Creating new cakes brings me a lot of joy. Turning a cake idea to an actual cake that exceeds my expectations brings me even bigger joy. My Orange Chocolate Tonka Entremet recipe that I want to share with you today, is one of those delicious moments of happiness. The cake consists of a crunchy sablé breton bottom, a dark chocolate mousse, a layer of a creamy orange cream, topped with dollops of tonka milk chocolate mousse and whipped cream and decorated with mint leaves and great yellow cress. It took me many attempts until I was 100 percent satisfied with the cake. There were so many cakes in my freezer that I was afraid of becoming weary of this cake. But no. Every time I took a slice of this chocolate orange entremet out of the freezer and indulged into a slice, I was so so pleased with this cake. The crunchy sablé breton goes so well with the chocolate mousse and orange cream. The tonka flavor of the milk chocolate mousse, the great yellow cress and the mint leaves are an exquisite combinations of flavor. This orange chocolate entremet belongs to my top ten favorite recipes that I have made in my life. I do hope you will enjoy these entremets as much as I do. My next few recipes that I have lined up will be all about summer berries. I am very thrilled about sharing these delicious summer recipes. Stay tuned and happy summer time!



Makes about 8 rectangular cakes

SABLE BRETON

  • 75 g / 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
  • 75 g / 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 30 g egg yolks / equals 2 egg yolks of medium sized eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100 g / 1 cup pastry flour
  • 2 g / 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Preheat the oven to 175 °C / 350 °F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Place the softened butter and the sugar in a bowl and mix well with a (wooden) spoon. 
  • Add half of the egg yolks to the mixture and mix well. Then add the rest of the egg yolks and stir well again.
  • In a separate bowl. mix salt, pastry flour and baking powder. Add it to the butter-egg mixture and stir well.
  • Transfer the dough to the lined baking sheet. Roll out the dough to a square of 21 cm x 21 cm / 8 inches x 8 inches. 
  • Bake the sable for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown in color. While the sable is still hot. Place a cake frame (size 17 cm x 17 cm / 7 inches x 7 inches) onto the sablé. Let the sablé cool completely. Place the sablé onto a board. 

DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

  • 35 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 15 g egg yolk / equals egg yolk of a medium sized egg
  • 10 g / 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 80 g / 3 ounces chocolate (70 %), chopped
  • 1 1/3 sheets gelatin (2 g), soaked
  • 135 g / 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Pour the milk into a medium sized saucepan and heat the milk. 
  • Whisk egg yolk and sugar creamy in a small bowl. Add the hot milk to the egg mixture, stir well and pour the mixture back to the saucepan. Heat the mixture until it has reached the temperature of 82 °C / 179 °F, stir constantly. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the chocolate and the gelatin. Stir well. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Let the chocolate mixture cool to room temperature. 
  • In the meantime, whip the heavy cream until creamy. 
  • Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. 
  • Pour the chocolate mousse into the baking frame and freeze the mousse for about one hour. 

ORANGE CREAM

  • 85 g eggs / equals 1 1/2 medium sized eggs
  • 20 g / 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 85 ml / 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Orange peel of one organic orange
  • 3/4 sheet gelatin (1 g), soaked
  • 100 g / 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes and room temperature
  • Place the eggs, sugar. orange juice and orange peel in a heat-proof bowl and mix well. Over a double boiler, heat the mixture until it has reached 84 °C / 183 °F. It takes a while, be patient. :-) Remove from the double boiler and pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Add the gelatin and stir well. Let the orange mixture cool down to about 45 °C / 113 °F. 
  • Add the soft butter cubes and mix well until all ingredients are well combined. 
  • Pour the orange cream over the frozen chocolate mousse. Freeze the cake again for at least 3 hours. 

TONKA MILK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

  • 25 g / 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Tonka bean
  • 35 g / 1 ounce milk chocolate (35 %)
  • 1/2 sheet gelatin (0,75 g), soaked
  • 55 g / 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Pour the heavy cream (25 g) into a small saucepan and bring the heavy cream almost to a boil. Remove from the heat. Rub a little bit of a tonka bean into the hot milk. Cover the saucepan with a lit and let the tonka bean infuse for about 10 minutes. Pour the heavy milk through a sieve, then pour the infused heavy cream back to the saucepan and heat it again. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and the gelatin and stir well. Pour the mixture to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature. 
  • Whip the heavy cream until creamy. Fold the heavy cream into the chocolate mixture. 
  • Fill the tonka chocolate mousse into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle ( 9 mm / 1/2 inch in diameter). Let the mousse chill in the fridge for at least one hour. You can prepare the mousse a day in advance as well. 

