Blackcurrant Mousse – Patisserie Maison Giveaway

When I first got my hands on a copy of Patisserie Maison by Richard Bertinet, I promised myself I was going to make the blackcurrant mousse on the front cover. Little did I know that getting hold of some fresh blackcurrants would be virtually impossible.

Initially my search began online with the ever faithful Ocado, the closest thing they had to blackcurrants was a bag of frozen mixed berries. There was no way I was going to sift through a bag of frozen mixed berries picking out the blackcurrants, not to mention how many bags I’d need to buy to get 400g of the little blighters.

No matter, I thought to myself, the area I live in probably has the highest concentration of supermarkets known to any high street, there’s almost one supermarket for every resident (slight exaggeration)! I’m sure to find some blackcurrants in one of them.

So I schlepped to my local Waitrose, no joy there either. In fact the same bags of frozen berries were the only thing available, mocking me from their icy holding bay! I then tried the local Co-Op, Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons, nothing, Ribena was probably the best they had to offer.

Then I saw the glowing beacon of Iceland, the frozen food emporium! This place must be frozen fruit heaven. How naive am I? A trawl of the aisles showed that they don’t stock ANY frozen or indeed fresh fruit. Perhaps it was foolish of me to look for frozen fruit in a place that considers the doner kebab pizza an achievement.

I asked for help on Facebook and lots of people told me to try the local farm shops, sadly I don’t drive and getting out to some of these places can be quite difficult. Instead I went back online and found some blackcurrant puree at Sous Chef.

This meant that I wouldn’t have any blackcurrants to decorate the top of the cake like in Patisserie Maison. I was tempted to get some blueberries and dip them in the glaze and pretend they were blackcurrants, but that felt a bit like cheating / blatantly lying. So I decided to abandon that form of decoration and come up with my own. This was made up of crushed almond praline, mini meringues, raspberry powder and a sprinkling of dried rose petals.

Blackcurrant Mousse Decoration

There’ll be more about the decoration at the end, firstly I need to begin with how the cake was constructed, what you can’t see is that the base of this cake is a layer of genoise, that has been brushed with creme de cassis. The genoise was very easy to make and I did have to reduce the cooking time a little, this isn’t a fault of the recipe as all ovens vary and it’s very easy to tell when a genoise is ready. If you press the top of the cake lightly it should spring back and it”ll be pretty colourless, if you overcook it, it turns to biscuit, so if your genoise is brittle, you’d better make another one!

The mousse is made up of whipped cream, italian meringue, blackcurrant puree and gelatine. I did notice an error with the italian meringue recipe in Patisserie Maison, the ingredients contained liquid glucose, but I couldn’t see this in the recipe anywhere. I assumed the liquid glucose wasn’t needed and I omitted it. I did however contact the publishers Ebury Press and they got back to me in less than 24hrs, now that is quite some turnaround. Apparently the liquid glucose is needed and it’s added at the sugar syrup stage. I have included the corrected recipe in this post. I would like to add that my mousse worked just fine without the liquid glucose, so if you don’t want to add it, I don’t think you need to.

The recipe explained that the blackcurrants  need to be cooked and sieved to remove the lumps, I was smug because I had puree! However I think I added too much puree and i should have adjusted the quantity as I’m sure 400g of blackcurrant produces much less fruit pulp than adding 400g of puree. It’s pretty blackcurranty now.

I cut out a circle of genoise that was 2cm smaller than my entremet mould / cake ring and sat this on a cake board inside the cake ring. I then filled the cake ring with my mousse. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to flatten out the mousse to get a level top, however because the mousse is quite soft at this stage, it pretty much levelled itself out. I put the mousse in the fridge and left it to set for 1 1/2 hours.

The top of the cake is finished off with a glaze made of creme de cassis, gelatine and sugar. I let my glaze cool and took the mousse from the fridge, the top still felt a bit soft, but according to the recipe, I only needed to wait at least an hour and I had been waiting over an hour. Now here’s a nod to the title of this post, I should’ve trusted my instincts and popped the mousse back in the fridge for a bit longer.

Instead I poured the glaze over and watched as it sunk into the middle of the mousse and a majority of it fell out of the side of the ring. Strangely, I didn’t feel too upset, I actually felt like laughing. I knew that the mousse wasn’t ready, but for some reason I completely went against my better judgement. This might have been a different matter had this been a cake for a special occasion or a paying customer. Instead I put the cake in the fridge and decided to worry about it in the morning.

