I have not made a lot of different apricot cakes in my life. When I was a child, I made a German Sunken Apricot cake every apricot season. It was a recipe from my children's cook book; and the cake was a simple cake batter with apricots halves that were sunken in the cake batter. The cake was good but not excellent and nowadays I am a little bit a lot more ambitious regarding cakes. However, it does not mean that I do not appreciate simple cakes which are often very delicious but I want to be become more creative with textures and flavor combinations. 
After a few trials and error,  I created these scrumptious apricot tartlets and I want to share the recipe in today's blog post. I think you won't be surprised that the little apricot cakes consist of different layers, textures and flavors. The different components of the cakes take a bit of time. However, it is totally worth the time and you can also make the different steps of the recipe on different days and then it does not seem such a time consuming recipe. 

The base of these apricot cakes is a tartlet that is filled with an almond filling and a white chocolate crémeux infused with lemon thyme. The tartlets are topped with an apricot jelly which is the highlight of the cake. The apricots are infused with lemon thyme. I have not used lemon thyme in cooking or baking but lemon thyme is such a wonderful herb that I want to incooperate more in cooking and baking. Preparing the apricot jelly is my favorite part - besides putting the final touches of the cake - of making these petite cakes. When cooking the apricots, infused with the lemon thyme and a little bit of vermouth wine (I use Noilly Prat), the kitchen smells incredible. The combination of apricots, lemon thyme and Noilly Prat is a match made in heaven. When baking, I sparingly use alcohol since I think alcohol is often too overpowering. As a result one can only taste the alcohol but in the case of the apricot jelly the white wine compliments the apricot flavor very well. 
Enough of my rambling, I do hope you will like my little apricot tartlets as much as I do. 


Makes 8 tartlets (8 cm / 3 inches in diameter)

APRICOT JELLY

  • 200 g / 1 cup and 1 tablespoon apricots, peeled and cored
  • 45 g / 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 ml / 2 teaspoons vermouth, preferable Noilly Prat
  • 35 ml / 2 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 2 branches of lemon thyme
  • 1 1/2 leaves / 2,2 g gelatin, soaked
  • Cut the apricots into 1 cm / 0,4 inch cubes. 
  • Place the sugar in a medium sized saucepan. Caramelize the sugar. Remove from the heat when golden in color (make sure the sugar gets not too dark, otherwise it tastes bitter), add the apricot cubes and mix well and add the lemon thyme branches. Cover the saucepan with a lit and let the mixture infuse for about 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the lemon thyme. Add the white wine and the water to the apricot mixture. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes or until the apricots are soft. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin and mix well. Pour the apricot mixture into 8 silicon moulds ( 8 cm / 3 inches in diameter). I use muffin silicon moulds which I will 1/3 with the apricot jelly. 
  • Freeze the moulds for at least three hours. 

TARTLET SHELLS

  • You will need 8 unbaked tartlets (8 cm / 3 inches in diameter). My tartlet recipe is here

ALMOND FILLING

  • 35 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
  • 35 g / 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 55 g egg / equals 1 large egg
  • 35 g / 1/3 cup almond flour
  • Preheat the oven to 175 °C / 347 °F.
  • Add the butter and sugar into a small bowl. Beat the mixture until creamy. Add the egg to the mixture and mix well again. Add the almond flour and mix until smooth. 
  • Evenly divide the almond filling into the unbaked tartlet moulds. Do not fill the tartlets more than 1/3. 
  • Bake the the tartlets for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • Let the tartlets cool completely.

WHITE CHOCOLATE LEMON THYME CREMEUX

  • 100 g / 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 100 g / 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon milk
  • 4 branches of lemon thyme
  • 30 g egg yolks / equals egg yolk of two medium sized eggs
  • 100 / 2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 2/3 / 2,5 g gelatin sheets, soaked
  • Pour the heavy cream and the milk into a medium sized saucepan, add the lemon thyme branches and bring the mixture almost to a boil. Set aside, cover with a lit and let the lemon thyme infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the lemon thyme. 
  • Add the egg yolks into a small bowl. Pour half of the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks and mix well. Pour the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan. Let the mixture cook over medium heat until it has reached 84 °C / 183 °F. Remove from the heat. Add the white chocolate and mix until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the gelatin and stir well again. Pour the mixture through a sieve. Let the crémeux cool to room temperature. 

