FREEZE-DRIED STRAWBERRY & PISTACHIO SOFT NOUGAT Ingredients:
= 150g (2/3 Cup) Caster Sugar
= 75g (3 + 1/2 Tablespoons) Honey
= 25ml (1 + 1/4 Tablespoons) Water
= 25g Egg Whites
= 75g (3/4 Cup) Pistachio
= Handful of Freeze Dried Strawberry/Raspberry
= Vegetable oil For Greasing
- Heat sugar, honey & water in a saucepan till 120C.
- Whilst it is heating up whisk the meringue and make sure it is at stiff peaks by the time the sugar mix reaches the temperature.
- With the mixer on high speed, carefully pour a constant stream of the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to avoid hitting the whisk.
- Whisk on high for 10-15 minutes to cool the nougat.
- After a few more minutes it should begin to look a little less shiny and more matte.
- Add the nuts and freeze dried berry powder now.
- Using a greased wooden spoon, spoon the nougat mix into a 16cm (6″) cake ring greased on the inside and outside, placed on a lined baking tray.
- Level it out as much as possible and freeze until the mousse is ready.
SPICED STRAWBERRY & WINE SYRUP Ingredients:
= 500g (2 + 1/2 Cups) Strawberries, Fresh /Frozen
= 338g (1 + 1/2) Cups Sugar
= 355ml (1 + 1/2 Cup) Medium Sweet Red Wine
= 3-4 Cinnamon Sticks
= 4-5 Whole Cloves
= 3 Pieces of Star Anise
= 5-6 Whole Dried Chilli
- Combine ingredients except strawberries in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, add the strawberries and bring it back to a boil for 1 minute.
- Cool the mixture till room temperature, covered.
- Macerate the berries in the fridge overnight.
- Remove the whole spices, process till smooth with juice blender, processor or stick blender.
- Bring half the mixture to boil again and reduce to a simmering. You want to see constant bubbling. Stir constantly as the high sugar content will settle & burn on base otherwise.
- Once the mixture is reduced by half, swap it for the other half & repeat.
- You should have under 2/3 or 1/2 the original amount. Color should darken and texture thickened.
- Cool and chill to allow it to thicken.
SPICED STRAWBERRY & WINE MOUSSE Ingredients:
- 170g (6 Ounces) Caster Sugar
- 45ml 1.5 ounces water
- 6 Egg Yolks (9 ounces)
- 120ml Pate Bombe Mix
- 240ml 1 cup Thickened/Heavy Cream 2 parts to 1 base
- 70ml Berry & Wine Reduction 3 to 1 base to puree
- 1 Teaspoon Gelatin Powder
= 170g (3/4 Cup) Caster Sugar
= 45ml (2 + 1/4 Tablespoons) Water
= 6 Egg Yolks (9 ounces)
= 120ml (1/2 Cup) Pate Bombe Mix
= 240ml (1 cup) Thickened/Heavy Cream
= 70ml (3 + 1/2 Tablespoons) Berry Wine Reduction
= 1 Teaspoon Gelatin Powder
- Combine the sugar and water in a small, preferably heavy, saucepan and bring the mixture to 120C (248F).
- Meanwhile, whip the egg yolks on high speed in a stand mixer until pale and doubled in volume.
- Pour the hot syrup in a thin stream down the side of the mixer whilst mixing on high.
- Continue to whip on high until the pâté à bombe has almost doubled in volume and the bowl cools down to being somewhat warm to the touch.
- For this recipe you’ll only need 120ml of the Pate Bombe Mix. The rest can be frozen for later use. To work out the ratio or measurements for your recipes in the future there is some guide I have found at the end of this section.
- Start by sprinkling the gelatin over the berry wine reduction. After 5 minutes of blooming, just warm the mix till hot but not boiling. Stir in the gelatin till no granules are left.
- Simply stir in the berry wine reduction to the pate bomb till well mixed.
- Whip the cream till just under stiff peaks where it is about to start spiking but not quite gathering in the whisk. Whisk in 1/3 of the mix to lighten the mousse.
- Gently fold in the other 2/3 till no streaks are left but still airy and light. If you deflate it and lose lots of volume your folding is incorrect.
