Strawberry tea time: an entremet

With this dessert, I really was aiming to utilize some leftover goat cheese and strawberry puree I had lying around. While I initially thought about doing a cheesecake with those two components, I figured that I could make it into something more fun, and go with an entremet, or a mousse cake! Since strawberries and goat cheese are both on the tart and tangy side, I wanted to offset that with white chocolate and earl grey tea, which adds sweetness, richness, bitterness, and floral notes to really round out the entire dessert! Unlike my usual entremets, which feature flat layers, I wanted to do something a little more fun, and went with some spherical gelees that I set inside of the mousse, so that when you cut into it, you’ll get circles of strawberry tucked into the goat cheese mousse that is enrobing it.

For the different components, we have a milk tea chiffon cake, a goat cheese mousse, strawberry gelee, strawberry ganache, milk tea ganache, Strawberry Inspiration curls, and edible flowers to finish. I was really just trying to make the flavors and components contrast one another, just to create a striking balance of these muted browns against vibrant red/pink tones. There were several components that I listed off, but the key to succeeding with this recipe is focusing on temperatures. The gelee needs to be frozen solid so that when it goes into the mousse, it holds its own shape well. The cake being a chiffon does require some careful folding, but truthfully it is not the hardest sponge to make. The goat cheese mousse needs to be set properly before you can pour on the strawberry ganache, or else the ganache will bleed into the mousse and ruin all of the layers. And the milk tea ganache can only be piped on once the strawberry ganache is set, or else again, layers will bleed into each other. Patience is usually the key when making desserts, so I recommend multitasking with other chores and errands as you make this recipe, as it will make those waiting periods go by a lot faster!

For the strawberry gelee:
1/4 cup strawberry puree
1 tsp agar agar
a pinch of salt

Heat up your ingredients until they come to a simmer. Stir together and allow the gelee mixture to cool down to just above room temperature. Pour into silicone 1/2 inch sphere molds and freeze solid. Press the half spheres together to form full spheres and keep in the freezer for assembly.

For the earl grey chiffon cake:
2 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 bag earl grey tea
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp canola oil
a pinch of salt

In a bowl, whip the egg whites with sugar to stiff peaks. In a pot, heat up the milk with the tea for 5 minutes. Allow the milk to cool down before squeezing any residual liquid out of the bag. Add 2 tbsp of the milk tea into a bowl(saving the rest to soak the cake with), and whisk into that the egg yolk, flour, canola oil, and salt. Fold into the egg-milk-flour mixture your egg whites. Pour into a lined 6-inch ring mold on a silicone-lined sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes. Cool down before pouring the rest of the milk tea over the cake.

For the goat cheese mousse:
8oz goat cheese
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp gelatin powder
1/4 cup milk
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

In a bowl, cream together the goat cheese with the egg yolk. In a pot, heat up the other ingredients, sans the heavy cream and vanilla, until they come to a boil. Pour the boiling liquid into the goat cheese mixture while whisking until they are fully combined together. Whisk the cream with vanilla to stiff peaks. Fold the cream through the goat’s cheese to form your mousse.

Initial assembly:
Line an 8-inch ring mold with acetate and place onto a lined sheet tray. Start with your chiffon first, placing that down in the center of the ring mold, keeping it 1-inch apart from the edges. Pour in about 1/4 of the goat cheese mousse first. Then place in the gelee spheres. Pour in the rest of the mousse, smoothing off the top. Freeze solid, at least 2 hours.

For the strawberry ganache:
1/4 cup strawberry puree
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1 tsp agar
a pinch of salt

Heat up all of your ingredients until they are melted together and fully combined. Allow the ganache to cool down to just above room temperature before pouring over the top of your frozen goat cheese mousse. Spread the ganache until it covered the top in an even layer and return to the freezer for another hour. Unmold the entire mousse cake and keep frozen for the final touches.

For the earl grey ganache:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 bag earl grey tea
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup white chocolate

Heat up the cream with tea and salt first for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove the bag, pressing it with a spatula or a spoon to release as much liquid as possible. Discard the bag. Add to the infused cream your white chocolate and heat up until the mixture comes to a boil. Take off the heat and stir until everything is melted together. Allow the mixture to cool down to just above room temperature before transferring to a piping bag. Pipe thin lines of the ganache on the top of the cake in whatever patterns you want!

For the Strawberry Inspiration curls:
2oz Strawberry Inspiration
a pinch of salt

Partially melt the Strawberry Inspiration and salt on a double boiler. Take off heat when the chocolate is half-melted and stir until it is completely melted. Spread the chocolate onto acetate and curl up. Allow the chocolate to set in the freezer for 5 minutes before unmolding.

To garnish:
Edible flowers(I used dianthus petals)

Garnish the top of the cake with flower petals and the curls to finish. Allow it to come up to room temperature before serving.

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