Monday, November 26, 2012

Summer Berries Mousse & Green Tea Cheesecake









It was our usual weekend family gathering and a few days before my niece's birthday.  My little girl asked me to bake a birthday cake for her cousin, after her failed attempt to DIY a doll, as a birthday present for her cousin ^_^  

hmmm.... Tiramisu cake, strawberry shortcake, chocolate cake came to my mind, but I did not have all the necessary ingredients and I am very lazy to go out, especially on a Sunday morning.  It can get very crowded and queues are real long at the supermarket.  But, I do have some frozen summer berries in my freezer.      Maybe a berries cheesecake?  Too bad... I only have 180g of cream cheese and a small packet of 200ml dairy whipping cream at home.   No.... I'm not going out, just have to work something out of whatever I have at home.  Ideas .... ideas .... check internet, check blogs and Wendy's beautiful Blueberry Yogurt Mousse Cake caught my eyes.  Lovely, but too bad again, cos I have no yogurt at home!  Eventually, I settled with the idea of alternate layers of berries mousse and green tea cheesecake, since red and green are such beautiful contrasting colours.  To complete the look, I made some white chocolate garnish from melted chocolate and top with strawberry halves.





The cake was well received by my family.  They love the light and refreshing taste of the cake.  The sourness from the summer berries mousse/jelly complement nicely with the sweetness from the white chocolate, layers of sponge, cheesecake and biscuit base.  But, the mild flavour from the green tea cheesecake was sort of overshadowed by the berries.  Perhaps I could have added more green tea powder to the cheesecake.

There are 8 layers to this cake (from top to bottom):


Berries Mousse
Plain Vanilla Sponge
Green Tea Cheese
Berries Jelly
Green Tea Cheese
Plain Vanilla Sponge
Berries Mousse
Biscuit Base


Wrap sliced cake with thin sheet of plastic cake wrap to hold shape & prevent drying


I did not take note of the exact amount of sugar used to prepare the berries sauce for the mousse, as well as the sugar for the cheesecake layer.  In any case, the sweetness can be adjusted based on your preference.  As a general note, the berries coulis or sauce, should taste a little more sour than you like, so that when folded with the whipped cream, the taste will be just nice.  On the other hand, the filling for the green tea cheesecake could be a little sweet, so that it balances with the sourness from the berries.  





Recipe:
(for one 7" cake)

Biscuit base:
6 pieces of digestive biscuits, finely crushed
50g melted butter

Combine ingredients and press onto the base of a 7" round cake ring.  Freeze till hardens.
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Berries Sauce
300g frozen summer berries
2 to 3 tbsp water
Fine sugar, to taste

Place the berries and water in a small saucepan and cook over low heat.  As the berries start to break down,  add sugar.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently during cooking, till the sauce thickens.  Sieve the content to obtain thick berries sauce for preparing the mousse.


Berries Jelly
After sieving the thick berries sauce, put the berries scraps back into the pot and add about 220ml water.  Bring to boil, add sugar to taste and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Soften 2 and 1/2 gelatin sheets in iced water for about 5 minutes, squeeze out excess water and add to the berries syrup (or use about 1.5 tsp gelatin crystals, dissolved with 2 tbsp water#).  Stir well and cook for another minute.  Sieve to obtain thin berries syrup.  Cool briefly and pour into a 6" round cake pan, lined with plastic wrap (reserved a little of this jelly solution for garnishing the cake).  Cool the content before chilling in fridge to set.


Berries Mousse
180ml berries sauce, cool to room temperature
2 tsp orange liqueur
2/3 portion of dairy whipped cream (see below *)
1.5 tsp gelatin crystals, dissolved with 2 tbsp water#

Gently fold berries sauce into the dairy whipped cream.  Add in the orange liqueur and dissolved gelatin.

# To dissolve gelatin, place gelatin crystals and water in a bowl.  Let the gelatin crystals expand a little, stir and microwave at 20 seconds interval, till gelatin crystals fully dissolved. 

