There’s a new(ish) show that I’ve been following. It’s called Creme de la Creme and I just finished watching the finale a week or so ago. For those who are unaware, it’s like GBBO, but for professional pastry chefs. Teams battle it out to win the title of “Creme de la Creme”, and needless to say, I was hooked.
Episode after episode, I would watch the teams create different entremets with beautiful, distinct layers. I was smitten by how the different layers looked and thought “maybe I can try making something similar”.
Was my attempt successful? Yep. It just took 2.5 days to make.
You’ll definitely want to save this for a special occasion. The best thing about it is that with such a simple and modest finishing, the surprise comes when you cut the first slice and expose the many layers of the cake.
There are endless combinations that you could do for an entremet, but this version is fantastic for the summer months and is light light light, so you can have it after a BBQ and not feel guilty.
MIXED BERRY ENTREMET
Part 1: Macaron base
This is your average macaron recipe, but it works great as a base for this entremet as it adds another layer of texture and a welcomed one at that. Make this a day or two in advance and store in a dry area (I just leave mine in the oven, switched off of course).
The good thing about using it as a base is that you don’t need to wait for a skin to form before baking – it’s going to be covered up anyway! If you’re looking for something with a bit more crunch, use a meringue recipe instead. Like the meringue base layer here.
2 large egg whites
45g caster sugar
115g pure icing sugar
60g ground almond
- Set the oven to 120⁰C/250⁰F
- Trace a 10” tin on parchment paper with pencil. Flip parchment paper over, pencil mark down, and place on a flat baking tray.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the icing sugar and ground almond until incorporated. Set aside .
- Place egg white and caster sugar in a medium sized bowl and mix with an electric mixer (hand or stand) until stiff. You can check this if you tip the bowl upside down and the mixture does not fall out.
- Tip the ground almond sugar mixture into one side of the egg whites and fold in. It will take about 30-50 folds, or until it’s just mixed. Avoid a runny mixture, as that would mean it’s overmixed and will bake flatter than we want.
- Pipe the outline that you previously traced.
- Spoon mixture into the middle of the circle. Using a palette knife, spread the mixture evenly within the outline, ensure that the top is as even as possible. You will want it to be no more than ¾ inch thick. To reduce any air bubbles, use the tip of the palate knife to tap various areas of within the circle, and then to smooth it back out.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, turning the tray halfway through.
- Set aside and cool.
Part 2: Vanilla sponge
This can be made up to two days in advance, wrapped in cling film and stored in the fridge until assembly.
1 egg yolk
60g AP flour
5g melted butter, cooled.
Vanilla flavouring, to taste
- Set oven at 175C⁰/325⁰F
- Grease a 10” tin, then lightly coat with flour. Shake any excess out.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolk and sugar with a hand mixer until the mixture doubles in volume, and forms a thick mixture. The more air that is beat into the eggs will help make the sponge rise.
- Slowly fold the flour into the egg mixture until just incorporated. Careful of over mixing here as it could deflate the eggs.
- Take the melted butter and slowly pour it in, while folding, add half a cap of vanilla flavouring and keep folding until incorporated in.
- Pour mixture into your greased tin and place within centre of oven to bake for 30-45 minutes. As this is thinner than the average bake, it won’t take as long.
- You may need to turn the tin halfway through depending how even the baking is. To check if the sponge is ready, use a sharp knife, or toothpick, and stick it in the middle of the sponge. If it comes out clean it’s ready.
- Set aside and cool.
Part 3: Mixed berry puree
Make this a few days beforehand and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Any leftovers go extremely well with pancakes or French toast.
300g frozen mixed berries
100g granulated sugar
- In a small saucepan on low heat, heat the mixed berries and sugar until it just starts to soften, giving it a good stir every few 30 seconds or so.
- Remove from heat and using a blender/food processor, blend until berry mixture looks thoroughly incorporated.
- Over a bowl, strain the mixture through through a fine sieve, and use a metal spoon to push as much out as possible.
- Let it cool and store in the fridge until use.
Part 4: Mixed berry jelly insert
Can be made 1-2 days in advance and kept in the fridge, or up to 2 hours before assembly.
100mL berry puree (from before)
1 gelatin leaf (pre-soaked, follow instructions on packet)
- Cover a large plate (one that can fit in the fridge) with cling film. Place an 8” (you need something slightly smaller than your base/sponge size) cake ring on top and set aside.
- In a small saucepan on low heat, heat the berry puree with the pre-soaked gelatin leaf until it starts to simmer and the gelatin leaf has fully melted. Whisk to ensure no lumps and it’s all melted.
- Wait until slightly cooled and pour into the ring and place in the fridge to set – overnight is best. Or in the freezer for a faster set.
Part 5: Berry mousse
This needs to be prepared on the day of assembly.
Remaining berry puree from above
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 packet of powdered gelatin (about 12 g)
800mL double cream
- Heat the berry puree in a pan on medium heat until hot but not simmering, whisk in the powdered gelatin until all it’s all dissolved without any lumps. Set aside to cool down completely.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites until they’re almost reaching soft peaks – you want them thick and foamy.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the double cream until soft peaks form. Set aside half for finishing the cake.
- From one of the whipped cream halves, stir in a few spoonfuls of whipped cream into the cooled berry puree to get an even temperature, before mixing the berry cream mixture into the remaining whipped cream.
- Add a quarter of the egg whites to the berry cream to loosen it before folding in the remaining egg whites in 2 batches. Set aside.
Part 6: Assembly
2 pints fresh, slightly crushed mixed berries (I used a mix of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries)
100mL boiling water
3 tbsp granulated sugar
Grand Marnier to taste (optional)
- In a small bowl or cup, pour the boiling water over the 3 tbps of sugar, mix until dissolved and set aside to cool. Add in a cap of Grand Marnier once cooled.
- You can always make this ahead of time, or put it in the fridge to chill faster.
- Place the 10” cake ring on a large plate (one that can fit in your fridge!)
- Place the macaron layer down first (if the cake isn’t going to be eaten immediately, you can paint a layer of chocolate on it first and let it dry before assembling. This will help slow down the moisture getting in), followed by 0.5cm layer of fresh cream.
- Sprinkle the mixed berries on the surface and cover with another layer of fresh cream, until the berries are just covered. Use a palette knife to help get an even finishing.
- Cut off the topping from sponge cake (as thin as you can!) horizontally – discard this or eat it, I usually do the latter. Place the layer of sponge on top of the fresh cream and berries.
- Using a brush, carefully dab the sponge to lightly moisten the surface with the sugar water mixture.
- Take the berry mousse mixture and spread a thin layer (0.5cm) onto the sponge.
- Remove your jelly insert from earlier (use a sharp knife to carve along the rim to help) and place in the middle of the mousse mixture.
- Cover with remaining mousse mixture until it is about 1-1.5cm thick, making sure it’s spread evenly.
- Finally, spread a layer of fresh whipped cream on top (no more than 1cm) and make sure the surface is smooth.
- Cover the top with cling film and place in the fridge to set – about 3 hours or overnight is best.
- To remove the cake, run a sharp knife in hot water and dry off. Run the knife along the inside of the ring, as close as you can and carefully lift the ring up – it should separate easily from the cake.
- To finish, use the remaining cream and/or mousse to cover the tops and sides. Here, I’ve attempted an ombre effect (key word: attempt) and finished it off with some sugared berries (recipe here – although these decorations are best used for cakes decorated & eaten on the same day. They will lose their sugared look from the fridge’s moisture if stored overnight.).