(This recipe appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
I always start my creative ideas by assessing the availability of fruits and cheese that I can source from local producers and farms. I like to combine sweet, sour, savory and spice flavors in my desserts, especially during the fall and winter seasons. With this cake, I was inspired by the fall fair that I miss so much, so I tried to replicate the flavors of a candy apple using my favorite spices, goat cheese and fall and winter fruits.
Yield: two 7ʺ (17.75 cm) cakes
- 320 g unsalted butter, softened
- 320 g granulated sugar
- 4 g salt
- 160 g egg yolks
- 450 g pastry flour
- 12 g baking powder
- 2 g ground cinnamon
- 1 g ground ginger
- 1 g grated nutmeg
- 1 g ground cloves
1. Arrange two 7ʺ (17.75 cm) French tart rings and two 2ʺ (5 cm) ring molds on a sheet pan. Spray interior of all molds with oil; set aside.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and salt. Gradually add the egg yolks, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary and mixing until well blended.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and spices and add to the butter mixture, mixing just until blended. Pat into a square on a plastic tray and wrap in plastic. Chill thoroughly.
4. Roll dough out to a thickness of 0.4ʺ (1 cm). Cut out two 7ʺ (17.75 cm) rounds and two 2ʺ (5 cm) rounds. Place the rounds in the tart rings and ring molds. Bake at 350˚F (180˚C) for 10-15 minutes. Cool and unmold.
Roasted Pistachio Paste
- Shelled pistachios, as needed
- Pure grapeseed oil, as needed
- Roast the pistachios until fragrant. Cool completely.
- Process in food processor until the nuts begin to release their oil. Add a little grapeseed oil and process until the paste is very smooth. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.
Pistachio Orange Blossom Macaroon Sponge
- 270 g marzipan
- 75 g heavy cream 35%
- 60 g roasted pistachio paste
- 300 g egg whites
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 120 g granulated sugar
- 3 g orange blossom water
- Soften the marzipan with heavy cream. Heat the mixture to 104˚F (40°C). Whisk in the pistachio paste.
- Whip the egg whites with cream of tartar to soft peaks. Add the sugar in 3 additions and whip it to firm peaks. Fold into the marzipan mixture.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip, pipe two 6ʺ (15.24 cm) disks. Bake at 350˚F (180˚C) for 8 minutes. Cool, then dust with confectioners’ sugar. Freeze until ready to use.
Cranberry Orange Insert
- 4 g gelatin sheets
- 330 g cranberry puree
- 40 g granulated sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 50 g dried cranberries, chopped
- Soften the gelatin sheets in ice-cold water.
- Combine ¼ of the cranberry puree with the sugar in a saucepan. Bring it to 140˚F (60°C). Stir the sugar until it dissolves. Add the softened gelatin. Stir it until all the gelatin has dissolved.
- Pour the warm mixture into the remaining cranberry puree and orange zest. Stir the mixture until well mixed, then pour it into the plastic wrap-lined molds (one 6ʺ/15.24 cm tubular ring shape for inside each cake and one 1.8ʺ /4.5 cm tubular ring shape for inside each red apple). Freeze until set.
Spiced Apple Compote Insert
- 300 g apples
- 40 g granulated sugar, divided
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 100 g green apple puree
- 2 g ground cinnamon
- 1 g ground ginger
- 2 gelatin sheets, softened
- Peel, core and cut apples into small
- In a small pot, combine the apple cubes, 25 g of the sugar, and the cinnamon Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove cinnamon stick.
- Combine the green apple puree, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and remaining 15 g sugar in saucepan. Bring it to 140˚F (60°C), stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the softened gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is completely melted. Pour the warm mixture into the cool apple compote. Stir until well blended, then pour it into desired molds or prepared pan that has been lined with plastic wrap (one 5ʺ/12.7 cm round for inside each cake and one 1.8ʺ/4.5 cm round for inside each red apple). Freeze until set.
- 224 g granulated sugar
- 30 g water
- 24 g glucose
- 10 g pectin
- 265 g frozen cranberries
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring it to 122˚F (50°C). Add the glucose and pectin and stir until all the sugar and pectin are dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boil and bring to 221˚F (105˚C).
- Add the cranberries, orange juice and zest to the syrup. Simmer over low heat until the cranberries are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer it into a container and cover it right away to prevent a skin from forming. Cool it down and set aside until ready to use.
- 180 g granulated sugar
- 60 g water
- 90 g gg whites
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium heat.
- Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When the sugar syrup reaches 230˚F (110˚C), begin whipping the whites on medium speed until frothy. Continue whipping at medium speed until the whites form soft peaks. When the syrup reaches 240˚F (116˚C), slowly add it to the whites while whipping at medium speed. Increase the speed to high and whip to stiff peaks, then reduce the speed to medium and continue to whip until completely cool.