Notes:
1) The berries sauce can be prepared in advance and keep in fridge.
2) The berries jelly can be prepared 1 or 2 days ahead and keep chill in fridge. 
3) Prepare berries mousse only when you are ready to assemble.
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Dairy Whipped Cream
200ml dairy whipping cream, cold from fridge
2 tbsp fine sugar
2 tsp gelatin, dissolved with 2 tbsp water# and let it cool to room temperature

Place the cream and sugar in a cold bowl (place the bowl in freezer for 5 minutes).  Whisk the cream till soft peak and add in the dissolved gelatin.  Continue to whisk till firm.  Be careful not to over-whisk, or the cream will curdle.  Place the whipped cream in the fridge while you prepare other steps.

* Use 2/3 portion for berries mousse and 1/3 portion for green tea cheesecake layer.

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Green Tea Cheese
180g cream cream, soften slightly at room temperature
2 tbsp lemon juice
Sugar to taste
2.5 tsp green tea powder
60ml milk, warm up in microwave oven
2 sheets of gelatin (or use about 1.5 tsp gelatin dissolved witn 2 tbsp water)
1/3 portion of dairy whipped cream (see above *)

Soften the gelatin sheets in iced water for about 5 minutes, squeeze out excess water and add to the warm milk.  Stir to melt the gelatin into the milk.  If necessary, microwave the milk for another 20 seconds.  Leave the milk mixture to cool.  Meanwhile, place cream cheese, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and cream till smooth.  Add in the green tea powder and cream well to combine.  Add in the milk and stir till smooth.  Fold into the dairy whipped cream.

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To assemble the cake:

You will need:
* Biscuit base, harden
* Berries mousse
* Berries jelly
* 2 thin slices of 6" round sponge cake (see here for recipe/method)
* Green Tea Cheese mixture
* White chocolate garnish, fresh strawberries


1) Pour half the berries mousse over the harden biscuit base.  
2) Place a slice of sponge cake over the mousse.  
3) Pour half the green tea cheese mixture over the sponge cake.  Place in freezer for 5 minutes to set it slightly.
4) Remove the berries jelly from the plastic wrap and place over the green tea cheese layer.  Pour the remaining green tea cheese mixture over the jelly.
5) Place the other slice of sponge cake over the green tea cheese layer and pour the remaining berries mousse over the cake.  Smooth the top and chill in freezer for at least 3 hours to set, before transferring the cake to the fridge to keep chill.
6) Remove the cake from the cake ring.  Decorate the sides with white chocolate garnish.
7) Warm up the reserved jelly solution in a microwave oven and pour into a piping bag.  Pipe designs on the cake and decorate with fresh strawberries.  Keep chill in fridge till ready to serve.














14 comments:

  1. WOW! This is a very pretty cake. Love the decoration and the taste must be superb :)

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  2. This cake looks so beautiful, I must try it one day!

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  3. OMG! This is a classy art, Fong!
    so pretty!

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  4. I love your colour combination.
    It's absolutely pretty and as always I love your sense of innovation.

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  5. Thanks ladies! I'm really glad that this cake came out nicely. So, I guess it's not too bad, once a while, to be "lazy", cos it forces me to think out of my usual list of cakes!

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  6. This is such a beautiful cake! Your niece is so lucky! I say this look way better than some bakeries out there. Great job! :)

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  7. oh, your cake look so so beautiful, every layer is even, look like store-bought. But this cake take too much of time to prepare, only can prepare for a special day..

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    Replies
    1. thanks, Sonia. This is a small cake, so it is easier to estimate the amount required for each layer. Actually, if you plan and prepare the sponge and berries sauce ahead, the assemble part is quite easy. As I only plan to do this cake in the morning, I have to prepare the berries sauce in the morning. Luckily, I had a ready sponge cake in the fridge, which saves me a fair bit of time.

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  8. Pardon my ignorance - How do you make the side deco using white chocolate? I always thought they were store-bought. Never thought it can be made at home :p

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    Replies
    1. Melt the chocolate. Take a teaspoon of the melted chocolate and spread it on baking paper. Use the back of the teaspoon to spread. Place in fridge to firm up the chocolate before peeling off. I'm using white compound chocolate buttons plus a little cocoa butter for melting. Not sure if normal store bought chocolate can be used for this.

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  9. Hi, I just wanted to ask where did you find the plastic cake wrap and would I be able to buy it online?

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    Replies
    1. Bought the plastic wrap few years back, most likely from Phoon Huat, baking supplies store.

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