The next day I checked the little bit of glaze that remained on the top, it had set. So the only solution I could come up with was to make more of the glaze and pour it straight over the top in an attempt to hide the hole. I’m afraid I was in a bit of a rush by this point and I completely forgot to photograph the sunken middle. I should’ve done though as I think I was pretty lucky to get away with a cake that looked this good.

I have no idea what the cake looks like inside, I haven’t been brave enough to cut it open yet, I have a feeling there might be an inner core of jellied glaze! It might be a masterpiece I’ll never be able to create again, or an eyesore… a cake lottery! This recipe has been the ultimate cover-up.

I covered the cake in mini meringues, these were made by making a swiss meringue with a quantity of 1 egg white to 60g of sugar, whisked over a bain-marie until it reaches 50ºC, it’s then whipped in a food mixer and piped onto a baking tray in small blobs. I baked these for 1 1/2 hours at 80ºC and then turned the oven off and left them inside overnight. These were very sticky the next day, so I’m not sure this is the best recipe. The rose petals I bought from Waitrose, the freeze-dried raspberry powder came from Sous Chef and the almonds were made into a classic praline and then blitzed in a food processor.

Blackcurrant Mousse

Blackcurrant Mousse

If you’d like to create this blackcurrant mousse yourself, here’s the recipe:

5.0 from 1 reviews
BLACKCURRANT MOUSSE
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
This is a recipe for the blackcurrant mousse as featured on the front cover of Richard Bertinet's new book Patisserie Masion. To complete this recipe you will need a 20cm by 6cm cake / entremet ring.
Ingredients
  • ****GENOISE SPONGE****
  • 63g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 63g Plain Flour
  • 13g Melted Butter
  • ****ITALIAN MERINGUE****
  • 190g Sugar
  • 45ml Water
  • 20ml Liquid Glucose
  • 3 Medium Egg Whites
  • ****THE MOUSSE****
  • 6 Gelatine Leaves
  • 400g Blackcurrants (Fresh or Frozen, or 325g Puree)
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 50ml Creme de Cassis
  • ****THE GLAZE****
  • 2 Gelatine Leaves
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 150ml Creme de Cassis
Instructions
  1. First make the genoise, grease and line a baking tray that is at least 25 x 30cm in size.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C Fan or Gas 4.
  3. Put the sugar and eggs in a bowl (use the bowl of your food mixer if you have one) and stir with a whisk, then put the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (don't let the base of the bowl touch the water).
  4. Whisk for about 3-4 minutes until the mixture is foamy and has tripled in size.
  5. Transfer to a food mixer with a whisk attachment or use a hand-held one, and whisk at high speed until the mixture has cooled down and clings easily to the whisk, which will leave ribbon patterns in the mixture as you lift it.
  6. Very gently fold in the sifted flour a little at a time with a metal spoon - you want to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
  7. Then very gently, fold in the melted butter.
  8. Tip the mixture onto your tray and tilt it so that it spreads in the corners.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  10. When the sponge is baked, turn out onto a cooling rack.
  11. Now make the Italian meringue, put the sugar in a pan with the water and glucose, heat gently for about 5-8 minutes until the sugar is fully dissolved and formed a colourless syrup and small bubbles are breaking the surface.
  12. The syrup is ready when it reaches 121C on a thermometer.
  13. Now you are ready to whisk your egg white. You can do this using a food mixer with a whisk attachment, or a hand-held whisk, but whichever you use, make sure your bowl is absolutely clean and dry, as water or grease can prevent the egg white from stiffening.
  14. Whisk the egg whites until soft foamy peaks form, then stop as soon as you reach this point, as if you over-whisk, the air bubbles that you have created will burst and the egg whites will collapse back into liquid.
  15. Next you are going to pour the hot syrup onto the egg whites. Since you need both hands free - one to pour and one to whisk - if you are whisking by hand, then before you start, wrap a tea towel around your bowl and wedge it into an empty saucepan to hold it steady.
  16. Pour the syrup in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously until the meringue has cooled down to room temperature and is silky and glossy.
  17. For the mousse soak the gelatine briefly in cold water to soften, then squeeze out the excess water.
  18. In a blender puree the blackcurrants and push through a fine sieve to remove the skin and any stems, or just use a puree.
  19. Heat a quarter of the puree in a pan (don't let it boil) then take off the heat and stir in the gelatine, then stir in the rest of the puree. Leave until completely cold and then fold into the Italian meringue.
  20. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks (just enough to hold), and then fold this into the meringue mixture.
  21. Cut out a circle of genoise sponge a little smaller than the pastry ring, use a plate or cake tin as a guide.
  22. Place the ring on a round cake board or baking tray (anything that will fit in the fridge). Put the sponge in the base.
  23. Brush with the creme de cassis. Pour the mousse mixture on top and spread out gently so that it is level.
  24. You need to stop about 1mm below the rim to allow space for a layer of glaze.
  25. Lift one corner of the cake board with a palette knife and tap it very gently up and down to remove any pockets of air from the mousse. Put the mousse in the fridge for at least 3 hours or until set and cold.
  26. To make the glaze, soak the gelatine in cold water to soften, then squeeze out the excess water. Put the sugar and creme de cassis in a pan and warm until the sugar has dissolved.
  27. Take off the heat, add the gelatine and stir until dissolved. Leave until cool but not set.
  28. If using blackcurrants dip them in the glaze to coat them and keep to one side.
  29. Take the mousse from the fridge, pour a thin layer of glaze over the top.
  30. Decorate the top with the reserved blackcurrants and put back into the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight, to set.
  31. To remove the ring, loosen it with a very slim bendy blade, or warm the ring with a blow torch very briefly from a distance, then slide off.

Apart from the minor error with the italian meringue recipe, I’ve found this book to be very good. I would say some of the recipes aren’t for someone just starting out in baking, but there’s plenty you could start off with and work your way up. You do need to know your oven (in my case your fridge) well as some of my cooking times varied, however this is a problem with domestic ovens and is why you need to know how to test a cake is cooked (if it springs back when you touch it, or a cocktail stick comes out clean, it’s done). There’s only so much a book can do to help you.

There’s still 12 days left to win a copy of Patisserie Maison by Richard Bertinet see below for information on how to enter:

Win Stuff

Do you trust your instincts when baking? Or do you always follow the recipe to the letter? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

Angela

32 Responses

  1. Hi Angela. I am new to your blog and so pleased to see your beautiful creations, and inspired to try some myself. I have always wondered about making ‘entremets’ and reading your posts have given me the confidence to try. Starting with this one. Do I need to purchase an entremet ring, or could I use a loose-bottomed 20 cm cake tin / Victoria sandwich tin (providing it is 6 cm deep), without the base? Not sure if this would be suitable or not (too thick?) so would love your advice. Thank you.

    • Hi Amy, I think that a springform tin might be too thick and it might not give you the smooth finish you want. If you search Amazon for lacor cake rings, you can normally find something quite reasonably priced on there. Cake rings are great because you can bake with them as well, so they are very versatile.

      If you have any more questions, please get in touch.
      Angela

  2. Yvonne Randall

    I have to say that you have made a very valiant effort and your cake turned out to look beautiful even if you had some trials along the way. What sink hole in the middle? Pity that you don’t live close to me as I have lots of blackcurrant bushes in my garden and I generally give lots away.

    I want to make Bertinet’s Chocolate Liegioise from the same book but the ingredients seem wrong. There is 700g of chocolate in it and it only makes 6 slices. Either they are huge slices or there is a mistake. Any views?

    • Thank you so much for the lovely comments Yvonne. I have to admit although the recipes in the book sounded delicious. It was as if a lot of the recipes had never been tested, I wondered if they were scaled down recipes that hadn’t been tested at their smaller size? I found there were lots of leftovers and that’s not great when things are so expensive.
      The best patisserie book I’ve found is William Curley’s book, it gives you the ability to create your own recipes too as the base recipes are very customisable.

      I don’t still have the book, so I can’t look up the Liegioise recipe, I found a lot of the recipes were inaccurate, it might be worth contacting the publisher if you have concerns. That does seem like a lot of chocolate, which could mean that there will be loads of leftovers when you assemble the cake.

      • Yvonne Randall

        So good to have a conversation with someone who is so capable in the baking world.
        I have made the liegeois and, my instincts were right. I found that 150g of chocolate made up into the corresponding weights of cream was more than enough. Tastes good though.

        I have made several as I am going to demo this recipe tomorrow for my local WI group. Wish me luck. I’ve only got 40 mins and have to do things 4 times over.
        The other cakes are going to be Luca Montersino’s torta diplomatica and glazed fruit tarts. Tasters will be given out.

