9 December 2005

I’m still thinking about what desserts to make for several occasions over Christmas – I should really stick to things I’m used to making (especially knowing that I’ll need to cook everything else as well!) but I’m hoping to try something new and maybe a bit adventurous. As well as (hopefully) tasting good, I’m keen to use seasonal ingredients – Clementines definitely fit the bill.


This cake is another recipe from Hidemi Sugino book and it looks like just clementine mousse – but the mousse is actually covered with clementine butter cream. I cooked the clementine juice to reduce it less than half to get a concentrated flavour – it really helped as when you add fruit puree into mousse/cream it tends to lose the flavour quite easily. The butter cream has Italian meringue too, which helps to lend a lighter texture (I had been put off by butter cream based cakes for a long time, but I changed my opinion since I started making it on my own). To assemble, spread the butter cream thinly inside the moulds (which was harder than I thought!) and place the almond sponge at the base. After you have half filled the moulds with clementine mousse, push the raspberry sauce into the middle (the same technique as here, make the sauce first and freeze it), and cover with more mousse. Leave to set, then top off with the butter cream.

To finish, I made some thin chocolate triangles (another therapeutic chocolate tempering session :)) As you can imagine, all the flavours worked really well – glazing the top with cooked clementine zest in syrup was a nice finishing touch too. I had some butter cream left and tried it with my brownies (Nigel Slater’s recipe in The Accidental Foodie) – delicious!

So I think this is going to be considered as one of my festive desserts this year, and I have lots more recipes waiting to be tried – but I simply haven’t got the time…

35 comments    Permalink

  • Fantastic photography!

    Posted by Pam | 9 December 2005 #
  • oh my, so totally professional-looking, and I agree with you on butter-cream (never used to touch the stuff in store-bought cakes) but home-made certainly makes a lot of difference!

    Posted by eatzycath | 9 December 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    As always that dessert looks beautiful. I need to visit Japan so that I can purchase some of these dessert books that you have.

    Posted by Reid | 9 December 2005 #
  • I aspire to take photos as beautiful as Keiko’s.

    Posted by Barbara | 9 December 2005 #
  • I want to finish that second half of this dessert right now! Citrus and chocolate?? YUM!

    Keiko, ditto on the ’but I simply haven’t got the time...’ ;-)

    Posted by rowena | 9 December 2005 #
  • This sounds so perfect for a Christmas table, Keiko! Absolutely stunning! But I guess I should stick to my simple cakes myself and come and drool at your fancy and yummy creations every now and then:)

    Posted by Pille | 9 December 2005 #
  • my god it looks sooo divine

    Posted by charles | 9 December 2005 #
  • Looks wonderfull



    Posted by Shanna | 9 December 2005 #
  • oishii! bellissimo, brava! :)

    Posted by fiordizucca | 9 December 2005 #
  • The photo is perfect, Keiko. I know that clementines are rather a typical Christmas fruit, but the color combination makes me think of autumn in general. Very beautiful.

    Posted by Nic | 9 December 2005 #
  • I want that book in English!

    Posted by Monkey Gland | 9 December 2005 #
  • in the second picture, the cake is falling over?

    Posted by sam | 9 December 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko- Oh my gosh! The cake looks so wonderful. If you didn’t mention that there was a clementine buttercream I would have though that it is just pure clementine mousse.The cake looks fabulous and I had lost my words on how to describe it. It is indeed a winner, it is simple, neat and yet very very elegant. The nice thing about the desserts that you make is that they all looks so nice and I am sure they tasted even better, plus the color is always so cute and pleasant, not too dark and not to light. The combination was always fantastic and keep me wondering on what will you do next! Even the interiors of the cake looks so clean as it seems its done by a professional. Judging by the way it was made the cake is pretty complicated and it needed some skills to complete the whole dessert so you really is an excellent baker. Now that I saw almost all your creations are actually from Hidemi Sugino I actually plan to get the book even if I can’t read Japanese! One thing more does clementine works well with raspberry? Thanks

    Posted by Cathy | 9 December 2005 #
  • Keiko, I am still wondering(after reading your blog for few months now)whether you are the most talented pattissier or what? How long does it take you to make these types of desserts? I love mousse cakes! What book do you recommend to buy?(english) I am up for any challenge. Thanks.

