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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Basics of an "ENTREMET"

Before the XVI th century, the "entremet" was always a salty dish. During the Middle Ages, it referred to the salty dish served between the meals to occupy the guests, which, were often seated at the table for many hours. The term, more obvious in french, when broken down into two words; "ENTRE" meanning between, and "MET", meaning meals.

Catherine de Médicis
The sweet version of the entremet only arrived to the "Cour de France", when Catherine de Médicis often requested Italian pastry chefs to be part of her kitchen staff. In the XVI th century, the French are still uncertain about this sweet version, for they often had a  developed pallet for salty foods. Compared to the English and Italians, who, were more used to incorporating sugar into their dishes.

Between the years 1689 and 1759, the table placings were beginning to become fixed. The tables were then adorned with porcelain and silver. At the same time, the first bottles were being created in England, and champagne was more at reach and often served with a sweet entremet.
But it won't be until the century of XIX, that the French will really incorporate the sweet variation into their culture. The entremet was now laced with milk, cream, sugar and eggs.

In the XX th century, the dairy industry started to really develop and we started getting familiar with canned products like; riz à la crème in a can and crème caramel. It wasn't until the 1950's that the first refrigerators aided with the distinction between a mousse, a flan and other fresh desserts.

With all of this history in mind, I went along and made a "White Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse Entremet". It's lengthy title could possibly be compared to the long process of making it. With good organizational skills and the right techniques, this impressive dessert will put a smile on anyone's face (unless you are lactose intolerant). The recipe combines many recipes and basic pastry building blocks. Here's the recipes and steps to achieve this grand dessert.


 Now let's get on with the mousse (insert) which will have to be set before even starting the final mousse. But before even starting the raspberry mousse, prepare a 16-18cm ring, lined with foil, which will serve as a mold for the raspberry insert. 

- 500g of fresh of frozen raspberries (heated, pureed, and strained to obtain 300g of pulp)
- 9g gelatine (I used 4 gelatin leaves which are of gold standard and 2g each)

After making your pulp, (with a hand mixer is easiest) it will still be warm, add the softened up gelatin and whisk to well incorporate the gelatin.  Then put it aside to make your Italian Meringue:
- Bring 36g water and 75g sugar together, to 121 Degrees Celsius.
- Pour boiling sugar mixture into the mixer with the foamed up whites, while the mixer is on high speed. 
- Let whip until the mixture (bowl) has cooled and thickened. It should be firm and shiny. 
For more information and precise instructions on how to make this meringue check out this YouTube video: . 

By this time, the raspberry should be cooled. You will want to add the meringue to the puree but only when the puree is MINIMUM room temperature. It works best when the puree is a little chilled.

 Incorporate with whisk. You will want to get your whipped cream ready at the same time in a mixer bowl for more speed. 
- 250ml cream and 25g sugar

When cream ready, add a third into the raspberry mixture, then fold in the rest very gently to not lose any air out of the mousse. Pour ONLY 1 INCH  high of the raspberry mousse into the prepared mold. Place in freezer for quick set. It should be ready by the time you finish making the biscuit cuiller and the white chocolate mousse. The rest of the mousse can be scooped into plastic glasses and served simply as a raspberry mousse.  

And now, the "biscuit cuiller". This soft, lady finger like cake will border the sides (biscuit cartouchière) and the bottom. A "biscuit cartouchière" gets its name from looking like the belt which usually contains ammo for a gun. The visual similarity gave the biscuit its name.

- 4 egg whites, whipped to firm peaks with 60g sugar
- 4 egg yolks, whisked with 60g sugar (blanchir)
- 120g flour (sifted)
- 1 large piping bag and a 10cm piping tip (ready before starting to assemble the ingredients = Mise En Place)
- Parchment paper on tray with 3x6" strips running along the tray and another tray with a 20cm diameter circle. Make sure that the traced lines are on the underside of the paper to not get it on the cookie. <

Step 1 : Mix the yolks with 60g sugar to lighten the color of the yolks, without incorporating too much air into them.
Step 2: Whip up the whites and when foamy, add the sugar to the mixing whites. Beat till stiff peaked stage.
Step 3: Add 1/3 of the whites to the yolk mixture, then the rest, folding in, to not deflate the whites.
Step 4: Gently sprinkle in the sifted flour and fold in with a spatula to get a smooth and light texture, making sure there are not lumps of flour found in your mixture.
Step 5: Pipe the 3 strips of biscuit cuiller and the 20cm circle. When done piping, dust the cookies with icing sugar, let soak in for 10 seconds and dust another layer of icing sugar on top.

Step 6: Place in a 350 degree F oven until the cookie has reached a light golden color. When baked, remove the parchment from the tray and slide directly on the counter to cool.

When cooled off, flip the cookie and parchment over and pull the paper from the cookies, not the cookies from the paper. Then do the necessary trimming to the cookie for it to be places in the 22cm ring.

Once the cookie is in place inside the ring, place in freezer till the last mousse is ready for assembly. Now let's get on with the final mousse.For the base of this mousse you will have to prepare a type of "crème anglaise" for the creation of the ganache. Here's the recipes.

- 180g milk
- 3 yolks
- 25g sugar
- 5g gelatine (bloom 2 and a half leaves or 5g of powder and have ready before starting)
- 150g white chocolate (finely chopped and place on the side in a bowl)

Whisk the yolks and the 25g of sugar to whiten the yolks. Add in a sauce pan with the milk. Stir non stop with a spatula to prevent the eggs to coagulate. Cook on medium-low until 80-85 degrees Celsius. It should have less of a watery texture and be more creamy.

To make sure that you have achieve the "à la nappe" stage, have some of the cream on your wooden spoon or spatula, and make a streak with your finger horizontally. If the mixture drops through the streak, it is not ready.

When the cream is ready, add in the bloomed gelatin and whisk to make sure the gelatin is well melted and incorporated. Pour on top of the chocolate and stir to melt all the chocolate and create a smooth "ganache" mix.

 Let cool until room temperature or cooler. When cooled enough, add in 350ml of whipped cream, a third at first and then fold in the rest in gently.

Now that you have your final mousse ready, it's time to assemble the charlotte.

Step 1:
Take the mold with the prepped cookie out of the freezer. Placing gently half to 2/3 of the white chocolate mousse inside the biscuit, make sure that it comes up on the side of the cookie.
Step 2:
Place the raspberry insert in center of the mold. and cover with the rest of the white chocolate mousse. Make the top smooth.

Step 3:
Place into the freezer for quick set or into the fridge overnight for it to set completely. When set, decorate with fresh raspberries on top and enjoy.

The long process of making this dessert is well worth it, if you are up for the challenge that is. The mousse recipes are JUST as good on their own. They can be enjoyed in a cup with fresh fruit and served as a light dessert.

Eat well, sleep well and till tomorrow!


P.S. If anything in this recipe needs clarifying or you need any tips for completing a part of this recipe, please leave a message on the post and I will do my best to help you out!

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