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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Birthday present to myself! ~ 送給自己的生日蛋糕^^

on stand

Having been asked to make cake for many friends’ birthday, I realized that I have not made my own birthday cake before! Some said that I should have others bake me a cake and someone did (thanks Mei & family!). Nevertheless, I still want to make one and not just for me but also for my brother and Linda, my evil twin. Our birthdays are within days from each other, one stone three birds =)

This dome shaped cake is a 1st for me and composed of 8 components!! It has a beautiful name - Cité Jardin - city garden, giving hints of all the beautiful red, green, brown hues. It is the work of Yoshiya Inoue of Puissance located in Japan. His original composition was of pistachio dacquoise/pistachio crème brûlée/confiture de fruits rouges/white chocolate mousse/white chocolate glaze but since the pistachio paste I ordered was on back order, I opted for a different composition.

When one look at the components, it may look busy with all the different ingredients but they were actually quite subtle. The exotic taste of saffron-infused crème brûlée, the subtle bitterness of matcha génoise, chewy macarons gives it a very contrasting texture and all these flavors work wonderfully together. Though the mousse and baravois was surprising light to me but it may taste rich and creamy to some so serve more raspberries on the side to cut the creaminess.

Decoration-wise, to bring out the garden theme, I stick to Inoue’s use of wood grain chocolate decoration, colorful fresh fruits, sprig of mints and added a personal touch of Isomalt sugar decoration, and a dust of matcha. Overall I was happy with the result except that next time I won’t do a macaron insert. It got lumpy from the moisture and didn’t give me the crumbly texture I hoped for. There is always room for improvement ^u^


Cité Jardin – makes one 19cm/7 ½ dome
Composition is as follow:

1) matcha génoise
2) mascarpone mousse
3) saffron-infused crème brûlée insert
4) matcha macaron crumbs insert
5) white chocolate bavarois filling
6) white chocolate glaze

#1 ~ Matcha Génoise (recipe here)
The cake can be baked a day in advance. Once cooled, cut out a 13mm/½in thick and 16 ½cm/6 ½in diameter round. Wrap with food wrap and store at room temperature.

#2 ~ Saffron-infused Crème Brulée Insert -1 8in/18cm round pan

220g heavy cream
60g whole milk
20g boiled water
12 saffron threads
40g egg yolks
40g granulated sugar

Place the saffron threads in a small bowl, add the boiled water and let steep for 5 minutes. Pour the saffron-infused water and saffron into a small saucepan, add in the milk and heavy cream, heat over medium heat to just boiling. Remove from the heat, put the lid on and let infuse for 10 – 15 minutes then strain the mixture.

Preheat the oven to 240°F/120°C. Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks till pale in color, then pour the saffron-infused milk over the sugar/yolk mixture, whisking constantly as you pour, and mix until combined. Place a napkin over the mixture to soak up the bubbles that formed from whisking. Pour into the pan, place it into a large roasting pan then pour hot water into the roasting pan all the way up half way of the pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until firm on the edges and slightly wobbly in the center.

Let cool then chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight until firm up.

#3 ~ White Chocolate Bavarois Filling
260g heavy cream
110g whole milk
56g quality white chocolate, finely chopped
45g egg yolks
20g granulated sugar
6g gelatine leaf
18g egg white
9 g caster sugar

- Line a 19cm/7 ½in half sphere mold with food wrap, press firmly onto the mold to push out air bubbles, leave a 2in/6cm tail outside the mold.

Place the gelatine in icy water, soak until soften, squeeze out the water, set aside. Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl then place it over a pot of simmering water, stirring constantly until completely melted. Place in a warm water bath to keep warm.

Bring the milk to just boiling then remove from heat. Using a hand mixer, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, slowly pour in the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly until combined.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat until thicken and the temperature reaches 170°F /85°C, about 2 minutes. Add the pre-soaked gelatine, mix well then using a rubber spatula, fold 1/3 of it to the melted chocolate mixture and mix well. Fold in the remaining egg mixture until incorporated. Set the bowl in an icy water bath to cool.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold 1/3 of it into the chocolate mixture, mix well then fold in the remainder of the whipped cream until incorporated. Using a hand mixer, whisk the egg white until foamy then gradually add in the caster sugar, whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of it to the chocolate mixture, mix well then fold in the remainder of the meringue until incorporated. Pour into the prepared mold and slightly tap it on the counter to release air bubbles. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.


#4 ~ Mascarpone Mousse (recipe here)
Pour the mousse into a piping bag without a tip, set aside.

