Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Melissa Raspberry Entremet

I'm expecting my head to burst out any moment. My mind is in a state of rattling elation, thoughts of all kind are hopping and popping forming a hodgepodge of exaltation, trepidation, expectation. A thread of sadness is coming through but it quickly and voluntary mingles with the growing mass of emotions. Questions are sprouting and my mind is trying hard on keeping track on them. I have the answers albeit not as obvious and I don't really know if these are the answers I'm looking for.

And just when my head is going to explode into at least a thousand tiny pieces here comes the mind stiffness. Everything becomes blind and blank as a sheet of white paper.

No, there are no weeds in the air, if that's what you are thinking. It's just the intoxication that gets over me every time I finish a good read.

When it happens so that my head bubbles with so many roaming thoughts the best way to put them in order is to make something fancy for dessert.

Tea: Firstly, we tried the melissa-raspberry entremet along with sencha tea and it was good, but then, when we ate it with jasmine green tea it was WOW, it was like an entirely new palette of flavours had erupted. The gentle jasmine flavour corresponds to perfection with the raspberry aroma and the mild melissa hints.

Melissa Raspberry Entremet Recipe:

Makes 6 entremets Ø 5,5 cm, height 6 cm  

Notes: The recipe for the butterless biscuit joconde belongs to Hidemi Sugino, as well as the look of his entremets are the inspiration for mine.

This is the second time I'm making this entremet. The first time my raspberry bavarian cream didn't set enough so this time I had to increase the agar quantity. As I'd said before, working with agar gets really tricky sometimes.

I didn't use any syrup to moisten the sponge layer since it's very thin and absorbs enough moisture from the cream and the mousse.

Melissa (lemon balm) is a weed that chases away the melancholy and brings joy to the heart (according to Avicenna). Together with the flamboyant colour and the profound aroma of the raspberries it makes a joyful bliss to the senses(according to my humble opinion).

Butterless Biscuit Joconde with Raspberry Jam:
  • 25 gr almond meal;
  • 25 gr all purpose flour;
  • 20 gr egg yolk;
  • 15 gr egg white;
  • 50 gr egg whites;
  • 40 gr sugar;
  • raspberry jam – I lacked this so I replaced it with pureed home made strawberry jam, this is why the colour of my jam strips is darker than it should be..
Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Prepare 35x24cm baking sheet lined with paper or silicon mat.

Beat together egg whites(15gr) and egg yolks.

In another bowl sift together flour and almond meal. Set aside.

Beat egg whites (50gr) and sugar until firm glossy meringue. Fold in beaten eggs, then fold in the dry ingredients. Spread the batter to a thin layer on the silicon mat and pipe thin lines of the raspberry jam on top. Bake for 5-6 minutes. Let cool.

Cut 6 cellophane strips with the height of the rings and 17cm long.

Cut 6 strips from the Joconde sponge – 3cm tall and around 16,5cm long. It's better to measure out precisely the inner side of the rings so the sponge could fit tightly. Fit each Joconde strip to the bottom side of a cellophane strip, jam side down facing the cellophane. Form the cellophane-joconde strip into a ring and enter it into the moulding ring. Gently push and press the ends of the sponge to meet together to make a seamless cake.

From the rest of the Joconde layer cut 6 rounds to fit inside the 6 rings and place each of them into the bottom of the rings but in that way that the bottom is encircled from the side layer.

Raspberry Jelly:
  • 100 gr raspberry pulp;
  • 20 gr sugar;
  • 2 gr agar agar powder.
Bring raspberry pulp to a boil. Combine agar and sugar and add to the pulp. Cook until dissolved, it normally takes a short time, even less than a minute. Pour into 2x1 cm silicon moulds, I used ice cube silicon mould.

Melissa Milky Mousse:
  • 3 sprigs of melissa officinalis (lemon balm);
  • 160 ml whole milk;
  • 35 gr sugar;
  • 3 gr agar agar powder;
  • 150 ml whipping cream, whipped.
Bring milk to a boil, turn off the heat, add in the lemon balm sprigs, cover and let infuse for half an hour.

Strain the milk, discard the lemon balm and add more milk to make 160ml.

Combine sugar and agar. Bring the milk again to a boil and add the agar-sugar mix. Cook until dissolved.

Fold the milky mixture into the whipped cream.

Fill the lined with the joconde rings with the melissa milky mousse just a little bit bellow the rim of the joconde. Work quickly since as soon as the temperature of the mousse drops bellow 45ºC it will commence to set extremely fast.

On top of the melissa mousse place a round of raspberry jelly, press it slightly into the melissa mousse.

Bavarois aux Framboises:
  • 120 gr milk;
  • 20 gr egg yolk;
  • 35 gr sugar;
  • 10 ml rum;
  • 120 gr raspberry pulp;
  • 4 gr agar agar powder;
  • 10 gr sugar;
  • 100 gr whipping cream, whipped.
Make crème anglaise. Whisk egg yolk and sugar until light. Bring milk to a boil, then pour it in a thin stream over the yolk-sugar mixture, whisking all the time to prevent yolks from curdling. Cook until the mixture reaches 82ºC. Set aside, but keep it warm.
Bring raspberry pulp to a boil. Combine sugar and agar, add them to the raspberry pulp and cook until dissolved.

Combine raspberry pulp with crème anglaise, add in rum and fold in the whipped cream.

As quickly as possible pour the bavarois over the raspberry jelly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Garnish and Glaze:
  • raspberries;
  • mint leaves;
  • 85 gr water;
  • 15 gr raspberry pulp;
  • 1 gr agar agar powder;
  • 5 gr sugar.
Combine water and raspberry pulp and bring to a boil. Mix together agar and sugar and add to the boiling liquid. Cook until dissolved.

The glaze is a liquid, so it sets much slower than the mousses and creams and it's easier to work with it. But if it sets, it's enough to heat it up and it will liquefy again.

Arrange some raspberries on top of the entremet then glaze with a silicon brush. Wait the glaze to set and repeat if you wish, then garnish with mint leaves.

Enjoy with a cup of jasmine green tea.


  1. You have amazing patience Silvia - making this intricate dessert. Hope life gets calmer - I always find cooking does that for me.

  2. I'm trying to learn myself on patience, but with desserts it's moreover passion than patience, or at least this is how I feel it. You haven't seen me cooking everyday food, I'm a total disaster, while the sweet corner is my comfort zone. Actually our kitchen is more suited for desserts than real food.

  3. Such a pretty dessert. Perfect to serve at a brunch or tea party.

  4. This is gorgeous! Many thanks for the lovely recipe.

  5. Honestly, this is eaxctly how I approach desserts! The infused cream with aromatic herbs, the different layers of taste,how come we don't know each other!



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