Above and beyond: a galaxy cheesecake

Truthfully, I have done a galaxy entremet before. But this one is slightly different in that the filling is made with cream cheese, and it’s a little less ficklesome. That and I topped it with zefir, a Russian marshmallow made with apple puree, but instead of apple, I used cherimoya, aka custard apple. Why? Because I wanted to be a little different and cherimoya happens to be in season. A little run down on what that ingredient is, it is a green, apple-like fruit that looks like a grenade and has anywhere from 24-48 black, inedible, toxic seeds. So it is honestly a pain to prep. But the white flesh of the fruit is custardy, rich, and delectable. Honestly, perfect for a zefir, just because the texture lends itself well to being pureed into a silky mix.

For the cake itself, we have a cream cheese Bavarian, but I dyed it with a bunch of different powders. You have to make the Bavarian in three different rounds. One for the planets and two for the actual “galaxy” backdrop in the cheesecake. For the crust, we have a brown butter shortbread crust, and you can optionally make your own shortbread, or blitz premade. I did make my own, not to be a condescending braggart, but it was because I had leftover shortbread dough from when I made the tarte tatin. So halve that shortbread recipe if you wanted to use it instead.


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For the crust:
1 1/4 cups shortbread cookies, crushed into a fine crumb
1/4 cup brown butter
2 tablespoons activated charcoal powder
1 egg white

Blend together to form a wet sand-like consistency. Pour into the bottom of a 9 inch ring mold and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool down completely.

For the cream cheese Bavarian (1 batch)
1 egg yolk
6 oz cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon cold water
2 tablespoons heavy cream, whipped stiff
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bloom gelatin into 1 tablespoon of cold water. Melt into the rest of the water with sugar. Whip egg yolk and temper it into the simple syrup. Season with salt and vanilla. Cream the cream cheese until smooth. Mix into the egg mixture.

For the planets, I used the following ingredients to dye them:
Butterfly pea powder(blue)
Pitaya powder(pink)

Separate the cream cheese-egg mixture into four bowls and dye them first. Then fold in the whipped cream into each bowl. Pour into silicone half sphere molds (I used 1 inch and 1/2 inch molds to create planets of different sizes — for the 1 inch, I filled 8, 2 half spheres of each color, then filled the rest into the 1/2 inch), and reserve any spare mixture that you couldn’t pour into the molds for the galaxy backdrop. Freeze these until solid (2-3 hours). Then heat up a pot, and flip it over. Carefully press the flat, frozen sides of the half domes against that heated up part of the pan and press two similarly colored and sized domes together to form your planets.

For the planets, you will need to make a 1-batch recipe.

For the galaxy backdrop, you will need to make a 4 batch recipe of the Bavarian

I dyed the backdrop with the following:
Activated charcoal(black)
Ube powder + pitaya powder(purple)

Split into half to dye these(or just make 2 double batches). Pour into your lined 9-inch ring mold on a baking pan(with the baked crust on the bottom) in intervals of the black and purple, sprinkling in your already set spare planet mixture, as well as inserting the planets sporadically, but evenly, into the mousses as your continue to pour them in. Tap the pan to flatten the mousse evenly, and freeze for 3-4 hours, or until solid.

For the zefir:
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons agar agar
1 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup cherimoya puree*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt

Bloom gelatin into water. Bring gelatin, agar, water, sugar, and salt to a simmer. Pour into the egg whites while whipping and continue to whip until the egg whites and stiff. Fold in the cherimoya puree. Transfer into silicone star molds and pour the rest onto a lined sheet tray. Allow to set for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator before unmolding.

For the cherimoya puree:
1/2 cup cherimoya, seeds removed and peeled
2 tablespoons brown butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Sauté cherimoya in brown butter and sugar, then season with salt. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pass through a sieve and cool down before using in the zefir.

For assembly:
Unmold the cheesecake and transfer to a serving platter. Allow to thaw. Garnish with your zefir and serve.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

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