PISTACHIO-CARAMEL AND APPLE MOUSSE CAKE

When writing a scientific article, every method used in the experiments needs a reference that gives credit to the scientist who came up with the technique. A little fun trivia for you: one of the most cited papers in our field is a method to analyze proteins on a gel, called sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Every biochemist in the known universe uses that technique, and the original paper, published by Dr. Ulrich Laemmli in 1970 has been cited in literature more times than any other. If not yet bored and/or asleep, you can read about it here. And see what one of our own protein gels looks like with a click here. Each of the little dark bands is a unique protein, each vertical lane comes from a different bacterial culture. Bottom line is, giving credit where credit is due is always in a scientist’s mind. Perhaps for that reason I have a very tough time calling a recipe my own. Like the one I’m sharing today.


I am reasonably confident that no one has made this exact cake before, but can I really call it my own when I did not “invent” the sable cookie, I did not “invent” mousses or compotes, and definitely did not figure out myself how to make a shiny mirror glaze? You see my point. So, keep all that in mind when I claim it to be “from the Bewitching Kitchen.”

PISTACHIO-CARAMEL APPLE CAKE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

equipment: Silikomart mold Universo or cake ring (18cm-7 inch diameter)

for the cookie base:
100 g all-purpose flour
50 g cold butter, cut in pieces
25 g granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water
15g ground almonds
pinch of salt

for the apple-yuzu insert:
150g granny smith apples
15g yuzu juice (or substitute lemon juice)
1/4 tsp vanilla paste
18g granulated sugar
2g NH pectin

for the pistachio mousse:
160 g milk
20 g de pistachio paste (I used this one)
2 egg yolks
30 g granulated sugar
5 g gelatin
160 g heavy cream, lightly whipped

for the caramel mousse:
5 g gelatine
25 ml water
75 g sugar
26 g glucose or corn syrup
35 ml water
1/8 tsp salt
100 g  + 190 g heavy cream
1 egg yolk

for the mirror glaze:
15 g gelatin
55 g water
150 g glucose
150 g granulated sugar
75 g water
150 g white chocolate
100 g condensed milk
1/4 tsp titanium oxide
brown and caramel gel food color

Make the sablé cookie. Mix the flour, powdered sugar, ground almonds and salt. Add the cold butter, cut into cubes and work the mixture with your fingertips until it forms small crumbs. Add a lightly beaten yolk and almost the full tablespoon of ice water. Mix quickly until the dough is homogeneous. If needed, add the rest of the water. Form a flattened ball, wrap in plastic film and take to refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Then roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment forming a circle, and cut it with a cake ring the exact size of the mold you will use to form the dessert (aim for a circle of about 18 cm). Refrigerate the dough for several hours before baking in a 400 F oven until golden. Cookie base can be made a couple of days in advance.

Make the pistachio mousse: bloom the gelatin in very cold water. In a bowl, add the yolk, the pistachio paste and the sugar. Stir well until you get a fluffy cream. In a pan, bring the milk to medium heat. When the temperature reaches about 160 F, remove the pan from the heat and pour, slowly, over the yolk mixture, stirring all the time. Return this whole mixture to the pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens slightly (about 180 F). Remove from heat and pass through a sieve. Add the bloomed gelatin, and stir well.  Let it cool to about 113 F and carefully add the whipped cream. Fold gently.

Make the apple-yuzu insert. Peel and dice the apples into 5 mm cubes. Combine the sugar and pectin in a small bowl and transfer to a saucepan. Add the yuzu or lemon juice to the saucepan and mix everything together. Turn the heat on to medium, add the apples and the vanilla. Cook very very gently with the lid on for 10 to 15 minutes or until the apples get translucent and start to melt down a bit. You will need to stir it often, so that the fruit does not burn at the bottom. Make sure the flame is really low for the whole cooking time. Freeze inside the mold you will use to assemble the dessert (you will un-mold it and save it for later). The apple compote needs to be made two full days before you need to assemble the dessert, as it needs to be frozen solid.

Make the caramel mousse.  In a small bowl, mix gelatine and water (25 ml) together and leave for 5 to 10 minutes to bloom. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, mix together sugar, glucose (or corn syrup), water (35 ml) and salt. Cook on medium high heat until you achieve a caramel syrup with deep amber color. Do not allow it to smoke or burn. Meanwhile, in another sauce pan, slightly the heat the 100 grams heavy cream, so when the caramel is ready you can pour the cream right away. Carefully pour it in and mix well until fully combined.

In another bowl, whisk the egg yolk. Then add a third of the caramel to the beaten yolk and whisk quickly together to temper. Pour the mixture back into the caramel and stir well to combine. Continue stirring until it reaches 180-182 °F.  While still hot, add the bloomed gelatin, and mix into the caramel cream. Pass the cream through a fine mesh strainer, and set it aside to cool to 113 F.  When cooled, whisk the remaining heavy cream (190 g) into a stable, yet soft consistency (like yogurt). Then fold it in two additions into the caramel cream, until well combined.

Assemble the dessert. At the bottom of the Universo mold or cake ring wrapped in plastic film, pour the pistachio mousse. Place the frozen yuzu-apple insert in the center, pressing it lightly. The mousse will cover the insert, but not fill the mold completely. Place the mold in the freezer and proceed to make the second mousse.  Pour the caramel mousse in the mold covering it almost to the top, and carefully close it all with the sable cookie. Make sure it is all well-leveled. Freeze overnight. Un-mold the dessert right before glazing.

Make the mirror glaze. Bloom the gelatin by mixing it with 55 ml water in a small bowl. Reserve. In a small sauce pan, combine the second amount of water with sugar and glucose, bring to a boil, making sure sugar is fully dissolved. Place the white chocolate cut in small pieces in a large bowl. Pour the boiling sugar-glucose mixture over it, stir to combine, add the condensed milk and emulsify it all very well with an immersion blender. Add the titanium oxide. Divide the glaze in three amounts, leave one white. Color the other two with dark brown gel color and  caramel gel color, respectively.  Mix each one completely (preferably with immersion blender), but avoid incorporating any air in the mixture. Pass the mixtures through a sieve to burst any bubbles.  When the temperature cools to about 96 F pour the three colors together in a single container, a little bit of each, alternating the colors. Glaze the frozen cake forming any type of pattern you like. Keep the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.  Use a knife with a hot blade for better slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This recipe was designed around its apple center. Remember my little dome cakes from last month? I had quite a few of those little inserts of apple compote in the freezer, so I brought them to room temperature and re-froze in the Universo mold to be part of this new dessert.  With that main component in mind, I searched for mousses that would complement it well. Not too long ago the amazing Miúda from the blog verdadedesabor made a pistachio mousse that left me dreaming. So I incorporated it.  To add another flavor component, I re-visited a caramel mousse I made in the past and loved. Apple, pistachios and caramel sounded pretty good together.  The sablé is my favorite type of cookie to use as a base because it is sturdy, tasty, and does not change shape during baking. I cut the cookie in the exact size of the mold, so it sealed it perfectly for freezing and made un-molding the dessert quite easy. Remember, measure twice and cut once.

The yuzu-apple insert. As I mentioned, I used leftover compote from a previous adventure. It is a bit tricky to judge how much compote you would need, so I halved the previous recipe and imagine it will be pretty close. All you need is to form a layer with a thickness of about 3/4 inch to place inside the mold.

The mirror glaze. Wanna see it in action? Click here for a little video of yours truly in a very daring mode. Normally glazes are poured in the center, in a circular motion, but I wanted to get a more linear effect on the surface, so I went back and forth, in a movement that is usually reserved for log-shaped or savarin-type cakes. The glaze was just a tad too cold, and I got into a slight hyperventilation mode once I noticed. The temperature of the three glazes was very close to perfection to start with, but when I poured them together in a single container, they cooled a bit more. Mirror glazes are delicate beings, and hitting the temperature correctly for three different components can be a bit tricky. I am going to bring my bread proofing box into play next time. Still, it turned out pretty close to what I had in mind. I should not be too greedy…

The cake turned out delicious, I think the only issue was the re-melting and re-freezing of the compote, it was slightly less firm than in the original mousse cakes made before. I am not sure if it would have been better to reduce it a little or even add a bit more pectin before re-freezing, but my advice is to freeze it on the exact shape you intend to use.