#5 ~ White Chocolate Glaze
The glaze jellifies quickly, you should make it at the last minute.

240g quality white chocolate, finely chopped
200g whole milk
80g corn syrup
7g gelatine leaf

- Pre-soak the gelatine, set aside.

Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl then place it over a pot of simmering water, stirring constantly until completely melt.

Bring the milk and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning the mixture. Pour the hot mixture into the melted chocolate, using the rubber spatula, stir until completely incorporated, add in the pre-soaked gelatine and mix well. Let cool while checking the texture regularly. As soon as the mixture is smooth and coats a spoon well, use immediately.

#6 ~ Matcha Macarons – 30 sandwiches

Italian meringue method
55g egg white
150g caster sugar
40 g water

Tant pour tant
150g almond flour
150g powdered sugar
15g matcha
55g egg white
1 drop green food coloring

Chocolate ganache filling
Raspberry Buttercream

- On the back side of 2 parchment papers, trace 3cm/1 ¼in circles about 3cm/1 ¼in apart. Flip them over and line the baking sheets.
- Prepare 2 sheets of foil the size of the baking sheets.

I thought you should know:
- Must let the piped cookies sit out until dry to touch before baking to prevent them from cracking during baking.
- Press the piping tip on the baking sheet when piping for uniformly shaped macarons. Do not suspend the tip in the air!

Sift together almond flour, matcha, and powdered sugar twice then place the mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add 55g egg white to the flour mixture and stir until it forms into a sticky ball, set aside.

Heat water and caster sugar over medium heat until it thickens and reaches 230°F/116°C. While the syrup is heating, begin whisking the egg white at high speed in the bowl of a mixer using the whisk attachment; whisk until pale and foamy. Reduce the mixer speed to low speed and begin slowly (very slowly) pouring the syrup down the side of the bowl being very careful not to splatter the syrup into the path of the whisk attachment. Some of the syrup will spin onto the sides of the bowl but don’t worry about this and don’t try to stir it into the mixture as it will harden! Raise the speed to medium-high and continue beating until it becomes thick and satiny and the mixture is cool to the touch, about 5 minutes. Add in a drop of green food coloring, fold until incorporated.

With a rubber spatula, fold 1/3 of the meringue into the almond/sugar/matcha flour mix, fold until incorporated then fold in the remaining meringue and fold until completely incorporated. With the rubber spatula, scoop and spread the batter, in a full circle, on the inside wall of the mixing bowl. Repeat this scoop & spread process also known as macaronnage, for a total of 15 times. Lift some batter with the spatula, it should falls into the bowl in a ribbon fashion, and has a glossy look.

Pour the batter into a piping bag with a round tip and pipe the batter from the center of the drawn circle onto the baking sheets. Pipe about 60 circles. Let dry at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking to allow skins to form. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F/220°C, with racks in upper and lower thirds.

When the batter is dry to the touch, place into the preheated oven and bake for 2 minutes, then quickly turn it down to 300°F/150°C, bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets (upper and lower racks), cover the sheets with foil, and continue to bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to cool on the cooling rack. Once cooled, slide a knife (fragile, must be careful) underneath the macarons to remove from the parchment paper.


Wood Grain Pattern Chocolate Decoration
80g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
120g white chocolate, finely chopped

Chop the bittersweet chocolate into tiny pieces and place into a dry heatproof mixing bowl. Temper the chocolate by melting it in the microwave. Need to do it on medium for 4~5 times and at 30 second interval. Stir the chocolate each time the microwave stops until becomes completely melted and smooth. Cool for 2 minute.

Spread out a few 2.5x14in/6x40cm acrylic strips on the back of a jelly roll pan. Dip the pattern side of the wood grain comb into the chocolate, and draw the pattern on the acrylic strips. Chill in the fridge to set.

Melt and temper the white chocolate using the same method as above. Let cool to touch then spread the melted chocolate evenly with a spread knife on top of the chilled chocolate pattern. Place in refrigerator to chill and set. Carefully peel off the chocolate and break/cut into desired size.

Sugar Decoration
Some Isomalt sugar

Preheat oven to 360°F/180°C。Sprinkle the Isomalt sugar evenly on a jelly roll pan lined with silpat silicone sheet, place another silpat sheet on top, and press it down lightly. Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven, press it lightly using a rolling pin then return it to the oven and bake for 5 minutes until sugar completely melted. Let cool completely then break/cut into desired size.