ASSEMBLING

  • 50 g / 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Small mint leaves
  • Great yellow cress
  • Whip the cream to stiff peaks. You can add some stabilizer to the whipped cream, if you like. Fill the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle ( 3mm / 0.1 inch in diameter). Keep the piping bag in the fridge
  • Remove the cake frame. Let the cake defrost for about 30 minutes at room temperature since it is easier to cut the cake into slices. 
  • Cut the cake into rectangles. I cut the cakes into 7,5 cm x 4,5 cm / 3 inches x 1,8 inches rectangles. 
  • Pipe dollops of tonka mousse and whipped cream onto the entremets. Decorate the rectangles with mint leaves and great yellow cress. 
  • Keep the cakes in the fridge until consumption. The cakes taste the very best on the day of assembling since the sable bottom get soft over time. 



There are so many cake ideas floating around my head at the moment. I am loving the burst of creativity. The hardest thing about it, is finding the time to implement all my cake ideas into cakes. And of course sharing the recipes with you on my blog.
Today I want to share with you a petite gâteau that involves strawberry, rhubarb and vanilla flavors. I think, no I know, the flavors are very classic combinations but there are always new ways how to combine the flavors and textures. For my latest cake creation, I made a strawberry rhubarb compote which I filled in baked tartlet shells. I topped the tart shells with a strawberry mousse hemispheres with a vanilla cream surprise in the middle. It takes a little bit of time to prepare these little delicate cakes but it is worth every minute of preparation.
My strawberry rhubarb cakes are a wonderful and delicious way to welcome the summer time.
Happy 1st of June, my dearest readers!



Makes 8 to 10 little cakes ( 7 cm / 2.75 inches)

RHUBARB STRAWBERRY COMPOTE

  • 245 g / 2 1/2 cups rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1 cm / 1/2 inch chunks
  • 190 g / 1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 15 ml / 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 30 g / 2 1/2 tabelspoons granulated sugar
  • 15 g / 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Place the rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice and granulated sugar in a saucepan. Let it simmer over medium heat; stir occasionally. When the rhubarb is tender, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Dissolve the corn starch in a little bit of cold water. Add the dissolved corn starch to the compote and stir well. 
  • Let the compote cool to room temperature, transfer into a jar and keep it in the fridge up to four days. 

VANILLA CREAM

  • 85 g / 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 30 g egg yolks / equals 2 egg yolks of 2 medium sized eggs
  • 25 g / 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 10 g / 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Pour the milk into a medium sized saucepan. 
  • Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds (use the tip of your knife or the dull side of the knife). 
  • Add the vanilla seeds and the empty vanilla pod to the milk. Bring the milk to a boil and set aside. Remove the empty vanilla pod. 
  • Place the egg yolks and granulated sugar in a bowl and whisk well. Pour the hot vanilla milk to the egg mixture and stir well. Pour the mixture back to the saucepan. Heat the milk over medium heat and let it simmer for one minute until it thickens up. Remove from the heat; stir in the butter and mix well. Pour the vanilla cream through a sieve.
  • Place small hemisphere moulds (3 cm / 1 inch in diameter) on a board. Evenly distribute the vanilla cream into the moulds. Freeze the moulds for at least two hours. 

STRAWBERRY MOUSSE

  • 100 g / 1 /3 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 50 g / 2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 150 g / 2/3 cup strawberry purée *
  • 4 sheets gelatin ( 6 g), soaked
  • 200 g / 3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Pour the heavy cream into a medium sized saucepan and bring it almost to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the white chocolate and mix well until the chocolate is melted. Add the strawberry purée and gelatin and stir until well combined. Pour the strawberry mixture through a sieve into a big bowl. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. 
  • In the meantime, whip the heavy cream until creamy. 
  • Fold the heavy cream into the strawberry mixture. 
  • Unmould the frozen vanilla hemispheres. Assemble two vanilla halves in order to create a sphere. 
  • Place hemisphere moulds (7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter) on a board. Fill the moulds 2/3 with the strawberry mousse. Gently press a vanilla sphere into the mousse and add more strawberry mousse and level the surface out. 
  • Place the moulds in the freezer for at least 4 hours. 
* I make my own strawberry purée and I add 10 % sugar to the purée. If you use purée without any sugar, you might add a little bit of sugar (about 15 g /1 tablespoon) to the purée.

