My mum got me a cake book when she was in Taiwan - 超人气香港蛋糕56款. After browsing some of the cakebooks around, she decided that the cakes in this book look interesting and delicious. When I got hold of the book, I was fascinated at first sight~ However, it did not take more than mere minutes for disappointment to be written over my face. The book look promising with its recipes, but there were some major drawbacks that could potentially undermine the confidence of the reader.
One major letdown was the missing pan sizes. Pan sizes are important. They are the very basic information that the baker should have, along with the ingredient list and baking temperature. Does that mean that the reader has to trial and error or base on his own judgement what the requirement pan sizes are? Apart from that, there were missing instructions and the steps were too briefly written, kind of slipshod in a way. Good thing I could figure out what the required steps are base on my shallow experience.
As I have bought a pound of strawberries which were on sale recently, I decided that a strawberry mousse cake would put them to good use. That would use up whatever remaining cream I had left in the fridge too.
This is the second time attempting a recipe from this book. The first recipe I attempted was a mango mousse cake. It did not turn out to match my expectations. The genoise sponge for the mango mousse cake was dry and the mango mousse did not have much mango flavour. Learning the lessons from the previous attempt, I decided I would never use a genoise sponge cake as a base again. It is far too dry to be suitable for use in layer cakes. Some books recommend that genoise sponge layers be brushed with a layer of syrup but I have yet to try that out.
After some careful considerations and planning, I used a sponge cake recipe which required the separation of eggs. The choice was a good one and the sponge layers turn out soft and moist.
Making the strawberry mousse was an enjoyable process. I was doing taste-testing while mixing the ingredients. When the mousse was done and the cake layering was carried out in the cake ring, I crossed my fingers and hoped that the strawberry mousse cake would hold its shape well after chilling. To my pleasant surprise, everything went very smoothly. The cake firmed up well and all I did was to top it with chopped strawberries to decorate.
The success of this baking session boosted my confidence for the recipes in the book. I would surely refer back for ideas on tantalizing cakes.
Tastewise, this cake promises a very light mousse layer with natural strawberry yoghurt flavour and soft moist sponge layers.
Strawberry Yogurt Mousse Cake
( Recipe adapted from 超人气香港蛋糕56款)
Taste and Texture:
Fruity strawberry mousse layers with moist and light sponge
1) 8 inch round pan
2) 8 inch round cake ring
3) 9 inch round cake board
4) Cake leveller or palette/serrated knife longer than 8 inches
5) Balloon whisk
6) Rubber spatula
7) Handheld beater/Stand beater
8) Baking paper
9) Wire rack
10) Toothpick/wooden skewer
11) Flour sieve
12) Mixing bowls
4 egg yolks, room temperature ( from eggs weighing 60g each with shells on)
40g caster sugar
4tbs vegetable oil
3 tbs water
95g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 egg whites, room temperature (from eggs weighing 60g each with shells on)
40g caster sugar
Prepare Oven: Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
Prepare flour mixture: Whisk flour and baking powder in a large bowl to combine
Making the egg yolk batter Place egg yolks, 40g caster sugar, oil and water in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer until thickened and fluffy (ribbon stage), about 10 minutes. The batter should increase in volume about 4 times and when the beater is lifted, the falling batter will leave a visible trail on the rest of the batter. The falling batter will not level with the rest of the batter immediately.
Folding flour into egg yolk batter: Sift the flour mixture into beaten egg yolks in 3 batches and fold gently using a ballon whisk. The volume will decrease due to inflating. Be sure to fold gently to prevent excessive deflating. Use a spatula to scoop sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure flour mixture is evenly incorporated.
Beating egg whites: Next, whisk egg whites on low speed. Increase speed slowly to medium and beat untill egg whites are foamy. Gradually increase speed to high and add the rest of the sugar gradually. Beat untill egg whites are stiff. This is when the beaters are lifted, the egg whites will form peaks that are upright and not drooping slightly. Egg whites will resemble whipped cream.The entire bowl of whites will not drop out when the bowl is overturned.
Folding in egg whites: Using a ballon whisk, fold one third of beaten egg whites into egg yolk batter gently to lighten and combine. Fold in the rest of the beaten whites to combine. Final batter should be foamy and uniform in colour with no streaks of egg white present. Fold egg whites gently using balloon whisk will prevent egg whites from deflating too much.
Baking the sponge cake: Pour batter into a greased and lined 8 inch round pan and bake at 160 degrees C for 25 -30minutes. Test doneness using a skewer or toothpick. Cake will shrink from edges on cooling. Unmould sponge cake and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Stawberry Yoghurt Mousse:
140g strawberry yoghurt ( I used Meiji strawberry yoghurt, 1 small tub)
45g - 75g caster sugar
210g fresh stawberry puree
300g cream, whipped until stiff
10g gelatine powder soaked in 40g water
strawberries for decorating
Preparing strawberry yoghurt mixture: Blend strawberry puree, sugar and yoghurt together. Use 45g sugar for a slightly tart taste. For a sweeter taste use 75g sugar.
Making gelatine solution: Soak gelatine and water and allow it to bloom for 5 minutes. Heat the gelatine mixture over a double boiler untill gelatine dissolves completely. Leave to cool.
Making strawberry yoghurt mousse: Combine gelatine mixture and strawberry yoghurt mixture. Lastly, fold in whipped cream to obtain a smooth pale pink mousse.
Slicing sponge cake: Slice sponge cake into 2 even layers using cake leveller or long serrated/palette knife. Slice off the part that has domed.
Preparing the sponge and mousse layers: Place one sponge layer into the cake ring supported by a cake board below. There should some allowance surrounding the sponge layer. Pour half of the mousse over the sponge layer. I measured the mousse by weight and divided it evenly into 2 portions. Level the mousse as evenly as possible.
Place the second sponge layer over the mousse layer. Pour the remaining mousse mixture over the second sponge layer and level the top as evenly as possible. Place cake ring in the refrigerator and allow a chilling time of 4 hours or more until mousse is firm.
Unmoulding finished cake: To unmould, wrap a warm kitchen towel around the ring or use a hairdryer to briefly heat up the exterior of the cake ring. Take care not to apply too much heat using the hairdryer. Remove cake ring slowly and steadily. Bring cake back to the refrigerator to firm up before decorating and cutting.
Decorations: Decorate with whipped cream and sliced strawberries as desired.
1) The strawberry yoghurt is very soft and creamy, almost ungelatinous in texture. Do not leave the cake unchilled for long period of time. The cake may not hold its shape well.
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