Looking for a seriously impressive party pudding? Taken from Prêt-à-Portea: High-Fashion Cakes & Cookies, we bring you ‘the Jason Wu’…
‘Be pretty in pink and wow your guests with the sweet taste sensation of cherry and coconut with cancan legs to finish. Expect calls for an encore.’
Coconut Cherry Compote Recipe
2 large egg yolks
20g caster sugar
2 leaves of gelatine
110ml whole milk
240ml whipping cream
215ml coconut cream
You will need: kitchen thermometer / fifteen 50ml shot glasses blender / rolling pin / non-stick silicone mat / 5.5cm-diameter cookie cutter / baking parchment / baking sheet / paper piping bag
How to make the stock syrup
This very simple syrup is made from water and sugar. To make it, place 200g sugar in a pan with 220ml water and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Allow to cool, then store in a sealed container in the fridge.
The Coconut Mousse
- Mix the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Soak the gelatine.
- Now put the milk and 110ml of the whipping cream into a pan and bring to simmering point, taking care not to let it boil. Carefully pour it on to the egg yolk and sugar mixture, stirring continuously. Once everything is mixed, pour it back into the pan and cook on a very low heat; don’t stop stirring. When the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, that’s your cue to add the drained gelatine and yes, stir until it has dissolved.
- Take the pan off the heat and pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Stir in the coconut cream and leave to cool by setting the bowl in a larger bowl or sink filled with iced water. Keep an eye on it, and allow it to cool to 30°C.
- Whip the remaining 130ml whipping cream to soft peaks, then fold it into the cooled coconut mixture. Now it’s ready to pour into your 50ml shot glasses. Fill them three-quarters full and place in the fridge to set for two hours. No time o for you, however, there is more to do…
The Cherry Compote
- Put the cherries and stock syrup in a pan, bring to the boil and cook gently for 7–10 minutes, or until the cherries are soft. Set aside to cool for a few minutes, then whizz to a pink purée in a blender. Whip the cream to soft peaks, then think pink and fold in the cherry purée.
- When the coconut mousse has set fully, pour the cherry compote on top, filling to just below the rim.
- Roll out the pink modelling chocolate to a slim fitting of about 2mm on a non-stick silicone mat. Use a 5.5cm-diameter cookie cutter to stamp out 15 circles.
- To create the pleat, pinch the centre of each circle and in a click of your fingers it forms a tulip-like shape. Et voilà.
- Now set them aside – egg boxes are handy for holding the skirts while you turn to the tuile biscuits.
The Tuile Leg
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4. Melt the butter. Sift the our and icing sugar together into a small mixing bowl, then add the egg whites and melted butter and mix well. Chill the bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Save a small amount of the mixture for the heels, but first comes the leg. Prepare the leg stencil and lay it on a piece of baking parchment on a baking sheet.
- Using a small spatula or knife, spread a thin layer of tuile batter (just as though you’re spreading butter on to bread) over the stencil.
- Take a deep breath, then gently peel away the stencil and your legs are ready for action! Repeat to make at least four stencil wipes, which will give you 24 legs; they’re super-delicate, so it’s good to have a few extras in case of accidents such as leg or heel breaks.
- To create the high heel, add some black food colouring paste to the tuile mixture you saved. You’re going to pipe this on to the leg using a paper piping bag. First do the thin ankle strap, then the shoe itself, and lastly the heel. Stand by your oven and bake the biscuits for just 2 minutes.
Note: The biscuits will be a pale shade when cooked, but if they don’t seem set after 2 minutes, blast for a further 30 seconds. Watch them, though – even a trifle too long and they will burn.
Gently place a pink chocolate ‘skirt’ upside down on top of a glass of mousse and cherry compote. Carefully balance the tuile leg in its centre, or try making a little hole with a knife to help it stay steady – it’s as tricky as it sounds. Hopefully it’s kicking upwards. Repeat for the rest. Good luck!
Prêt-à-Portea, High fashion Bakes & Biscuits by Laurence King Publishing, £12.95.
Prêt-à-Portea is served in the Collins Room at The Berkeley every day, £45.00 per person. To make a reservation for Prêt-à-Portea call +44 (0)20 7107 8866 or www.the-berkeley.co.uk.