Better Late than Never...

29 October 2005

I was quite sad that I missed this month’s SHF – it’s not that I thought it was this Friday, I just couldn’t get round to it – having my birthday last week didn’t help either, although I had a lovely time here with my friends :)

Nonetheless, I’m happy to make/eat chocolate desserts anytime so I made this chocolate and earl grey mousse cake anyway. The original recipe was for a mint and chocolate mousse combination; I’m not mad about that combo at all, but I fell in love with the subtle aesthetics of it so decided to have a go with something else. I quite fancied making pear mousse but felt more like using tea (I actually found another recipe with earl grey flavoured creme brulee and chocolate mousse encased in chocolate ganache, which I look forward to trying another time) and I wanted to try the octagonal moulds that I just got from here.

I didn’t want the chocolate to overpower the tea flavour – to be honest I didn’t think it was going to taste great when I was making it (!) but I must say I was really pleased with the result. The earl grey mousse had a very smooth, silky texture (I infused the tea into milk first and made custard, then added gelatine and softly whipped double cream) and it worked really well with the rich chocolate mousse (pâte à bombe i.e. egg yolks plus 30ºB syrup, chocolate and double cream). I brushed the chocolate sponge base with orange syrup which complemented the other flavours (I might even add orange compote next time). Making the chocolate ‘plaques’ was good fun too, I recently got a thermometer (eventually!) and tried tempering chocolate properly for the first time – I find it really therapeutic!

Anyway, this is going to be a regular dessert for sure – it’s not just the taste that I like, but the warm autumn colour too :)

Food - Sweet        40 comments    Permalink

  • Beautiful as always! They look really delicate and delicious :) It’s never too late to submit anything and especially something as gorgeous as this. Thank you for sharing with us!

    Posted by soycap | 29 October 2005 #
  • happy belated birthday to you keiko! may you have many happy adventures ahead, with lots of good friends and of course, fabulous food!

    Posted by santos. | 29 October 2005 #
  • Tea (Earl Gray) Mousse, that’s sounds like a great idea to go with chocolates. you had me wondering if masala chai mousse will work as well :P

    And Happy Belated Birthday too!!! We have it on the same week, not too sure it’s on the same day hehehe ... anyways, I don’t usually celebrate birthdays, coz I don’t want to be counting them :D

    Posted by slurp! | 29 October 2005 #
  • hi keiko, happy belated birthday! how very very beautiful that looks; the combination of chocolate and earl grey tea sounds utterly divine too...i have some octagonal moulds which i bought on a whim and have never used...thanks for the inspiration, as always!

    Posted by Joycelyn | 29 October 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    Happy Belated Birthday!!! Don’t be concerned that you were late. It was definitely worth the wait. These desserts look wonderful and I love the shapes. =)

    Posted by Reid | 29 October 2005 #
  • Belated happy birthday Keiko! May you have many more birthdays to come. I wanted to try this recipe. As usual, your pics are wonderful. Thanks for this post. Take care!

    Posted by Elna Smith | 29 October 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, more belated birthday wishes! Those mousse cakes look absolutely perfect and sound delicious. The shape is gorgeous and the ’plaques’ on the top are a great touch!

    Posted by michele | 29 October 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, I definitely like your molds very much.It is so cute I like the shape too. Your cake as always looks perfect and very professional. I never tried chocolate and earl grey tea combination but I saw a lot of comments that it tasted very good together. I also agree with you that the chocolate mint combination isn’t really that good. I personally doesn’t really like that combination. Pierre Herme also uses chocolate and earl grey tea combination in one of his cake from his latest 2005 Desire autumn winter collection. The cake is named "Instant", the shape is very unique and I bet it is hard to construct. I think the cake is composed of chocolate mousse with ganache and earl grey jelly if I am not mistaken. By the way, I also like the chocolate and pear combination. It is very refreshing. Thank You very much!

    Posted by Cathy | 30 October 2005 #
  • Happy Birthday, Keiko! I really agree with you about the lovely color contrast, too. It’s very autumn. Need I say that I’m a bit jealous that this will be a regular dessert for you?

    Posted by Nic | 30 October 2005 #
  • Happy Birthday, Keiko.

    Posted by Indira | 30 October 2005 #
  • happy belated birthday keiko-san! (better twice than once?)

    I guess I’ve got the same molds as yours, haven’t gotten around to trying them myself though.