Assemble your dome:

- Line your mold with food wrap, press firmly onto the mold to push out air bubbles, leave a 2in/6cm tail outside the mold.
- Cut the saffron crème brûlée into 16 ½cm/6 ½in round.
- Cut the matcha génoise into 16 ½cm/6 ½in round.

THIS IS FOR UNMOLDING FROM UPSIDE DOWN TO RIGHT SIDE UP. You will want to tap your mold gently on the countertop after each time you pipe mousse in to get rid of any air bubbles.

Snip off a little corner of the piping bag with the mascarpone mousse, pipe to about 1/3 height of the mold, spread evenly. Push the bavarois filling into the mousse; it will fill to 2/3 full. Pipe another layer of the mascarpone mousse, place macaron halves on top, then the saffron crème brûlée insert, another layer of mascarpone mousse and then top with the matcha génoise (syrup side down) round, press lightly. Chill in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Unmold the cake by grabbing the food wrap and carefully pull upward. Once loosen, turn it out on a wire rack. Make the glaze now. Place the cake along with the rack over a large baking pan, pour the glaze on top and let flow down to cover the entire cake. The glaze jellifies quickly so work fast; let set for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Cover the entire side of the cake base with a pattern of 1 macaron half & 2 raspberries. Place the chocolate and sugar decorations at the top of the dome then arrange some fresh fruits like strawberries, raspberries, kiwi berries and mints on top then a dust of matcha powder.


給不少的朋友做過生日蛋糕﹐但卻從沒給自己做過一個。有人說讓他人做一個給我就好了﹐為什麼需要自己動手呢? 因為這個蛋糕是要和另外兩個人- 我弟跟好姐妹Linda分享的。我們的生日很近﹐想說一石三鳥嘛﹗還有﹐今年第一次收到一個朋友做給我的生日蛋糕﹐好感動哦~~~~~~謝謝Mei跟她的姐姐們還有她可愛的侄女 ~~

這款用半圓形模具做的蛋糕是首次嘗試﹐更別說是用上8種不同風味口感的甜點素材組合而成。這個充滿田園氣息的蛋糕有個很美很符合它的名字 : Cité Jardin就法文的[田園都市]的意思﹐是日本Puissance 甜點店的井上佳哉師傅的作品。蛋糕本來是由開心果風味的杏仁蛋白蛋糕﹑開心果烤布蕾﹑白巧克力慕斯﹑果醬﹑和白巧克力奶油淋醬組合而成﹐可因我沒能買到開心果膏等材料﹐我將蛋糕的組合改了。




1) 抹茶海綿蛋糕
2) 馬斯卡朋慕斯
3) 番紅花風味烤布蕾
4) 抹茶風味馬卡龍
5) 白巧克力芭芭羅瓦餡心
6) 白巧克力鏡面

#1 ~ 抹茶海綿蛋糕 (點這裡)

#2 ~ 番紅花風味烤布蕾 - 直徑8in或18cm圓形烤模1個

220g 鮮奶油
60g 全脂奶
20g 熱水
12根 番紅花
40g(3個M尺寸) 蛋黃
40g 砂糖

用小碗盛著番紅花﹐加熱水泡5分鐘後﹐倒進小鍋中。跟著將奶﹑鮮奶油也倒進小鍋﹐用中火慢慢加熱﹐ 煮至沸騰時立刻熄火﹐蓋上鍋蓋泡10 – 15分鐘。



#3 ~ 白巧克力芭芭羅瓦餡心

260g 鮮奶油
110g 全脂奶
56g 白巧克力﹐切碎
45g 蛋黃
20g 砂糖
6g 魚膠片
18g 蛋白
9 g 細砂糖

- 在一個19cm/7 ½ in的半圓形模具裡鋪上一層保鮮膜(四邊留約2in/6cm的尾巴)﹐按壓出氣泡讓保鮮膜貼服﹐備用。


將牛奶倒進鍋子裡用中火加熱﹐煮沸後離火。將蛋黃和糖混合倒進一個大的拌碗中﹐用電動攪拌器以中速打發至顏色變淡白﹐然後邊打發邊細絲般的慢慢地注入滾燙的牛奶﹐拌勻後﹐倒回小鍋中以小火加熱﹐用打蛋器持續不斷的攪拌至變稠至溫度為170°F /85°C後離火﹐約2分鐘。加進泡軟的魚膠片攪拌融化後﹐邊攪拌邊慢慢地拌進融化的的白巧克力中﹐用橡皮刀攪拌至順滑﹐使其乳化。過濾後﹐放冰水浴中降溫。



