I love autumn. I just love it: the colours of the leaves matches my hair, it’s plaid everywhere, there is Halloween and pre-Christmas and it’s apple season. People feel like drinking liqueur – well, I do – and you get to wear cute jackets without actually freezing.
Over one year ago, the last holiday we took, was a 4 day trip visiting friends in Paris and visiting Rouen, which was super relaxing: we just walked tirelessly (well, we were actually tired at the end of the day), had nice wine and visited the gardens. After one of those walks, we ended up in a small square and we sat at a bar – we tried the Trout Normand, which is a sorbet-drink that was usually placed between courses of very heavy meals, to help digest. It’s basically an apple sorbet with calvados, and it’s great. A few days ago I thought about those days and the Trou Normand and I decided to prepare a dessert inspired to this “drink” for the weekend.
The elements are:
- Hazelnut sablee pastry
- Hazelnut croustillant
- Hazelnut dacquoise
- Apple gelee with calvados
- Apple Bavarian cream
- Neutral glaze
- Buttercream flowers
Everything in this recipe is vegan.
The recipe is for 6 mini entremets, I used semi-spherical moulds with an 8 cm diameter.
Hazelnut sablée shortcrust pastry
60 g butter, plastic (10-14°C) – I use stork for this kind of pastry
40 g vanilla icing sugar
⅛ tsp (a pinch) Maldon salt
14 g raw hazelnut flour
100g flour / or whole wheat flour
2 tbsp veg oil
Mix the butter, the sugar and the salt together well, then add the hazelnut flour and combine and finally add the oil and the flour. Press the mixture in a flat disc and put in the fridge, possibly overnight or for 1 hour at least.
dark chococolate (50g)
caramelised hazelnuts (20g)
20 g caster sugar
Splash of water
6 crushed and pulverised cloves
Melt the dark chocolate in the oven at 50 degrees, at 45 in the microwave or with a double boiler system. In the meantime put the hazelnuts, well crushed, in a saucepan with the sugar and a splash of water to caramelise. Crush and pulverize 6 cloves and add to the hazelnut mixture. Stir in the melted chocolate and mix well until combined. Spread the chocolate mixture on parchment paper and freeze until consolidated, then cut out circles smaller than the basis of your entremet mould.
Apple gelee with calvados
1 tbsp veg butter
1/2 cup calvados
50 grams sugar
juice from 1/2 lemon
7 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 grams agar agar, bloomed in cold water
Put the butter and the sugar in a saucepan and cook for a few minutes, before adding the chopped apples.
In another saucepan, pour the calvados, the cloves and the cinnamon, simmer for a few minutes and then let infuse.
When the apples are bubbling, pour in the calvados filtering out the spices and the agar agar. Cook for a couple of minutes or until the apples are tender.
When cooled down, pour into small spherical moulds (or a mould that would fit your main one) and freeze.
Dacquoise (for 6 small discs ~ 9/10 cm diameter)
For the sponge:
100g hazelnut flour
For the Swiss meringue:
9 potato protein
0,3 xanthum gum
Whisk together the 55g of water, 9g of potato protein and the xanthum gum and blend with an immersion blender for 2 minutes. Let sit in the fridge for 30 mins to 5 hours (ideally – I waited 3 hours and it worked perfectly).
While the vegan whites until medium peaks form, then add 7g of sugar and in the meanwhile bring the 25g water and 75g sugar to a boil.
The compound has to reach 118 C degrees.
When stiff peaks start forming and the water+sugar mixture reaches the 118 C, pour it carefully on the side of the bowl in which you are mixing the whites. Keep whipping until the mixture gets a bit colder and reaches the desired texture.
Fold in the flours combined in 2-3 batches, trying not to knock out too much air from the meringue. Place in a piping bag and pipe with circular movements 6 discs that will fit your mould for the entremets.
Bake at (180°C) for ~15 minutes or until the top is golden brown. When cooled, use pastry a pastry cutter to cut circles to fit the entremet molds. For a moister cake, brush these with simple syrup or some sugar dissolved in cognac.
Once baked and cooled, imbue with the syrup: – calvados + agave in equal amounts. Then refrigerate until ready to use.
15+20 g sugar
40g glucose syrup
1g citric acid solution
Put water, 15g of sugar and the glucose syrup in a saucepan and heat to 40 C; while whisking add the rest of the sugar and the pectin and bring to a boil. Add the citric acid and cook briefly. Remove from heat and pour on a bowl, with cling film touching the liquid to prevent a skin from forming. Let set for 6h.
White chocolate Apple mousse
3 g agar + 15 g cold water for blooming
175 g apple puree
1 tsp vanilla pulp
100g vegan white chocolate
145 g vegan whipping cream/coconut cream
Melt the chocolate at 45 degrees (I use the oven or the double boiler method, but microwave is fine too).
Heat the apple puree with the vanilla and melt the bloomed agar. Mix the puree to the melted chocolate in 3 batches, mixing well. Then blend with an immersion blender in order to have a smooth cream, and let it cool down to 35-40°C. At this step add the food colorant if you wish to do so – I used a green and yellow mix. I tend to use natural colorants, in this case I used two liquid colorants turmeric based.
While the cream cools down, whip the whipping cream or the coconut cream (I used Emlea vegetable double cream suitable for whipping this time, otherwise I like the Schlagfix a lot or use coconut cream, specifically I put a can of coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours and then use the top part of the can which is quite solidified and whips well) – you don’t have to fully whip it, just a bit in order to have soft peaks. Add the semi-whipped cream to the cooled blended cream in 2-3 batches: fold it in order not to let too much air out.
Pour a bit of the mousse in the mould and use a spoon to bring some of the mousse up on the sides of the mould. Then gently press the de-moulded gelee spheres in the poured mousse, add a bit of mousse and then place the dacquoise disc and the croustillant. Freeze for 4 hours.
Remove from the mousse cake from the freezer and put on a cooling rack. Pour the cooled neutral glaze on the entremets and then place them on the sablee. Put them in the fridge until you are ready to decorate.
Decorations – buttercream apple flowers and hazelnut praline – I am not writing how much you should use, because I usually eyeball how much I need for decorations and use just those materials not to waste anything. My advise is: start with 50g, which is what I usually do (and what I did in this case as well).
Flowers: icing sugar and vegan butter
I don’t like fondant or sugar paste, I have to admit it. I think a good alternative to that is marzipan, even though the result will never be as polished.
However, I do like decorations, and I tend to use either buttercream or, when I just have to make swirls and things like that, a coconut based chocolate cream which holds its shape very well and is not as sweet. Another option is modelling chocolate.
I made a very sugary buttercream for the pyramidal basis on which I build the flowers (ratio 1.5:1 approx) and a 1.2:1 ratio buttercream for the stamen and the petals.
White chocolate and crushed hazelnuts – melt the white chocolate and whisk in the hazelnuts. Dip the entremets in this mixture to create a “border” or the motif you prefer. Place the flowers where you like, either on the entremets or on the plate!
Let set in the fridge for a couple of hours.