I bought pastry chef Stèphane Glacier’s latest book a couple of months ago and I am fascinated with all the amazing verrines and petits gateaux that are featured in it. This gateau, with pistachio joconde layers soaked with lemon simple syrup, jellyfied raspberry coulis and vanilla bavarian cream, holds true to its name, Delice D’Ete (Summer Treat). Light, spongy and perfect for the season.
Although the recipes I used for the different gateau components are all from my archives, this cake was inspired by chef Glacier, which brings up a question that always roams around in my head… What makes a chef own a recipe? We all borrow ideas from others, so when can we call a recipe our own?
In this case, although the recipes are mine, the idea, look and combination of flavors are chef Glacier’s, so would you say this cake is mine or his? It’s hard to claim ownership of recipes sometimes. In this case, it is clear that all credit should go to him. Composition, combination, styling… They are all his.
105 grams almond flour
105 grams raw pistachios
150 grams powdered sugar
50 grams all purpose flour
250 grams eggs
185 grams egg whites
75 grams sugar
35 grams butter, melted and cooled
In a food processor, finely chop the pistachios. Add the powdered sugar and almond flour and process until a fine meal forms. Place this mixture in a bowl of an electric mixer and add the all purpose flour and the whole eggs to it. With a whip attachment, whip this mixture until a thick ribbon forms, about 5 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl and wash the electric mixer bowl and whip attachment.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of the electric mixer and whip until a light meringue starts to form. Slowly, sprinkle in the sugar and whip until semi-stiff peaks form.
Mix a third of the meringue into the first mixture. Add the rest of the meringue and fold gently. Add the melted butter and fold until it is all incorporated.
Divide this batter into two half sheetpans and spread the batter into an even layer so when the cake bakes, it is even. Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes or until it starts to form a light color on top. We don’t want it to be too dark. Cool the cakes and store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to assemble the cake.
Lemon Simple Syrup
100 grams sugar
100 grams water
Zest of half a lemon
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off as soon as sugar has dissolved. Cool.
Jellyfied Raspberry Coulis
800 grams raspberry puree
160 grams sugar
7 gelatin sheets
Place the raspberry puree and the sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, soften the gelatin in ice water. When the puree comes to a boil, turn the heat off and add the gelatin to it. Whisk so it dissolves evenly.
Pour this coulis into two flat sheetpans and freeze until they are solid.
Vanilla Bean Bavarian Cream
500 grams half and half
1 vanilla bean, scraped and seeded
125 grams sugar
120 grams yolks
7 gelatin sheets
500 grams heavy cream, soft peaks
In a medim saucepan, place the half and half, the vanilla bean and half of the sugar and bring to a boil. In the meantime, whisk the yolks and the other half of the sugar in a bowl. Also, start softening the gelatin in ice water. When the half and half comes to a boil, temper into the yolks and whisk. Add this custard back to the pan and cook until it slightly thicken and coats the back of the spoon (about 84C).
Strain this custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Add the softened gelatin to it and whisk. Place this bowl over an ice bath so it cools faster. When it’s cool to the touch, add the whipped cream and fold gently until it is all incorporated.
Once the bavarian is made, the cake must be built so have all your other components ready.
Assemble the Gateau
I used a square frame to build the gateau. The frame is about 14 x 14 x 2 inches.
First, remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the joconde. Do so by inverting the cake onto your work surface and peel off the paper gently, pressing the cake down as you peel the paper off. Then cut the joconde to fit the square frame. Also cut the gelified raspberry coulis to fit the frame.
Place the square frame on top of a half sheetpan lined with parchment. Place the first sheet of joconde in the frame. Soak it with the lemon simple syrup. Pour some of the bavarian cream on top and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Place the first sheet of frozen gelified coulis on top and gently press down. Pour a very thin layer of bavarian on top and spread evenly. Place the second sheet of joconde on top. Brush with simple syrup. Pour another very thin layer of bavarian on top and spread evenly. Place the second sheet of frozen coulis and finish with the bavarian cream all the way to the top. Flatten the top with your offset spatula. Freeze the entire cake.
When ready to serve, remove the cake from freezer and let it thaw out a bit before cutting it. Glaze the top with a neutral glaze and serve with berries.
I think the best part about building a cake like this are the scraps, don’t you think?