Archive for July, 2008

The Anatomy of an Entremet – Part 1

July 28, 2008

(Photo taken from Paris Breakfasts blog)

Within the pastry world, an entremet is typically a multi-layered mousse-based cake comprising of different complementary flavors with varying textural contrasts. A well executed entremet should adhere to the basic principles of visual appeal, textural contrast, and, of course, taste. The beauty of entremets comes from the myriad of shapes it can take on (round, pyramid, rectangular, hexagonal, teardrop, dome shapes) and the abundance of colours within the multi-layer attributes of this mousse cake. The taste receptor should be challenged as well with different combinations of taste sensations like salty, sour, sweet and bitter.

Conceiving a well constructed and well balanced tasting entremet lies in it the way each flavor component is assembled and complements each other.Within an entremet, it is typical to have three or four different complementary component flavors of varying textural contrasts.To the uninitiated, an entremet may seem like a lot of work that is very difficult to produce but in actual fact, making entremets are easy if you approach it in a step by step fashion.

In this post, I thought I would take you through the production of one of my favorite entremets from Fauchon, the “Intense”.Intense is a chocolate entremet for the chocolate purist.It is comprised of a chewy brownie base, a praliné feuilleté layer, a layer consisting of a piece of tempered chocolate sprinkled with cocoa nibs, and a chocolate cremeux layer.All these components are surrounded by a smooth and creamy dark chocolate mousse.To cater to those home bakers out there, I have modified the original professional recipe to a simpler version that I will be posting below.Since there are many components in this entremet, I have broken up this post into three separate postings to go through the steps to produce and assemble this fabulous cake.

Intense (Part 1)

Brownie (Base for cake)

200g Fine granulated sugar
70g All purpose flour
40g Cocoa powder
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/8 tsp Salt
60g Unsalted butter
56g 55% Couverture chocolate
50g Whole egg
60g Egg whites
15g Vegetable oil

– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Celsius.
– Grease three 14 cm round cake pans or cake rings. Lay a 6 inch round piece of parchment paper on the inside bottom each pan or if you’re using cake rings, just lay a large piece of parchment between the cake rings and the baking sheets.
– Sift the all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl.
– Melt the couverture chocolate together with the butter in a mixing bowl over a bain marie or in a microwave. Once melted, mix until well combined.
– In a large mixing bowl, add the fine granulated sugar, whole egg and egg whites. Using a mixing spoon, mix the sugar with the eggs until you have a combined wet mixture.
– Add the vegetable oil to the wet mixture and mix until well combined.
– Add the warm chocolate mixture to the wet mixture and mix until well combined.
– Fold in the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Fold carefully until combined.
– Divide the brownie batter into three equal portions and pour each portion into the cake moulds (pan or ring).
– Bake for roughly 12-15 minutes. You will know when the brownie is done when the centre is somewhat firm to the touch.
– Remove from oven, let cool, wrap the cakes and place it in the fridge or freezer for cake assembly later on.
– You’ll only use one of the brownies for the base of this cake so you can store the other two pieces for future use.
– The brownie base should be roughly 1.25 cm in height. If it is too high after baking, you can trim the top of the brownie to the required height.

Praliné Feuilleté

45g Praliné paste
24g Pailleté feuilletine
11g Milk chocolate, preferably Valrhona’s Jivara Milk Chocolate
5g Unsalted butter

– Melt milk chocolate together with unsalted butter
– Add melted chocolate mixture to praliné paste and combine
– Add pailleté feuilletine to chocolate/praliné paste mixture
– Using a 14 cm ring mould, spread the mixture into the mould
– Put into fridge or freezer to set
– Once set, wrap up and store in the fridge or freezer for cake assembly later on
– The praliné feuilleté layer should be roughly 1.25 cm in height.

Chocolate Cremeux

80g Fresh milk
80g Heavy cream
20g Egg yolks
8g Fine granulated sugar
56g Dark chocolate (70%) – Preferably Valrhona’s Guanaja Chocolate
1 tsp Powdered gelatin

– Prepare three 14 cm ring moulds by wrapping cling wrap around the bottom of each ring and place the rings on top of a baking sheet.  Alternatively, you can also use 14cm cake pans.  Simply lay some cling wrap in the inside of the cake pans
– Put chocolate into a mixing bowl
– Combine fresh milk with heavy cream in a small pot
– In a small bowl, mix powdered gelatin with a little water. Let sit for 5 minutes and then heat mixture in microwave until melted
– Put egg yolks and sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Heat milk/heavy cream mixture until it starts to boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, pull from heat and slowly pour the hot liquid into the egg yolk mixture while mixing with a whisk at the same time
– Pour egg mixture back into pot and continue to heat over a small fire. Continuously whisk over the fire until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon
– Pour cooked egg mixture over the dark chocolate.  Wait for 5 minutes and then combine together
– Pour in dissolved gelatin into warm chocolate mixture.
– Divide mixture into three portions and pour into each ring mould or cake pan
– Place filled rings or cake pans into a freezer and freeze until set. Once frozen, remove from ring moulds or cake pans and then wrap each portion with cling wrap and store until cake is ready to be assembled
– You’ll only use one of the chocolate cremeux layers in the final assembly of this cake so you can store the other two pieces for future use
– The chocolate cremeux should be roughly 1.25 cm in height

That’s it for part 1.  In part 2 of my next posting, I will show you how to make the chocolate mousse and prepare for the final assembly of the cake.