ASSEMBLING

  • 100 g / 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon whipped cream, filled in a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle ( 9 mm / 0,3 inch), add a little bit of cream stiffener to the whipped cream
  • Roasted Cinnamon Almonds, my recipe is here (half the recipe)
  • Mint leaves
  • Fill the tartlet shells with the lemon thyme crémeux and level out the surface.
  • Unmould the frozen apricot jellies. Place the apricot jellies on top of each tartlet.
  • Pipe dollops of heavy cream around the edges of the tartlet shell. 
  • Before serving the cakes, garnish with caramelized almonds and a mint leave.
  • The tartlets taste the very best on the day of assembling. 



Hello my dearest readers!
I am not sure if you still remember me. The last time I updated this blog, it was summer time and I just turned my life upside down. I moved to another city and I changed my career. I think you are not surprised that I decided to become a pastry chef. Yup, that is right, I am transitioning from an amateur pâtissière to a professional pâtissière. 
A lot things have happened in the last couple of months but I will save this story for another time. Instead, lets talk about a new cake recipe. I created this cassis hazelnut tartlet recipe in the summer time while black currants were in season. However, you can replace the black currants with frozen (preferable wild) blueberries which I did the other day and the tartlets tasted incredible delicious.
The inspiration for this cake creation is the French pâtissier Cyril Lignac. I came across a photo of Cyril Lignac's "Myrtille Cassis" tartlet and I was intrigued by the beautiful looking cake. Lignac's tart consists of an almond filling which I changed to a chocolate hazelnut filling; I also made a cassis mousse instead of a blueberry mousse. I do love the flavor combination of chocolate, hazelnut and cassis and the different textures of the cake. This cassis hazelnut tartlet is so scrumptious and it became to one of my favorite cassis recipes.
Have a great start into the week! soon there will be more news about my new adventure as a pastry chef.
Marianne
xxx





Makes 8 tartlets (8 cm in diameter)

TARTLET SHELLS

  • I use a recipe by Cheryl Kho. I have posted the recipe here. Double the tartlet recipe. 
  • Line the tart rings with the shortcrust pastry. Keep the tart rings in the fridge until the hazelnut chocolate filling is prepared. 

HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE FILLING

  • 135 g hazelnut flour
  • 65 g unsalted butter
  • 45 g dark chocolate (70 %)
  • 10 g granulated sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F.
  • Place the butter and the chocolate in a saucepan and let it melt over low heat. Remove from the heat. Add the hazelnut flour and the sugar and mix well. 
  • Fill the hazelnut mixture into the unbaked tart rings. Gently press the hazelnut filling in order to form an even surface.
  • Bake the tartlets for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  • Let the tartlets cool completely. Remove the tart rings. 
  • You can also prepare the tartlets a few days ahead, then keep the tartlets in an airtight container. 

MASCARPONE MOUSSE

  • 65 g mascarpone
  • 5 g granulated sugar
  • Vanilla seeds of a 3 cm piece of vanilla bean
  • 85 g heavy cream
  • 1 sheet (1,5 g) of gelatin, soaked
  • Mix the mascarpone with the sugar and the seeds of the vanilla. Place about 2 tablespoons of the mascarpone in a small saucepan and heat the mascarpone. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin and mix well. Slowly pour the warm mascarpone to the other half of the mascarpone and mix well. Let it cool to room temperature. 
  • Whip the heavy cream creamy and fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. 
  • Fill the mascarpone mixture into small (5 cm in diameter) hemisphere moulds. Freeze the moulds for at least three hours. 

CASSIS COMPOTE

  • 125 g black currants *
  • 20 g sugar
  • Place the black currants and the sugar in a saucepan and let it simmer over medium heat until the black currants are soft and thickened up a little bit. 
  • Let the compote cool completely. 
* Since black currants are not in season anymore, you can also use frozen berries or replace the black currants with frozen blueberries.

