Happy Birthday to Me!

So I turned 25 last Friday! To celebrate the occasion, the boyfriend took me out to a nice Japanese restaurant and I made an entremet for myself as a birthday cake! It is no secret that I love Pierre Herme’s Ispahan for its lovely combination of lychee, rose and raspberry so naturally, that was what I attempted making as my birthday cake.

Although I like the flavour combination of Ispahan, I didn’t want to exactly recreate the macaron gateaux itself because I wanted to play around with the flavours and make it into a cake. So I scrambled through my recipe books and decided on the cream, mousse, jelly and sponge combination that I liked and went straight into it!

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The conceptualisation

Drawing inspiration from the macaron gateaux itself, I made a almond dacquoise as the base because this flavour goes quite well with the subtle lychee rose and raspberry combination. As for the insert, I wanted a creamy pink raspberry cream, topped with a thin layer of lychee jelly. Lastly, all these encased by a creamy vanilla rose mousse, and glazed with a light pink white chocolate glaze.

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Since this is a celebration cake, the decoration had to be something different! I’ve made a few entremets at home before but I’ve never really made chocolate decorations. I’ve seen a few cakes that I really like by Frank Haasnoot and Kirsten Tibballs on Instagram, where they placed tempered chocolate rings on top of the cakes and decorated with an assortment of fruits so that was what I attempted to recreate!

The process

My dacquoise came out nicely but I was slightly disappointed with the colour of my raspberry cream. It was more of a purple-y violet colour rather than a nice maroon-y red. It’s okay though, as long as it tastes nice. I think the reason for the change of colour of the raspberry was because when I was boiling the puree with the milk and cream, I left it on a boil for slightly too long, causing the colour to change a little. Also, after mixing in the egg yolks, naturally the colour combination changed. As for the lychee jelly, I didn’t do anything too fancy – I just used the lychee syrup from the can, added some gelatine and then sprinkled some lychee pieces on top.

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Learning from my previous mistake, I used the rose water essence sparingly this time and it actually tastes pleasant! Fragrant vanilla mousse with a subtle hint of rosewater in aftertaste. This is exactly what I wanted!

The outcome

And voila! This is the cake I ended up with! The tempered chocolate ring is a bit sloppy because it was my first time attempting something like this. But it’s okay, I am quite happy with the cake as a whole 🙂

Here is the cross section of the cake.

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As a birthday present for myself, I am grateful for this learning experience in making this entremet. The result may not be outstanding, but knowing there is room for improvement is always good because you can only get better from there.

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