A couple of weeks ago I was daydreaming of a cake in the shape of a snowball. I had a clear idea how to make the cake but I was not so sure what kind of flavor to choose for the cake. My first thought was to make a tarragon mousse with lingonberries and a speculoos bottom. I was not entirely sold on this idea but I thought I should give it a try. I went to the farmers market in order to pick up a few branches of tarragon but while I was waiting in line at a vegetable stall, I changed my mind and I bought rosemary instead. The vendor also sold some beautiful looking pomegranates and all of a sudden I knew what kind of flavors I wanted for my snowball cake creation: a rosemary white chocolate mousse with a pomegranate jelly and a cinnamon sable bottom. I envisioned a beautiful color contrast between the white mousse and the dark red color of the pomegranate. Just the thought of it made me so happy. On my way home from the farmers market, I passed a Christmas market and there was the scent of roasted almonds in the air and I decided to add roasted cinnamon almonds to the cake creation as well. This is how I came up with my latest cake creation: the snowball mousse cake with tarragon, pomegranate, cinnamon and almonds.
I wanted to post this recipe before the holidays but this obviously did not happen. However, the petite snowball mousse cakes are delicious on any winter day. If you are still indecisive what dessert to serve on New Years Eve, you might consinder making these snowball cakes. The cake is a delicious way to end 2016 and it is also the last cake recipe that I share with you this year. I hope you have had a great year with lots of delicious cakes. I wish you nothing but the best for 2017.
Makes 6 little cakes (7 cm / 2.8 inches in diameter, height 4,5 cm / 1.8 inches)
- 1 medium sized pomegranate / 125 ml / 1/2 cup juice of a pomegranate is needed
- 5 g / 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 dash lemon juice
- 1 1/3 (2g) gelatin sheets, soaked
- Cut the pomegranate in half. Squeeze the pomegranate halves. Be carefully, otherwise your kitchen might be covered in red dots. You need 125 ml / 1/2 cup juice of the pomegranate.
- Pour the juice into a saucepan, add the sugar and the dash of lemon juice; heat the mixture. When the pomegranate mixture is warm, remove from the heat and add the gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Divide the pomegranate mixture into six little moulds. The size of each mould I use is: 2.5 cm / 1 inch in diameter and 2.5 cm / 1 inch in height.
- Freeze the moulds for at least two hours.
ROSEMARY WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
- 50 g / 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon / 2 g rosemary needles, chopped
- 60 g / 2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 sheet / 1.5 g of gelatin, soaked
- 135 g / 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan and add the chopped rosemary needles. Bring the heavy cream to almost a boil, remove from the heat. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the rosemary steep for 10 minutes. Pour the rosemary heavy cream mixture through a sieve and pour the heavy cream back to the saucepan.
- Bring the infused rosemary heavy cream almost to a boil again. Remove from the heat, add the chopped white chocolate and mix until the chocolate is melted. Add the gelatin and stir well until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
- Beat the heavy cream until creamy. Fold the whipped cream into the rosemary white chocolate mixture.
- Place six hemisphere moulds ( 7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter / I use silicon moulds) onto a tray. Fill the moulds 2/3 with the mousse. Freeze the mousse for at least 4 hours.
- Unmould the pomegranate jelly and gently press the jelly cores into the mousse. There will be a little hole in the middle of each cake while pressing the core into the mousse. Do not level out the surface with the mousse because the hole will be filled with the roasted cinnamon almonds.
ROASTED CINNAMON ALMOND
- 50 g / 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 45 ml / 3 tablespoon water
- 75 g / 1/2 cup almonds
- In a medium sized pan, add the sugar, cinnamon and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the almonds and let it simmer, over medium-high heat, for about 5 minutes until the almonds are covered in a sugar cinnamon glaze. You will notice that the almonds will be coated in sugar which look like a sand. Turn the heat down to medium and stir until the sugar melts again (it takes a while, be patient). As soon as the almonds are evenly coated with cinnamon sugar, remove from the heat. Place the almonds on parchment paper and separate the almonds that stick together, use two knifes.
- Let the almonds cool completely, then chop the roasted almonds.
CINNAMON SABLE BRETON BOTTOM
- 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
- 100 g / 1 cup pastry flour
- 2 g / 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 175 °C / 350 °F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the butter and granulated sugar in a medium sized bowl. Mix well with a spoon. Add the egg yolks and stir well again.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the butter egg mixture and stir until the dough comes together.
- Roll out the dough onto the baking sheet to a 23 cm / 9 inches square.
- Bake the sable breton for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cut out circles ( 7 cm / 2.75 inches ) with a cookie cutter. Place the baking sheet back into the oven and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the sable breton is golden brown in color. Let the cookie bottoms cool on a wire rack.
WHITE CHOCOLATE MIRROR GLAZE
- 55 ml / 1/4 cup water
- 25 g / 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 50 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons glucose
- 2 1/3 (3.5 g) gelatin, soaked
- 35 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons crème double
- 50 g / 1.8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
- Place water, sugar and glucose in a small saucepan. 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. Add the crème double and gelatin and stir until well combined. Add the white chocolate and mix again until the chocolate is completely melted and the glaze is smooth. Pour the the glaze through a sieve and let the glaze cool until has a temperature of 40 °C / 104 °F. It is a thin glaze which I like for this cake. The glaze is more like a glue, so the coconut flakes stick to the cake.
- You can also prepare the glaze a few days ahead. Store the glaze in the fridge ( in a sealed jar). The glaze gets very thick but do not worry; gently reheat the glaze.
- Coconut flakes, for decoration
- Unmould the frozen mousse cakes. Fill the hole of each mousse cake with the chopped roasted cinnamon almonds. Place a cookie disc on each cake and flip the mousse cakes over.
- Place the frozen mousse cake on a wire rack (place a deep plate under the wire rack, so you can catch the excess glaze which you can reuse). Pour the glaze over the mousse cake and cover each mousse cake with coconut flakes. I recommend glazing not more than three mousse cakes at a time.
- Place each mousse cake on a cake board and let the cakes defrost in the fridge and keep the cakes in the fridge until consumption.