Hikari: a petit gateau

I’m basically starting a new pet project where I’m making desserts inspired by the many songs from the Kingdom Hearts franchise, specifically, Utada Hikaru’s songs. She has so many theme songs from the series that I thought it would be a fun way for me to tackle some new aesthetics, flavors, and combinations in desserts that I might not have before. So to start, I wanted to do a peach-salted caramel dessert inspired by her very first song from the series, “Hikari”. Hikari is the Japanese word for “light”, and I wanted to make a dessert that visually plays on that. The game often talks about how even in the darkest place, light always exists. So from that, I wanted to do a dessert that was jet-black with the activated charcoal. I also wanted the visual of the dessert to be loosely inspired by The World That Never Was(yes, I know Hikari is the theme song from the first game while The World That Never Was is introduced in the second) due to the color contrast with dark buildings and light buildings that I can make with tempered chocolate and that industrialized, city light-aesthetic.

Now this dessert has a shit-ton of components. Honestly, it was meant to be a lot simpler, but I was just having too much fun and that caused the dessert to become a lot more complex with the number of things that went onto it. Which now as I am writing this recipe, I am cursing myself because as fun as they are to experiment with, complex desserts and recipes take FOREVER to write out. That being said, all of the flavors are cohesive because it focuses predominantly around salted caramel and peach anyways. We have a salted caramel mousse enrobing a peach mousse, a blonde chocolate-salted caramel mirror glaze, a pate sucre base, tempered white chocolate “buildings”(honestly, just went with abstract rectangular and square shapes here), brown butter gelee cubes, and macerated peach to garnish. Oh, and the salted caramel mousse, mirror glaze, and pate sucre are all dyed black with activated charcoal. I wanted the peach, being a naturally golden color, to contrast with the dark tones from the charcoal, since that color difference is striking. I immediately realized after making the mousse that doing a heart shaped mousse insert for the peach would have been so much smarter, to represent the actual Kingdom Hearts, but you live and you learn, I suppose.


Makes enough for 6 petit gateaus:
For the peach mousse:
1 yellow peach, pitted and diced
1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped stiff
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

Allow the peach to simmer down with the water and sugar until soft and almost all of the liquid is reduced. Transfer to a blender and puree in with the bloomed gelatin, vanilla, and turmeric. Pass through a sieve and allow to cool down to room temperature. Fold in your heavy cream and pour into silicone 1-inch half sphere molds. Allow to freeze for an hour. Remove half of your half spheres. Using a blowtorch, lightly heat up the flat sides of all of your still-molded half spheres. Press in the half spheres you had removed, and allow the mousse to continue freezing for another 10-20 minutes, just until sealed together properly, before unmolding entirely.

For the salted caramel:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a nonstick pan, heat up your sugar until it begins to turn a golden-brown. Reduce the heat to low. Carefully break the caramel by adding in your heavy cream and your butter, and stir until the caramelized sugars have fully melted into the cream. Season with fleur de sel and finish with vanilla. Keep at room temperature for the mousse, gelee, and the mirror glaze components.

For the salted caramel mousse:
1/2 cup salted caramel
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon activated charcoal powder
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped stiff
2 teaspoons gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water

Combine your caramel, bloomed gelatin, charcoal, and mascarpone and heat together on low heat until everything has melted together. Take off heat and allow to cool. Fold in your whipped cream and pour into your silicone petit gateau molds, filling them about 2/3 the way full. Take out your frozen peach mousse spheres and press into the petit gateau molds and use an offset spatula to remove any excess. Freeze the mold. Transfer any  leftover mousse in a piping bag for assembly, refrigerating the mousse to keep it cold and firm.

For the pate sucre:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour + more for rolling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons activated charcoal powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blitz together your ingredients into a dough. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Roll out on a floured, nonstick baking surface to about 1/8th an inch. Cut out 2-inch circles. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes. Allow to cool. 6 circles will be used for assembly, while any spares, once cooled down, will be cut into 1/16th inch cubes for garnish.

For the blonde chocolate mirror glaze:
1/4 cup salted caramel
1 cup blonde chocolate
a pinch of salt
2 packets gelatin powder + 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons activated charcoal powder

Melt gelatin into heavy cream, charcoal powder, and caramel. Pour in your blonde chocolate and take off heat, allowing the mixture to sit for at least 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir until fully combined and pass through a sieve to remove any lumps or air bubbles.

For the brown butter gelee:
4 tablespoons brown butter
1/4 cup salted caramel
3 tablespoons agar agar
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons water

Melt ingredients together until combined, in a pot, on low heat. Pour into a shallow container and freeze until set. Cut into 1/6th inch by 1/6th inch cubes.

For the chocolate buildings:
1/2 cup white chocolate
1 teaspoon activated charcoal
a pinch of salt

Over a double boiler, melt 3/4ths of your chocolate with salt first. Take off heat and add in the rest of your chocolate. Pour about half onto acetate and spread into a thin layer using an offset spatula. Fold in the charcoal into the rest and repeat. Transfer to the refrigerator and cool down for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the chocolate is semi-pliable, but not fully set. Press with square shaped and circular molds and allow the chocolate to continue setting in the refrigerator until firm before removing from the acetate.

To garnish:
1 yellow peach
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Dice the peach into 1/8th inch by 1/8th inch cubes. Toss with other ingredients and allow to sit in the refrigerator until it is time to plate.

To assemble, place the frozen solid mousses over the sables. Glaze with the mirror glaze, heated to 90 degrees F. Garnish on top with your gelee, leftover pate sucre, diced peaches, and the tempered chocolate, using the leftover mousse as a “glue” of sorts to keep everything on.


One Comment Add yours

  1. frejatravels says:

    I don’t know the song you used for inspiration – but the cakes looks good.


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