It’s week 9 of my GBBO Challenge, the semi-final! It was Pâtisserie week! I was originally planning to make macarons, a pâtisserie staple, but after seeing them make entremets on the show I knew I had to up my game and have a go at them, so I made blackberry and elderflower entremets!
I have had so much fun with this GBBO challenge, it’s been a great way to push my boundaries and bake things I never would have considered. I’ll definitely be doing it again next year! There is one more week left, the final! But I won’t be doing that for a couple weeks yet and the final week was all about baking staples to perfection. I’m going to be making mini victoria sponges, while they are a baking staple and pretty darn yummy, I feel like entremets are a much more impressive bake to go out on! So I’m bringing my GBBO challenge to a close with this post, I hope you’ve enjoyed it with me and thank you to all of your supportive and kind comments! It’s been a lot of fun!
Now, on to the dessert at hand! Entremets are a classic, they used to be served in between courses as a kind of signal that the previous course is over – they ranged from simple porridge type dishes to extravagant sugar sculptures and even performances. These days it’s a dessert in itself, usually a mousse based cake with various textures and techniques used. These were actually a lot of fun to make and not as challenging as I first thought. Mine didn’t come out perfect, I made a few mistakes and they’re not as neat as ones you’d get from a really pastry chef but I’m pretty proud of them. They have a really light sponge cake based that has been brushed with a kirsch sugar syrup, then blackberry mousse and elderflower bavarian cream, topped with a blackberry glaze and a mini macaron. Despite the slight glaze leakage, I think they look pretty cool as a whole, but when you cut into them they look pretty awesome too
Okay, let’s talk mistakes so you can maybe learn from them a little! First of all, I didn’t put enough gelatine in the cream so it was a bit shaky in terms of holding up, some did and some didn’t. The macarons were a complete disaster, I’ve only successfully made them once – I’m not sure what the problem was here, they seemed to bake up pretty well but they were stuck fast to the baking paper (I tried baking longer in case they were under baked, and there was no change) and the few I managed to pry off were way too chewy. The other problem with the macarons were I put them on top before the glaze was set, so they got all soggy! Oops! But oh well, you bake and you learn!
What wasn’t a mistake was the taste. The flavours of the blackberry and elderflower together was really good, they tartness of the berries and perfumeness (totally a word) of the elderflower was really complimentary. The sponge cake is so light and airy, it’s kind of like meringue in cake form! The mousse melts in your mouth, as does the bavarian cream. If these didn’t take 3 days to make (I don’t know how the GBBO contestants made them in 5 hours!!) I would definitely do this all over again and again! Don’t let the amount of time put you off giving these a go, it really is worth the effort, and each stage doesn’t take very long you just need to wait for each component to set properly which is what takes the time.
To make your own entremets, you need Cake Rings – I used 7.5cm ones and my recipe makes enough for 6. Then you need some patience, you really do need to wait for everything to fully freeze before putting it together so everything holds it’s shape. The other important part is gelatine, very very important in making sure everything holds when you unmold your little works of art! I prefer to use leaf gelatine as I really don’t like the powder, so that’s what my recipe is working with. I don’t know if this will work with a vegetarian alternative but if you’ve had success with one in the past by all means substitute for it!
I’m gonna bring these little beauties along to Fiesta Friday, they can be enjoyed in between each wonderful dish you’re trying, just like entremets were meant to be used!
I hope you’re all sitting comfortably, this recipe is gonna be a long and wild ride. I won’t be doing it in my normal format – the nature of this recipe will be much easier to understand if I just type it out all old fashioned!
Before I hit you with the wall of text that will be the recipe, I just want to take this moment to remind you that October is Lupus Awareness Month and I’m trying to raise awareness and funds for the cause, please check out this post for more info and a giveaway.
Okay, onto the recipe. I’ll do each component in order of when you should be making them. I won’t be including a recipe for the macarons as they were only for decoration and mine were a failure.
- 13g sheet gelatine
- 200g blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 50g caster sugar
- 50ml water
- 150ml double cream (heavy cream)
Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the blackberries, caster sugar and water in a pan and simmer until the fruit is broken down, about 5 minutes. Place a sieve over a large bowl and pour the mixture into the sieve, push the mixture through the sieve so you have a thick juice and the pulp and pips are left in the size (you can use this for something else if you like or throw it away).
