Thursday, February 18, 2016

Blackberry Mousse Cake



When we were in L.A. over the holidays, my in-laws gave me a shopping spree at Surfas Culinary District for Christmas. Imagine a big warehouse stocked with anything a chef or a baker could ever want or need. Let's just say I was in baker heaven. One of the things I picked up were these cake rings for making mousse cakes, and this past weekend I finally tried it out.




Since it was my first time making a mousse cake, I thought I'd share what I learned:

- You will need either a cake ring or a spring form pan, so that you can release the sides easily. If you use a cake ring, make sure you have a cake round to put underneath. 

- To get those nice and sharp edges, you can cover the inside of the pan with plastic strips, called acetate sheets. Those are the clear ones you usually see on mousse cakes in bakeries. I've heard that plastic wrap around the cake ring should work too, but it might leave marks if you don't get it on smoothly.

- Let the berry syrup and gelatin mix cool slightly but not set, since whipped cream doesn't like heat.

- When making the mousse, fold the whipped cream very gently into the berry-gelatin mix. Use a spatula and fold around the sides of the bowl and over. You want to make sure you don't over mix, which will cause the mousse to get runny.

- Freeze the mousse cake before removing the cake pan and plastic strips to get a smooth finish on your cake. Since I missed this memo and only chilled mine, it got a sponge-like look. Note to self: freeze the mousse cake!




You can use your favorite recipe for a cake, and cover it with mousse to make a stunning (and yummy!) presentation. Make sure you make the cake smaller than the cake ring you are using, since you will want the mousse to cover the sides. I made a 4 inch cake inside of a 6 inch mousse ring. This one is a vanilla sponge cake, filled with a blackberry syrup and lemon curd, and topped with a chocolate ganache. Since the mousse has such a light and delicate blackberry flavor, I thought the lemon was a little overpowering. Next time I will go for a more subtle filling, like vanilla or chocolate.




Blackberry mousse

350 g blackberries
2 tsp sugar 
100 g confectioners sugar
4 gelatin sheets or 2 tsp gelatin
350 g heavy cream


Directions:

  1. Put the blackberries and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil. Mush the berries with a fork.
  2. Remove from heat and strain the pure into a bowl. Let cool.
  3. Reheat a little of the pure and mix with the gelatin. Mix the remaining blackberry with the confectioners sugar. Blend the two pures together.
  4. Whip the heavy cream and gently fold it into the blackberry pure. 
  5. Pour into a prepared mousse cake ring or spring form pan, and freeze for at least 4 hours.

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