#4 ~ 馬斯卡朋慕斯(點這裡)

#5 ~ 白巧克力鏡面

240g 白巧克力﹐切碎
200g 全脂奶
80g 玉米糖漿
7g 魚膠片

- 明膠片用冰水泡軟之後擠掉水分,備用。


#6 ~ 抹茶風味馬卡龍 - 30個

55g 蛋白
150g 細砂糖
40 g 水

Tant pour tant
150g 糖粉
15g 抹茶


- 準備兩張烤纸﹐然後在每一張的反面畫上直徑3cm間隔3cm的小圓圈。鋪在烤盤上。
- 準備兩張相等於烤盤大小的包裝鋁箔紙﹐備用。

- 擠出麵糊後要放置到表面乾燥為止才可進烤箱。
- 擠麵糊時先固定一個點再擠出是要訣。


把水和細砂糖混合倒進小鍋中﹐以中火熬煮至出現黏稠狀﹐用手指沾黏(非常燙喔﹗)會牽出糖絲的程度(約230°F/116°C) 即可。在煮糖漿的同時﹐將55的蛋白用電動打蛋器以高速打發至起泡但還沒出現尖角的程度。轉低速繼續仔細打發﹐然後邊打發邊細絲般的慢慢地注入滾燙的糖漿(千萬不要攪拌糖漿不然會結晶),完全注入糖漿後轉中速繼續打發﹐直到冷卻出現結實尖角的程度至光滑立體狀態為止﹐約5分鐘。最後倒入1滴綠色食用色素﹐拌勻。

將3分1的蛋白霜拌入的抹茶杏仁粉糰中﹐用橡皮刀從底部往上翻起的方式拌勻。分兩次加入剩餘的蛋白霜 ﹐拌勻後進行macaronnage*程序。將麵糊從底部往上翻起再往拌碗的內壁壓推勻15次至表面紋理細緻且有光澤的麵糊為止。


待表面形成薄膜後用400°F/200°C烘烤2分鐘﹐然後迅速降溫到300°F/150°C繼續烘烤5分鐘。迅速取出烤盤各自覆上包裝鋁箔紙﹐放回烤箱時將烤盤調換 (上下烤架) 好 讓馬卡龍烤的均勻﹐再烘烤5分鐘﹐取出﹐放網架上靜置放涼後用抹刀取下﹐備用。


80g 苦甜巧克力﹐切碎
120 g 白巧克力﹐切碎




適量 Isomalt糖



- 在一個19cm/7 ½ in的半圓形模具裡鋪上一層保鮮膜(四邊留約2in/6cm的尾巴)﹐按壓出氣泡讓保鮮膜貼服﹐備用。
- 將烤布蕾切割成16 ½ cm/6 ½ in的圓形片﹐備用。
- 將蛋糕體切割出16 ½ cm/6 ½ in 的圓形片﹐備用。





Isn't it gorgeous? This gorgeous arrangement is the topper on a cake that Mei made for my birthday. Mei is the owner of this lovely flower shop.
我不是說過Mei送我一個手工蛋糕嗎? 這些花是她用作裝飾蛋糕用的。是不是很漂亮?﹗當然啦﹐她可是花店老闆娘耶﹗

Dreamy "Pink Lady" arrangement  - a gift from a friend


  1. J'ai envie de dire que le nôtre peut aller se rhabiller !
    C'est de toute beauté ce birthday cake !
    Waouw, impressionnant, la classe international !
    C'est du boulot de pro !
    Je suis bouchée B tellement c'est somptueux !

    Ce site est une vraie merveille !
    Bravo et des photos digne de grands photographe !
    Avant d'aller dormir, recevoir le flux rss est un pure bonheur !


  2. Beautiful!
    My geekling and I love your blogs

  3. Happy birthday~!

    the cake is really pretty~~

  4. Happy birthday~!Happy birthday~!Happy birthday~!

  5. Happy Happy Happy Birthday!!! Vi~

  6. Happy Birthday ! ~
    你整的 birthday cake 真是太美了 ~~~ 簡直是藝術品 ~~~

  7. 生日快樂!漂亮的壽星 =^.^=


  8. Happy birthday!

    Wonderful cake.

  9. How beautiful!!!! I badly want to make something like that but have always been too lazy. Really, 8 components could literally take me a week to complete! What a wonderful birthday cake! And happy birthday too, of course!! I love!!

