This visually impressive strawberry entremet features fromage blanc, a creamy white cheese. The fresh strawberries and rich cream pair exceptionally well, especially with the hint of lemon in the cream. The cake layers are made of sponge cake, which means they are soft and airy. The striking strawberry exterior is inspired by the superb p√Ętissier Yann Couvreur and is sure to make a strong first impression. Enjoy it for a special occasion after a nice meal.


Ingredients

Makes two small 6-inch cakes or one 10-inch cake

Assembly
  • 2 pounds of strawberries, select for ones on the smaller side if possible
  • edible gold flakes

 

Fromage Blanc Cream
  • 270 grams fromage blanc (9.5 ounces)
  • 2 egg yolks (about 35 grams, 1.2 ounces)
  • 100 grams sugar (3.5 ounces, 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 8 grams gelatin (0.3 ounces)
  • 300 grams heavy cream (10.5 ounces, 1 1/4 cup) for whipping

Fromage blanc is a French soft white cheese. It can be hard to find in the US, but full-fat cream cheese is a satisfactory substitute.

 

Sponge Cake
  • 6 egg whites (about 210 grams, 7.4 ounces)
  • 6 egg yolks (about 105 grams, 3.7 ounces)
  • 100 grams cake flour or all-purpose (3.5 ounces, just under 1 cup)
  • 150 grams white sugar (5.2 ounces, 2/3 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Warm the eggs in warm water to make them whip up frothier.

 

Neutral Nappage Glaze (optional)
  • 4 cups water (900ml)
  • 450 grams sugar (2 1/4 cups)
  • 50 grams pectin
  • 80 grams lemon juice

Makes 4 cups of glaze, a bulk preparation that you can save for future recipes or scale down as needed.

Read how to prepare neutral nappage glaze in advance.

 

Equipment

Prepare the sponge cake layers

Warmer eggs will froth up better and are also easier to separate. Though if you are using a stand mixer, you can skip this step.

"Creaming" the egg yolks just means whipping them up until increased in volume and fully combined with the sugar. You should continue whipping until it reaches "ribbon stage" where pulling up the whisk and letting the yolks fall will form ribbons on the surface.

Fold 1/3 of the flour and fold to combine, then the next 1/3, then the next. Try to avoid deflating the yolks. It's okay if the flour is not fully combined on the first two folds, but the mixture should be homogenous on the third fold.

 

Set the silicone mat on a sheet pan and place the entremet ring on top. Butter and flour the ring + mat by rubbing warm butter around the inside and sprinklink with flour.

Bake at 350°F (180°C) for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with no batter.

Use a serrated bread knife to slice into thin slices for the cake layers, about 1/4-inch. Then trim the outer edges slightly to make circles somewhat smaller than the diameter of the ring.

For tips on slicing, see how to slice perfectly even cake layers.

Prepare the nappage

While the cake is baking, prepare the neutral nappage glaze.

Mix the sugar and pectin together and set them aside. Heat the water to 113°F (45°C). This is the right temperature to start the pectin reaction.

Pour in the sugar and pectin at once, and whisk to combine. Bring everything to a boil for about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, add in the lemon juice, which should start the gelification.

At this stage, it should already feel a tiny bit thicker (at least thicker than water). It should fight you as you drag the spoon through it, but don't expect it to feel like pudding.

Take the saucepan off of the heat to start cooling the nappage. Stir every 5 minutes to prevent a film from forming and to cool the mixture evenly. When the glaze cools to 95°F (35°C), it is ready to use.

Prepare the fromage cream

Bloom the gelatin in cold water by quickly whisking together the gelatin and water. Wait until the slurry gels very stiff. Heat it in the microwave a few seconds until it melts and is liquid.

Set this aside but don't forget about it. The gelatin will begin to stiffen the mixture if given enough time.

 

Assemble the cake

Set the silicone mat on a pan with the entremet ring on top. Slice your strawberries thin to make strawberry circles.

The bottom of the ring will be the top of the cake, so make this layer presentable. If your strawberries on the side hang over the top, simply trim them flat with a knife. Fill the gaps with the smaller parts and tips of strawberry.

Take all of the remaining strawberries, which will be used for the filling. Reserve at least one perfect strawberry to garnish the top of the cake.

Only heat until the strawberries just start to sweat some liquid.

In order from bottom to top (remember this cake will be inverted), the layers are:

If your sponge is extra thin, you may be able to fit another layer.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set the cream.

 

 

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