TART SHELLS

  • My tart shell recipe is here which is a recipe by Cheryl Koh. I have written here a blog post about my tips on making tart shells. 
  • You can make the tart shells in advance. In fact, I always a few tart shells on hand which I keep in an air-tight container. 
  • You need 7 cm / 2.75 inches tart shells. 

GLAZE

  • 55 ml /  1/4 cup water
  • 25 g / 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 55 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons glucose
  • 35 g / 2 tablespoons crème doublealternative heavy cream
  • 50 g / 2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 2/3 sheets gelatin (4 g), soaked
  • Red food coloring, optional
  • Add water, granulated sugar and glucose in a medium sized saucepan. Bring the mixture almost a boil, remove from the heat. Add the crème double and the white chocolate and mix until well incorporated. Add the gelatin and mix well again. If you want to have a pink glaze , add one or two drops of red food coloring and mix well. Pour the glaze through a sieve. 
  • Pour the glaze into a jar and let it cool to room temperature. Cover the jar with a lid and store it in the fridge. You can keep the glaze in the fridge up to five days. 

ASSEMBLING

  • Pistachios, chopped
  • Fill the tartlet shells with the rhubarb strawberry compote. 
  • Place the glaze into a pot and gently reheat the glaze. When glazing the mousse cakes, the glaze should have the temperature around 35 °C / 95 °F. 
  • Unmould the strawberry vanilla mousse cakes. Place the frozen cakes on a wire rack (place a deep plate under the wire rack in order to catch the excess glaze). Pour the glaze over the frozen mousse cakes. It is important that the cakes are frozen and the glaze is not too hot. 
  • Decorate the lower part of the mousse cakes with chopped pistachios.
  • Carefully place the glazed mousse cakes onto the tartlets. Place each cake on a cake board and let the cakes defrost in the fridge. 
  • Consume the cake on the day of assembling since the tart shells get soft over time. 
  • Bon appetit.



Hello.
Finally, finally, I am back again!
It feels very odd to write these lines after having been absent for such a long time. It is such a strange feeling but I am very happy to write this post in order to overcome my writer's block. There are many delicious spring recipes waiting for you in the next few weeks and I am really looking forward sharing these with you.
Today I am sharing a matcha cherry mousse cake recipe which I meant to post during the Sakura Cherry Blossom Season. My matcha mousse cake creation was inspired by the arrival of spring and the appearance of green and pink in nature. Even though it is not the beginning of spring anymore, each day is a day is a celebration of a new beginning.
I love the combination of cherry flavor and matcha green tea; I think both flavors go so well together, given you like green tea. Green tea is one think that I cannot live without. I always start my day with a cup of green tea and I am a having a little bowl with matcha tea with a praline every single day. It gives me a moment to relax.
I hope you will enjoy these delicious mousse cakes as much as I do. Enjoy the spring time and soon there will be a new recipe waiting for you, my dear reader.
Marianne
xx



Makes 12 little cakes ( 7 cm / 2.8 inches in diameter)

CHERRY MOUSSE

  • 30 g / 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 15 g egg yolk (equals egg yolk of a medium sized egg)
  • 5 g / 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 65 g / 1/ 4 cup sour cherry purée
  • 1 sheet (1,5 g) gelatin, soaked
  • 70 g / 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream (30 g / 2 tablespoons) almost to a boil. Set aside. 
  • Whisk egg yolk and and granulated sugar creamy. Add the hot heavy cream to the egg mixture and stir well. Pour the mixture back to the saucepan and heat the mixture - stir constantly - until it has reached 82 °C / 180 °F. Remove the saucepan from the heat. 
  • Add the cherry purée and the soaked gelatin and stir well. Pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl and let it cool down to room temperature. 
  • Whip the heavy cream (70 g / 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon) until creamy. Fold the whipped cream into the cherry mixture. 
  • Pour the mixture into small (silicone) moulds (3 cm / 1.2 inches in diameter). Place the moulds in the freezer and let the cherry mousse freeze for at least 1 1/2 hours or until completely frozen.

CHERRY JELLY

  • 150 g / 1 /2 cup and 2 tablespoons sour cherry purée
  • 10 g / 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 sheets (2,5 g) gelatin, soaked
  • Add 1/3 of the cherry purée and the granulated sugar into a small saucepan and heat the mixture. Remove from the heat, add the soaked gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the rest of the cherry purée and mix well. 
  • Pour the cherry jelly on top of the frozen cherry mousse cores. Freeze the moulds again for at 
  • least one hour or until completely frozen.

