Mousse Cake #9: Very Successful Italian Meringue Decoration with St. Honore Piping Tip !!!

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I was not very happy with my previous attempt to St. Honoré decorating piping head.   One of the issue was the wrong texture of the Italian meringue making it very hard to pipe out nicely.  A lot of   Another problem was that I actually don’t even have a basic round mousse ring.  The nice circular  pattern just would not have work well in heart shape cake.   So once a month, I reward myself with new baking gadget and this time I got myself two 12cm cake rings.  It is pretty small, but it certainly looks very fancy and the best part, you feel less guilty even if you finish off the whole cake all by yourself Winking smile

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Start with sweet paste base. This time I also have followed the complete recipe and make chiffon sponge base base on Chef Marco’s recipe.  The original recipe asks for 25 eggs! But the recipe is nicely scalable because it is by weight.  So I make 1/5th of the recipe and it still turn out very nice!  I also have my own chiffon cake recipe (probably should post in here to share in later later).  That recipe works very well but only when I used 7 eggs , 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar , 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of oil (everything is basically 1 cup which makes is super easy to remember).  But my recipe only works in a tube pan and cannot be scaled.    This chiffon sponge is baked on sheet pan (now thinking back, all the sponge cakes I have learned were bake on sheet pan).  This is just how to mass produce versatile cakes in different size and shape.

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Mousse Cake #8: Tiramisu

I normally make more traditional tiramisu  which does not need gelatin.  It is interesting to learn a different style which is lighter in taste and it holds its shape.  Frankly I do love the taste of my own tiramisu recipe .  Next time I will adjust my own recipe and see if I can fill this fancy looking lady finger with my own tiramisu filling.  Since I had extra chiffon sponge cake layer, I just line bottom with half of the sponge cake (I cut the round horizontally to get a thinner layer).  To avoid lady fingers sticking to the mousse ring, I line a couple pieces of wax paper.  I brush a layer of espresso (I did not add sugar nor liquor and that was  a big mistake!)   The taste was just not right with only espresso!!!

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On top of the espresso soaked sponge, I spread a rather generous layer of tiramisu cream, add the other half of the sponge cake, add espresso again and fill the more cream filling almost till the top.    This is ready to go into the fridge and and wait overnight for cream to set.

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Unmolding time… so happy that the lady fingers stay tightly without falling apart!

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Don’t need much decoration, just add cocoa powder on top.  Already quite pretty.

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Mousse Cake #7: Very Berry Crème Bavaroise Mousse Cake with Chocolate Chip Sponge Cake

Finally a cake following all the detail steps to build all different components for this tiny 6 inches mousse cake.  You probably finish the whole cake in 5 minutes, yet the whole process can likely take up to 5 hours!  Here are the components requires to build this mousse cake:

  • The top part you see blackberry + a little bit of blue berry mousse, inside layer is strawberries mousse
  • seperated two different kind of mousse with very moist and tasty chocolate chips sponge,
  • The side of the cake is lined with Chocolate Cigarette Tuile & Joconde Sponge.

I think by now I am almost all done with all the sponge cakes I’ve learned from the mousse cake course!  I love this one the most because it is soft moist and still very light.  The chocolate bites so favourful.  Just amazing combination!

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Mousse Cake #6: Ladyfingers Sponge

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Like the sweet paste tart dough, this is totally unexpected surprised bonus recipe I’ve learned from French Mousse Cake course from Pastry Training Centre of Vancouver.  Thinking back I haven’t made ladyfingers for years because it is so much more convenient to buy and it is so complicated to make.  Frankly you cannot taste the difference if it is just filling inside tiramisu and it has so up so much brandy & espresso.  But let me tell you, it is worth all the effort to make your own!  The texture is so dedicate and taste is so wonderful.   The ingredients list is so simple.  I bet all of you should have all the ingredient in your home.  This is truly a test of sponge cake making technique.  According Chef Marco, making ladyfingers is actually exam for pro-course.   Wonder if ladyfingers above will score a passing grade?!

One important key to successful sponge is timing. So have all your tools and ingredients prepared and measured out.  Also remember to pre-heat the oven because it is not a forgiving batter.

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I can never neatly and uniformly pipe out nice line without guidance.  So I drew line in be back side parchment paper.  It does take a bit longer, but extremely useful for people like me.  This is one reason why I can never be a pro.  I am sure pro can naturally pipe out neatly and evenly.  One very good tips I’ve learned from the course is the importance of timing.  The meringue & yolk both has to complete in the same time to ensure maximum volume.  Look the batter produced from just two eggs!  Pretty amazing eh?  The line on the back helped me so much in even height.  This batter consistency is by far the easiest to handle.  Really love this recipe!!

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Opportunity is endless with these ladyfingers.  First made a dreamy blueberry mousse cake with it!  Look beautiful and much better than any store bough ladyfingers.

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This beautiful ladyfingers are not just for decorating the side of mousse cake.  They are totally butter free healthy goodness!!  I love simple ingredients with a bit more heart and effort can result in such beautiful and tasty wonder!

