Black sesame, blackcurrant and calamansi mini mousse cakes

by Chiara

There’s time when everything seems to be going wrong in the kitchen. Everything just doesn’t seem to come out like I want.
There’s usually a reason things go wrong and it often comes down to my mood.
Pastry is not only about following a recipe and it’s not only technique and method. Love and enthusiasm are the most important ingredients I put into my creations anytime.
Just sometimes, I have to face the anxiety and the bad thoughts which get power over me and bring baking fails as a consequence. They brought me into a vicious cycle during the last ten days and breaking it wasn’t easy. These little sweet things result from ten days of despairing and crying (that’s my first way to react and I know it’s not the fairest) and I’m really happy with how they turned out and about the flavors and textures.
They feature the combination of black sesame, blackcurrant and calamansi citrus fruit which has an unequalled tangy taste (its flavor is pretty similar to mandarin citrus fruit) that brings these mini mousse cakes over the top.
I paired it with Dulcey caramelized white chocolate from Valrhona to make a gooey caramel centre and that’s the very unexpected part of them!
All the components are:

  • Chocolate and hazelnut egg-free shortcrust pastry. The eggs are replaced with unsweetened almond milk and the shortcrust maintains its flakiness and both the chocolatey and nutty taste
  • Black sesame and hazelnut financier. It is enriched by black sesame flour and black sesame paste which give more nutty taste compared to the white ones. The texture is really moist and spongy and the black color is also given by the activated charcoal (vegetable carbon powder) and by the little amount of cocoa powder. The financier encloses the oozing caramel and it is topped by a thin black sesame crunchy layer
  • Black sesame crunchy layer with Bahibé 46% milk chocolate. Black sesame paste, milk chocolate, black sesame seeds and small chopped hazelnuts are the ingredients of the crunchy layer. The crunchiness is given by the caramelization in the oven of the black sesame seeds and the small chopped hazelnuts with the maple syrup. Just combine the same amount of black sesame seeds (or small chopped hazelnuts) and maple syrup and bake this mixture in the oven at low temperature until the maple syrup is caramelized and slightly reduced. It’s a super simple step, but this tastes so good! I used the grade C maple syrup because it is more aromatic than grade A or B. Personally I love the rich and strong taste of grade C, but if you prefer a delicate flavor replace it with grade A
  • Calamansi, yuzu and Dulcey 32% caramelized white chocolate oozing caramel. This soft caramel has a fresh, acidulous and not very sweet taste, despite the presence of Dulcey blond chocolate. I think the best part is when you cut the mousse cake in half and the caramel starts to ooze out of the financier. That’s what I call mouth-watering
  • Blackcurrant and Waina 35% white chocolate mousse with açaí berry. It is characterized by milk, vanilla and cane sugar flavors of Waina white chocolate and by the light sourness of blackcurrant. I added the natural açaí berry powder just to enhance both the purple color and the fresh taste of the mousse
  • Blackcurrant and cocoa butter mirror glaze, natural colored with Suncore Foods supercolor powders

If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment or tag me on Instagram. I’d be more than happy to hear from you and to share your creations on my stories! And, of course, if you have any questions or doubts, I’m absolutely willing to respond you as quickly as possible. ♡



Black sesame, blackcurrant and calamansi mini mousse cakes

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Serves: 8
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat

Ingredients

Chocolate and hazelnut egg-free shortcrust pastry
55 g butter, cold and cubed
90 g type 2 whole wheat flour (150-180W)
10 g cocoa powder 22-24%
55 g icing sugar
20 g toasted hazelnuts flour
30 g potato starch
1,25 g (¼ tsp) Maldon salt
2,5 g (½ tsp) vanilla powder
23 g unsweetened almond milk, cold

Black sesame and hazelnut financier
140 g butter
56 g raw black sesame paste
16 g acacia honey
208 g icing sugar
50 g type 1 whole wheat flour (150-180W)
16 g cocoa powder 22-24%
10 g (2 tsp) charcoal powder
70 g toasted hazelnuts flour
70 g black sesame flour
3,75 g (¾ tsp) Maldon salt
212 g egg whites, to room temperature