ALMOND SPONGE CAKE

  • 30 g / 5 tablespoons almond flour
  • 20 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 50 g / 1 egg (medium size)
  • 15 g egg yolk, equals egg yolk of a medium sized egg
  • 30 g egg white, equals egg white of one medium sized egg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 25 g / 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 35 g / 5 1/2 tablespoons pastry flour
  • 15 g / 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 355 °F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Place the almond flour, powdered sugar, egg and egg yolk in a medium sized bowl; whisk until creamy. Add about 2 tablespoons of the batter to the melted butter; mix well and add the butter mixture to the batter. 
  • Place egg white and salt in a small bowl and whisk until almost stiff. Gradually add the granulated sugar and whisk until stiff. 
  • Fold the egg white into the almond flour and egg mixture. 
  • Spread the batter (the size of 30 cm x 30 cm / 11 inches x 11 inches square) onto the baking sheet.
  • Bake the sponge cake for 7 to 8 minutes or until the cake is golden in color. 
  • Let the sponge cake cool completely on a wire rack. Carefully remove the parchment paper. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter (7 cm / 2.8 inches). 

MATCHA MOUSSE

  • 150 g / 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 50 g  / 1.5 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 30 g egg yolks (equals egg yolk of a medium sized egg)
  • 10 g / 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 6 g / 1 tablespoon matcha powder
  • 2 2/3 sheets (4 g) gelatin, soaked
  • 200 g / 3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Pour the heavy cream (150 g / 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons ) into a medium sized saucepan and bring it almost to a boil. Remove from the heat. 
  • Mix the egg yolks and the sugar until creamy. Pour the hot heavy cream to the egg mixture and mix well. Pour the mixture back to the saucepan and and heat the mixture - stir constantly - until it has reached 82 °C / 180 °F.  Remove the saucepan from the heat. 
  • Add a little bit of water to the matcha powder and mix well; make sure that there are no lumps. 
  • Add the matcha paste and the finely chopped white chocolate to the egg mixture and stir well. Add the soaked gelatin and mix well until well combined. 
  • Pour the mixture through a sieve into big bowl and let the mixture cool down to room temperature. 
  • Whisk the heavy cream until creamy. Fold the heavy cream into the matcha mixture. 
  • Place hemisphere moulds (7 cm / 2.8 inches in size) onto a plate. Fill the moulds 2/3 with the matcha mousse. 
  • Unmould the cherry core, gently press the cores into the matcha mousse and place the sponge cake circle onto the top. 
  • Freeze the mousse cakes for at least 6 hours or overnight. You can keep the frozen mousse cakes in the freezer up to a month. 

MATCHA GLAZE

  • 105 g / 3 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 50 g / 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 110 ml / 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons water
  • 105 g / 5 tablespoons liquid glucose
  • 70 g / 5 tablespoons crème double, alternative heavy cream
  • 5 g / 1 tablespoon matcha powder
  • 10 ml / 2 teaspoons water
  • 4 2/3 sheets (7 g) gelatin, soaked
  • Place water, granulated sugar and glucose in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and let it boil until it has reached the temperature of 103 °C / 217 F°. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin and crème double and mix. Place the chopped white chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot mixture over the chocolate. Stir until the glaze is smooth. Pour the mixture through a sieve. 
  • Pour the glaze into a jar and let it cool to room temperature. Cover the jar with a lid and store it in the fridge. You can keep the glaze in the fridge up to five days. 

ASSEMBLING

  • Place the matcha glaze into a pot - it has a thick consistency - and gently reheat the glaze,
  • Unmould the matcha mousse cakes and place the frozen cakes on a wire rack (place a deep plate under the wire rack in order to catch the excess glaze). Pour the glaze over the frozen cakes. It it important that the mousse cakes are frozen while glazing the cakes. Moreover, it is important as well that the glaze is not too hot. The temperature of the glaze should be around 35 °C / 95 °F.
  • Carefully place the mousse cakes onto cake boards. Decorate the cakes to your liking.
  • Let the matcha cakes defrost in the fridge and keep the cakes in the fridge until consumption. 
  • Bon appétit!