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Mousse Cake #5: Italian Meringue

Egg is one of the most amazing ingredient for baking!  Actually I first fallen in love with baking was during making of sponge cake  in my secondary school cookery class.  Looking the runny bridge yellow liquid transfer itself into pale foam and bake into sponge cake was like magic!  Italian meringue does the similar magic but without the yolk.  It actually does not taste too sweet.  It is almost like much softer marshmallow texture.  The most fun part of making using blow torch to slightly brown the top.  The smell is like roasting marshmallow on open fire. Bring you sugar high just smelling that!

This is my first attempt made with an giant close tip I bought from HK years ago.  I have also made eclair with the same tip.  I think it turned out very nice and any imperfection is disguised by the pretty hello kitty cookie in the middle

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I went to Ming Wo in Lansdowne Centre and stand in the cake decoration corner for more 15 minutes to check each tip to to look for St. Honoré tip.  So I had to pull out my  iPhone and google the tip # (880 if you are interested)  Take it to the counter to ask for that.  At first I thought I had to go to Langley to get it, it me it mean field tirp to a city between Vancouver and Calagry  .  I was really happy that after calling the main store  Chinatown we also find it.  Thanks to the well connected Canada Line. I was able to Chinatown from Richmond in around only 30 minutes.  I was so excited that I immediately  use the tip that night!

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It is very hard to burn only light even brown colour.  Must practice more!

My cake stand is only plastic base.  So I need to “create” my own fire safe cake stand by inverted 8” or 6” cake pan and 9” spring form pan bottom.  I just save myself $50 dollar (the price of Revolving Cake Decorating Stand from Amazon)

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My new toy in the kitchen – blow torch “fat boy”.  Brother and I were reading the instruction and safety guide.  That took a lot longer than actually using it.  I also make sure brother was standing next time me with fire extinguisher ready!

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This is how the “naked” Italian meringue look like

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Mousse Cake#4: Crème Bavaroise (Bavarian Cream) Mousse Cakes

This is the very first time I can finally consistently produce sooth texture mousse base after learning the trick of temperature control, method of mixing the ingredients and most importantly the correct portion of gelatin.  I still couldn’t find gelatin sheet, so I have been sticking to recipe that just happens to use the whole package of powder gelatin.  Even with digital scale, it seems difficult to measure such small amount.   I very happy to report that I have already successfully completed 3 different kind of crème bavaroise!!

  • poached apple (with lemon juice)
  • blueberry & black currant yogurt
  • lemon & graphfruit yogurt with bites of raspberry (this is my favourite!)

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Chef Marco suggested we can substitute any fruit puree in season(except kiwi, pineapple and papaya – check out Good Eat season 5 ep 12 for reason  ).  Looking around the fruit section in the super market, the only locally grown fruit was our delicious BC Spartan apple.  So I decided to try my best to make it work with what we have got.  I searched around to look poach apple recipe but couldn’t find many.  So I just wing it again. Used one vanilla bean, 1/4 cup of sugar and  a tiny bottle of sprinkling wine I bought from Frankfurt airport (I was totally planning to drink that during flight but bag was totally seal off)  The poached apples turn out very nice.  Soften & sweeten with wonderful vanilla smell.  I like this favour  a lot more than cinnamon.  I filled the poached apple mousse in adjustable mousse ring line with Joconde sponge.

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See how the smooth and straight edge is!  The trick is using blow torch slightly melt the side before unmold.  Since I couldn’t finish all the mousse at once.  It was very helpful to learn to trick of when is a good time to freeze the partially completely mousse cake and what kind of mousse cake is suitable for freezing.

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Here is the decorated look.  Blueberry sauce was supposed to be a thin layer of decoration on top but I put on too much and it kept leaking.  So I attempted to fixed it be mixing the cream with blueberry sauce resulting in the follow rather pretty looking purple.  I made the basic half sphere white chocolate ball as decoration and the square pretty chocolate was from the course.  Chef Marco let us take some of his pretty chocolate pieces home for decoration.   I like this colour combination.  Good save ?!

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The name of my 2nd mousse cake was “For the Love of Geek”.  On top of the lemon & grapefruit  bavaroise cream, I just added a thin layer of red current jelly jam.  Very basic & simple.  Why it is geek love?  Looks the chocolate Lego persons!   Do you know any computer who does not love Lego   I bought this Lego ice-cube mold from and loving it!.

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See how much fun I have with this mold from my Facebook album.

Mousse Cake #3: Chocolate Croquant Mousse Cake

This is not simple but I definitely want to master this one!  So this will only be my first try. Will keep on trying until successful!  Here is how my first try looks like:

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It is fairly complicated involves four recipe to complete.  I have never done any of the before this course.

Nutty croquant crust in the bottom (we used hazel nut in the class and I tried with walnut, I definitely like the hazel nut version a lot more!)  Walnut turned out more bitter…

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Flourless chocolate sponge – not hard to make.  So delicate yet so intense chocolate favour.  When it is in between the mousse layer, it just completely melt in your mouth along with mousse!

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Chocolate mousse —  I made with 72% dark chocolate and the taste turned out to be a bit strong than I like. 

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Had a bit over over, so I filled my Taiwanese pineapple cookie molds with the left over mousse to make tiny mousse cake. Two bites size only, but cute!

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Soft chocolate glaze.  I did not make this as I had a small tub of glaze taken from the class.  When I make it next time, I must make a LOT more, it was  hard to get a nice smooth and complete cover when I did not have enough…

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Left over bite size bits turn out quite pretty

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