Last month I saw the Japanese movie "Sweet Red Been Paste", "あん" (An), directed by Naomi Kawase. The movie is about Dorayaki (little pancakes filled with red been paste) which are sold in a tiny bakery in Tokyo, about an elderly lady who was isolated most of her life because of leprosy and who shares her secret recipe of red been paste and above all, the theme of the movie is about social exclusion and the virtue of patience. It is an incredible beautiful and moving movie and one of the best movies that I have seen in a while.
The movie opens with the peak bloom of the cherry blossom season and this picture was not only stuck in my head for a long time but it also brought back memories of my time when I lived in Seoul, South Korea. The cherry blossom season (the cherry trees were brought by the Japanese during their colonisation) last only about a week and during this short period of time the streets that are lined up with cherry trees are full of marshmallowy clusters of cherry blossoms. It is like a fairy tale. It is like a dream. In a blink of an eye the cherry blossom season is over and all of a sudden the ground is covered with the cherry blossoms which resemble feathers. During the cherry blossom season I always got up very early in order to enjoy a morning stroll and admiring the beauty of the cherry blossoms. I wanted to make most of this season, I did not want to miss a single moment of this breathtaking cherry blossom season.
The cherry blossom season did not only show me the beauty of nature but it also taught me how to live. Enjoy the moment and do not wait until tomorrow. This sounds so profane but the cherry blossom season had an impact on me and my way of living. Over the years I got lost and I forgot about it but the opening scene of the "Sweet Red Been Paste" movie was a reminder for me.
Inspired by the movie, the cherry blossoms, the colors, my memories in Korea I created delicious little cherry vanilla mousse cakes as an homage. I had a specific image in my head how I wanted the compose this blog post and how the cake should taste like. It turned out exactly how I wanted it. This rarely happens to me. It was pure joy composing this blog entry. I hope you enjoy this post and recipe as much as I do.
Patience is a virtue and this also applies making these delightful mousse cakes. You need time making the cakes but the good news is that you can prepare the cake ahead of time and you can make the cake over several days. The preparation time of the cakes is about 90 minutes; the freezing time of the cakes is 7 1/2 hours.
I always use a kitchen scale and weight my ingredients in grams. I try my best to calculate the ingredients into tablespoons, teaspoons, cups, et cetera, as accurate as possible. But keep in mind that this way of measuring ingredients can never be precise as measuring in grams. I cannot recommend highly enough investing in a kitchen scale.
Makes 6 little hemisphere cakes (7 cm / 2.8 inches in diameter, height 4,5 cm / 1.8 inches)
- 125 g / 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 30 g / 2 egg yolks (medium sized egg)
- 10 g / 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1.5 g sheet gelatin, soaked or 1/2 teaspoon gelatin powder
- 30 g / 1 ounce white chocolate, finely chopped
- Pour the heavy cream into a small pot.
- Split vanilla pod lenghtwise 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.
- Mix egg yolks and sugar. Pour the hot milk to the egg sugar mixture and mix well. Pour the mixture back to the pot. Over medium heat whisk continuously until the mixture starts to thickens which takes about three to four minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin and finely chopped white chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Pour mixture into a bowl and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Pour the mixture into small (silicone) hemisphere moulds (3 cm / 1.2 inches in diameter). Place the moulds in the freezer and let the vanilla cores freeze for at least 1 1/2 hours.
- 90 g / 2/3 cup frozen sour cherries, unsweetened
- 35 g / 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 g gelatin sheets, soaked or 2/3 teaspoon gelatin powder
- 15 g / 1 egg yolk (medium sized egg)
- 145 g / 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Defrost the cherries. Puree the defrosted cherries and press the cherries through a sieve. You need 55 g / 1/4 cup of pureed cherries.
- Add cherry puree and 15 g / 1 tablespoon sugar into a pot and bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Set aside.
- Mix egg yolks and the remaining sugar (20 g / 2 tablespoons) in a heat proof bowl. In a double boiler heat the egg mixture, stir constantly. until it has reached 82 °C / 180 °F. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and continue to whisk until the egg mixture has cooled down.
- Add a little bit of the cherry mixture to the egg mixture and stir until well combined. Add the rest of cherry mixture and mix again until well incorporated.
- Whisk the heavy cream until creamy. Add one third of the whipped cream to the cherry mixture and mix well. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the cherry mixture.
- Fill the cherry mousse into hemisphere (silicone) moulds (almost to the top of each mould).
- Unmold the frozen vanilla cores and gently press each core into the cherry mousse.
- Freeze the mousse cakes for at least 6 hours or overnight. You can also leave the cherry mousse cakes for several weeks in the freezer.
- 45 g / 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 25 g / 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
- 15 g / 2 tablespoons pastry flour, sifted
- 30 g / 5 tablespoons almond flour
- 60 g / 2 medium sized egg white
- 30 g / 1 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F.
- Line a small rectangular cake pan (20 cm x 20 cm / 8 inches x 8 inches) with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter on medium heat until the butter turns to a golden brown color and develops a nutty flavor.
- Place powdered sugar, flour and almond flour in a medium sized bowl and stir.
- Whisk the egg white until they form light foam. Add the lightly beaten egg whites to the flour mixture and stir well. Add little by little the melted butter to the mixture and mix until well incorporated. Add the chopped white chocolate to the mixture.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan.
- Bake the cake for 10 to 12 minutes or until sligthly golden in color.
- Let the financier bottom cool completely. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter; the size depends on the size of your hemisphere moulds. My moulds are 7 cm / 2.5 inches, so I cut out 7 cm / 2.8 inches circles.
White Chocolate Glaze
- 55 ml / 1 /4 cup water
- 25 g / 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 50 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons liquid glucose
- 3.5 g gelatin sheets, soaked or 1 1/3 teaspoons gelatin powder
- 35 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons crème double
- 50 g / 1.5 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
- Pour water, glucose and sugar into a small pot. Over high heat bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil until it has reached the temperature of 103 °C / 217 F°. Remove from the heat and add gelatin and crème double and mix. Place the chopped chocolate into a bowl and pour the the hot mixture over the chocolate. Stir until the glaze is smooth.
- 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 for several days).
- Place the white chocolate glaze into a pot (it has a thick consistency) and gently reheat the glaze.
- Unmould the cherry mouse cakes and place the frozen cakes on a wire rack (put a deep plate under the wire rack, so you can catch the excess glaze and reuse the glaze). Pour the glaze over the frozen cakes. It is important that the mousse cakes are frozen when pouring the glaze over the cakes.
- Carefully place each glazed mousse cake onto a financier circle bottom.
- Let the mousse cakes defrost.