Hmm I'm not so sure how to start. Do I launch into a lengthy description of the unusually spot on textures of both the sponge and mousse, singing their praises every letter of the way, or do I begin with a dramatic tale of how an absolute nightmare it was just trying to imitate the chocolate border pictured in the recipe book? The cake was delicious as it was difficult to make (just the chocolate part though), and I'm glad that the dozens of chocolate splatters and bouts of panic were well justified. I might lay off entremets for a while though - most apparently decorating isn't my forte and my confidence level desperately needs to be restored.
I said just now that the textures of the sponge and mousse are near perfect (to me, at least), and by that I mean that the layers of sponge aren't too soft but sturdy and slightly dense. They are rightfully springy without being in the least bit dry. No syrup was used to moisten them, by the way. As for the mousse, no it isn't so soft that it would melt on the tip of your tongue and disappear in a poof of flavours, but just enough gelatin was used such that it holds it shape while being delicate enough to jiggle noticeably. I think it wouldn't hurt to add more banana though but that would probably make the consistency of the mousse more liquid at first... You see, the top layer of sponge is supposed to be suspended in the centre of the cake but it rose to the top because the mousse was too fluid or something (I was never really good at physics while I had to learn it). A few parts of the sponge were peeking through the thin layer of mousse that covered it but I managed to keep those away from sight unexpectedly with my failure of a chocolate border.
Truth be told, I thought that I could pull it off successfully because it looked rather easy to do - melt some chocolate, spread it out thinly on a plastic sheet, drag a comb through it to create tracks, chill, spread a thin layer of white chocolate over and stick it on the cake; voila. The first problem arose when I just couldn't create those tracks with the comb but I managed to somewhat solve it by tossing aside neat lines for messily hand drawn ones. The second problem was the bottom layer of chocolate melting immediately upon contact with the still slightly warm melted white chocolate, causing the pattern to smudge. I mean, I predicted that this might happen but I thought that if I let the white chocolate cool too much it might be too hard to spread evenly. Looks like I gotta research on the proper method to making this. And finally, I didn't realise that I should have measured how high the border should be and ended up with too much excess height which flopped down and formed sort of a rim as you can see here. I quite like the effect actually. I would feel better if it was intentional though.
So it looks like I have some homework to do! I definitely need to research and practice my cake decorating skills. I wonder when was the last time I focused intently on a certain aspect of baking? Can't wait to get started ~
Mousse au Chocolat Blanc et aux Bananes ムースショコラブラン・オ・バナーヌ
For the sponge:
30g egg whites
17g ground almonds
20g plain flour
Make the sponge: Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare a 6 inch and 5 inch round cake pan.
Whisk the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks.
Whisk the egg, sugar and ground almonds for 2 minutes until light and pale.
Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the almond mixture until combined. Stir in the flour. Fold in the remaining meringue and divide equally between the two pans.
Bake for 13 minutes. Cool completely.
For the banana mousse:
3g gelatin softened in 15ml water
50 + 150ml cream
50g white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 banana (100g), pureed
1 tsp rum
Heat the gelatin mixture over low heat until it melts. Add 50ml of cream that has been warmed. Stir in the melted white chocolate. Whisk in the banana puree and rum.
Whisk the remaining 150ml cream to medium peaks and fold into the banana mixture.
Assemble the existing components: Place the 6 inch cake in a cake ring. Pour half of the banana puree. Place the the 5 inch cake on top and pour in the remaining mousse. Refrigerate.
For the decoration:
50g chocolate, melted
80g white chocolate, melted
clear glaze or jam that has been warmed
chocolate pearls etc (optional)
chocolate pearls etc (optional)
Spread a thin layer of chocolate on a piece of OPP sheet. Use the comb to create patterns in the chocolate. Refrigerate until firm. Spread the melted white chocolate on top.
Retrieve cake from fridge and stick the chocolate strips around the sides of the cake. Return to the fridge until the chocolate has set.
Peel off the film and apply the clear glaze or warmed jam to the top of the cake. Arrange the banana coins on top and apply another layer of glaze/jam on them. Decorate with chocolate pearls or any other decorations you wish to use.