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Matcha, White Chocolate and Cherry Trench Cake

This recipe may seem a little daunting but don’t be put off . The smoked chocolate element is made simply by infusing cream with a Lapsang Souchong teabag. The yuzu and white chocolate ganache insert will need to be made a day in advance. Read on to find out how to make this recipe from Japanese Patisserie by James Campbell.

Serve 8

Ingredients

  • 250 g/9 oz. yuzu purée
  • 60 g/scant 1⁄3 cup caster/ granulated sugar
  • 80 g/1⁄4 cup liquid glucose
  • 600 g/21 oz. white chocolate, chopped
  • 21⁄2 large sheets or 5 small domestic leaves of gelatine, soaked in cold water
  • 60 g/1⁄2 stick butter, diced
  • SMOKED CHOCOLATE PAVÉ
  • 1 litre/generous 4 cups whipping/heavy cream, divided in half
  • 2 Lapsang Souchong teabags
  • 500 g/171⁄2 oz. dark/ bittersweet chocolate (63% cocoa)
  • PEANUT BUTTER CRUNCH
  • 190 g/63⁄4 oz. milk/semisweet chocolate
  • 50 g/13⁄4 oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate (63% cocoa)
  • 125 g/41⁄4 oz. feuilletine flakes (available online) or crushed ice cream waffle cones
  • 75 g/1⁄3 cup natural peanut butter (I use the Koeze brand)
  • SWEET MISO DASHI JIRU SAUCE
  • 100 g/6 tablespoons sweet miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • MIRROR GLAZE
  • 120 g/scant 2⁄3 cup caster/ granulated sugar
  • 120 g/generous 1⁄3 cup liquid glucose
  • 4 large sheets or 8 small domestic leaves of gelatine, soaked in cold water
  • 80 g/1⁄3 cup condensed milk
  • 120 g/41⁄4 oz. milk/semisweet chocolate
  • 120 g/41⁄4 oz. dark/ bittersweet chocolate (63% cocoa)
  • TO DECORATE
  • tempered chocolate discs edible gold lustre dust
  • 15-cm/6-inch round charlotte ring or silicone insert mould
  • 20-cm/8-inch round charlotte ring or large silicone mould
  • sugar thermometer
  • baking sheet, lined with non-stick baking parchment
  • piping/pastry bags with a small fi ne round nozzle/tips and a large round nozzle/tip

Method

Make the yuzu and white chocolate ganache insert a day in advance.

Combine the yuzu purée, sugar and liquid glucose in a saucepan over gentle heat until warmed through and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and add the white chocolate. Stir a little and allow the heat to melt the chocolate gently. Once melted, squeeze the excess water from the soaked gelatine and add to the mixture. Add the diced butter and gently mix everything together. Allow to cool, mixing every few minutes until glossy and smooth. Pour into the 15-cm/6-inch round charlotte ring or silicone insert mould (see A, overleaf) and freeze overnight to set.

The next day, make the smoky infusion for the chocolate pavé by putting 500 ml/generous 2 cups of the whipping/heavy cream into a saucepan with the Lapsang Souchong teabags. Set over medium heat and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside for 30 minutes to infuse. After 30 minutes, remove the tea bags, squeezing them to release as much of the smoky flavour as possible. Refrigerate the infused cream until needed.

To make the peanut butter crunch, melt both chocolates together in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Add the feuilletine flakes (or crushed waffle cones) and natural peanut butter and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until well incorporated. Spoon the peanut butter crunch mixture onto a sheet of non-stick baking parchment and put another sheet of baking parchment of the same size on top. Use a rolling pin to roll out the mixture gently to about 3 mm/1⁄8 inch in thick. Transfer the peanut butter crunch (still inside the baking parchment) to the freezer if using immediately or the fridge if making in advance. Note: this will become the base for your dessert so needs to be big enough to fit comfortably underneath the larger silicone mould.

To make the sweet miso dashi jiru sauce, simply mix the miso paste and soy sauce together, then transfer to the piping/pastry bag with the small fine round nozzle/tip and set aside until needed.

To make the mirror glaze, combine the sugar in a saucepan with 31⁄2 tablespoons water and the liquid glucose. Set a sugar thermometer in the pan and take the heat up to 101°C (214°F). Meanwhile, squeeze the water from the soaked gelatine. Remove the pan from the heat once the temperature has been reached and stir in the gelatine. Add the condensed milk and both chocolates. Stir as the chocolate gradually melts and you are left with a shiny glaze. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed.

To finish the smoked chocolate pavé, bring the infused cream made earlier back to the boil, then pour over the chocolate. Leave for a minute for the heat to melt the chocolate and then stir together. If it looks like it is starting to separate, a little cold cream should help bring it together. Let the mixture cool a little. Meanwhile, semi-whip the remaining 500 ml/generous 2 cups cream to soft peak stage and then fold into the chocolate mixture, being careful not to overwork it. Transfer the finished smoked chocolate pavé to the piping/pastry bag with the large plain nozzle/tip.

To construct the dessert, make sure you have all the components and equipment to hand. Remove the frozen yuzu and white chocolate ganache insert from the freezer. Push it out of the mould, then wrap in clingfi lm/plastic wrap and return to the freezer immediately until needed.

Remove the peanut butter crunch from the freezer and remove the top layer of parchment. Put the 20-cm/8-inch charlotte ring or silicone mould on top and use a sharp knife to cut out the base for your dessert. Reserve any crunch shards for decoration, if you like. Transfer the base to the prepared baking sheet and pipe on a generous zig zag of sweet miso dashi jiru sauce, reserving any leftover for garnish. Set aside for a moment.

Pipe a little smoked chocolate pavé into the 20-cm/8-inch charlotte ring or large silicone mould and use a palette knife/metal spatula to smear it into every nook and cranny. Pipe in more pavé to fill about one-third of the way.

Tap the mould on the work surface to remove any air bubbles. Retrieve the ganache insert from the freezer, unwrap and position in the centre of the pavé. Pipe in more pavé around the sides of the insert to fill all the gaps and tap on the work surface again. Add the peanut butter crunch base – with the miso dashi jiru-coated side facing inwards. Scrape the top level and then freeze the whole dessert for at least 3 hours or until set.

Remove the set dessert from the freezer and leave for a moment to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, soften the mirror glaze briefly in the microwave and mix very gently until smooth. It should be at about 30 °C (86°F) to achieve the right consistency. Remove the pavé from the mould (B) and put on a wire cooling rack with a tray underneath. Pour the mirror glaze over the pavé from the centre outwards in a circular motion, making sure you cover the whole dessert (C). Run a palette knife/metal spatula around the base to smooth over any drips. Transfer to a cake board or serving plate and allow the glaze to set in the fridge before serving.

Decorate using any leftover peanut butter crunch shards or tempered chocolate discs piped with blobs of leftover miso dashi jiru sauce. Spike these into the pavé (D) and sprinkle with edible gold lustre dust to finish.