Black sesame crunchy layer with Bahibé 46% milk chocolate
75 g raw black sesame paste
60 g Bahibé 46% milk chocolate
30 g black sesame seeds
30 g maple syrup, grade C
30 g small chopped hazelnuts
30 g maple syrup, grade C
1,25 g (¼ tsp) Maldon salt

Calamansi, yuzu  and Dulcey 32% caramelized white chocolate oozing caramel
77 g caster sugar
55 g yuzu or mandarin citrus fruit puree
55 g calamansi citrus fruit puree
67 g glucose syrup
17 g acacia honey
85 g Dulcey 32% blond chocolate
10 g soft butter, to room temperature

Blackcurrant and Waina 35% white chocolate mousse with açaí berry
2 g gelatin sheets gold strength (200 Bloom)
10 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
150 g Waina 35% white chocolate
120 g blackcurrant puree
250 g heavy cream 35% fat content, cold
20 g (1 Tbs + 1 tsp) amethyst Açaí Berry (100% açaí berry powder)

Blackcurrant and cocoa butter mirror glaze
130 g caster sugar
65 g blackcurrant puree
65 g water
82 dextrose sugar
110 g sweetened condensed milk
8 g gelatin sheets gold strength (200 Bloom)
40 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
65 g cocoa butter
150 g Absolu Cristal (neutral gelatin)
12,5 g (2 tsp + ½ tsp) purple sweet potato (natural food coloring)
7,5 g (1 tsp + ½ tsp) fuchsia Hibiscus (natural food coloring)
7,5 g (1 tsp + ½ tsp) red beet (natural food coloring)

Assembly and decoration
8 Ivoire 35% white chocolate purple colored flexible bands
8 Ivoire 35% white chocolate purple colored spirals
edible flowers

Instructions

Chocolate and hazelnut egg-free shortcrust pastry

  1. In the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with paddle attachment combine together butter, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar, hazelnuts flour, potato starch, vanilla powder and salt and work until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the almond milk to the mix of flour-butter and work until the dough comes together.
  3. Once the pastry has come together, press into a neat flat square and cover in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 160°C, ventilation mode and line a perforated baking tray with a perforated silicone mat. Roll out the sablée to a thickness of 2/3 mm and cut it into 8 discs with a 6 cm round Exoglass cutter. Place the discs over the tray and cover them with a second perforated silicone mat.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and dust both the sides of each disc with cocoa butter powder (Mycryo) to prevent moisture from the mousse. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature until needed.

Black sesame and hazelnut financier

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, ventilation mode. Line a baking tray with a 25x20 cm mould, greased and covered with parchment paper.
  2. To make the Beurre Noisette, boil the butter in a saucepan until it becomes a golden-brown color (about 6-7 minutes). When it is ready, you should also notice a nutty aroma. Strain through a cheese cloth into a bowl. Add the black sesame paste and the acacia honey and combine with a spatula. Set aside to cool down to 45 ̊C.
  3. In a bowl sift icing sugar, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder and charcoal powder. Add hazelnuts flour, black sesame flour (obtained by finely grinding 70 g black sesame seeds with a spice grinder) and salt and combine with a fine whisk.
  4. Add the egg whites and mix until obtain a smooth batter.
  5. Add the mix of Beurre Noisette-black sesame paste-honey and combine with the rubber spatula until fully incorporated.
  6. Transfer the financier into the mould and bake for about 20 minutes, until it is puffed and firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting 8 circles of 5 cm wide and 2 cm high with a round Exoglass cutter. I suggest to put the financier in the freezer for 1h before cutting. In this way it will be cold but not fully frozen and you can cut it without ruining it.
  7. Once you have cut the financier into circles, cut each centre with a 2,5 cm cupcake corer to make a hole for the oozing caramel. Wrap the circles in clingfilm and store them in the freezer.