- Take out the frozen nougat and pour the mousse into the ring. Gently using a wooden spoon or spatula, ease the mousse into the edges to prevent air bubbles.
- Shake and tilt the tray to even out the mousse. Rap the tray two times to release air bubbles.
- Freeze till firm.
- Take the remaining berry wine and reduce it some more until it is like a very thick jam. A little thicker than your regular jam. Cool till warm and spoon it over till the top of the frozen mousse is just covered. I tilted the tray to move it around.
- Freeze once more for an hour or two before covering with buttercream.
For 120ml (1/2 Cup) Pate Bombe Mix:
When using flavour additions like purees – 3:1 Pate Bomb to Puree Ratio
Whipped Cream – 2:1 Thickened Cream to Pate Bomb (Before Whipping)
I’m using 1 Teaspoon Gelatin Powder for a very soft set, increase by another 1/2 teaspoon if you want it a touch firmer, or you may want to go another full teaspoon to get it more similar to other entremet desserts.
CITRUS ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM Ingredients:
= 5 Large Egg Whites (150g), Room Temp
= 375g (2 Cups) Caster Sugar, Divided
= 1 Pinch of Cream of Tartar
= 1 Pinch of Salt
= 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
= 454g (2 Cups) Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
= 150ml (2/3 Cup) Fresh Orange Juice
= Zest of 3 Navel Oranges
= Zest of 1 Lemon
- Ensure all ingredients are weighed up and set up as this requires timing and precision for this recipe. You can prepare this days before making, just bear in mind that every time you store the buttercream back into the fridge it requires you to let it warm up then beat and whisk it till fluffy again before use.
- Combine half the sugar with orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir gently just till the sugar dissolves. Brush along the sides of the pot with water to dissolve any sugar crystals. Alternatively, use a rolled up paper towel to wipe off those crystals.
- Once the sugar begins to bubble up, start whipping egg whites with cream of tartar on medium speed.
- Once the egg whites whip till it is doubled in volume and is thick enough for a spoon of it to sit on itself, begin to sprinkle in the other half of the sugar reserved.
- Get the meringue to stiff peaks, then switch the speed to a low speed if the sugar isn’t ready yet.
- I start inserting my thermometer once the sugar really bubbles up – if yours is a probe like mine make sure it isn’t touching the base of the pan or it isn’t accurate as it’s taking the pans temperature.
- Once the sugar mix reaches 113C (235F) – anticipate this by seeing the pace the temperature goes up so you know when it will happen – switch the mixer on high speed, drizzle in a constant, steady and thin stream of sugar down the side of the mixer bowl. Avoid hitting the whisk or you’ll send hot syrup everywhere.
- If you are not using a candy thermometer then you can spoon a bit into ice water. It should form a malleable ball of when you grab it with your hand, if it dissolves away then it isn’t ready.
- Whip until it is stiff peaks again. In the meantime you can add in the zest and vanilla from the side of the bowl.
- Feel the base of the bowl and make sure it is at least lukewarm if not cold, keep whipping on medium-high speed to cool it – don’t worry, the large amount of sugar prevents the meringue from over-whipping before it cools sufficiently.
- Now use very malleable and room temperature butter that have been cubed, beat it in a piece at a time with the paddle attachment attached. I made them into thin and tiny pieces about 3mm thick, 3cm squares just to make sure it blends easily.
- Continue to beat this on high speed until it is combined and then becomes chunky like cheese lumps. This is normal, don’t worry.
- Take 1/2 of the reduced spice wine and begin to add it to the buttercream until the desired tinge of red, giving time in between mixing to ensure you don’t let down the mixture too much.
- Switch back to the whisk attachment and beat for a long while until it becomes very pale and super light and fluffy. Taste for flavour at this point as the airiness is right and taste will be most accurate to judge.
- Chances are you will be making this ahead of time and then storing it in the fridge for later use. In this case, bring it to room temperature or just until it is soft enough to beat.Beat with the paddle attachment to loosen the mix till combined but lumpy again.
- Use the whisk attachment to whip it till it is very light & airy again. You can also add the flavors at this point and whisk it till it tastes like sweet, creamy air 😀
- When you decorate if you take a long time especially between chilling the cake, etc, you can put the buttercream in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and just whisk it up again to make it thick enough to decorate with.