One of my favorite part of making French inspired cakes is unmoulding and glazing the cakes. It is always such a satisfying moment seeing the final touches of a cake coming together and it fills me - every single time - with happiness. This applies to caramel, too.
On my last Paris trip I indulged into Sadaharu Aoki's Tarte Caramel Salé Matcha and I rediscovered the deliciousness of caramel. I started to make caramel more often and I found so much joy in making caramel. This was not always like that. I remember my first attempt making caramel ( I wanted to make a tart tartin) years ago and I was quite frustrated. I could not figure out how to melt sugar properly and I was left with sugar lumps. It was a mystery to me and it took me a while how to work with sugar. It is not that difficult if you follow a few simple rules which includes patience (it takes time to melt the sugar) and not stirring while the sugar is melting since this changes the temperature of  the sugar and this means that it takes longer to melt the sugar. If you have never made caramel and the first attempt does not work out, do not be discouraged. Try again and you will be rewarded with a luscious caramel and there are many delicious way to make use of the caramel such as my caramel hazelnut mousse cake that I want to share with you today. I do not have many words for this cake but it is one of my top five favorite cakes that I have ever made (one of my favorite recipe is my caramel apple vanilla mousse cake). The caramel flavor goes so well with the hazelnuts, the caramel mousse is light and creamy; and it is a wonderful contrast to the caramelized hazelnuts. It is simply a luscious caramel dream cake. 



Makes 6 cakes ( 6 cm / 2.4 inches in diameter)

TART SHELLS

  • My tart shell recipe is here which is a recipe by Cheryl Koh. I have written here a blog post about my tips on making tart shells. 
  • You can make the tart shells in advance. In fact, I always a few tart shells on hand which I keep in an air-tight container. 

CARAMEL MOUSSE

  • 130 g / 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 60 g / 4 1/2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 200 g / 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 gelatin sheets (2,25 g), soaked
  • Pour the sugar into a medium sized saucepan. Over medium-high heat, let the sugar melt. Do not stir the sugar at this stage in order to avoid sugar lumps. As soon as the sugar starts melting, switch the heat to low medium heat.
  • As soon as the sugar is completely melted and is golden in color, remove from the heat. Make sure that the sugar does not get too dark, otherwise the caramel will taste bitter, and if the caramel is too light, it taste very sweet. 
  • Carefully pour 100 g / 1 /3 cup and 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream to the melted sugar and stir constantly. Add half of the butter cubes and mix well. Place the saucepan back to the heat (medium heat) and stir until the caramel is smooth. As soon as the caramel is smooth, remove from the heat, add the rest of the butter cubes and mix well again. 
  • Divide the caramel into half (you need the other half later when assembling the cakes). 
  • Add the gelatin into one half of the caramel and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Pour the caramel to a medium sized bowl and let it cool to room temperature. 
  • In the meantime, whip the remaining heavy cream until creamy. 
  • Fold the whipped cream into the caramel. 
  • Pour the mousse into 6 moulds. I use a silicon muffin moulds and fill the moulds until 3,5 cm / 1.4 inches high.
  • Freeze the moulds for at least 8 hours or overnight. 

CARAMELIZED HAZELNUTS

  • 110 g / 3/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 100 g / 1 /2 cup granulated sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 150 °C / 300 °F. 
  • Place the hazelnuts on a lined baking sheet. Roast the nuts for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • Remove the skin of the nuts by rubbing them in a kitchen towel. Set aside 6 nuts for decoration. 
  • While rubbing the skin of the nuts, melt the sugar in medium sized saucepan. As soon as the sugar is melted (follow the steps written above in the caramel mousse), remove from the heat. Add the roasted hazelnuts to the melted sugar and stir well. Place the caramelized hazelnuts on a baking paper (be carefully it is very hot!) and quickly separate the nuts with the help of two forks. Let the nuts cool completely. Set 60 g of the caramelized hazelnuts aside and cut the nuts into halves. 
  • Place the rest of the caramelized hazelnuts in a food processor and blend until it becomes a smooth noisette paste.

NOISETTE WHIPPED CREAM

  • 25 ml / 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 20 g / 1 1/2 tablespoons noisette paste
  • 3/4 sheet gelatin (1 g), soaked
  • 65 g / 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Place the milk and the noisette paste in a small saucepan and heat the mixture. Remove from the heat, add the soaked gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Pour the noisette mixture into a medium sized bowl and let it cool to room temperature. 
  • Whip the heavy cream until creamy. Fold the heavy cream into the noisette mixture. 

