Clione: a petit gateau

As an awkward middle schooler who was just diving into Japanese pop culture, I was stunned to find out how popular clione(also called sea angels) were. Pronounced “klee-oh-neh”, they are a relative to the sea slug, and are these little, translucent creatures that float through the ocean. If you have ever played Pokemon games before, the Pokemon Manaphy and Phione are actually based on these little critters. Clione facts aside, that was what inspired this recipe in terms of the presentation, but also a little but of the flavor profiles. I wanted to make these cute little blue petit gateau, with hints of yellow and white, just to capture the aesthetic of a clione.

For the different layers, we have a yuzu gelee, a coconut mousse, blue spirulina tuiles, yuzu-blue spirulina crunch, and a coconut glaze. The idea was to contrast the acidity of the yuzu with the creaminess of the coconut and the saltiness of the spirulina. Between the three, you get subtly tropical notes that will remind you of the ocean. I made the tuiles using pavoni feather molds, just to reference angel wings, as clione are also called sea angels. With the yuzu, I used juice for the gelee, and Yuzu Inspiration for the crunch layer, just to make sure that the flavor is properly represented, as it can either be too little or too much, depending. The crunch layer itself is made from the crumbled up tuiles and the Yuzu Inspiration being folded together, so the only really difficult part in this dessert is making sure that everything is set properly before assembly.

For the yuzu gelee:
1/4 cup yuzu juice
2 tsp agar agar
a pinch of salt

Heat up until the agar is dissolved into the liquid. Pour into a shallow, small container(like a small tupperware) and allow it to cool down and set. Cut into smaller pieces(I did 2-inch disks and kept the scraps for the topping) and freeze solid for assembly. Use four pieces for the mousse and keep the rest for final assembly.

For the coconut mousse:
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp gelatin powder + 2 tbsp water
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat up the coconut milk with the gelatin and water first. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with sugar and salt. Once the gelatin is fully dissolved into the coconut milk, pour half of the coconut milk into the eggs while whisking. Then pour it all back into the pot and whisk on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until thickened noticeably enough to coat the back of a spoon. Sieve and add in the vanilla extract, all off heat. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before whipping for 2-3 minutes, just until the custard mixture is aerated. Pour half of the mousse mixture into 4 silicone petit gateau molds. Place in 4 pieces of frozen gelee, then pour in the rest. Freeze the mousses solid before attempting to unmold.

For the spirulina tuile:
1 egg white
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp blue spirulina powder

Mix together to form your tuile batter. Spread onto Pavoni feather molds and bake at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes. Repeat until all of your batter has been used. Store the tuiles in an airtight container, making sure to save about least 1oz of them for the crunch.

For the yuzu-spirulina crunch:
1oz Yuzu Inspiration
1oz reserved spirulina tuiles, crushed into small pieces
a pinch of salt

Heat up the Yuzu Inspiration on a double boiler until fully melted. Take off heat and add in the other ingredients, stirring until combined. Pour onto acetate in 4 large dots and press on another sheet of acetate. Freeze until set.

For the coconut glaze:
1oz Yuzu Inspiration
3oz white chocolate
1 tsp blue spirulina powder
1 packet of gelatin powder + 1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut milk

Combine everything, but the spirulina, in a pot and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Pour through a sieve to eliminate any lumps. Stir the glaze to guarantee that everything has been combined together properly. Pour out 1/4 of the glaze into a bowl and stir into that 1/4 the spirulina. Pour Allow the glazes to cool down to 90 degrees F before using.

To assemble:
Remove the still-frozen mousses and pour over that the cooled down glazes(you can swirl them together before pouring, but I find keeping them separate allows for more re-pouring opportunities!). Transfer the mousses onto the spirulina crunch. Top with the yuzu gelee and the spirulina tuiles to finish.

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