- Take out the cake and using a piping bag with a large open tip, pipe around from base up in circular motion around the cake till you cover all the sides.
- Following the edge of the cake at the top, pipe in the same motion till you reach the centre and cover the entire surface.
- Gently using an offset palette knife to fill in the gaps and smooth the buttercream together. As you work the sides the excess should come up the side of the cake to the top edge – you want this. Once it is smooth, bring the excess in by skimming across the surface with your palette knife and you should have a neat edge and smooth top.
- Freeze the cake briefly just till the buttercream slightly sets up. 20 minutes or so should do.
- Using a warm knife start to neaten the shape to make sure the cake is nice and round and straight around the sides.
- Freeze the cake until the buttercream is very firm to the touch as you will need to handle it and flip it upside down.
TEMPERED DARK CHOCOLATE
= 400g (14 Ounces) Dark Couverture Chocolate
- Check out the Banoffee Truffle recipe video to see how to easily temper chocolate at home. The process is the same but replace the three temperatures with 46C, 26C, 32C.
- Once the chocolate is tempered, in little portions spread it thinly on the upside down cake to cover and seal in the nougat layer so it doesn’t leak or ooze out. You just want enough so you can’t see the nougat.
- Turn the cake back upright. If the chocolate is set, which it should by now, place it on the same lined tray but over a smaller diameter bowl. The bowl should be upside down. This is in preparation for the glazing.
- For garnishes, you can pipe the arc of each wing, as big or small as you want. Smaller is easier to transport and less delicate.
- I drew like a banana shape and filled in the gaps. Then I start piping little blobs ranging from smaller to large when going from ends to middle to other end. Using the back of a spoon press and drag it outwards to form feathers. Do them one at a time or if they set too quick you will have a chunk of chocolate instead.
- Allow to set at room temperature then chill before you insert into cake.
WHITE CHOCOLATE MIRROR GLACAGE (DIVIDED) Ingredients:
= 700g (24.5 Ounces) White Chocolate
= 400ml (1 + 3/4 Cups) Water
= 600g (2 + 2/3 Cups) Caster Sugar
= 400g (1 + 3/4 Cups) Condensed Milk
= 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
= 38g (4 Tablespoons) Powdered Gelatin
= Red Food Coloring (Paste If Possible)
- Bloom the gelatin by stirring into some of the cold water and setting aside for 5 minutes.
- Combine remaining cold water, sugar & condensed milk in a saucepan, bringing it to under a boil.
- Switch off the heat and stir in the vanilla, bloomed gelatin until no granules are left.
- Pour this mixture over the chocolate pieces in a bowl, allowing it to sit for a few minutes to melt the chocolate.
- Once fully melted, use a blender or immersion blender to process till very smooth.
- Avoid frothing up the mixture too much as the bubbles will be harder to deal with and will show on the glazed cake.
- Set aside 1/3 of the glaze to keep as white. Dye the larger portion a bright red with food coloring.
- To aid this, strain glaze through a fine sieve to catch any particles.
- Cool glacage till it is 32C (90F) before using. Be careful to not form bubbles as the glaze is very thick now and will not pop them on its own.
- Position the frozen mousse cake (unmolded) over a wire rack on top of a large sheet pan lined with baking paper. This will catch excess and make it not only easier to save the glacage for reuse, or cleaning the tray.
- Pour the glacage liberally from one side over to the other end, making sure to check that all sides of the cake are also glazed.
- Quickly pour thin streak of white over the red in a few lines as you like. You can quickly go over with some red again too. But work fast or the glaze will set.
- Allow cake to drip off excess, setting for a minute or two before using a knife or palette knife to scrape off excess on the bottom.
- Transfer to the serving board.
- Keep chilled till serving. Use a hot knife to slice and serve.
- The cake is best served within a few days as the nougat will begin to lose structure as it comes to fridge temperature and become wet due to all the humidity.
For the future I would use raspberries instead of strawberries as the cake was a tad sweeter than most preferred, though the flavour was great.
I would remove most of the sugar from the wine mix and use corn flour or other means to thicken instead.
Other option would be to use something other than pate bombe as a base but could be less sweet, but also less rich.