Black sesame crunchy layer with Bahibé 46% milk chocolate   

  1. Preheat the oven to 155°C, ventilation mode. In a bowl combine together black sesame seeds and maple syrup, stirring well with a spatula to coat the black sesame seeds with the maple syrup. Spread the mix onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for about 16 minutes, until the maple syrup is caramelized, it forms bubbles and it is slightly reduced. The black sesame seeds will taste really crunchy, caramelized and toasted once cold. Remove from oven and allow to cool down completely. Repeat the same steps with the small chopped hazelnuts.
  2. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave to 45°C. Add the black sesame paste and combine well with a spatula to obtain a smooth batter. Add salt, both caramelized and toasted black sesame seeds and small chopped hazelnuts and stir well with the spatula to obtain a grainy, evenly mixture (croustillant).
  3. Spread the croustillant on top of each frozen financier circle with the back of a teaspoon about 3-4 mm thick, leaving free the hole in the centre. Freeze until the croustillant is firm.
    Store the leftover croustillant in an opaque airtight container at room temperature and away from light.

Calamansi, yuzu and Dulcey 32% caramelized white chocolate oozing caramel

  1. Make a dry caramel: place a saucepan over low-medium heat, add a little sugar and wait until it is fully dissolved and a light caramel colour is achieved. No stirring at this point. Add the leftover sugar in 2 intervals and stir with a rubber spatula at each addition to combine together the caramelized sugar with the unmelted sugar. The addition of new sugar lowers the temperature of caramel without burning it. Remember: a lighter caramel tastes sweeter, while a dark caramel has a more complex, bittersweet flavor. I usually cook mine until it turns a dark amber color (175-185°C).
  2. In the meantime, heat in a saucepan yuzu puree, calamansi puree, glucose syrup and acacia honey without boiling. Chop the blond chocolate into small pieces and place them into a mixing glass.
  3. Once the caramel is completely smooth and amber (175-185°C), remove the pan from the heat and deglaze it by pouring in it in 3 times the hot liquid. Whisk constantly with a fine whisk at each addition of liquid, in order to obtain a smooth sauce.
  4. Bring the pan on heat and cook the caramel at low-medium heat to reach 104°C, whisking constantly.
  5. Pass the caramel trough a sieve over the the chopped chocolate and set aside for about a minute. The caramel will melt the chocolate. Emulsify with a hand blender to obtain a smooth, evenly cream.
  6. Add butter when the caramel is 35°C and emulsify once more.
  7. Pour the caramel into a baking dish, cover with clingfilm pressed on top of the caramel and chill overnight to obtain a very creamy and soft caramel.
  8. Transfer the caramel into a disposable piping bag and fill each hole in the centre of the financier. Freeze for about 2h in a domestic freezer or about 1h in a blast freezer until the caramel is completely firm and frozen.

Blackcurrant and Waina 35% white chocolate mousse with açaí berry

  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave to 45°C. Heat the blackcurrant puree in the microwave without boiling (45-50°C), then add the soaked gelatin sheets and stir with a spatula to dissolve the gelatin.
  3. Pour the blackcurrant puree in three times over the melted chocolate and stir vigorously with a spatula to obtain a smooth ganache.
  4. Pour the ganache into a measuring cup or mixing glass and mix with the hand blender to obtain the best and most silky smooth consistency. Pour the ganache in a bowl and cool down to 35-40°C.
  5. Semi-whip the cold heavy cream with the açaí berry until it forms soft peaks. Check the temperature of the chocolate ganache: when it is 35-40°C add into the semi-whipped cream in two times, folding gently with a rubber spatula in order to obtain a light, smooth and shiny mousse.
  6. Transfer the mousse to a disposable piping bag and cut a tip off the end. Pipe the mousse for about ⅔ into the Multiflex 125 silicone mould from Silikomart (6 cm wide x 4,5 cm high). Set inside the frozen insert (caramel-croustillant-financier) and press it down slightly, until the bottom of the financier is level with the top of the mould. Remove any excess mousse with a small palette knife and freeze for approximately 2-3 hours in a domestic freezer or about 45 minutes in a blast freezer.

