Chinese New Year is finally around the corner. I am one of the guilty ones who ( I wouldn't say shamelessly, because I believe the majority of us do that) countdowns to the next public holiday of the year. We are exactly one week away! Suddenly Mondays don't feel so blue anymore!
Every corner in Raffle Place is selling bottles and bottles of homemade pineapple tarts, prawn rolls, cornflake cookies, almond/peanut cookies, love letters... It's almost like a snack heaven of sweet pastries and a continuation of the New year/ Christmas feasting.
Mandarin orange is without a doubt the most consumed fruit during the Chinese New Year Season and recently a wholesaler just opened a shop near my house that sells tons of them, so getting them is pretty convenient. Talk about oranges overload.. I eat one almost everyday after my mum bought a basket of very sweet ones.
I have to confess that oranges are one of my favourite ingredients to pair with chocolate after raspberry. They are tangy and the zest usually gives an added kick to a "normal" sponge cake. Love Love Love.... This CNY season, I was looking to do something different with an orange component and more challenging compared to the usual cookie/tarts baking so I scouted the net and my frequent foodgawker for inspirations, and lo and behold, I found my answer - Sadaharu Aoki's Valencia gateau.
It's finally back to entremets!! and I've got to say these are the desserts I enjoy baking the most. They are time consuming due to the many components ( 5-6 layers) involved but when you slice them up, you will find that every single bit of your time spent working on it was worth it.
This cake was a twist on the Valencia as I didn't have some of the ingredients at the point in time. This cake took about 2 days and "a soaking wet hair situation". I started off with doing the almond dacqouoise base ( which comprises similar ingredients to a macaron), infusing the mandarins with Cointreau simple syrup and orange cake the day before. The next day involved making the different mousses and assembling all of them together.
The process of making the orange mousse was probably the most epic and I still laugh about it everytime I think about it. After making the orange mousse, I left the bowl in the fridge to " thicken" a little before pouring into the cake tin. Afterwhich I proceeded to wash up and bathe. While bathing I dunno what struck me- BUT I suddenly remembered that I left the mousse inside the fridge for quite a long time ( Probably long enough for it to have set - OH NOS). With dripping hair, I rushed out like a mad woman with a towel around me to check on the mousse and finish assembling my cake.
When emergency calls, I don't think there is anything silly I can't do.
There you have it - Gâteau au chocolat noir et mousse à l’orange.
I know there's alot to work on- especially the uneven layers ;( and sipping components. Next time I'll make the cake lower before it collapse during transportation! gah! Anyway I'll be back for more entremets I promise!
Have a great week heading to CNY guys!