Saturday, March 12, 2011

Original Gateau, Chocolate-less Chocolate Mousse & Glaze

Chef Karen's Chocolate-less "Chocolate" Mousse Gateau With "Chocolate" Glaze

This is the day of reckoning where we put the blueprints of our Original Gateau to the test, 2 weeks before the final assessment. But first, a short demo on making chocolate mousse and glaze with cocoa powder instead of chocolate. A chef must always be prepared for pantry emergencies and substitute under pressure.

A personal take on cocoa powder: it's underrated. I always add a tablespoon or two of it to my chocolate desserts as I find it brings a richer and more concentrated flavor without the unnecessary sweetness.

Cocoa "Cream Patisserie" Made Into Glaze

The methods are pretty unorthodox here. For the glaze we boil water, sugar, flan gel, glucose, cream and cocoa powder, remove from heat, whisk in softened gelatine and set aside to cool. If you can cook soup from a box, you can certainly make this "instant" glaze.

Once cooled the glaze will solidify and resemble cream patisserie. This is warmed over a bain marie just till it melts (28°C to 30°C is the ideal temperature for use here) and strained through a fine sieve (a chinoise or coffee filter works a treat) to remove the bubbles and attain a smooth shine, the way glazes should be.

Boiled Cocoa Slurry Lightened With Whipped Cream, Made Into Mousse

For the mousse, make a slurry with cocoa powder, cornflour and a little water (to dissolve and disperse the cocoa powder, making it easier to incorporate into the other ingredients). Boil the slurry with more water, egg yolks and sugar, remove from heat, add a knob of butter and softened gelatine, finally fold in semi-whipped cream and you have your mousse! 

The verdict? The glaze was beautiful but the mousse was more creamy than chocolaty and way too sweet. I would reduce the sugar by a third and double up on the cocoa powder if I am to make this recipe, to bring it as close as possible to real MaCoy.

Pistachio Jaconde Base With Brandy Syrup, Bottom Layer Of Kirsch Mousse

Strawberry Jelly In The Middle, Top Layer Of Kirsch Mousse

My Original Gateau consists of brandy-soaked pistachio jaconde, kirsch mousse and a kirsch-seeped strawberry jelly. I call it The Hangover©. The jaconde turned out well: cheery green with the fragrance of pistachio, but the jelly was rubbery from too much gelatine (the one in my strawberry cheesecake was runny so I decided to err on the side of caution today).

The Archilles' heel was my mousse: To ensure it set well I added extra gelatine which probably wasn't mixed thoroughly enough into the mousse: instead of setting, it sank and seeped out when the gateau was sliced, and with it sank my heart.

From Promising Top To Melting Flop

Chefs Karen and Luigi were disappointed but not as much as I was. Saving grace were the flavors which they agreed worked beautifully together. That said, I binned my creation and come home empty handed for the first time. Back to the drawing board with this one. Dang!

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