Blackcurrant and cocoa butter mirror glaze

  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in 40 g cold water for at least 10 min.
  2. Weigh out the cocoa butter into a measuring cup or mixing glass. Heat caster sugar, blackcurrant puree, 65 g water and dextrose sugar in a saucepan to 104°C
  3. Remove from the heat and add in the sweetened condensed milk and stir with a spatula.
  4. Pour into the mixing glass over the cocoa butter, and emulsify with the hand blender to melt the cocoa butter and without adding air bubbles.
  5. Heat the Absolu Cristal in the microwave to 65°C and add into the mixture, followed by the drained gelatin sheets (add both the gelatin and the soaked water). Emulsify once more, then add the natural food colorings and emulsify.
  6. Pass the glaze through a sieve and pour it into a baking dish. Cover with clingfilm pressed on top of the glaze and chill in the fridge for 12h or overnight.
  7. Heat the glaze in the microwave until the edges start to melt. Transfer into a measuring cup and emulsify with the hand blender, so that the centre begins to melt too. Keep the blade of the hand blender on the bottom of the mixing glass, to avoid air bubbles.
  8. Once the glaze is 25-27,5°C, unmould the frozen mini mousse cakes and set them on a cooling rack with a pair of clingfilm sheets underneath, to collect the excess glaze. Pour the glaze over the mini mousse cakes.
  9. When the glaze stops dripping, gently place the finished mini mousse cakes over the shortcrust pastry by using a small palette knife and a toothpick skewered in the centre of the mini mousse. Put in the fridge to defrost.

Assembly and decoration

  1. Temper Ivoire 35% white chocolate purple colored, following the method you prefer. I use the tabling method. The tempering curve you need to follow is: 45°C (melting) - 26-27°C (cooling) - 28-29°C (the temperature of usage).
  2. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave to 45°C, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula.
  3. Pour ⅔ of the chocolate onto a marble pastry board or a cooling table and move it around with a large metal scraper and a palette knife. Once cooled (26-27°C), return it to the bowl to combine the chocolate that’s at 26-27°C with the chocolate retained at 45°C. This will bring the chocolate to working temperature (28-29°C). In short, the tempered chocolate is added to the untempered chocolate and mixed in thoroughly, until the temperature of the chocolate is completely uniform. If the temperature is still too high, a small quantity of the chocolate must be reprocessed on the cooling table or stone surface until the temperature reaches 28-29°C. If the temperature is slightly lower, heat it in the microwave for a few seconds until the temperature reaches 28-29°C
  4. Make the chocolate flexible band on bottom of the mousse. Cut out two acetate strips of 1,2 cm width from an acetate strip of 3 cm width and 22 cm length. You will need 8 strips. Pour a line of tempered chocolate lengthwise over the strip and smooth the surface of the chocolate with a small palette knife until it runs over the end of the strip. Spread out the chocolate in a thin and even layer. Lift the strip by using the tip of a small knife and place the strip in one clean side of the work surface. Allow to set slightly until the strip is pliable and not fully set (about 2 minutes).
  5. Wrap the chocolate strip around a 6 cm round cookie cutter with the chocolate side touching the cutter. Secure the ends of the strip with sticky tape, slide out the cutter and allow to set completely at room temperature overnight. The next day, remove the acetate strip and wrap the chocolate ring around the bottom of the mousse to cover the shortcrust pastry disc.
  6. Make the chocolate spiral. Cut out 6 acetate strips of 0,5 cm width from an acetate strip of 3 cm width and 22 length. You will need 8 fine strips. Pour a line of tempered chocolate lengthwise over the fine strip and smooth the surface of the chocolate with a small palette knife until it runs over the end of the strip. Spread out the chocolate in a thin and even layer. Lift the strip by using the tip of a small knife and place the strip in one clean side of the work surface. Allow to set slightly until the strip is pliable and not fully set (about 2 minutes) and then make a spiral by wrapping the strip on itself. Allow to set completely at room temperature overnight. The next day, remove carefully the acetate strip and place the spiral on top of the mousse.
  7. Garnish with edible flowers.

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