Sanctuary: a mirror glaze cake

When I was conceptualizing a dessert for “Sanctuary” by Utada Hikaru, I wanted to make something that represented the aesthetic of Kingdom Hearts, specifically the all-white aesthetic of Castle Oblivion and the tropical feeling of the Destiny Islands. I wanted a mirror glaze cake with a clean white exterior, blue and white-swirled interior to represent the sky and sea, and tropical flavors to represent the paopu fruit that is so iconic in the Kingdom Hearts series. So coconut and starfruit were no-brainers. That being said, starfruit literally tastes like nothing. Well, that’s a bit harsh. Basically if you left an apple and an orange in water for a day, that water would be what a starfruit tastes like. It’s very, very bland. So I wanted to add in passionfruit just to add some more tartness and contrast to the rest of the dessert. Fun fact, the Japanese version of “Sanctuary” is actually called “Passion”. For the actual components, we have a coconut cake, passionfruit-starfruit gelee, coconut-butterfly pea mousse, coconut mirror glaze, and starfruit croquant. I really wanted the exterior to be really sedated “beachy” with the interior really embracing the feeling of fun in the sun.

For the coconut cake:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes, finely ground
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt

Combine ingredients together. Pour onto a lined quarter baking sheet and spread. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes. Once the cake is completely cooled down, cut out a 6-inch round of the cake.

For the passionfruit-starfruit gelee:
2 starfruit
3 passionfruit
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons agar agar
a pinch of salt

Juice the starfruit and pass through a sieve. You only want the liquid, not the solid. Add in the passionfruit pulp into that liquid and reduce together with all of the ingredients until the liquid is cooked down by about half. Pour through a sieve again into a shallow container and refrigerate until set. Cut out a 5-inch ring of the gelee.

For the coconut mousse:
1/3 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream, whipped stiff
1 3/4 teaspoons gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
a pinch of salt

Melt the gelatin powder into the coconut milk. Whisk in the cornstarch as well, whisking until the mixture has thickened. Season with salt. Allow that mixture to cool down to room temperature. Beat with a paddle attachment in your stand mixture until softened, and fold in your whipped cream. Line a 6-inch ring mold with oil. Place your cake on the bottom first, then pour in half of your mousse. Place on top of that your set glee, then pipe in the rest of the mousse, just to help get any crevices in the mold. Level off the top of the ring mold and freeze solid (4 hours), before removing the mold. Keep the cake frozen for glazing.

For the mirror glaze:
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 packets of gelatin powder + 1/4 cup water
1 cup white chocolate chips
a pinch of salt
butterfly pea powder*

Combine cream, salt, coconut milk, and gelatin into a pot and heat up until the liquid is tepid. Pour in the white chocolate chips and take off heat and allow them to sit for a minute. Stir together then pour through a sieve to remove any lumps. Pour about 1/4th of your mixture out and dye that with the butterfly pea powder. Reheat both mixtures when it is time to glaze, pouring them together first before pouring over the cake itself.

For the starfruit croquant:
1 starfruit
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon or yuzu juice
a pinch of salt
melted coconut oil

Bring the sugar, water, citrus juice, and salt to a simmer. Shave your starfruit on the thinnest setting of your mandolin. Allow your slices to sit in the still-warm simple syrup for about 5 minutes. Brush two silpats with coconut oil. Gently lay the starfruit slices onto one silpat and place the other one over it. Place between two sheet trays and bake at 275 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove the top tray and silpat and continue to bake at 195 degrees F for another 1 1/2 hours. Allow to cool completely before removing carefully from the tray.

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