Slices were shared with our departmental colleagues on a cold but sunny Monday morning in December. Not very many colleagues were around that week, but the cake was gone in a couple of hours…

Mission Mondays with Sweetness accomplished!

 

ONE YEAR AGO: Someone turns 70 today!

TWO YEARS AGO: Carioca Cake, the Final Chapter

THREE YEARS AGO: Duck Confit for a Special Occasion

FOUR YEARS AGO: Ken Forkish’s Warm Spot Sourdough 

FIVE YEARS AGO: Bran Muffins, Rainbows, and a wonderful surprise!

SIX YEARS AGO: Salmon Wellington

SEVEN YEARS AGO: The Green Chip Alternative

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Weekend Pita Project

NINE YEARS AGO: Let it snow, let it snow, eggs in snow

 

20 thoughts on “PISTACHIO-CARAMEL AND APPLE MOUSSE CAKE

  1. Ok, a coupla things:

    1. Stop handwringing. It IS a BewItching Kitchen recipe. Just because the individual components were not invented by you that doesn’t mean the *combination* isn’t unique and so shouldn’t be credited to you. I mean c’mon, when Auguste Escoffier came up with Peach Melba to honor some fat Australian chick he didn’t invent ice cream, raspberry sauce, OR peaches. And that’s all there is to the dish! Yet we reference him whenever that combination gets thrown together. Or when we watch a fat chick in a horned helmet belt out Wagner. So there’s your answer: novel combinations of existing components allows one to claim sui generis, and ownership. Bask in it, baby!

    2. Whew. I don’t say this often, but…that one’s not on my playlist, much as I love everything in it. I feel no shame in saying I’m not half the baker you are, and this recipe requires twice the skill I do have.

    Which leads me to….

    3. Is your department hiring?

    And finally: get a better apron 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • ok, I will try to bask, although it is very hard for me to do so. I am such a timid creature… (you can stop laughing now, it is NOT funny) –

      if I can do it, you can do it. Pure and simple. You just need to get all the right tools for the job, which means a new cabinet to store just the silicone molds. You’ve been warned.

      our department is not hiring, we are pretty much broke, but you don’t want to get me started on how poorly the legislators of our backwards state treat the university.

      finally, and most important – does that apron make me look fat??????

      Liked by 1 person

      • Let’s start with that most important question first:

        Yes, the apron makes you look fat. 93 pounds fat. Stick a horned helmet on you, and it might have been named “Peach Sally” had Escoffier met you while you were wearing that apron. Seriously, get a personalized one – you’re a star, it’s the least you deserve. Even one like: https://tinyurl.com/yc8cg9au would be better that that bland monstrosity with someone else’s brand on it (although I personally think you’d attract more likes with: https://tinyurl.com/yashle52 . And it’s black. Slimming!)

        Yeah, yeah. If you could do it, I could do it. Eventually. I mean, I’d have to wait til NewWifey(tm) built ANOTHER cabinet before I even started, and you know how lazy that beyotch is. I’d starve before I even started. No, I’d rather live off the fruits (and pastries) of your labors, thankyouverymuch.

        You’re kidding? Politicians in this country don’t know the value of scientific research? Especially in a Jeezus Lovin’, gun totin’, “John T. Sopes was GUILTY!” state like MO? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you.

        But I’d still want to work there if you were bringing in pastries like this periodically. Don’t you need toilets scrubbed? Test viruses consumed? Anything? Will work for cake.

        And finally, move your lips along with me here: THIS IS A BEWITCHING RECIPE. Period. (Until I swipe it and copyright it before you.)

        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE your sense of adventure in the kitchen! What an awesome cake! Loved the video too. It seems like the fine line between lab and kitchen is blurring 😉 Could you remind us what the function of the titanium oxide is?

    Liked by 1 person

    • so glad you enjoyed the post!
      The titanium oxide increases the “opacity” of the glaze – if you don’t add it, sometimes the color is not enough to hide the surface of the cake underneath. In this particular glaze, you could probably omit it, because the dark brown has pretty good coverage and it ended up as the dominant color. But I just wanted to be safe and added a little bit, as some of the glaze was left without any dye. Particularly if you are working with white glaze the titanium oxide will be a must.

      Liked by 1 person

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