CASSIS MOUSSE

  • 25 g heavy cream
  • 15 g white chocolate, chopped
  • 35 g cassis puree
  • 1 sheet (1,5 g) gelatin, soaked
  • 50 g heavy cream
  • Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan and bring it almost to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add the white chocolate and the cassis puree and mix well. Add the gelatin and mix well again. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Whip the heavy cream until creamy and fold it into the cassis mixture. 
  • Fill the cassis mousse into a piping bag fitted with a round 9 mm nozzle. Refrigerate the mousse for about one hour. 

ASSEMBLING

  • Spread a thin layer of cassis compote onto the hazelnut chocolate filling of the tartlets. 
  • Unmould the mascarpone hemisphere. Place a hemisphere in the middle of each tartlet. 
  • Pipe little dollops of cassis mousse around the edges of each tartlet. 
  • Keep the cakes in the fridge until consumption. 


Last summer I made these passionfruit coconut flavored cakes. I liked the coconut mousse core of these summer cakes a lot and this is why I decided to make the coconut mousse again for a new cake recipe. The coconut mousse is the center of the new cake recipe that I am sharing today. I added a nectarine ragout in the middle of each mousse cake an almond sponge cake as a cake bottom and around the cake there is a thin layer of white chocolate coating. If you have never worked with chocolate and chocolate transfer sheets, do not be intimidated. Make sure that you have enough time on hand when tempering the chocolate.
Instead of using nectarines, you can also use peaches or mangoes which I think is a wonderful match for the coconut mousse, too. The mousse cakes are such wonderful summer cakes which taste light and are not too heavy. It is the perfect cake for hot days.



Makes 6 cakes (6 cm / 2.4 inches in diameter; 4,5 cm / 1.8 inches in height)

NECTARINE RAGOUT

  • 35 ml / 2 1/2 tablespoons peach juice
  • 75 g / 1/3 cup nectarine, peach or mango, peeled, cored 
  • 1/3 sheet / 1/2 g gelatin, soaked
  • 5 g / 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar, optional
  • Cut the nectarine, peach or mango into 3 cm / 0.8 inch cubes. 
  • Pour the peach juice into a small saucepan. If the nectarines are not sweet enough, add sugar to the juice and slightly heat the juice. Set aside and add the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the nectarine cubes and mix well. Fill the ragout into 6 little silicon molds (5 cm / 2 inches in diameter). Place the molds onto a board and freeze the molds for at least two hours.

ALMOND SPONGE CAKE

  • 55 g egg / medium sized
  • 15 g egg yolk / equals egg yolk of one medium sized egg
  • 45 g / 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 25 g / 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 30 g egg white / equals egg white of two medium sized egg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 20 g / 3 tablespoons pastry flour, sifted
  • Preheat the oven to 190 °C / 375 °F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Place the egg, egg yolk and half of the granulated sugar in a medium sized bowl. Whisk the mixture until it has a pale color which takes about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • In a separate bowl, add the egg white and the salt and whisk until almost stiff. Gradually add the rest of the granulated sugar and whisk until soft peaks. 
  • Add 1/3 of the stiff egg white to the mixture and mix well. Add the rest of the stiff egg white and the sifted flour and fold it it. 
  • Spread the batter onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread it to a 25 cm / 10 inches square. 
  • Bake the sponge cake for 5 to 7 minutes. 
  • Let the sponge cake cool completely. Carefully remove the parchment paper. Cut out 5 cm / 2 inches circles. 
  • You can prepare the sponge cake ahead of time and freeze the sponge cake. 

COCONUT MOUSSE

  • 110 g / 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 15 g / 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 15 g egg yolk / equals egg yolk of one medium sized egg
  • 2 sheets / 3 g gelatin, soaked
  • 40 g / 3 tablespoon coconut cream
  • 135 g / 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Pour the coconut milk into a medium sized saucepan. Add the sugar to the coconut milk and bring the mixture almost to a boil. Set the saucepan aside. 
  • Place the egg yolk into a small bowl and whisk it. Add half of the hot coconut milk to the egg yolk and stir well. Pour the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan. 
  • Heat the mixture until it has reached 84 °C / 183 °F. Remove from the heat. Add the coconut cream and stir until the coconut cream is completely incooperated. Add the gelatin to the mixture and mix well again. Pour the mixture through a sieve and let the coconut mixture cool down to room temperature. 
  • Whisk the heavy cream until cream. Fold the whipped cream into the coconut mixture. 

