RECIPE: I had a punnet of blueberries that were too sour to enjoy fresh. I’d also been dying to try making a mousse entremet style dome so here was my chance. Rather than going with my first instinct and pairing blueberry with lemon, I decided to try something a little different in a mousse made with natural yoghurt. The blueberries were turned into a gel made with gelatine rather than the recommended agar agar. I had a small sheet of coconut dacquoise in the freezer, which was an ideal partner for the flavours I had chosen, and I continued my journey in learning to temper chocolate, this time with white chocolate.
COMPONENTS: The gel was prepared first, blending the blueberries, pushing them through a sieve into a pan, then adding the gelatine. There wasn’t too much wastage, but I’d like to find some way to use the skins and pips – berries are expensive! I dropped the blueberry gel mix into a 45mm dome mould and set it in the fridge. The yoghurt mousse was very easy to prepare but definitely follow the instructions carefully to avoid the gelatine getting lumpy. One third of the mixture filled four 65mm dome moulds. The dacquoise had been prepared previously: see my notes in my blog on my Lemon meringue entremet. I tempered my chocolate using the instructions for tempering chocolate from BBC Good Food/Valrhona Chocolate book. Last time I cooled the chocolate and added the unmelted chocolate by stirring in a bowl and had trouble getting it to cool down. This time I added the unmelted chocolate in the bowl and then tipped it on the bench, using a spatula to turn it over and cool it down and this worked much better. I made the mistake of spreading my chocolate the first time directly on a metal tray and I couldn’t remove my pieces. I remelted it and spread it on a plastic sheet. While I got the appropriate snap, I should really have begun the tempering process all over again because it had become cold and set in between attempts. It was getting late, so I didn’t bother and this probably affected my results. It was much easier to peel the pieces off the plastic so I’m glad I did do it again. Next time I’ll also heat the ring I use to cut the chocolate so I don’t end up with a rough edge.
ASSEMBLY: The gel had set in the fridge, so when I filled the moulds with mousse, I pressed in a gel piece until it was just covered with mousse, smoothed the top and then added a round piece of dacquoise cut to size. This was popped in the freezer to set. It could be set in the fridge but it’s easier to remove them from the mould when they’re frozen and it doesn’t affect the finished dessert. While they were freezing, I did the chocolate work, then placed my rings of chocolate over the turned out dome with a few fresh blueberries (sweet ones!) balanced on top. I added a smear of fresh cream on the plate and a few extra blueberries.
IMPRESSION: These had a lovely lightly sweet taste that didn’t overwhelm. The yoghurt mousse (that I’ll definitely be using again) added a touch of sourness that was balanced perfectly by the sweet ring of white chocolate (which snapped!) and the coconut dacquoise. The blueberry gel was a different type of sour and tied in well but the gel insert was too small, so the flavour got lost in the mousse. Serving it with fresh blueberries helped bring out the flavour of the gel a bit. Overall I was really happy with my creation, with my husband complaining that one wasn’t enough.
300g egg whites
230g ground almonds
70g ground hazelnuts
100g unsweetened shredded coconut
Heat the oven to 180 Celcius and line two baking sheets with baking paper. Draw an outline of the mould for your finished cake on each sheet of paper.
Whip the egg whites with a little sugar to a soft peak. Gradually add the rest of the sugar and beat the egg whites until firm and glossy.
Gently fold in the almonds and hazelnuts.
Spoon the mix into a piping bag fitted with a 10mm round tip nozzle. Pipe the meringue mix to the desired shape to 10-15mm depth. Alternatively use a spatula to spread the meringue. Repeat on the second tray. Sprinkle evenly with the shredded coconut.
Bake the meringue for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned, rotating halfway through if necessary. Transfer to a rack to cool.