ASSEMBLING

  • Place a dollop of caramel onto the bottom of each tartlet shell. Use only a little bit of caramel, otherwise it gets too sweet (in my opinion).
  • Distribute the caramelized hazelnut halves onto the tartlet bottoms. Spread the noisette whipped cream on top of the nuts and smooth out the surface. 
  • Unmould the frozen caramel mousse and carefully place the mousse on top of each tartlet. Decorate each cake with a roasted hazelnut. 
  • Place each cake on a cake board and let the cakes defrost in the fridge. The cake taste best on the day you assemble the cakes (the next day the tart shells get a little bit soft).



This past weekend I went on my first long bike ride of this year. It was great to be in nature and breath fresh air. I like cities and I also like the huzzle and buzzle of cities but nothing beats the calmness of nature. I can clear my mind and relax in nature; and nature keeps me grounded.
So, last Saturday I bundled up in lots of layers since it is still very chilly outside and I went on a three hour bike ride. At this time of the year there are not many people in the countryside and there are hardly any bike riders which I like. Many people do not favor this time of year because nature seems grey and not very inviting. Years ago, I thought so, too but this has changed a lot. Without questions blooming and green trees look pretty but there is also so much beauty in naked trees. Whenever trees are covered in leaves, no one can see how the trees really look like. Next time you see a naked tree, have a close look and find the beauty in it. 
Of course, I did not leave the house without a snack for my little bike ride. I prepared a big pot of hot tea, wrapped up a freshly baked brioche in a kitchen towel and I prepared a little container with butter and honey. This was my picnic that I had halfway through by bike tour. I could not think of a better picnic food for a chilly February day. A dense freshly baked brioche is such a comforting food. It is my favorite Sunday breakfast treat and my favorite picnic food. This is why I have a few brioche recipes on the blog because I can never get enough of different brioche recipes. The following recipe is a new favorite of mine, besides my chocolate brioche recipe. I hope you like it as much as I do.  



Makes 9 brioche buns

INGREDIENTS

  • 50 g / 3 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 100 ml / 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon whole milk (3,5 %)
  • 20 g fresh yeast , 3 teaspoons active dry yeast, 2 1/4 teaspoons instant active dry yeast *
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 25 g / 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 50 g / 1/3 cup raisins
  • Zest of 1/2 organic / untreated lemon, finely grated
  • 1 egg (medium sized)
  • 260 g / 2 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus some extra for kneading
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk (3,5 %)
  • Almonds flakes
  • Pearl sugar

DIRECTIONS

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the milk and heat until the mixture is lukewarm. 
  • Crumble the fresh yeast into a medium sized bowl. 
  • Pour a little bit of the butter milk mixture to the yeast. Stir until the yeast is dissolved, then add the remaining liquid.
  • Add the pinch of salt, granulated sugar, raisins, and finely grated lemon zest and mix well. 
  • Lightly beat the egg and set one tablespoon aside. Add the egg to the mixture and mix well. 
  • Add the flour and stir until the dough comes together. 
  • * If you use active dry yeast: heat the milk until lukewarm. Add the active dry yeast to a mug and dissolve the yeast with two tablespoons of milk. Melt the butter. Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl, add the melted butter, remaining lukewarm milk and dissolved yeast. Proceed as written above. 
  • If you use instant active dry yeast: mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl, then add the lukewarm butter-milk mixture and proceed as written above. 
  • On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth. If the dough is sticky, add a little bit more flour. 
  • Place the dough back into the bowl; cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a draft-free and warm place until it is doubled in size. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes. I place the dough in the oven and switch the oven to 40 °C / 104 °F.
  • If you make raisin buns without any brioche moulds, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you use brioche moulds, grease and flour the moulds. 
  • Knead the yeast dough again. Divide the dough into nine pieces and form each piece to a ball. 
  • Place the balls onto the baking sheet or into the brioche moulds (place the moulds onto a baking sheet).
  • Cover the buns with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 10 minutes at room temperature. 
  • Preheat the oven to 200 °C / 390 °F. 
  • Mix the remaining egg (one tablespoon) and the milk well. Mix the almond flakes with the pearl sugar,
  • Brush the buns with the egg-milk mixture and sprinkle the top of each bun with the almond flakes and pearl sugar mixture.
  • Bake the buns for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden in color. The buns baked in brioche moulds take a few minutes longer, about 10 to 12 minutes. 
  • The buns taste the very best lukewarm with a little bit of butter and honey. 
  • The brioche freeze well. Heat the frozen brioche buns in the oven at 75 °C / 160 °F.