Gianduja, carrot and lemon mousse cake

by Chiara

I’m turning 27 today but I feel like it’s just another day, tho.
I’m actually spending this day at home, like, I think, many of you guys. And on that note, I just want to take a short moment to hug you all virtually and wish you all the good in this though time. I really know how hard it is being cooped up in the house all day and my heart goes out to you all.

Despite all this, I’ll definitely cut a cake because birthday without cake is so incomplete!

I have made this gluten-free Gianduja chocolate mousse cake, featuring carrots and lemon. These flavors bring me back to childhood, when my mom baked up the traditional Swiss carrot cake each years on my birthday. So, I have put all my childhood memories into this mousse cake, combining the addictive Gianduja chocolate with the freshness of lemon and the earthy taste of carrots.

The mousse cake is gluten-free and these are all the components:

  • Gluten-free lemon and hazelnut croustillant. It is the crunchy layer at the bottom of the cake and it comes together very quick. You just have to combine together: melted white chocolate, melted Yuzu Inspiration couverture (it is a special chocolate couverture that stands out for the bright and intense Yuzu flavor and the light and natural yellow color. It is also known for being gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, because the flavor and color come from 100% natural ingredients such as cocoa butter, sugar and yuzu juice), finely chopped hazelnuts, tricolor mix quinoa, raw apricot kernel butter (it can be replaced with raw almonds butter or raw hazelnuts butter). Both the finely chopped hazelnuts and the quinoa are previously mixed with maple syrup, lemon zest and salt and then caramelized in the oven. The result is a very crunchy, lightly salty and zesty grain mixture that will make your mouth water
  • Gluten and lactose free carrot and lemon financier. Above the croustillant there is a soft, spongy and lightly moist financier. The financier is usually made with brown butter (the beurre noisette), but I’ve substituted it with the hazelnut oil to create a dairy-free version that had exact the same nutty flavor as the original brown butter financier. The hazelnut oil makes the financier also lighter. Btw, replace it with your favorite seed oil if you don’t have the hazelnut oil on hand.
    The grated carrots sweeten and moisten the financier in a natural way. I’ve added some natural dried carrot powder to enhance the flavor of carrots, but it is a personal addition (you can omit it if you want or if you don’t have it). Because carrots go superbly with citrus fruits, I’ve flavored the financier with a hint of lemon zest, but orange zest goes well, too!
    The recipe requires the xanthan gum which is usually used as a thickening agent in gluten-free recipes. Omit it if you don’t have it on hand. The recipe will work also great
  • Roasted carrot and vanilla light crémeux. Roasting the carrots really brings out all the carrots’ natural and sweet flavors, so don’t skip this step! The carrots are roasted in the oven with Extra Virgin lemon olive oil and vanilla until they are tender and slightly caramelized. Then, they are blended with heavy cream and white chocolate in a velvet-like consistency.  Finally, this cream is lighten up with a little of whipped heavy cream, to obtain a cloud-like and flavorful crémeux
  • Carrots and lemon confit. This is a thin layer with a very concentrated carrot and lemon flavor to give freshness and a bit of tanginess
  • Gianduja and Azélia 35% milk chocolate mousse. The lightness and creaminess of this mousse are definitely enviable! Extra point: it is not too sugary and the hazelnut flavor so bright and even delicious
  • Azélia 35% milk chocolate mirror glaze
  • Gianduja, Azélia 35% and hazelnut praliné crémeux. This crémeux is simply to die for! You will absolutely love its creamy texture and of course, its deep hazelnut flavor. And plus, it is not overly sweet, despite the huge amount of milk chocolate (in particular Gianduja chocolate and Azélia milk chocolate – it is a milk chocolate from Valrhona with hazelnut flavor -) and the homemade hazelnut praline paste (hazelnut praliné). The crémeux is piped on top of the finished and glazed cake

If you make this recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment or tag me on Instagram. I’d be more than happy to hear from you all. Seeing your creations makes me the happiest person beyond everything!
And, of course, if you have any questions or doubts about this recipe and/or pastry techniques in general, feel very free to write me. I’ll do my best to respond you as quickly as possible ♡



Gianduja, carrot and lemon mousse cake

Cakes Gianduja, carrot and lemon mousse cake European Print This
Serves: 6-8
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat

Ingredients

Gluten-free carrot and lemon financier
80 g cane sugar
1 vanilla bean (the one used for the carrot and vanilla crémeux -recipe below-)
40 g white almonds flour
20 g cornstarch
20 g farina Bóna (toasted cornflour) (sub it with brown rice flour or the gluten-free flour of your choice)
1,5 g gluten-free baking powder
⅛ tsp xanthan gum (gluten-free thickener. The recipe works also well without it, so omit it if you don't have it on hand)
1,25 g (¼ tsp) Maldon salt
6 g lemon zest (1 lemon)
10 g (2 tsp) Orange Carrot (natural food coloring) (optional)
65 g hazelnuts oil (it would be ideal, but you can replace it with the oil you prefer)
85 g egg whites, to room temperature
80 g finely grated carrots

Gluten-free lemon and hazelnut croustillant
75 g raw apricot kernel butter (or raw almonds butter or raw hazelnuts butter)
60 g Waina 35% white chocoalte (or the white chocolate of your choice)
15 g Yuzu Inspiration couverture (sub it with white chocolate if you don't have the Yuzu Inspiration)
60 g finely chopped hazelnuts
25 g tricolor mix quinoa
¼ tsp (1,25 g) Maldon salt
4 g lemon zest (½ lemon) (6 g lemon zest if you have replaced the Yuzu couverture with white chocolate)
30 g maple syrup (grade C)

Carrot and vanilla crémeux
175 g carrots, peeled and diced into 1cm slices
8 g Extra Virgin lemon olive oil (or the oil of your choice)
1 vanilla bean
1 g gelatin sheets, Gold strength (200 Bloom)
5 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
75 g heavy cream 35% fat content (A)
125 g Waina 35% white chocolate
75 g heavy cream 35% fat content, cold (B)

Carrot and lemon confit
100 g carrot juice
35 g lemon juice
2,7 g pectin NH
27 g cane sugar

Gianduja and Azélia 35% milk chocolate mousse
4 g gelatin sheets, Gold strength (200 Bloom)
20 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
160 g unsweetened almond milk (or cow's milk or the plant-based milk of your choice)
120 g Gianduja 39% milk chocolate
120 g Azélia 35% milk chocolate (or the milk chocolate of your choice)
320 g heavy cream 35% fat content, cold

Gianduja, Azélia 35% and hazelnut praliné crémeux
150 g unsweetened almond milk (or cow's milk or the plant-based milk of your choice)
150 g heavy cream 35% fat content
6 g lemon zest (1 lemon)
62 g egg yolks
3 g gelatin sheets, Gold strength (200 Bloom)
15 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
150 g Gianduja 39% milk chocolate
150 g Azélia 35% milk chocolate (or the milk chocolate of your choice)
62 g vanilla hazelnut praliné 60%

Azélia 35% milk chocolate mirror glaze
92 g water
80 g caster sugar
92 g trehalose sugar (or caster sugar)
172 g glucose syrup DE 40
10 g gelatin sheets, Gold strength (200 Bloom)
50 g cold water to soak the gelatin sheets
208 g Azélia 35% milk chocolate (or the milk chocolate of your choice)
80 g Absolu Cristal (neutral gelatin) 

Assembly and decoration
tempered Azélia 35% milk chocolate flexible band
tempered Azélia 35% milk chocolate small squares 
Caramélia 36% milk chocolate crunchy pearls
vanilla powder
edible flowers

Instructions

Gluten-free carrot and lemon financier

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, ventilation mode. Line a perforated baking tray with silicone baking mat. Wrap both the external edges and the bottom of a 18x18 stainless steel frame with a sheet of aluminium foil. The foil should come up over the edges of the frame. This will assure that no batter escapes from the bottom of the frame during baking.
  2. Grind the cane sugar with the dried and scraped vanilla bean (the one used for the carrot crémeux -recipe below-), until the sugar looks like powder and the vanilla is milled. Transfer this into a bowl and add: almonds flour, cornstarch, toasted cornflour, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, lemon zest and carrot powder. Mix everything with a fine whisk.
  3. Add hazelnut oil, egg whites and grated carrots and stir well with a spatula to obtain a smooth and almost fluid batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared mould and bake for about 15-20 minuti, until the financier is puffed, golden in color and dry but still soft to the touch.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down. Actually, I suggest to immediately put the baked and still hot financier in the freezer (or blast freezer) to stop the cooking and to let it to chill faster.
  6. Once the financier is chilled and well firm, cut around the edge using a small smooth-edged knife to separate the financier from the frame. Remove the frame and cut out the financier with a Ø16 cm stainless steel cake ring. Wrap the financier with clingfilm and place in the freezer until needed.