    Posted by chika | 30 October 2005 #
  • Happy Birthday

    They are so pretty:) Love the moulds too

    Posted by clare eats | 30 October 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko

    Looks and sounds delicious

    Happy birthday!



    Posted by Shanna | 30 October 2005 #
  • keiko-san

    Happy belated Birthday!

    The restaurant you said you went for your b-day looks very very nice. I will keep it on my want-to-do list when I am there next time!

    Posted by yuki | 31 October 2005 #
  • I guess i’ll have to try this combination someday... May be with candied orange peels to go with the chocolate plaques?

    Although i’m late, greetings for your birthday.


    Posted by Marcela | 31 October 2005 #
  • Happy Belated Birthday!

    I’m not crazy about chocolate+mint combination, either, and earl grey sounds terrific. BTW, CUOCA is my favorite -- or more like a lifesaver to me ;)

    Posted by obachan | 31 October 2005 #
  • happy belated birthday keiko! and as usual you creation is exquisite and perfect... i need lesson on how not to blotch my desserts one of these days... *wink*

    many joy to you, and may all your birthday wishes come true!

    Posted by Lil | 31 October 2005 #
  • Hi there, thank you so much for all your kind wishes!

    Slurp - look forward to seeing your beautiful masala chai mousse. I don’t like having a big celebration either :)

    Joycelyn - look forward to seeing your gorgeous creations with the moulds ;)

    Michele - I should be better at making the plaques next time!

    Cathy - I’m glad you like the moulds too :) Try the earl grey & chocolate combo and let me know what you think. The new Herme cake sounds intriguing, hope you can taste it somewhere (and let me know again)! I’d love to try the pear & chocolate combo too, especially now there are lots of varieties around.

    Nic - I assume you love warm brown colours too...

    Chika - did you get them at cuoca too? Look forward to seeing your beautiful creations with them.

    Shanna - I hope you’re enjoying your new work. Take care.

    Yuki-san - it’s one of my favourites, although their portions are a little too big! Their cook books are great too.

    Marcela - I think it’s a good idea to use orange peel - I’m sure anything citrus would work well.

    Obachan - yes, cuoca is great! I always ask my mum to forward their stuff for me :)

    Lil - well, as you may guess, I blotch my desserts quite often...

    Posted by keiko | 31 October 2005 #
  • Happy Birthday Keiko!

    Posted by cath | 1 November 2005 #
  • Happy (very belated) birthday, Keiko! This is a stunningly beautiful photo, as always! [I sound like a broken record, I’m afraid, but it’s true!] So graceful, and surely so delicious!

    Posted by Molly | 1 November 2005 #
  • Happy Birthday Keiko. And the dessert is a gorgeous colour.

    Posted by Barbara | 1 November 2005 #
  • Happy belated birthday! Thanks for sharing all your lovely creations.

    Posted by tiptup | 1 November 2005 #
  • Beautiful as always!

    ...and then happy birthday keiko-san!!!

    Posted by joujouka | 1 November 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, belated Happy Birthday to you. I will let you know the results once I try the combination of chocolate and earl grey tea. I am sorry to say that I won’t be able to try the Pierre Herme cake that I am saying coz Pierre Herme is not available in our country. It only happens that I am a big big fan of Pierre Herme so I try to keep myself updated with all his new stuff. I tried the chocolate and pear combination in a crepe by putting red wine poached pears and chocolate ganache inside the crepe and it tasted very good.

    Posted by Cathy | 1 November 2005 #
  • Hi Cath, Molly, Barbara, tiptup and joujouka-san - thanks so much for all your kind wishes...!

    Cathy - sorry I knew you couldn’t get his stuff there - I just thought you may be willing to travel just to try his new cakes :) Is Tokyo closer than Paris from you? Maybe it’s easier for me to try them as I visit Paris quite regularly, I’ll let you know next time I do. Your crepe sounds irresistible, thank you for the inspiration as always.

    Posted by keiko | 1 November 2005 #
  • Happy belated birthday! My bday is in October too! ^_~ I love your pictures and your delectable food that you make. They’re always so professional and mouthwateringly delicious looking. Was it cheaper to get the octogonal moulds from than anywhere else? I wish to get some moulds too. Can’t wait for new posts! ^-^

    Posted by Tea | 2 November 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, Paris is very far from me, but Tokyo is closer to the country where I stay. I was actually in Tokyo two years ago, I planned to go to Pierre Herme at that time, but unfortunately we ran out of time so I wasn’t able to go. If you try anything from Pierre Herme just let me know and I will surely appreciate it very very much. Thank You very much.

    Posted by Cathy | 2 November 2005 #
  • Beautifule AND inspirating ! I cannot help that notice that your tests are always succesful... when are you going to move to Paris so I can be your regular guest ;D ?

    Adding orange "compotée" is a great idea, and maybe you could try to flavour it wuth bergamote essence (in order to recall the earl grey flavour) hmm ?

    Be well,


    Posted by Fred | 3 November 2005 #
  • Happy birthday Keiko! I adore this dessert - the colour and texture look perfect, and I’m absolutely intrigued by the flavour combination. I’ve had tea infused chocolates before and loved the play of tastes ...if you lived closer, I would definitely be at your feet begging your help for an event we have coming up next year.

    Posted by tara | 4 November 2005 #
  • oh jeez , why did you have to make that picture. I’m s damn hungry now :)

    Posted by ziboy | 4 November 2005 #
  • many happy returns for the day (belated tho’ this wish is) - that two-toned mousse looks absolutely fabulous and so professional that I would pay to eat it if I could find it in Singapore!

    Posted by eatzycath | 5 November 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko! These are just lovely! Please save me one cake :P I find it a little amusing you find tempering chocolate therapeutic, simply because it has the opposite effect on me hehehe ;) Belated happy birthday, that restaurant seems like the perfect place for a celebration.

    Posted by Mel | 6 November 2005 #
  • Welcome back!!


    Happy belated Birthday!!

    Posted by withoutgas | 7 November 2005 #
  • Keiko thanks so much for coming all the way to meet me. I was so touched and all those presents, especially the biscuits. You spoilt me. thank you. I am sorry I "sounded like an American" I will have to try do something about that

    Posted by sam | 7 November 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, your cakes look beautiful as always! I hope you had a very nice birthday. I noticed you got the Cook’s Book too - isn’t it fantastic?!

    Posted by Clement | 7 November 2005 #
  • Hi there, thank you so much again for all your kind wishes...

    Tea - happy belated birthday to you too! I’m not sure if it’s cheaper to get the moulds at cuoca than other places, but I think I’ve seen someone selling at similar prices.

    Cathy - I’ll try to take photos next time I try his cakes, I’ll have to be patient as I’m always too greedy to wait for the photos...

    Fred - of course it’s not always successful as you might guess :) and I’d rather be your guest, all of your creations are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for the great idea of adding some bergamot essence, it must be wonderful (I don’t think I’ve seen it in the UK though, let me know where you can get it in Paris)

    Tara - I like tea infused chocolate too, I’ve used it when I made earl grey flavoured creme brulee. Look forward to hearing about your up-coming event :)

    Mel - I enjoy it just because I do that only when I feel like it :) I’m sure I’d feel the same way as you do if I had to to that in a professional kitchen!

    Sam - it was really lovely meeting you both, you were the most gorgeous couple as I just imagined :) Thank you for the delicious chocolates and don’t get too excited about the biscuits. And I love your accent, you sound as sweet as you look :) Take care and have a safe journey back to CA.

    Clement - I thought you might have it too ;) Actually, I think it’s a bit of waste for me (like so many other cookbooks), it is quite advanced and I’m just happy to look at them!

    Posted by keiko | 8 November 2005 #
  • Speaking of better late than never, I was finally able to add your link to the SHF wrap up. You could submit something next year and I’d still include it-- everything you make is so incredible! Thanks for entering this.

    Posted by Kelli | 31 December 2005 #
  • Hi Kelli - thank you so much for adding my late entry, are you going to host SHF again? I’m sure you would come up with another great theme!

    Posted by keiko | 5 January 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko

    I chanced upon your blog and I AM REALLY VERY VERY IMPRESSED!

    This earl grey chocolate mousse looks really fabulous.

    May I know if you can share your recipe? I really hope to be able to bake at least half as good as you.

    Thank you and I look forward to your reply soon. Please contact me at please. Thanks a zillions :D

    Posted by Janice | 4 March 2008 #
  • Hi Janice – thank you for your kind note and I’m sorry it took so long to get back to you. The recipe is actually from one of my Japanese books and I’m afraid I don’t have time to translate at the moment, I’ll try when I can!

    Posted by keiko | 1 July 2008 #

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