Cardamom Goat Cheese Apple Parfait
- 10 g gelatin sheets
- 100 g apple puree
- 2 g lemon zest
- 1.5 g ground cardamom
- 200 g goat cheese
- 400 g heavy ream 35%
- 240 g Italian Meringue (from above)
- Soften the gelatin in ice cold water.
- In a bowl, combine the apple puree, lemon zest, ground cardamom and goat cheese. Place it over a saucepan of simmering water and heat to between 113-122˚F (45-50˚C). Add the gelatin to the mixture, and stir until dissolved. Cool.
- Whip the cream to soft peaks.
- Fold the Italian meringue in into the lemon mixture one-third at a time. Fold in the whipped cream.
Caramel Candy Red Mirror Glaze
- 226 g white chocolate
- 150 g condensed milk
- 14 g gelatin sheets
- 203 g water, divided
- 226 g granulated sugar
- 226 g glucose
- Super red food coloring, as needed
- Edible gold dust, as needed
- Combine the chocolate and condensed milk in a 1-liter container and set aside.
- Place the gelatin and 90 g of the water in a bowl to soak for 5 minutes, then place the bowl over a double boiler to melt (melt the gelatin with the water – do not drain gelatin).
- In a saucepan, bring the remaining 113 g of the water, the sugar and glucose to a boil over high heat. Remove immediately and pour over the chocolate and condensed milk, along with the gelatin mass. Use an immersion blender to emulsify the mixture, making sure not to incorporate air. Add the red coloring and blend. Place plastic directly on the surface and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, heat the glaze to 88˚F (31˚C) and use an immersion blender to crystallize, being careful not to incorporate air. Strain and use on prepared cakes.
Red Velvet Spray
- 100 g red cocoa butter
- 200 g white chocolate
- Red powdered food coloring, as needed
- Melt together the cocoa butter and white chocolate and add some red food coloring to achieve the desired color. Place in a sprayer.
- Chocolate leaves, brushed with edible gold dust (various sizes)
- Apple stem (2 cm) made from 54% dark chocolate
- Dark chocolate ring, brushed with edible gold dust
- Line the bottom of two 7ʺ (17.75 cm) ring molds tightly with plastic wrap and line the molds with acetate strips. Do the same for the sphere molds for the apple shape.
- Fill the prepared ring molds 1/4 way with the Cardamom Apple Goat Cheese Parfait. Place the Spiced Apple Compote Insert on top. Pipe more parfait to cover the compote, and make sure to pipe around the outside, as well. Use the small offset palette knife to make a smooth layer.
- Place the Cranberry Ring Insert on top, making sure it is centered. Pipe more parfait to cover the compote and around the perimeter. Use a small offset palette knife to smooth the layer.
- Place the frozen Pistachio Orange Blossom Macaroon sponge on top, then press and twist it gently. Make sure the parfait comes up slightly (about 0.5 cm). Use the offset palette knife to make sure the parfait and the sponge are level. Freeze until firm in blast freezer.
- For the two apple-shaped Delice, repeat the previous steps, piping the parfait evenly inside and around the perimeter of the sphere molds. Arrange the inserts on top. Place a 1ʺ (2.5 cm) round of the Pistachio Macaroon Sponge in the center and press it gently. Freeze until firm in blast freezer.
1. Spread a thin layer of Cranberry Compote on the two 7ʺ (17.75 cm) rounds and two 2ʺ (5 cm) rounds of Sablé Breton. Unmold the frozen apple-shaped Delice and place it on the small Sablé Breton. Place it back in the blast freezer.
2. Pull out the 7ʺ (17.75 cm) Delice and unmold it from the ring. Remove the acetate. Place it on a slightly smaller ring and return it to the blast freezer while waiting for the glaze to reach the proper temperature and consistency. The glaze should be at 88˚F (31°C) and should coat the back of a spoon. Glaze the 7ʺ (17.75 CM) Delice using a ladle. Make sure the cake is evenly coated on its top and side. Very quickly use a palette knife to remove excess glaze from the top. Place the Delice back in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes until the glaze is set.
3. Place the 7ʺ (17.75 cm) Delice carefully on top of 7ʺ (17.75 cm) sablé.
4. Prepare the Red Velvet Spray mixture. Make sure to warm up the spray gun ahead of time (this can be hours prior to spraying). When the mixture is ready, spray the apple shaped dessert with the mixture, coating it evenly. Place in blast freezer for 5 minutes.
5. Pull out the 7ʺ (17.75 cm) Delice and the apple-shaped Delice from the blast freezer. Place the apple-shaped Delice on top of the 7ʺ (17.75 cm) Delice, centering it. Place the apple stem on the Delice. Place the chocolate ring on top of the 7ʺ (17.75 cm) Delice and around the apple-shaped Delice. Place a large leaf on the Delice. Place the Delice on a wood serving platter in the shape of tree bark. Place the medium and small size leaves on the serving platter. Arrange the leaves as naturally as possible to resemble fallen leaves
Photos by Chris Braun
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