It is close to my ‘life and death’ friend’s birthday, 8th July. Many years ago, she and I had a traffic accident. We were knocked, drawn under a bus and dragged over the street for some distance. One lost conscious (reported dead) and the other injured seriously. I was the previous and woke up after many hours. My school friend Betty was placed at my next bed. Bones of her left lower leg were smashed. She had to hang it for 3 months to let them grow and sticked again. I stayed in the hospital for 6 weeks and then moved to another hospital for rehabilitation. I went back to school in January and could proceed to form 2. She stayed 6 months in the hospital and had to repeat form 1. We were distant and lost contact for ages. By chance, I saw her photo in a friend’s facebook. We could reconnect and this lovely cake is my little gesture though we still haven’t met face to face.
I made a 20cm cake and a small dome based on a lovely recipe from Hidemi Sugino (recognised as Asia’s best pastry chef 2015). Ha, I can’t read Japanese but from someone posted it to the web. The outlook is very appealing. The original version is for 5 x 5cm mini cake. I did not have that many small cake moulds and made it a big one. If I would make it again, I would switch to a 18cm cake as the layers of pistachio biscuit and mousse were a bit thin.
36g almond paste substituted by ground almond and cream
15g pistachio paste
16g egg yolks
10g egg whites
32g egg whites
20g granulated sugar
18g corn starch
8g melted butter
Mix ground almond and cream well. Then beat to combine the almond and pistachio paste.
Add in eggs, egg yolks and egg whites gradually, whisking constantly until mixture is creamy and fluffy. Fold in corn flour and melted butter.
For the meringue, whisk egg whites and caster sugar together until stiff peaks form. Fold meringe into almond, pistachio & eggs mixture gradually in 3 batches. Pour batter into baking sheet and bake in 230C preheated oven for 5 minutes. Leave to cool before cutting out 18cm round. Cut a small round for the dome from the rest of the biscuit.
80g whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
8g pistachio paste
1/10th vanilla bean
16g egg yolks
16g granulated sugar
1.2 sheet gelatin (3g)
Place gelatin in cold water to bloom. Heat pistachio paste, milk & split vanilla essence together in a pan until boiling. Whisk egg yolks & sugar together then pour in hot milk mixture, continuing to whisk to temper the egg yolks. Heat milk & egg mixture until 84C, then mix in softened gelatin. Strain pistachio cream and leave to cool.
Whisk whipping cream until soft peaks and fold into pistachio cream. Pour into 18cm and 10cm round cake pans lined at the bottom with cling wrap. Leave in fridge until set.
Place gelatin in cold water to bloom. Heat strawberry pulp but do not boil. Mix in bloomed gelatin and leave to cool. Mix in raspberry brandy.
Whisk whipping cream until soft peaks, set aside. Prepare Italian meringue by heating water and sugar until it reaches 118C. At 115C, whisk egg whites until it is foamy. While continuing to whisk, pour in sugar syrup and whisk till stiff peaks form and Italian meringue is ready. Fold in Italian meringue then whipping cream into strawberry puree.
Dissolve the sugar in hot / boiling water. Mix in the liquor.
Brush pistachio biscuit with sirop d’imbibage. Place the pistachio biscuit at the bottom of the cake ring.
Pour strawberry mousse into cake rings filling about 1/2.
Carefully place and center 1 piece of pistachio mousse disk into each cake ring, pushing slightly into the strawberry mousse to anchor but not all the way down.
Fill with remaining strawberry mousse until just slightly short of top of cake ring.
Leave to set in refrigerator. I decorated the top with fresh strawberry and sugary stars. Brush the strawberries with mirror gel.