    Posted by Dreska | 10 December 2005 #
  • Perfect, absolutly perfect... I can imagine the taste of raspberries and clementine, the texture of the mousse just seeing the photo!

    Posted by Marcela | 10 December 2005 #
  • speaking of clementines its quite cheap here in Greece for the past 2 winters I spent in UK when the cold weather sets in I think of the clementines here.

    Wonderful recipe and amazing photo, visiting your blog gives me a wishful thinking if the best patisserie tea house in UK is called KEIKO’S

    Posted by sha | 10 December 2005 #
  • Oh by the way my English friend is coming for xmas I had asked him to bring me kitkat orange .. orange choc, clementine choc.. maybe he should drive to yr place and pick up my "order"............ ;-)

    Posted by sha | 10 December 2005 #
  • Keiko your clementines looked prestine!! I love the mix - citrus, raspberry and chocolate combined....can imagine the taste bursting in flavours!

    Posted by steffles | 11 December 2005 #
  • Keiko, I absolutely love the "bleeding heart" center of the dessert in the second photo. Its quite inviting :-)

    Posted by tanvi | 11 December 2005 #
  • i love your photography, its lovely! But really, is it about really nice pictures, or good food? Good food, and I know you agree. Good food is not ncessarily pretty, or pristine, But tasty.

    Posted by | 11 December 2005 #
  • hi keiko, breathtakingly beautiful pictures as only you can take - after all the exquisite creations you’ve featured from the hidemi sugino book, i feel like i must buy myself a copy even if i can’t read a word!

    Posted by Joycelyn | 11 December 2005 #
  • Hi keiko! I love all of your creations and this one is no exception! It’s beautifully done and your photography is also breathtaking. ^_^

    I was wondering what kind of moulds you used for your cakes and where you bought them? Thanks! ^_^v

    Posted by Tea | 11 December 2005 #
  • I don’t know what is clementine!!! Not until I google & realise what’s that :P I had something similiar from china recently. sweet, seedless, easy to peel & less acidic. That’s why I prefer mandarins over oranges. I like the china clementine-like mandarins as well as Pakistan Kinnos mandarins.

    You certainly got the festive colors right! White December snow (the clementine butter cream, ok, it’s near white) and warm red christmas spirits (the raspberries sauce) revealed when "uncovered". A wonderful dessert that befits the royals (choc triangles makes the dessert looks like crown. :)


    Posted by slurp! | 12 December 2005 #
  • Absolutely gorgeous!

    I guess this is a "chefs secret", but I can’t help asking: how on earth do you get the mousse out of a mould? Do you freeze it first? Or is it some special mousse that are firmer than normal ones?

    Posted by carin | 12 December 2005 #
  • It’s wonderful,Keiko!!!

    I love it...

    And Tatina too......

    A lot of kisses...

    Posted by Sandra | 12 December 2005 #
  • Keiko, ok, you have me totally enthralled.....what wonderful

    pix and now i want the book but when i click on the link

    i get japanese of can

    i find it to buy in english???? thank you and know that you

    are appreciated,

    Posted by Hillary Davis | 13 December 2005 #
  • wow, great one keiko? any luck in getting you to share the recipe? :)

    Posted by Lil | 14 December 2005 #
  • Hi there, thanks so much for all your kind notes!

    Eatzycath - I’m glad I’ve found another ’home-made butter cream’ fan :)

    Reid - you must taste the ’real’ cakes there :)

    Nic - I think it’s common to eat Satsumas at Christmas here, is that the same in the States?