Gluten-free lemon and hazelnut croustillant

  1. Preheat the oven to 155°C, ventilation mode. Line a perforated baking tray with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a bowl combine together chopped hazelnuts, quinoa, lemon zest, salt and maple syrup. Stir well with a spatula, ensuring that everything is well coated with maple syrup. Spread out the mix evenly onto the prepared baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until the hazelnuts and the quinoa are golden and the maple syrup is caramelized and slightly reduced. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. The result is a very crunchy mixture.
  3. Melt Yuzu Inspiration couverture with the white chocolate in the microwave to 45°C. Add the apricot kernel butter and stir well with a rubber spatula until obtain a smooth and evenly mixture.
  4. Add the crunchy and caramelized mix and stir, ensuring that the crunchy mix is well coated.
  5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place on top a Ø16 cm stainless steel cake ring. Spread the croustillant into the ring, ensuring to make an evenly layer of about 2-3 mm thick. Press the croustillant gently with the back of a spoon, then lift up the ring and freeze until the croustillant is firmed.
    Once the croustillant is frozen, remove the financier from the freezer and place it on top of the croustillant (with the bottom side of the financier touching the crunchier side of the croustillant). Wrap with clingfilm and freeze until the assemblage of the cake.

Carrot and vanilla crémeux

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C, ventilation mode. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Peel and dice the carrots into slices approximately 1cm wide and place them into a bowl. Add olive oil and vanilla seeds and stir well with a spoon, ensuring that the carrots slices are evenly coated. Transfer onto the baking tray and place the scraped and used vanilla bean on top of the carrots. Roast for approximately 20-30 minutes, until carrots are slightly caramelized and very soft. Once the carrots are ready, turn off the oven and keep them warm.
  3. While the carrots are cooking, soak the gelatin sheet in cold water. Bring to simmer the heavy cream (A) and add the soaked gelatin sheet. Stir until it is dissolved. Mel the milk chocolate in the microwave to 45°C.
  4. Once carrots are ready, transfer both the carrots and the sauce (which is formed during cooking) in the bowl of a food processor. Don't add the scraped vanilla bean that it will be dried and it will serve for the financier. Add the hot heavy cream and blend until a smooth and homogeneous puree is formed.
  5. Add the melted white chocolate and blend to obtain a smooth and evenly mixture. Blend for about 5 minutes at high speed. The cream is ready when it looks very smooth and creamy.
  6. Once a silky-smooth and uniform cream is formed, check the temperature which should be 34°C and pour into a bowl.
  7. Semi-whip the cold heavy cream (B) until it forms soft peaks and add it in 2-3 times to the carrots crémeux, folding gently with a rubber spatula in order to obtain a light, smooth and fluffy cream.
  8. Transfer the crémeux into a Ø16 cm round silicone cake mould to about 1 cm thick and freeze for at least 2h in a domestic freezer or about 1h in a blast freezer.

Carrot and lemon confit

  1. Extract the carrot juice using a juice extractor. It will take about 4 medium carrots. Place 100 g carrot juice in a saucepan. Add lemon juice and heat to 40°C.
  2. In the meantime, in a small bowl mix together sugar and pectin NH. Add this mix into the liquids when they're 40°C, stirring constantly with a fine whisk to let the mix of sugar-pectin NH dissolve into the liquids. Bring to boil and cook for around 1 minute to medium heat, stirring continuously with the whisk. The pectin NH is activated at the temperature of 70°C, so it's very important to bring the mixture to boil.
  3. Remove the saucepan form the heat and pour the confit into a Ø16 cm round cake mould, about 1 mm thick. Freeze for about 1h in a domestic freezer or for about 30 minutes in a blast freezer.
    Gently unmould the frozen and firmed confit, wrap with clingfilm and store in the freezer until the assemblage of the cake.

Gianduja and Azélia 35% milk chocolate mousse

  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
  2. Melt together Gianduja chocolate and Azélia chocolate in the microwave to 45°C.
  3. Heat almond milk in the microwave without boiling (45-50°C), then add the soaked gelatin sheets and stir through with a rubber spatula until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  4. Pour the almond milk in 3 times over the melted chocolates and stir vigorously with a spatula to obtain a smooth ganache.
  5. 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. Allow the ganache to cool down to 35-40°C.
  6. Semi-whip the cold heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. Check the temperature of the Gianduja ganache: when it is 35-40°C add it to the semi-whipped cream in 2-3 times, folding gently with a rubber spatula in order to obtain a light, smooth and shiny mousse.
  7. Pour a little of mousse into the DOT Ø20 cm mould from Silikomart. Use a teaspoon to spread the mousse up the sides of mould to eliminate any air bubbles and to avoid whitespace. Set inside the carrot confit insert and press it gently and slightly down so that it is almost submerged in the mousse. Cover the confit with other mousse, ensuring to leave a gap for the carrot crémeux.
    Place the crémeux on top of the mousse and press it gently and slightly down, so that it is almost submerged in the mousse. Cover the crémeux with other mousse, ensuring to leave a gap for both the financier and the croustillant.
    Place the financier-croustillant insert on top of the mousse and press it gently down until the croustillant is level with the top of the mould.
  8. Remove any excess mousse with a small palette knife and freeze for about 4-5h in a domestic freezer or about 2h in a blast freezer.

