Recipe: Crunchy Almond Petit Gateau

Executive Chef Vinay Kumar from the Novotel Vijayawada Varun offers an irresistible dessert recipe.

Crunchy Almond Cherry Coconut Petit Gateau

Ingredients

For the sable biscuit base

  • 200 gm butter
  • 149 gm icing sugar
  • 1½ eggs
  • 3 ml vanilla extract
  • 360 gm flour

For the cherry cream mousse

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 pod vanilla bean or 10 ml/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 100 gm castor sugar (a kind of finer sugar manufactured by top baking brands)
  • 1 l fresh cream, chilled
  • 30 gm gelatin or a gelatin substitute for vegetarians like agar agar
  • 300 gm cherry compote (can use canned cherry pie filling or cherry jam, both easily available in grocery stores or online. Reduce sugar if using jam)

For the coconut cream dome

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 pod vanilla bean or 10 ml vanilla essence
  • 100 gm castor sugar
  • 500 ml fresh cream, chilled and whipped
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 30 gm gelatin or a gelatin substitute for vegetarians like agar agar

For the chocolate coating

  • 500 gm white chocolate chips
  • 350 gm cocoa butter, available online
  • 150 gm almonds, blanched, roasted and finely chopped

Method

For the sable biscuit base

  • In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and icing sugar. 
    Add the eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla extract.
  • Mix in the flour and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. 
  • Once the dough is ready, roll it into a circle about ½ inch thick and cut with a round cutter.
  • Bake it at 180°C for 15 minutes in a baking tray until its colour darkens. Set aside to cool.

For the cherry cream mousse

  • Make a sabayon or a light creamy sauce by warming the whipped egg yolks, castor sugar and vanilla essence over a double boiler.
    Cook till you get a thick, creamy custardy mixture.
    Don’t forget to keep stirring the mixture continuously, so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom and don’t overcook or the sauce will curdle.
  • Add the bloomed gelatin or agar agar and mix. Keep the mixture aside.
  • In another bowl whip the chilled cream to soft peaks consistency and fold in the sabayon mixture along with the cherry compote.
  • Pour it into a foil-lined tray and freeze.
    Once frozen, use the same round cutter and cut the mousse into a circle.

For the coconut cream dome

  • Make a sabayon or a light creamy sauce by cooking the whipped egg yolk, castor sugar, a vanilla bean, stirring continuously, over a double boiler, till it thickens and becomes custard like.
  • Don’t overcook or it will curdle.
  • Carefully fold in the coconut milk and whipped cream.
    Add the bloomed gelatin or agar agar.
  • Pour the mixture into a dome-shaped silicon mould and freeze.

For the chocolate coating

  • Over a double boiler, melt and mix together the white chocolate with the cocoa butter.
    Once the chocolate melts, add the almonds.
  • Dip the cherry mousse into the melted chocolate and coat it well. 

Assembly

  • Place the mousse on the baked sable base. 
  • De-mould the coconut cream dome and place it on top of the cherry mousse so there are four layers — first the sable biscuit base, then the cherry mousse, then the chocolate almond coating and finally the coconut cream dome.
  • Decorate the dessert. I have used a frozen chocolate circle, made from white chocolate and food colour, and a white chocolate flower (please see the picture above).

Note: Each sheet of gelatin is about 3 gm. Four sheets of gelatine can be substituted with 2 tsp agar agar.

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