stir in the mango purée and let cool at room temperature before adding in the diced mangoes. Divide evenly into the prepared mould (I used a copycat Silikomart mini truffle mould). Freeze until set. 

* Makes about 10 balls

Lime cream cheese mousse:

180 grams cream cheese, softened at room temp

180 grams dairy whipping cream, whipped and chill in the fridge until needed

90 grams caster sugar

8 grams gelatine leaf, soak until softened and squeeze off excess water

60 grams lime juice

lime zest, optional

* Melt softened gelatine until melted, keep warm.

* Whisk cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy; add juice and zest. Stir in the melted gelatine and whisk until well-combined. Fold in the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, if you can't make the mixture smooth, use the electric whisk on low speed and beat for about 30 seconds. 

* Pour about 2/3 of the mixture into each cavity, gently add in the mango balls in the middle and pour in some mousse to cover it. Gently tap the mould on the counter to release air pockets. . Add in the sponge and gently push it down, use a spatula to smoothen the top.

* Makes 7 and 1/4 

Shortbread crust:

115 grams shortbread crumbs
25 grams melted butter

* Mix everything together until well combined. Use a 2.5 inch round cutter to form each crust at 19 grams each. 

* Makes 7 

Green tea mirror glaze, recipe adapted from Patisserie

Recipe here, I made 80% of the recipe. Mirror glaze mixture is more than enough to glaze about 15 pieces of these mini entremets. 

* Pour glaze several times to get the desired thickness. Use a baking pan lined with plastic wrap to catch the dripping glaze. 

* Keep leftover glaze for 3 days inside the fridge.


* Unmould the mousse and place it on top of a wire rack set over a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet. Pour glaze several times to get the desired thickness. Gently tap the wire rack to remove excess glaze. Carefully transfer each entremet onto the top of the shortbread crust. Place in the fridge to defrost for about 2 hours before serving.

* Decorate top with fresh mandarin leaves or you can make a (tempered) chocolate leaves.