Gianduja, Azélia 35% milk chocolate and hazelnut praliné crémeux

  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in the cold water.
  2. In a saucepan combine almond milk, heavy cream and lemon zest and bring to simmer. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to let the lemon zest to infuse, for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, melt together Gianduja chocolate and Azélia chocolate in the microwave to 45°C. Place egg yolks in a bowl.
  4. After 15 minutes, bring the liquid ingredients again to simmer then strain over the egg yolks, adding the liquids in 3 times and mixing with a fine whisk at the same time. Place everything back into the saucepan and reheat to 82-85°C, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula over medium-low heat.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the soaked gelatin sheets and stir to dissolve.
  6. Add the cream to the melted chocolates in 3 times, stirring vigorously with the spatula at each addition of liquid, in order to obtain a smooth, fluid and evenly cream.
  7. Transfer the crémeux into a mixing glass and blend to stabilize the emulsion and to obtain a shiny and silky-smooth texture.
  8. Add finally the hazelnut praliné and blend once again.
  9. Pour the crémeux into a baking dish or bowl, cover with clingfilm touching the surface of the crémeux and place in the fridge for at least 12h (overnight).

Azélia 35% milk chocolate mirror glaze 

  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in 50 g cold water for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave to 45°C and pour into a mixing glass.
  3. Heat 92 g water, caster sugar, trehalose sugar and glucose syrup in a saucepan to 104°C.
  4. Remove from the heat and pour over the melted chocolate. Emulsify with a hand blender without adding air bubbles and in order to obtain a smooth and shiny glaze.
  5. Heat the Absolu Cristal in the microwave to 65°C and add into the glaze, followed by the drained gelatin sheets (add only the gelatin sheets and not the soaked water). Emulsify once more without adding air bubbles.
  6. Pass the glaze through a sieve and pour into a baking dish. Cover with clingfilm pressed on top of the glaze and chill in the fridge for at least 12h or overnight.
  7. Heat the glaze in the microwave to 45°C then pour into a mixing glass and emulsify with the hand blender, ensuring the blade is submerged in the glaze and not showing, to avoid air bubbles. If you directly melt the glaze to 32-35°C, it will not be shiny and glossy.
    Place cling film on the surface of the glaze and cool it to 32-35°C. You can put the glaze in the fridge or take it at room temperature.
  8. In the meantime, cover the working surface with two sheets of clingfilm, slightly overlapping. They will serve to collect the excess glaze. Place on a 14 cm metal ring.
  9. Once the glaze is 32-35°C, remove the entremet from the freezer and unmould. Place the entremet on top of the metal ring. Remove any condensation from the entremet by rubbing it with your hand. Ensure you work quickly and use the glaze immediately. Place a second 14 cm metal ring on top of the entremet, inside the cavity. This ring prevents the glaze from seeping inside the cavity of the entremet.
    Pour the glaze over the entremet, between the top ring and the entremet and allow the glaze to drip over the clingfilm sheets.
  10. When the glaze stops dripping, gently lift up the top ring, then remove any excess glaze from the base of the entremet with a small sharp knife. Place the finished cake onto a plate and place in the fridge.

Assembly and decoration

  1. Temper Azélia 35% milk chocolate, following the method you prefer. I use the tabling method. The tempering curve you need to follow is: 45°C (melting) - 27/28°C (cooling) - 29/30°C (the temperature of usage).
  2. Make the flexible chocolate band as described here. You need a Ø22 cm cake ring and an acetate strip of 3 cm high and long enough to wrap the cake ring entirely.
  3. Wrap the flexible chocolate band around the cake.
  4. Pipe the crémeux on top of the entremet, using 3 star nozzles (Wilton 6B, Wilton 4B e Matfer Ø18mm). Dust a little bit of vanilla powder and ultimate the decoration with chocolate small squares, crunchy pearls and edible flowers.

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