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Before starting this Apricot & Rosemary Entremets recipe, make sure you have organised the necessary ingredients for the rosemary-flavoured biscuit.
For the rosemary-flavoured biscuit: In a mixing bowl, combine the castor sugar, egg yolks, ground walnuts, lemon zest (using a Microplane grater)...
... then add the water, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Combine with a whisk and set aside.
Coarsely chop the rosemary leaves.
In a non-stick frying pan, tip 50 grams of castor sugar to make a caramel.
Add the chopped rosemary leaves. Combine well. Make sure the caramel does not get too dark to avoid a bitter taste. Transfer onto a sheet of greaseproof paper while the caramel is still liquid.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until firm peaks are formed.
Add 80 grams of castor sugar and beat again until stiff.
Add the egg and cinnamon preparation to the meringue.
When the caramel is cold, break it into chunks and grind finely, using an electric food chopper.
Add the ground caramel to the preparation.
Sift the flour and add to the preparation. Combine gently.
Add the olive oil and combine.
Pour the biscuit preparation on a Silpat baking mat, placed on a baking sheet.
Spread the preparation with a cranked metallic spatula.
Bake at 180°C (gas 4) for 12 to 15 minutes, preferably in a fan assisted oven.
When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
For the apricot insert: Organise all the necessary ingredients. Place the powder gelatin in a bowl and rehydrate it with 24 grams of water. Set aside.
In a frying pan, tip the apricot halves, the honey and rosemary leaves.
Cook over medium heat until you obtain the consistency of a compote.
When the apricot halves are caramelised, remove the rosemary and transfer the apricots into a food mixer.
Add the rehydrated gelatine...
... and process...
... until you obtain a fine purée.
Spread the apricot preparation on a baking sheet so it cools down quickly. Make sure the preparation does not jellify.
When cold, pour the apricot purée into a piping bag.
Using acetate sheet, create a tube with a diameter of about 1.5cm. Stick both sides with adhesive tape. Put some tape on one end to seal it. Pour the apricot purée in the tube and leave to set in the freezer.
For the white chocolate mousse: Organise all the necessary ingredients. Steep the gelatine sheets in cold water.
Pour the whole milk in a saucepan. Add the egg yolk and castor sugar.
Cook over medium heat and whisk constantly, monitoring the temperature (I recommend the use of a laser thermometer). Heat the preparation up to 85°C. The eggs should not scramble!
When the preparation reaches 85°C, pour it into the stand mixer recipient and beat until cooled down completely.
Strain the gelatine...
... and melt over very low heat in a small saucepan.
Add the gelatine to the warm preparation. Continue whisking until cooled down completely.
When the preparation is cold, beat the whipping cream until you obtain a whipped cream.
Melt the white chocolate over a bain-marie.
... add the chocolate to the cold preparation.
Add the whipped cream...
... and fold gently.
Assembling the cake: Pour the white chocolate mousse into a piping bag and fill the cavities of a caterpillar-shaped silicone mould halfway up.
Take the apricot insert out of the freezer...
... and remove the acetate sheet, getting rid of the sticky tape.
Release the frozen tube from the acetate...
... and cut it to the same length as the mould cavity.
Lift it gently not to break it...
... and arrange it on top of the white chocolate mousse.
Fill up the remaining space in the cavity with white chocolate mousse. Even the surface with a spatula.
Using a small oval cutter (3.2 x 1.8cm), cut the biscuit into small pieces.
The biscuit ovals will make the base of the cake. Line them up on the surface of the white chocolate mousse. Cover the surface with cling film, then press down with a rolling pin. Let set in the freezer.
For the orange icing: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
Hydrate the gelatine with 36 grams of water.
Pour the water and sugar in a saucepan...
... then add the glucose syrup. (It can be melted in the microwave for a few seconds to give it a liquid consistency that will be easier to work.)
Heat the ingredients until the temperature reaches 103°C. This should be very quick. Basically, the temperature is right when you reach a gentle boil.
When the syrup reaches 103°C, pour it over the white chocolate pistoles...
... and combine with a whisk...
... until melted.
Add the rehydrated gelatine; it will melt quickly in the warm icing.
Add the unsweetened condensed milk. Combine again.
Add some orange colouring powder with the tip of a knife...
... and combine well with a whisk. Colouring powders are very effective. I recommend working with very small quantities, then adjust the colour by adding more powder if needed.
Add a few drops of apricot flavouring.
Process the icing with a hand blender (such as Bamix). You should use a deep, narrow recipient. This will allow to remove any air bubbles and obtain a smooth consistency.
For the finish: Take the cake out of the freezer.
Gently detach the silicone mould on the sides...
... and flip onto your kitchen worktop.
Gently lift one end of the mould...
... and slowly release from the mould. The cake should be frozen to ensure the mould easily comes off.
I imagined two versions of this cake: one with white chocolate mousse and an apricot insert, the other one with apricot purée and a white chocolate mousse insert. Both versions are shown in the photo.
Give another stir to the icing, using the hand blender. It should have a temperature of 30°C maximum.
Place the cake on a cooling rack. The grid should be placed on a deep baking tray in order to collect the icing excess.
Pour the icing in a thin stream and in one stroke, from one end of the cake to the other.
The tricky part here is to work in one stroke and cover the whole surface of the cake, without wasting it by pouring it too quickly.
Let the excess icing drip. By coming into contact with the frozen cake, the icing will set immediately.
Decorate the surface with apricot halves (caramelised in butter and brown sugar)...
... and a few rosemary leaves crystallised in sugar. Finish by placing small pieces of gold leaf on the surface. Enjoy this delicious dessert!