I don’t know why but my life has been very busy lately, which means baking hasn’t been a frequent occurrence.
But recently I was at my mom’s and decided we both needed some chocolate in our lives. And it was also the perfect excuse to bake something that’s difficult to share: like these “entremet” things.
What’s an entremet?
You know, I still don’t really know.
Something layered. And presumably French. And fancy.
I adjusted the recipe to serve two people instead of six (which required cutting it in half, not in thirds, because of the amount of eggs needed; bigger single servings are fine by me).
First? Make decorative paste.
Except… I didn’t.
So we’re just going to skip that detail.
Next step? Make the joconde sponge. Starting with egg whites.
Mary wanted me to whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks were formed.
Then I was to slowly whisk in the sugar until it turns into a glossy meringue and cover it with clingfilm.
With that set aside, I mixed together the ground almonds, icing sugar and egg.
I then whisked that until it doubled in size.
And then I had to fold in the flour. But since this was for my mom, I used her gluten-free flour. It’s only 10 grams, so it won’t affect the quality of the sponge too much.
I then sifted it to fold it in.
And then Mary told me to fold in the meringue in three batches.
If you’re wondering how you fold something in, you just fold it in.
I then poured melted butter down the side of the bowl, folded that in and poured it into the baking tin.
Except I didn’t have a baking tin large enough because what I needed was a Swiss roll tin for a recipe that should be twice as big. It was also supposed to be striped with the decorative paste that was frozen. That is all a lot of work for something that’s decorative and serves no purpose, so I thought I’d make it a smaller square tin created with aluminum foil.
I had it all worked out.
I’d fashion an aluminium foil cake ring that I could line with the sponge as the recipe directed.
But if you’ve lived any amount of time, you’ll know that things don’t always go as planned.
But more on that later.
With the sponge baking, I got started on melting chocolate for the mousse.
The chocolate barely started to warm up when I looked at the sponge and realized it was finished.
I tried to peel the greased foil off of the cake and it started to take the cake, so I grabbed a spatula and even more carefully peeled and scraped until eventually:
With that cooling, I prepped for the mousse by pre-whipping single egg whites that I’d need later.
With the chocolate melted, I added a “knob” of butter (I assume that is like a tablespoon-sized chunk) and then stirred in a single egg yolk.
And then it turned into this and I got slightly worried.
As that cooled a little bit more, I whipped up the whipping cream in a measuring cup with just one whisk attachment because I am super clever.
Then I folded in the egg whites.
Then I folded in the whipped cream with soft peaks.
Before making the white chocolate mousse, I figured out a Plan C for the sponge.
I tried making a cake tin out of foil and failed. Hard. Then I tried making a mould to layer the sponge with the mousse and failed. Again.
Then I thought about putting it layered in a glass, but had to put it in the freezer and didn’t want the glass to break so I grabbed a plastic cup meant for children and cut two circles out of the sponge, evenly split the chocolate mousse between the two and placed them in the freezer.
Then I got started, warily, on the white chocolate mousse.
Melting white chocolate is something I’ve struggled with in the past, but as Mary directed, I waited until the chocolate was just softened, and then removed the bowl from the heat and whipped it up to be melted but not curdled.
Unlike the dark chocolate, there was no need for egg yolk and butter in this one, so I just folded in the egg whites.
And then folded in the whipped cream.
With the white chocolate mousse finished, I took out the cups from the freezer, added another layer of sponge, and then the white chocolate mousse.
I placed those back in my mom’s fridge because she was out while I was putting this together and when she came home and opened the fridge she said, “What is that??” in a very excited voice.
This is why I love baking.
Feeding people things that make them happy is a joyful thing to do.
When it was time to enjoy them (after a healthy dinner that wasn’t too filling), I added blueberries on top and sat down.
Someone was curious about it, though.
And then I got halfway through and added more blueberries and someone else got curious.
Guys. This was for real delicious. I don’t love white chocolate, but the sweetness of the white with the bitterness of the dark, plus yummy sponge, plus blueberries equals perfection.
But seriously don’t bother with making it pretty. Just make it delicious.
And Mary? If you want someone to make something complicated, at least give a photo so they know what they’re working toward. I had to Google Image this to see what it needed to be before scrapping plans A and B.