  10. Oh my goodness, that is soooo gorgeous! I love the colors and the shapes. It sounds like it tastes incredible, too.

  11. Beautiful! Happy birthday to YOU!!!

  12. Sweet Temptation3/25/2009 4:26 PM

    is gorgeous!!! Happy Birthday to u!!

  13. Happy Birthday...the cake looks great. I love the photos.

  14. 來遲了!! Happy Birthday to you !!!

    Wish all ur dreams come true! :) Your cake is so beautiful!

  15. 阿vi,生日快樂哦~~ ^^


  16. Happy Birthday! Mad skills you have! I have to say, with regards to the macarons, I'm quite impressed with your methods and would like to try it out. I mean... covering with foil? That's the first i've heard of it. must try. I've been quite frustrated with this sucre cuit method so far because I keep on getting tiny feet. And the shell is also a bit too domed if i must say. Any advice? Would appreciate it :)

  17. happy birthday.. u really have a master skill

  18. Happy Birthday Vi, I wish u a healty and wonderful year ;) Your cake is... Excellent, and sooo Beautiful!
    Have a nice weekend ;)

  19. Happy birthday (from a total stranger XD) but wow, if I got a cake like this, I would've been too impressed/grateful to eat it...

    Beautiful work!!

  20. Happy Birthday!!! I enjoy your blog immensely and all the wonderful things you have been sharing to all of us here, over the cyberspace!
    I sincerely wish you a beautiful birthday with friends and family.

    You're truly an artist, one-of-a-kind!

  21. This is just such a stunning cake! I love it!

  22. happy belated birthday...first of all...i baked my own bday cake as well,lol.....this cake represent u!!! what u like u prefer ur cake to be...its a meaning full cake if u ask me..i have this original recipe also on my book i think..!btw...u remind me of saffaron...a very very elegant taste ingrdient..;-)

  23. 遲來的生日快樂...;))
    抱抱 !!

    ps : 嘩, 食/睇過妳嘅蛋糕♥♥, 會否對其他蛋糕有厭食的傾向呢 ??

  24. happy bday! beautiful entremet!

  25. 很有自己的风格

  26. 生日快樂呀!!!

  27. 实在太吸引啦,我都系三月份生日架,好想食啊。你几号生日架?真系好想做你邻居啊。哈哈。

  28. hope it's not too late.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! :)

    saffron 做 cake, 真係未試過...

  29. Hi all~

    Thank you for all your well wishes! I had a wonderful time spent with friends and family! As always, thank you for all your kind notes. This cake was well received; however, I only got to have a very small piece ;( I need to watch my figure as I’m going to be the maid of honor for a good friend^^


  30. 小婦人 – 我係春天的寶寶﹐所以想整個有春天氣息既蛋糕啦~

    Christy – It took me 2 days to complete! It was easy to assemble once I get most of the components completed. I won’t do this anytime soon though….

    Nikki – I have been experimenting with different methods of making macaron. I have tried the rest over night method and the non-rest method and both turned out with similar results. I do notice that it is harder to get that feet during winter time as I read somewhere that weather plays a role. As for the foil, it is used to prevent burning the top. I really can’t give much advice as my results are not always rosy. However, practice do make perfect =)

    Zeitgeist – Thank you so much for your kind notes! It is so wonderful to meet you and a lot of wonderful others over this space. Internet is a great agent that connects people from all over the globe =)

    breadpitt – Thanks, saffron…I remember that ;p

    過客 - 抱抱~~~~~~~~~~~~~對其他蛋糕有厭食? 應該就唔會囉﹗However, 朋友好似對其他蛋糕挑剔左~

    yy – 前日收到啦﹗哈哈﹐我真係當呢份大禮係生日禮物﹗謝謝你呀~~~~~~~~~~

    乜系你啊 – 我係3/24日生日。見者有份﹐蛋糕你大有份﹗生日快樂﹗﹗

    lioil – saffron味道幾特別﹐比較適合大人既口味~

  31. Happy birthday to you.

  32. this is so pretty and full of pleasure!

  33. Belated Happy Birthday! Hope you don't mind it's a bit late!

  34. 前排好忙所以依家先見到你哩個post...遲來的生日快樂!

  35. 下面個個無名氏係我黎架!!

  36. 係上面個個無名氏先啱...嘻嘻!!

  37. 貓姐 & 查查 ~


  38. Wow, it looks very elegant. I like it.. The color and the style was good. Keep it up. Thanks for sharing.


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