This is the first post on what I hope will be a long list of recipes where japanese influences come to meet french & british classic pâtisserie.
It's not big news to a lot of you that I'm deeply interested by all things japanese. I think the first time I thought that it would be nice to speak japanese, I was maybe 8 or 9. I was already quite annoyed by french dubbing on anime and nothing would seem as perfect as a cherry blossom when spring was coming.
For 3 years now, I'm learning japanese at Westminster Uni. Just an evening class but still, I'm so happy and proud to be able to read and speak japanese. I may not be able to talk about politics & economy yet, but who cares?! I'm more than happy to be able to help a japanese tourist lost in the labyrinth of Fortnum & Mason ( "エレベーターはあちらです。" "食器は二階にです 。" "The lift is there." "You can find kitchenware on second floor.").
And I like when the japanese shop assistant looks surprise when I order a 桜もち (sakura mochi) in japanese at Minamoto Kitchoan!
I'm still completly shaky when people then answer to me in japanese but I'm getting there (I'm still not totally at ease when someone speak to me in english either!)
Anyway, let's get back to the kitchen. In the following weeks (or maybe months), I'll try to post recipes where I use the delicate flavours of Japan cuisine in british or french classic recipes. I won't tell you now what I'm thinking of, but there will be some bean paste, soy sauce and other ingredients involved!
This week, I decided to combine a classic british cake with a quite famous japanese citrus :
Clotted cream cake filled with yuzu curd and Chantilly cream.
The idea came months ago, when I was making some lime and lemon curds for macarons. It smelled so nice! I immediatly thought that it would be nice to try to make some yuzu curd as it's sweeter than lemon but still quite tangy. I thought about combining it with a victoria sponge base but then I came across some recipes including one of british most precious and protected ingredient : clotted cream.
Clotted cream is a thick cream made with cow milk and produced only in Cornwall and Devonshire. It even has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) since late 90's. If you ever came to England, you may have tried it on top of scones with jam during a traditional Cream Tea and Afternoon Tea (Ohhh, those words are so sweet to me).
One of England's best produce + a delicate japanese citrus, what's not to love!
The clotted cream cake.
Ingredients (for a 6" round pan) :
- 35ml lemon juice
- 50g soft unsalted butter
- 25 ml sunflower oil
- 125g golden caster sugar
- 30g cornflour
- 2 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
- 80g clotted cream
- 135g flour
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven at 170° and grease and flour a baking pan.
- Beat the butter with the oil, sugar and then incorporate the cornflour. Beat until the texture becomes light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time, taking care of incorporating the first one before adding the second yolk.
- Add the lemon juice and the clotted cream.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff and then fold them in the batter.
- Sift the flour and baking powder and mix gently together.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
The yuzu curd .
- 40ml yuzu juice (you can find small bottles of yuzu at Japan Center, Piccadilly Circus, or in most asian shops)
- 2 eggs
- 50g unsalted butter
- 75g caster sugar
- In a bain-marie pan (or in a glass bowl over a pan filled with water), melt the butter.
- Add sugar and yuzu juice, mix and then add the eggs.
- With a whisk, mix until everything is well combined and the mixture starts to thicken.
- When you have a quite thick, "crème pâtissière-like" consistency, the yuzu curd is done!
- Place in the fridge until completely cooled down before using it.
Now, the fun part!
With a serrated knife, slowly cut the cake in two halves (make the bottom one a little thicker for best results). Then spread the yuzu curd. Prepare a chantilly by mixing 150ml of crème fraîche with some vanilla paste or vanilla extract and some icing sugar (add sugar to your taste).
Spread the chantilly over the yuzu curd, place the second half of the cake on and, finally, sprinkle some icing sugar on top!
Chill the cake if you don't eat it immediately. And take it out of the fridge at least half an hour before devouring it!