here and here, both for my brother's bday. He did complain why does he always get this girly cake on his birthday, but hey the baker gets all the power to decide how she wants to decorate it, right? It was always raining in the previous years and it was always late in the season by the time I have time to make cake, so I haven't been able to decorate with real flowers in the past, but hopefully I will this year
California Strawberry a while ago, informing me that they are hosting a "Romantic Recipe Contest" for Valentine's day that would showcase strawberries and asking me if I would like to participate. My immediate first thought was "absolutely!". First, it's an excuse for me to go all the way (or almost all the way) and be creative; Second, it's a contest. Although I wouldn't say that I'm a highly competitive person, but when I am in a competition, who wouldn't want to try hard to win? Third, it's strawberries, which means pink. Enough reasons.
Pistachio and Strawberry Mousse Cake
- 2 whole eggs
- 75 g almond powder
- 75 g confectioners' sugar
- 30 g pistachio paste
- 20 g flour
- 70 g egg whites
- 20 g granulated sugar
- 15 g melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 400 F
- Combine the eggs, almond powder, confectioners' sugar, and pistachio paste in a mixer bowl.
- Beat the mixture for about 10 minutes until it's thick
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites and granulated sugar until it forms a soft peak, set aside.
- Sift the flour into the almond mixture and fold well.
- Add a little bit of the meringue to the almond mixture, fold lightly.
- Add the melted butter, fold.
- Finally, add the rest of the meringue in two addition and fold carefully until it is well-combined
- Divide the batter into two 8" square pan, it'll be thin
- Bake the cake for about 10 minutes or until the top is slightly brown
Red Berry Jelly
- 50 g strawberry puree
- 50 g raspberry puree
- 75 g sugar (adjust depending on the sweetness of the fruit)
- 1 tsp. gelatin (bloomed with 1 Tbs. water)
- Combine the two red berry puree and sugar in a small saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil
- Melt the gelatin in a microwave for a few seconds, then add it into the puree.
Let cool slightly and pour into 8" square cake ring that has been lined with plastic wrap (for easier removal
Pistachio Bavarian Cream:
- 2 egg yolks
- 30 g sugar
- 20 g pistachio paste
- 80 g milk
- 1/8 vanilla bean seeds (or used vanilla pods)
- 3/4 tsp. gelatin powder (bloomed with about 1 Tbs. of water)
- 90 g heavy cream
- Bring the milk and the vanilla bean to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan.
- Meanwhile, whisk the yolk, sugar, and pistachio paste until thick and pale
- When the milk is ready, temper the yolk mixture by pouring a little of the milk into the yolk, mix well.
- Add the rest of the milk in a steady stream while whisking it.
- Pour the mixture back in a saucepan and put it back on the stove under low heat
- Bring the mixture to about 82 C, stirring constantly (or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon)
- Melt the gelatin in a microwave for a few seconds (5-10 seconds), then add it into the milk mixture
- Run it through a strainer to remove lumps, if any
- Let cool to room temperature (use icebath to speed up the process)
- In the meantime, whip the heavy cream until soft peak.
- When the milk is no longer warm, fold the two together.
- Pour the mixture on top of the frozen red berry jelly (still in a cake ring), and put it back in the freezer
- 325 g strawberry puree
- 130 g sugar (adjust depending on the sweetness of the strawberry)
- 1.75 tsp. gelatin (bloomed with approximately 2 Tbs. of water)
- 240 g heavy cream
- 25 g granulated sugar
- Bring the strawberry puree and the sugar to a boil
- Melt the gelatin in a microwave, and add it to the hot puree
- Remove from heat and let cool (use icebath to speed up the process)
- Meanwhile, whip the cream and the sugar until it forms a soft peak.
- When the strawberry puree is no longer warm, fold the puree with the cream
- Use immediately
Grand Marnier/Kirsch/Framboise eau-de-vie/any alcohol of your choice (fruit flavored is preferred)
8” square cake ring with 1.75”-2” high
- Put one layer of pistachio joconde in the bottom of an 8” square cake ring
- Moistened with enough alcohol (you can also mix the alcohol with simple syrup if you want). Don’t over-soak it as you don’t want the cake to taste like alcohol
- Spread a thin layer of strawberry mousse on top of the joconde, then put the frozen pistachio cream/red berry jelly on top with the pistachio cream on top.
- Spread another thin layer of strawberry mousse on top
- Layer the other pistachio joconde, brush with alcohol
- Pour the remaining strawberry mousse, and level the top with a metal spatula
- Put the whole thing (with the cake ring intact) in a freezer and leave it overnight
- When it’s completely frozen, warm the cake ring either with a blow dryer or a torch and remove the ring from the cake
- With a hot knife, cut the cake into rectangles, wiping the knife before another cut.
- Red berry jelly
- Pink heart macaron
- Halved pistachio pieces
- Fresh strawberry