It's been so dull and cloudy lately that we needed something bright and sunny to bring the good humour in. Oranges and chocolate are my winter mood boosters, and dates – ok, I found them in the fridge, deeply forgotten from the summer, but they fit perfectly into the mood booster conception.
Overall the end result was quite good, although I find the orange mousse a tad sweeter for my tooth(however, Ivan thinks it's ok). Also the different layers are not at all even from all sides, but this is an issue I'm working on for a while(with almost no success). Agar sets really fast even at room temperature, so one have to work very quickly and I am a bit slow. The other problem – cutting the cake. Not only my slices are not equal but they are a total disaster. Don't want from a girl with astigmatism to make a perfect angle, or at least I always use this argument as an excuse although I know it's not true. (note to myself - need more practice). The piece you see – it was Ivan who sliced it(note to him – he needs more practice too). While he was trying to cut a descent slice I was devouring one of the not so descent slices. And had no complains at all.
From bottom to top: date cake; orange marmalade; dark chocolate mousse; orange mousse; orange jelly; orange tuile
Date Chocolate Orange Entremet Recipe:
Note: Working with agar agar is a little bit tricky, since the agar starts to set at around 40-45º C.
Instead of orange marmalade we blended home made candied orange peels with some of the sugar syrup in which they were candied. But orange marmalade will do the same job.
For the Spongy Date Layer:
Adapted from here
- 100 gr pitted and chopped dates;
- 150 ml water;
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda;
- 30 gr butter, at room temperature;
- 45 gr sugar;
- 1 egg;
- 75 gr self raising flour.
In a saucepan bring the water and the dates to a boil, then add bicarbonate of soda and stir. It'll start to bubble since the bicarbonate of soda is an alkali and neutralize the acids of the dates. Remove from heat. Let cool then blend until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180º C. Grease and line with paper a 22cm square cake pan.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Fold in the flour and the date puree until just combined.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 22 minutes. The cake should be soft and spring back when touched. Cool on a wire rack. Trim the edges and fit the sponge layer into a 20 cm square frame. Spread the orange marmalade into an even layer on top of the date sponge.
For the Dark Chocolate Mousse:
- 85 gr dark chocolate 75% cocoa (we used Cacao Barry's Tanzanie);
- 20 gr sugar;
- 5 gr glucose;
- 10 gr water;
- 25 gr egg yolks;
- 175 gr whipping cream.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave, watching out not to burn it. Then fold it into the pate a bombe.
Whip the cream until soft peaks. Fold 1/3 of the cream into the chocolate-yolks mixture. Then fold in the remaining cream.
Pour the mousse over the orange marmalade layer.
For the Orange Mousse:
Adapted from Sadaharu Aoki's Valencia
- 50 gr orange marmalade (blended);
- 15 ml rum;
- 135 ml freshly squeezed orange juice(it's ok if there is some orange flesh in it);
- 3 gr milk powder;
- 15 gr sugar (A);
- 40 gr egg yolks;
- 1,5 gr agar agar powder;
- 20 gr egg whites;
- 30 gr sugar (B);
- 10 gr water.
Make orange custard. Beat the egg yolks, sugar(A) and agar powder until light. In a small saucepan combine orange juice and milk powder and bring to a boil. Pour the hot juice in a thin stream over the yolks while beating. Transfer the mixture into the saucepan and bring to 85º C.
Make Italian meringue. Cook sugar(B) and water to 118º C. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then pour in a thin stream the hot sugar syrup and beat to glossy peaks
Mix the refrigerated marmalade into the custard, then fold in the Italian meringue.
Quickly pour the orange mousse over the chocolate mousse into a uniform layer.
For the Orange Jelly:
- 220 ml freshly squeezed orange juice;
- 30 gr sugar (to taste, depending how sweet are the oranges);
- 3 gr agar agar powder.
For the Orange Tuiles:
- 45 gr butter;
- 30 gr confectioners' sugar;
- 25 gr glucose;
- zest of 1 orange;
- 30 gr all purpose flour.
Preheat the oven to 170º C. Line baking pan with paper or silpat. Drop small balls of the batter (the size of hazelnut) spacing them 10 cm apart. In this case, since we broke the tuiles to smaller pieces, we used one bigger piece of the mixture. Bake for around 9-10 minutes, or until golden. Let cool. Store in an airtight box till needed.