        • Wow, thank you for such a wonderful compliment. I’m entirely self-taught though, there’s been lots of errors along the way. Only this week I have failed miserably at a strawberry mousse (the puree was too hot and melted the whipped cream). These failures are the best way to learn, even if I don’t feel that way at the time.

          Good Luck with the demo, I’ve wondered about my own local WI actually. Is it predominantly baking?

          I’ve not heard of torta diplomatica, but it looks like a bit like mille-feuille with 2 layers. Fruit tarts are lovely, do they have a creme patissiere filling?

          • Yvonne Randall

            I’ll let you know after it’s over. Now I have to remember to take a camera.

  3. Charlie Ralph

    Beautiful!
    I like your decoration on top better than the original.

  4. Jodie Dodd

    look at that, i’m only one month behind! 🙂 well, at least your cake looks delicious, wouldn’t know you had to do some covering up. and i like your top decorations way better than the cover of the book, the colors really pop and it has a touch of a winter feeling with the meringue dollops. i bet the next one you make will be a breeze, practice makes perfect.

    had to let you know that my daughter made her first cheesecake for our thanksgiving dinner and it was fantastic! she’s making nutella cookies for school in a week. i’ll have to introduce her to your recipes. 🙂 x

    • The cover up was at the back of the cake! It was strategic photography. I’m glad you liked the decorations, I really had fun making them. I love cheesecake. I’m glad you liked it, was it the baked kind or the chilled kind?

  5. DebEastofEdenCook

    If I am baking a recipe I have never tried before I stick to the ingredients and instructions. After I am comfortable with the technique and recipe outcome I will take shortcuts and change the ingredients. That is where the fun and excitement begins!

  6. The mousse looks absolutely awesome!

  7. Ian Ollerenshaw

    Wish I had the confidence to trust my instincts but at the moment stick rigidly to recipes

    • Generally, it is best to stick to the recipe Ian. There isn’t really too much room for experimenting in some recipes, unless it’s with flavours, rather than quantities etc.

  8. Emma @ Fork & Good

    It looks pretty awesome with your decor to be fair, how annoying that it was that hard to find blackcurrants!

  9. wow that really does look fantastic, looks like it would taste as good as it looks! I know they have canned blackcurrants in our Tesco and have used for recipe before flavour being good so have to try this 🙂

  10. Hannah Webster

    This looks so good Angela, I hope you’ve been brave enough to cut it and have a try now because I’m sure it was amazing! I did laugh a lot at your idea of colouring the blueberries to decorate, it might have been cheating but I’m sure no-one would have minded! It looks so beautiful on top though, I actually think it looks loads better than the one on the cover!

    I don’t always trust my instincts because I know I still have so much to learn but after the failure of the base on my Peach Iced Tea Tart (where I knew I needed to weigh it down for a blind bake but followed the recipe exactly and it mutated somewhat in the tin…) I’m definitely trusting myself a lot more. Even if its trusting myself just to know when something is up and then doing further research from some actual experts! xxx

    Hannah / http://www.hannahbakesthings.co.uk

    • Thanks Hannah! I did cut it and the glaze is all underneath 🙂 So I have jelly, genoise, mousse, jelly. It tastes a bit too much of blackcurrant for me, after all the fuss, I’m not sure how much I like blackcurrant! Raspberry and chocolate would be a nice combination.

      I know what you mean about not always trusting a recipe, I don’t think I have a single patisserie book that doesn’t have an error or typo, except for William Curley’s and Edd Kimbers.

      Glad your confidence is growing and thank you for saying you prefer my decoration, I thought the overall effect of the cake needed brightening up, which is why I went for something so bright. xx

  11. Vicki du Plessis

    Kudos for the brilliant cover up job, and I think your decoration looks much more appealing so it must have been destined that you wouldn’t find blackcurrants. 🙂

    • Thank you Vicki. I wish I had taken a before picture, but I was in too much of a rush! Thanks for the lovely comments about the decoration, I felt that something lighter was needed, to offset the darkness of the mousse.

  12. Charlotte Oates

    I’m glad you couldn’t find any fresh blackcurrants for the top because yours looks better, really pretty, and the mousse underneath looks amazing too – perfect.

    Still time to apply for bake-off

    • Thank you Charlotte for those very kind comments. I had to stop myself when I was decorating the top, less is definitely more and I had to pull myself away from the gold leaf! Not too sure about the Bake-Off, looks pretty stressful to me!

  13. Lucy Parissi

    Angela you are blowing me away! This is utterly gorgeous.

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe: