For my birthday, I was given a copy of Patisserie by William & Suzue Curley. This book is amazing and not for the faint hearted. It is 344 pages of patisserie expertise and if it’s possible to be in love with a book, then I am infatuated with this one.
This book is bursting with information, recipes, glazes, chocolate decorations and more! After looking through the pages I saw so many recipes I wanted to attempt. A number of recipes are variations on things I’ve made before, along with a whole chapter on entremets.
The Japanese influence in this book is very apparent, using ingredients like yuzu, green tea, azuki beans and wasabi in a number of the recipes. This influence is down to Suzue Curley, the other half of the William Curley Team. I will certainly be making some of these more exotic recipes in the future.
Today I settled on a Jaffa Cake Entremet. This is a very complex recipe and the ingredient list and method were pleasantly faultless. This is the first recipe that I have used where the component parts have been so accurate, the leftover ingredients were minimal and the information about how long certain recipes would last, made it very easy to prepare things in advance.
Making this entremet was expensive and time consuming, but very enjoyable. I had to purchase a lot of new ingredients for this recipe and some I had to substitute for other things.
The Entremet consisted of marmalade, an orange syrup, genoise, praline feuilletine wafer and a dark chocolate mousse. The decoration included a dark chocolate ganache glaze, chocolate hoops, small spheres, triangle flicks, caramelised almond batons and edible gold leaf.
As you can see, that’s a lot of things to make, so I attempted this recipe over two days. I didn’t have entremet rings in the sizes 16cm and 14cm as specified in the recipe, instead I used my 10cm and 20cm entremet rings. I also needed to use an 18cm cake tin (with a removable bottom so you have a ring) and an 8cm pastry cutter to cut out the slightly smaller sizes of genoise and the marmalade.
The day before I assembled the entremet I began by placing my shop bought (sorry William & Suzue Curley) marmalade into the smaller rings on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and put them in the freezer.
I then began to make the confit orange, this didn’t go according to plan. To cut a long story short, I wasn’t paying enough attention, my sugar syrup turned to caramel and I burnt my orange pieces. I ran out of time and as a result, my entremet didn’t have any confit orange for decoration. It looks like a much better recipe than the one I have previously used for mixed peel, so I shall be making the confit orange another time.
The caramelised almond batons were more of a success, however I couldn’t get hold of slivered almonds, so I had to resort to slicing whole almonds into batons. This was pretty boring and in future, I’d probably use whole almonds or flaked almonds.
The final element I made in advance was the alcohol syrup, I was meant to use Cointreau for this. I don’t like Cointreau and also, it’s quite expensive and I only needed a small quantity, so I used orange extract.
The next day began with praline feuilletine wafer. I’d never heard of feuilletine before, it is crepes which are cooked until they go crispy, they are then crumbled up and used in a range of patisserie. It is quite hard to get hold of, I got mine from Sous Chef.
The other ingredients are praline paste, milk chocolate and cocoa butter. The cocoa butter also came from Sous Chef as well as the hazelnut praline paste. I’ve tried to make hazelnut praline paste before and while it’s pretty easy, I don’t have a very powerful food processor and I nearly broke my mini chopper last time. So I had to resort to buying it this time.
The chocolate and cocoa butter are melted and added to the hazelnut praline paste and feuilletine. This is spread onto a baking tray and left to cool for 30mins, before being cut out with the larger pastry rings.
The next step was the genoise, an Italian cake that is quite dry and used for a lot of patisserie, it’s generally soaked with a syrup and used in layer cakes and entremets.
The final part before assembly was the creation of a basic chocolate mousse.By this point I was starting to feel pretty cocky, I’d made nearly everything and still had lots of time to spare. That was until the cream I had bought had gone off 3 days before the use by date. Back to the supermarket I went, returning later with replacement cream and a refund.
After this, I was left with an array of components to create my final entremet:
Using a pastry ring to construct the cake, the layers are added in the following order:
- praline feuilletine wafer
- thin layer of mousse
- large circle of genoise
- thin layer of mousse
- small circle of genoise
- ring of marmalade
- final layer of mousse.
My marmalade didn’t set, I don’t know if this was because I used shop bought, but instead of a frozen disc, it was more of a chilled blob. So I had to spread this gently over the final layer of cake, rather than placing a disc of frozen fruit on top.
The finished cake is then put in the freezer for 3 hours until it’s ready to be glazed.
While the cake was in the freezer, I had more whipped cream based dramas, this time I had to go out and buy more whipped cream, because I didn’t realise I needed some for the glaze. I really need to remember my mis en place.
I used the remaining time to make the decorations for my entremet, a collection of chocolate triangles, chocolate spheres and chocolate hoops. The decorations were quite easy to make, I didn’t have anything to sit the triangles in to curve them, so I had to cut a water bottle in half and sit the chocolate inside that after I had spread it onto my acetate triangles. This worked really well, so I would definitely recommend this method if you want to make curved chocolate decorations. The chocolate hoops were trickier and a pastry comb is needed to make them, the strips of acetate coated in chocolate are wrapped around a rolling pin until they are set.
The chocolate spheres were made using a silicone mould. Two halves are created and then one half is melted slight in the base of a pan and this edge acts as a glue to join the chocolate halves together.
When glazing the cake, it’s important that the cake is frozen and the glaze is 30ºC in temperature. Any warmer than this and it will melt the cake, this happened to me when I tried to make an entremet before and it’s pretty disappointing. Put the glaze in a jug and pour it over the frozen cake until it is completely coated. The glaze is really simple to make, it’s a mix of dark chocolate, cream and liquid glucose, it has a really high shine and looked great on the finished cake.
The cake is decorated with the almond batons, chocolate decorations and gold leaf and left to defrost, before serving. This cake was extremely hard to photograph, all of the things that make it beautiful; the high gloss glaze, gold leaf and presentation board, also caused a lot of reflection when snapping it. If anyone has any tips to solve these reflection issues, I’d be really interested to hear them!
As this recipe had so many components, I haven’t included the recipe, you’d really need the book to create this entremet. I plan to write a blog post on decorations and glazes that you can make at home to add finishing touches to your cakes and some of the recipes used here will be included.
So what do you think of my first attempt at making an entremet? I think it looks pretty good, there are a few imperfections that I will work on, but I am so pleased how well it went, the instructions in Patisserie are really detailed and if anyone wants to take their patisserie to the next level, I highly recommend this book. William Curley are currently running a competition to win a copy of this book, so take a look here.
Are there any decorations I have attempted that you would like to see? Or anything you’d like featured in a blog post on decorations? If so, let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading.