Monday 22 June 2009
[A summer dream - Fromage blanc mousse, summer berries jelly on an almond dacquois]
I’m – almost, if you don’t count the past two weeks that seemed to be lived on a post-holiday cloud – just back from Corsica.
The few days I spent there definitely set my mood for summer with a light sundrenched breeze.
Picture many thrilling aventures involving: a guy, a girl, delicious charcuterie and tasty fromage, exciting wine that tastes like spicy candied chestnuts, lots of sandcastles, and ice-cold showers.
And did I mention mosquito bites? Plenty of them? No, right. End of the story.
But since summer has now officially come, I have no reason to keep daydreaming. I could just quit that little cloud, and realise how happy I actually am down there.
I guess the diving did it all!
This week off my daily patisserie routine also made me understand how important making pastries is to me.
Priceless.; although I must admit that building sandcastles remains a close runner-up on my top-ten-things-to-do list.
Isn’t all this pink-and-green pretty pretty? Icecream-licious is the word, or maybe it’s all about fromage blanc mousse, berries compotée and almond dacquois.
This is a classic. Perfect for a hot sunday dessert or as a nice way to enjoy your favourite iced tea at four o’clock (THE French un-missable goûter).
Composed of a plain almond dacquois, a berry compotée and a light fromage blanc mousse, this entremet makes for clean, sharp flavours. I suggest you use a mixture of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries for the compotée.
And please, don’t be concerned by the mousse: simply make a quick sabayon the dirty way (read, with a syrup in opposition with the more classical sugar and yolk, gently heated together then whipped until thick and creamy yellow). Then fold in the fromage blanc and then a good dose of soft whipped cream.
For the decor, I decided to colour some nappage (a mixture of syrup and pectin, with resemble a light jelly) and spread it onto the frozen entremet using a spatula. I guess I’ll have to make a little 101 about how to creature such a marbling.
for the dacquois aux amandes
75g ground almonds
200g icing sugar
125g egg white (from three eggs)
75g caster sugar
icing sugar, extra
Preheat the oven to 165°C. In a bowl, mix the ground almonds, icing sugar and flour; set aside.
Whip the egg whites with caster sugar until you get a soft merigue. Gently incoporate the almond mixture.
Pipe into a 18cm-wide cercle, scatter a punnet of raspberry on top and bake for 30 minutes, dusting with icing sugar at a10-minute interval.
Using a small knife, remove the dacquois from the cercle.
for the berry compotée
3 gelatine sheets
80g caster sugar
Line a 18cm-wide cercle with a 6cm-high rhodoid. Soak the gelatine leaves into cold water for at least 20 minutes.
Place the berries into a saucepan along with the sugar, and cook until it slowly boils. Mix in the drained gelatine leaves until dissolved. Pour into a 16cm-wide cercle and place straight in the freezer for one hour or until frozen.
Remove from the cercle and keep frozen until ready to assemble the entremet.
for the mousse au fromage blanc
3 gelatine sheets
110g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
250g fromage blanc (substitute with thick yoghurt)
315g double cream, whipped to soft peak
Soak the gelatine leaves into cold water for at least 20 minutes.
Place the water and sugar into a pan, and bring to 121°C. In the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with the whip attachment, slowly mix the egg yolks, then pour the syrup over them increasing the speed as you do so. Whip until thick.
Dissolve the soaked gelatine by heating in a microwave and add to the fromage blanc. Mix in the fromage blanc into the sabayon (egg yolk mixture), then gently incorporate the whipped cream. Pipe into the prepared cercle. Insert the frozen berry compotée, then cover with the remaining mousse, and smooth the top using a spatula. Chill for at least a couple of hours before removing the entremet from the cercle. Serve with fresh berries.