    Sam - not quite, but when I put a fork in, most of the raspberry sauce oozed out and the top of the cake collapsed!

    Cathy - you are always so kind. I actually wanted to ask you something - I cooked the clementine juice to get a concentrated flavour, but I wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do. I thought it tasted fine at the end but when you cook fruit juice it changes the flavour as well as the colour, doesn’t it? The book suggests to use ’shop-bought concentrated puree’ which I didn’t have at hand as you might imagine - it would be great if you could tell me. Oh and the clementine worked well with raspberry - I think the richness from the butter cream really helped.

    Dreska - I normally try to finish in a couple of hours (otherwise I’ll be bored) There are so many nice books around, I think it’s better to choose ones you like :)

    Sha - I can send you orange kitkat any time :) How about Jaffa Cakes? Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your friends.

    Steffles - you described the cake perfectly - ’bursting in flavours’!

    Tanvi - you described it perfectly too - ’bleeding heart’!

    Anonymous - I agree with you, but I think I’m happier when it’s tasty AND looks nice :)

    Joycelyn - I know you know the word ’kuidaore’ :)

    Tea - I used normal round moulds for this cake. After trying quite a few moulds, I try to buy solid stainless steel ones - they are more expensive, but definitely better and last longer. I like Matfer moulds.

    Slurp - oh, I’m learning about oranges from you too :) Didn’t think about it but the triangles do make it look like a crown...

    Carin - yes, I freeze it. Although this cake was a bit tricky as it had butter cream outside!

    Hillary - I don’t think there is an English edition, I’m afraid. I should let him know as there seem to be so many English speaking fans...

    Lil - I’ll try, but I haven’t got time to translate it all right now, sorry!

    Posted by keiko | 16 December 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko- I think you are right, cooking the juice of the Clementine actually changes the color and flavor of the juice itself. The color I think will be darker and not as bright and the taste will not be as refreshing as the fresh one. I tried to cook mango puree before, the puree actually turns darker compare to the uncooked one and the flavor somewhat changes. The flavor of my mango puree was not as refreshing as the uncooked one and also lost its distint mango flavor. I think it is still best to use the store bought one to ensure the taste of the final product and it will be easier to control the degree of sweetness and the product will be more consistent since fresh fruits tends to differ in their sweetness.

    Posted by Cathy | 17 December 2005 #
  • Hi Cathy - thank you for writing back. I should try to get ’proper’ puree next time, although I don’t know if I can afford it!

    Posted by keiko | 5 January 2006 #
  • Where can one get a copy of La Patisserie (by Hidemi Sugino) in English? I have looked on Amazon, Borders, B&N, BooksaMillion and no luck. Any ideas?

    Posted by Neta | 4 September 2006 #
  • Can I make a mousse and freeze it? Please say yes!
    Thank you,

    Posted by Fiona Wright | 9 December 2006 #
  • Hi Neta – I’m sorry I didn’t get back sooner. This book is only available in Japanese, but he has another book called Dessert Book which has a brief English translation along the Japanese.

    Hi Fiona – yes you can :)

    Posted by keiko | 12 January 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    I just stumbled accross your website and have to say your photographs are amazing. I am a huge foodie myself and love creating and styling food and thinking of different ways of preseting them for friends which are my guinea pigs!....can i ask you what type of camera you use to take your photos? i am about to buy a new camera and am tossing up between a digital slr and a normal digital camera.Do u have any recommendations of a good camera to take close ups of my food too?

    Posted by Karen | 9 June 2007 #
  • Hi Karen – sincere apologies for taking so long to get back to you, thank you for your kind note. I suspect that it’s too late to give you some advice but I started with a Minolta A2, then Canon 350D (this post was shot with it) and I recently got a 5D. You may want a macro lens for close-ups, I use a Tamron 90mm macro.

    Posted by keiko | 21 January 2008 #

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