(This recipe appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
Almost everyone I know can do with a bit of luck and charm. This creation of mine is solely dedicated to marching forward into a prosperous and joyful 2021. I didn’t know this until recently, but for over a thousand years the horseshoe has been a symbol of good luck and great fortune. According to ancient folklore, it’s supposed to protect you from evil, prevent nightmares and bring good luck. So, I’ve taken inspiration from all things good to present you with this very delicious entremet. From shape and color to flavors and textures, it’s everything meant to make 2021 a year to be cherished.
One of the prominent flavors in this dessert is Mandarin orange, which has always been an integral part of The Chinese New Year. The small citrus that resembles the sun is aligned with the yang principle, which is a symbol of abundance and happiness. Also, the Chinese word for mandarin, ‘kam’, sounds similar to the word for ‘gold’. So, having mandarin oranges around the home at New Year is said to bring riches into your life. The other intriguing flavor you will find in this dessert is that of the humble peanut. This is also regarded as a lucky symbol, because of its auspicious-sounding name – the Chinese name ‘fah sung’ is a homonym for prosperity and abundance. I’ve therefore deliberately incorporated flavors of orange goodness along with the nutty aromas and flavor of peanuts in creating this dessert. Since ancient times, the color red has been very popular across cultures, religions and demographics. It represents happiness, beauty, vitality, good luck, success and good fortune. So, this dessert is a culmination of everything good there can be, to bring you all the luck and joy you need!
Yield: 1 entremet
Element 1: Brown Butter Mandarin Financier
- 120 g whole Mandarin oranges
- 90 g superfine granulated sugar, divided
- 2 g pectin
- Boil the Mandarin oranges in a pot of water for 30 minutes. Discard the water, add some more water and boil it for another 30 minutes. Allow it to cool down, then deseed it and chop into small pieces.
- Place 80 g of the superfine granulated sugar and the chopped oranges in a heavy-bottomed pan. Mix the pectin and the remaining 10 g sugar. Place the orange mixture on medium-low heat and add the sugar-pectin mixture once it reaches 104˚F (40 °C). Continue cooking the marmalade until thick. Transfer to a clean container and reserve.
- 110 g unsalted butter
- Place the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat. Once melted, continue cooking until the butter turns brown and releases a nutty aroma.
- 105 g egg whites
- 15 g invert sugar
- 106 g confectioners’ sugar
- 57 g macadamia nut flour
- 33 g refined flour (T45)
- 1 g Maldon sea salt
- 100 g Brown Butter (above), melted 30 g orange marmalade
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- Whisk together the egg whites and invert sugar. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
- Mix a small part of the batter into the melted butter and whisk well until uniform. Combine both the batters, then fold in the orange marmalade along with vanilla bean seeds.
- Pipe into desired molds and bake at 338˚F (170 °C) for 13-15 minutes.
Element 2: Citrus-Spiced Peanut Crunch
- 100 g peanuts
- 15 ml vegetable oil
- 1 g black salt
- 2 g turmeric powder
- 6 g paprika
- 1 g ground black pepper
- 1 g dry mango powder
- Toast peanuts, then toss and cook with the spices to create a flavorful spiced peanut mixture.
Spiced Peanut Praliné
- 40 g superfine granulated sugar
- 10 g water
- 100 g Spiced Peanuts (above)
- Cook water and sugar to 244˚F (118˚C). Add the Spiced Peanuts and cook until the mixture seizes. Continue to cook until the mixture caramelizes and then spread it onto a silicone baking mat-lined sheet pan and allow to set.
- Once slightly cooled, blitz it until you get a fine praline paste.
- 40 g white chocolate
- 60 g cornflakes cereal, crushed
- 40 g Spiced Peanut Praliné
- 1 g salt
- Place the white chocolate on a tray and bake at 300˚F (150˚C) for 15-20 minutes, agitating the chocolate every 7 minutes, until light golden brown. Blitz the chocolate to a fine paste.
- Mix the caramelized white chocolate with the crushed cornflakes, Spiced Peanut Praliné and salt, then spread this mixture over the baked cake that has been cut into the desired shape.
Element 3: Citrus Fruit Confiture with Orange Blossom
- 100 g Mandarin orange purée
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped 30 g superfine granulated sugar, divided
- 2 g pectin NH
- 40 g orange segments
- 30 g grapefruit segments
- 50 g Mandarin orange segments
- 10 g lemon segments
- 1.5 g gelatin sheets, bloomed
- 5 g orange blossom water
- 1 g Maldon sea salt
- Cook Mandarin puree, vanilla bean and 20 g of the superfine granulated sugar to 104˚F (40˚C). Add the remaining 10 g sugar, the pectin NH and citrus segments and cook until the mixture thickens and reaches 217˚F (103˚C).
- Remove from the heat and add the Take off the flame and add the bloomed gelatin, orange blossom water and salt. Transfer to desired mold and freeze.
Element 4: Caramelized White Chocolate Mousse with Saffron and Tonka Bean
- 4 g gelatin
- 100 g whole milk, warm
- 2 g saffron
- 0.5 g tonka bean
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 100 g egg yolks
- 15 g superfine granulated sugar
- 220 g caramelized white chocolate (use same method for caramelizing as in Crunch, above)
- 250 g heavy cream, whipped
- Bloom the gelatin in ice cold water.
- Combine the warm milk, saffron, Tonka bean and vanilla bean seeds.
- Whisk together the yolks and sugar, then temper into the milk mixture and cook to 180˚F (82˚C). Remove from heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin. Pour over the semi-melted caramelized white chocolate and emulsify. Cool to 86˚F (30˚C), then fold in the whipped cream. Place in mold.
Element 5: Peanut Sablé
- 100 g unsalted butter, cold and diced
- 50 g confectioners’ sugar
- 1 g salt
- 30 g peanut flour
- 200 g all-purpose flour
- 35 g whole eggs
- Mix all the ingredients except the eggs together to form a bread crumb consistency. Add the eggs and mix to a smooth dough (do not overmix).
- Sheet out the dough to 6 mm and cut into desired shapes.
- Bake between two perforated mats at 338˚F (170˚C) for 8-10 minutes.
Element 6: Mirror Glaze
- 18 g gelatin sheets
- 120 g water
- 210 g granulated sugar
- 210 g glucose syrup
- 210 g white chocolate
- 150 g condensed milk
- 80 g neutral glaze
- A few drops of red gel food coloring
- Bloom gelatin in ice-cold water.
- Boil water, sugar and glucose to around 216˚F (102˚C). Remove from the heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin. Pour over the chocolate and condensed milk and emulsify. Add the neutral gel and emulsify. Surface-wrap the mixture and let rest for 12 hours.
- Melt and use to glaze frozen entremet.
- Pipe a layer of mousse into the mold and insert the frozen Citrus Confiture. Pipe another layer of mousse on top and insert the financier that has a layer of Crunch on top. Flatten to form an even base and freeze until firm enough to demold.
- Glaze with the Mirror Glaze and place over baked Peanut Sablé. Garnish as desired.