Reheat the blackberry juice in the pan, remove gelatine from the water and squeeze out excess, and add to the pan. Remove from heat and stir until dissolved. Leave to cool.
Whip the cream to stiff peaks and stir through the blackberry juice, gently as to not knock out the cream.
Pour the mousse into a circular or square (not rectangle) ice cube tray, I used this large square silicone tray (silicone is best choice as it’ll make removing the mousse much easier). Put in the freezer and leave to freeze completely, overnight at least.
Kirsch Sugar Syrup
- 150ml water
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp kirsch liqueur
Add water and sugar to a saucepan, stir over a medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil for a couple of seconds. Leave to cool and then add the kirsch. You can substitute kirsch for another liqueur of your choice – or to make it alcohol free stir in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract instead. Set aside.
- 3 egg whites
- 80g caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 40g cake flour
- 20g cornflour
- 35g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat the oven to 200C/390F. Line a 12″ x 8″ pan with baking paper.
Whisk the egg whites until foamy, then add 20g of the sugar and whisk for a minute. Add remaining sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form and egg whites are thick and glossy. Add egg yolks and whisk to combine.
Sift both flours into the egg mixture and gently fold together until combined. Add the melted butter and gently fold to combine.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 15 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave sponge to cool, when cool peel off the brown layer of skin on top by gently rubbing, this is actually pretty therapeutic. Set aside.
You can use plain all purpose flour instead of cake flour if that’s all you have, but your cake won’t be quite as light.
Elderflower Bavarian Cream
- 13g sheet gelatine
- 75ml elderflower cordial
- 50m cold water
- 2 egg yolks
- 50g caster sugar
- 200ml double cream (heavy cream)
Put the cordial and water in a saucepan and gently heat for 3 minutes. Leave to cool. Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until pale and cream. Add the cordial mixture and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture reaches temperature of 85C/185F. Remove from heat.
Remove the gelatine from the water and squeeze out excess water, stir it into the elderflower custard. Place the bowl of custard over a bowl of ice water and stir until it cools to room temperature.
Whisk the cream to firm peaks (do not over whip!). Very carefully fold the whipped cream into the custard until combined.
Now is when you start assembling the entremet, working quickly before the cream starts to set (don’t worry, there’s no need to rush – just don’t dawdle either!). NOTE: this recipe includes more gelatine than I used and should be adequate for your cream to hold it’s shape well.
To assemble (part 1)
Line a large baking sheet with baking paper and place your cake rings on top.
Use a round cookie cutter the same size as your cake rings to cut out 6 circles from the sponge. Brush each circle generously with the sugar syrup and place into the cake ring.
Remove your mousse from the freezer and carefully unmold. Place one round/square of mousse on top of each circle of sponge.
Pour the bavarian cream over the top until just before the top of the cake ring. Place the tray in the freezer until completely frozen.
- 200g blackberries, fresh or frozen
- 50ml water
- 1 tbsp glucose syrup
- 1 sheet of gelatine (13g)
Put the gelatine in a bowl of cold water to soak.
Heat the blackberries and water in saucepan until fruit is soften. Put mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. You can strain through a fine sieve to get rid of any pips if you like, I didn’t.
Add the blackberry mixture and glucose to a saucepan and gently heat, until the syrup is dissolved. You don’t want to boil it or get it too hot, just warm it.
Squeeze excess water out of the gelatine sheet and stir into the warm mixture until dissolved. Leave mixture to cool to room temperature.
To assemble (part 2)
Take entremets out of the freezer. Pour glaze over the top and level off with a spatula if needed. Place a couple of fresh blackberries on top if you so please.
Place in the fridge until glaze has completely set (it will be like jelly/jello)
Unmold entremets from cake rings – it can be a bit messy, but they should easily slide out when gently pushed from the bottom. Top with any macarons or other garnishes you’re using.
Serve immediately or store in the fridge until needed, can be made the night before if necessary.
And that’s it folks! I hope everything was clear but please do let me know if you have any questions! I’d love to hear about your attempts if you have a go!