ASSEMBLING

  • You will need cake rings, 6 cm / 2.3 inches in diameter. If you do not have cake rings, you can also use silicon muffin molds. 
  • Place a parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (the latter is better because it prevents any wrinkles) on a board and place the cake rings onto the board. Fill the cake rings 2/3 with the coconut mousse. 
  • Unmold the nectarine cores and gently press the cores into the coconut mousse. Then place the sponge cake on top of the nectarine core. 
  • Freeze the molds for at least 4 hours. 

DECORATION

  • 150 g white chocolate, tempered
  • Toasted coconut ships, nectarine cubes, celery cubes
  • Cut chocolate transfer sheets to the size of your cake rings, so you can wrap the sheets around the cake rings.
  • Spread evenly a thin layer of the melted chocolate onto the prepared chocolate transfer sheets. 
  • Unmold the cakes. Carefully wrap the chocolate sheets around the cake. Place the cakes in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Carefully remove the sheets from each cake. 
  • Decorate the top of each cake to your desire. I added a mint leave, toasted coconut chips, nectarine cubes and celery cubes.



Sometimes the summer makes me dizzy but not because of the heat but of the vast of fruits that the summer has to offer. I am overwhelmed by all the fruits that are popping up at the stalls of the farmers' market. Raspberries, blackberries, red and black currants make suddenly their appearances in my parents' garden as well and I steel baskets of berries from the garden in order to create delicious summer cakes.
During my last Paris visit, I had the most delicious raspberry cake from the beautiful patisserie salon de thé Carette. The raspberry cake was incredible beautiful arranged that I almost did not want to eat it. The cake was incredible delicious as well and I wanted to recreate this delicate cake.
The cake consists of a crispy sablé bottom, a thin layer of raspberry jam, a kaffir lime mousse (Carette used a lavender cream) and lots of raspberries. It is such a wonderful light cake that is the perfect summer treat.




Makes 6 petite cakes

SABLE BRETON

  • 75 g / 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 75 g / 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 30 g egg yolks / equals egg yolks of 2 medium sized eggs
  • 100 g / 1 cup pastry flour
  • 2 g / 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Preheat the oven to 175 °C / 347 °F. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the softened butter and the sugar in a bowl and mix well. 
  • Add half of the egg yolks to the butter mixture and stir well. Add the rest of the yolks and mix well again. 
  • Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. 
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until the dough comes together. 
  • Place the dough onto the baking sheet and roll out the dough to a 22 cm x 22 cm / 9 inches x 9 inches square. 
  • Bake the sablé for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cut the sablé into 6,5 cm / 2,5 inches squares. 
  • Bake the squares for another 5 minutes or until golden in color. 

KAFFIR LIME MOUSSE 

  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, dried
  • 55 g / 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 10 g / 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 15 g egg yolk / equals egg yolk of 1 medium sized egg
  • 1 sheet (1,5 g) gelatin 
  • 5 ml / 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 65 g / 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Place the kaffir leaves, heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan. Bring it almost to a boil. Set the saucepan aside. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let it steep for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the kaffir leaves and bring the mixture almost to a boil again. 
  • Place the egg yolk in a small bowl. Pour half of the kaffir mixture to the egg yolk and mix well. Pour the mixture back to the saucepan and heat the mixture until it has reached 84 °C / 183 F°. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin and the lemon juice and stir well. 
  • Pour the mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl and let it cool to room temperature. 
  • Whip the heavy cream until creamy. Fold the whipped cream into the mixture. 
  • Fill the lime mousse into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. 
  • Refrigerate the mousse for at least one hour. 

