This month a new baking challenge was launched - AlphaBakes. The idea is that each month a letter of the alphabet is randomly generated, your entry should then have a main ingredient beginning with this letter. The challenge comes courtesy of the The More Than Occassional Baker and Caroline Makes. This month's letter is 'L' which is fortunate as February is the month of Love. So therefore, here is my entry for AlphaBakes...made with Lychees and Love!
I went for an adventurous entry this month, using an ingredient I've never baked with before...Lychees. I made a Lychee, Rose and Raspberry Mousse Cake. The cake is inspired by Pierre Herme who created the Ispahan, which is a rose, lychee and raspberry macaroon. The recipe for my bake came from The Pleasure Monger.
This was certainly a labour of love and took several hours to make! I would definitely recommend giving it a go, however...just make sure that you like the person you're making it for... A LOT! :-)
First up was making the sponge base. This was made by making a meringue mix and then adding flour, egg yolks and flours. The base was then cut out using a ring mold and covered with a sugar syrup made with lychee juice. Next up was a lychee mousse, made with milk, vanilla paste and rosewater amongst other ingredients. This was made by boiling the milk and then whisking in the other ingredients.
To assemble the mousse cake, the sponge base was placed in the ring mold and a layer of mousse piped on top, followed by cut raspberries facing outwards and a layer of lychees inside this. Next up another layer of mousse, before making a raspberry jelly using rosewater, lychee juice, raspberries, sugar and gelatine leaves. This was poured over the mousse cake and left to set in the fridge.
As you can see, the result is a very pretty little dessert! It's not quite as perfect as I would of liked, but something to work on next time as you never know how it's going to turn out before it comes out of the mold!