This Christmas I wanted to make something a little different for dessert to offer the family. After the usual extra large roast we all put on for Christmas, traditional Christmas pudding (although lovely) is rather heavy and can result in everyone feeling sickly stuffed. This Delice Au Cassis fits the bill perfectly. Not only does it act as the show stopper but it's very light to eat and tastes Divine. You only have to look at the list of ingredients to know it will taste great.
In his book Deserts James Martin describes this desert as an advanced pastry but one of the best looking and tasting deserts in this book. I'm not a very confident desert maker but I had tried this many years ago and remembered how well it turned out so I decided this was the one to end our Christmas feast.
Admittedly making this desert isn't the easiest of tasks to do and during it's construction I did curse myself for taking it on. I think I must have used every pot and pan, bowls, stand mixer and hand mixers I own and my poor partner was dragged into the process to help and constantly wash up but it was all worth it. It was a triumph and I will make it again but maybe not too soon......
This desert includes an Italian Meringue which is on a separate recipe page from the Delice Au Cassis. So for the benefit of people who don't have the book I will show in this blog how I did the whole desert.
It's best to think of this desert in stages as its made up of layers. Fruit puree, fruit mousse, fruit glaze, Italian meringue, whipped cream. The only easy part is the base which calls for a ready made sponge Thank The Lord !
One change I did make was I used Blackberries instead of Blackcurrants as I had lots in the freezer from my allotment and this was the perfect way to use them up.
For the sugar syrup.
30g liquid glucose
For the Blackberry Puree.
50ml of the sugar syrup (already made)
For the Italian Meringue.
3 egg whites
80 ml of sugar syrup ( already made )
For the Blackberry mousse.
4 1/2 gelatine leaves and a bowl of cold water to soak them in
Blackberry puree - bar 4tbs from what you've already made
12g Powdered milk
1/2 Vanilla pod
3 Egg yolks
25g Caster sugar
Italian Meringue - from recipe above
200ml Creme De Cassis
400ml Double cream
For the glaze
3 gelatine leaves - and a bowl of cold water to soak them in
50 ml of sugar syrup - (already made)
3 tbsp Blackberry puree - already made
For the base.
Ready made sponge flan to fit a 25cm/ 10in flan ring ( 6cm / 2 1/2 in deep)
Blackcurrants, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries for decorating.
First thing make the sugar syrup which will be divided up into portions later in this recipe.
To make the syrup, place the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for about 3 minutes, skimming the surface if necessary. If using a saccharometer, the reading should be 30c Beaumé or 1.2624 on the density scale. Press the syrup through a conical strainer and leave until cold before using.
Puree the Blackcurrants in the blender with 50ml of the syrup, then pass the puree through a conical strainer.
Reserve 4tbsp of blackcurrant puree and set aside, this will be used for the glaze.
To make the mousse whisk the yolks and sugar in a bowl until they form a ribbon. Pour the boiling puree onto the egg mixture, whisking continuously, then pour back into the pan over a low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula until the mousse coats the spatula. Do not boil.
Remove from the heat and stir the drained gelatine into the mousse. Discard the vanilla, then strain the mousse into a bowl and leave to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming.
Place the sponge flan onto a serving plate. Place a 25cm flan ring, 6cm deep, onto the sponge and cut around to make the base.
Mix together 50ml syrup and 1 tbsp puree and brush over the sponge.
To make the Italian Meringue measure 80 ml of the syrup and reheat, when it reaches 110 C / 225 F on your thermometer start beating your egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff. When the sugar syrup has reached 121 C / 250 F take it off the heat. Your egg whites should now be well risen and firm. Set your mixer to its lowest speed and gently pour on the cooked sugar in a thin stream, taking care not to let it run onto the whisks. Continue to beat at a low speed until the mixture is almost completely cold - this will take around 15 minutes. The Meringue is now ready to use.
When the mousse is lukewarm, gently fold in the meringue, then the creme de cassis.
Using a balloon whisk. Beat the double cream until it forms a ribbon.
Now assemble the dessert immediately, before the mouse sets. Fill the flan ring with the mousse, leaving a 3mm gap at the top. Smooth over the surface with a palette knife. Place in a freezer or very cold fridge for several hours.
To glaze, soak the remaining 3 gelatine in cold water for 15 minutes,then drain well. Mix 150ml syrup with the remaining puree and stir in the drained gelatine. Then pour the glaze on top of the desert. Quickly blowtorching the glaze removes any air bubbles and gives it a mirror like finish. Leave it to set in a fridge.
To remove the ring, heat the outside with a blow torch for a few seconds, then slide the ring up. Decorate with fruit to serve.
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