ASSEMBLING

  • 50 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • 300 g / 2 1/3 cups fresh raspberries
  • Powdered sugar
  • Mint leaves
  • Place a circle of about 5 raspberries on top of each sablé square. 
  • Place a dollop of raspberry jam in the middle of each raspberry circle. Then pipe the lime mousse on top of the raspberry jam. Cover the lime mousse with raspberries. Sprinkle the raspberries and corners of the sable squares with powdered sugar. Decorate each cake with a mint leaf. 
  • I recommend eating the cakes within an hour or two after assembling the cakes since the sablé bottoms lose their crispiness over time. 



Ever since I discovered financiers a few years ago, I make these petite cakes on a regular basis. Financiers are such delicious cakes that are very simple to make and made in no time. They are also a good way to to use up leftover egg whites which I happen to have all the time in the fridge. I like making different kinds of financiers such as my hazelnut financiers. The recipe that I want to share with you today is a fancy financier version. I topped the little vanilla flavored cakes with a fruit mousse. I love this financier version a lot and it taste - of course - delicious, too.
I wish I could tell you that this genius cake idea is mine but it is not. A while ago, I had the opportunity to work in a Michelin restaurant and among others, these financiers were served as petit fours before the dessert course. I thought this was such a brilliant idea and it looked so pretty that I had to recreate this myself. The financiers in the restaurant were glazed with a fondant icing which I think is not necessary because the financiers are sweet enough and no extra sweetness is needed. And the financiers were decorated with red currants which I replaced with mint leaves.



I think these financiers are such wonderful petit fours. If you crave just a little sweet something and do not want an entire slice of cake in the afternoon this is such a lovely alternative.
You can top the financiers with different fruit flavored mousses. I made different batches of these financiers that I topped with cassis and strawberry mousse but feel free to use any fruit puree that you like. I imagine that a raspberry mousse topping would taste delicious as well.
The great thing about these financiers is that you make them in advance and freeze the little cakes in an container lined with parchment paper (see my photo below). It takes only about ten minutes to defrost the petite cakes. And voilà, you have a sweet treat at any time or serve these petite cakes for unexpected guests.


Makes 20 small financiers *

VANILLA FINANCIERS

  • 65 g / 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 65 g / 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 20 g / 3 tablespoons pastry flour
  • 45 g / 1/2 cup almond flour
  • Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 65 g egg whites / equals egg whites of two medium sized eggs
  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 365 °F.
  • Make the beurre noisette. Place the butter in a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and let the butter simmer until the butter turns amber brown. Set aside. 
  • Place the powdered sugar, pastry flour, almond flour and the seeds of the vanilla bean in a medium sized bowl. Mix well.
  • Whisk the the egg whites lightly, add to the flour mixture and stir well. 
  • Add the beurre noisette little by little to the mixture and mix well. 
  • Fill the financier batter into a piping bag and pipe the batter into the financier moulds. 
  • Bake the financier for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges of the financier are slightly golden in color. 
  • Let the financiers cool. 
* I use this Silikomart financier mould which has the following measurements: 4, 9 cm / 1,9 inches in length / 2, 6 cm / 1 inch in width / 1,1 cm / 0,4 inch in height.

STRAWBERRY / CASSIS / RASPBERRY MOUSSE

  • 25 g / 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 15 g / 1/2 ounce white chocolate, chopped
  • 40 g / 3 1/2 tablespoons fruit puree (strawberry, cassis, raspberry)
  • 1 sheet of gelatin (1,5 g), soaked
  • 50 g / 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Pour the heavy cream into a saucepan and bring it almost to a boil. Set the saucepan aside, add the white chocolate, fruit puree and gelatin and mix well. 
  • Pour the mixture through a sieve and let it cool to room temperature. 
  • Whip the heavy cream until creamy and fold the heavy cream into the fruit mixture. 
  • Fill the mousse into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle ( 9 mm / 0,3 inch). Let the mousse chill in the fridge for about one hour. 
  • Pipe three dollops of mousse on each financier and decorate each financier with a mint leave. 
  • Keep the financiers in the fridge until consumption. 
  • The financiers freeze very well, let the little cakes defrost at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then keep the financiers in the fridge.