Here is one of those long overdue projects:
Somewhere on web I found a pic of a round cake set inside of a regular spring form. I hadn't seen that construction anywhere so I wanted to give it a go. This timed with a neighbor bringing me a big bag of grapefruit (and for those who are regular readers, you'll be able to follow this logic) which made me think of celery which then made me think of szechuan peppercorn, which culiminated in black tea and honey. It all made sense...to me anyway.
So, I infused lychee black tea into suagaro honey:
I then used that to make Amernick's honey cake which is one of my favorite cakes (the best version I've made has had Big Tree Farms mango blossom honey). The challenge was the round top cake. I tried three other techniques, none of which allowed the cake to release, but finally I oiled and floured, added a couple of parchment strips and oiled and floured again, inside of a my iSi silicone mixing bowl. It worked, but it wasn't perfect and certainly wasn't as easy as I would like. I think someone needs to invent a bowl like this with a drain plug on the bottom to release the pressure (send me a lil' something once you make it big with that idea).
You can see that it fell a bit, but that was okay since I needed to cut it down, and that gave me a nice scrap. I had also added some szechuan into the honey which is a great combination.
Next, I added a layer of szechuan white chocolate. I would not do this again. I originally thought this would provide a moisture barrier against the mousse, but I now think I want the mousse to something to grab onto. You'll see in later pics how there is slight separation.
On the bottom of the honey cake I placed a grapefruit shortbread that had a very thin layer of tempered 85% dark chocolate - I wanted a crunch, but not so much that it would make cutting difficult.
That whole mess was then placed in my 8" springfrom which was filled with grapefruit bavaroise and frozen.
I then took that block of ice and set it in my 9" springform filled with celery mousse. The pepperiness of celery is still, I think, an incredible flavor in many desserts. Once that was frozen a layer of celery geleè was add and it was all re-frozen.
I'll now add that I've been wanting to improve my photos, so I recently bought a light tent. This is my first photoshoot in that light tent. I had a super high powered light shining on it, but I think my pics suck...so I'll be seeking advice on what I'm missing.
I added a few meringue strips to the outside...
and cut into it!
Overall, this is a really good flavor combination. I want to find a lighter cake that will not contrast so much with the bavarois and mousse, and same with the shortbread - I'll probably use Julie Child's hungarian shortbread technique (running it through a box grater) on the next version. More importantly I want to keep working on the round topped cake!
Swiss Alps Bakery – Albuquerque, New Mexico
4 days ago