Pomme d'Eve

11 November 2005

Since I started this blog I’ve been inspired to use ingredients that I don’t normally like – and I’m glad I have because I’ve always been pleasantly surprised by the results! I wouldn’t call myself a fussy eater, but there are some things I’m not mad about – especially when it comes to fruit… if I had to choose one among them, apples come to mind without a doubt. So, sadly I’ve never made apple tart or tarte tatin myself. By the way, the part of Japan I’m from produces some of the best apples in the country (you wouldn’t believe how expensive they are!) and I still remember my mum admonishing me for not eating such good things… no matter what she said, I just didn’t like them.

But putting my reservations aside for the sake of culinary experimentation (and perhaps also being swayed by the wonderful local apple juice we have in Suffolk), I was tempted by the aesthetics of another Hidemi Sugino recipe.

His Pomme d’Eve consists of – from top to bottom – sauteed caramelised apple, apple mousse, chocolate sponge, caramel mousse and almond sponge. I used Bramley apples this time as their higher acid content and lower sugar levels give a tangier and stronger flavour when cooked. Although it might sound complicated, it was quite easy to make – you basically make two mousses with pâte à bombe, double cream and gelatine. I added cinnamon and vanilla beans into the caramel, which lent it a subtle, but deeper flavour. He suggested making the caramel darker than normal in order to better complement the tart apple and he was absolutely right. The flavour of the tangy apple mousse melds with the rich dark caramel mousse as soon as you have it in your mouth – for me, the ratio of each component was just right too (not too appley!) He suggested using Calvados to flavour the apple mousse as well as the syrup for the sponges, but I used dark rum instead.

I really liked the final result, I think it helped that it has lots of different flavours and textures. I’m not sure if I’m ready for anything more apple-oriented than this yet, but maybe given time…

Food - Sweet        42 comments    Permalink

  • I’m pretty much an-apple-a-day person but not as much into mousse-like creations. This looks beautiful though and would certainly tempt me to try it, Keiko. It almost sounds like too many flavours at once, but I imagine that they would all be lovely together.

    Posted by Cin | 11 November 2005 #
  • I think that this is a perfect layering of flavours, Keiko. As an apple lover, I would certainly hope that something as lovely as this would sway your opinion a bit.

    Posted by Nic | 11 November 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko- Your cake as always looks so fabulous. I am a big big fan of apple, in fact I eat apple almost every after meal. I prefer Granny Smith both for baking and eating, I like the tartness and crispness of that apple. I also like Fuji apple especially when they are firm and sweet. The combination of the cake is very interesting and excellent I must say, since apples go very well with caramel and chocolate. I can’t wait to try this combination since I never tried an apple caramel mousse before. I only tried apple desserts like apple pie, tarte tatin and apple upside down cake. Your cake also look so neat and professional. PH also have some apple creation like Yu which is a praline mousse with yuzu scented apples and also Melody which is found in the book "Desserts by Pierre Herme" composed of cinnamon pate sablee, caramel mousse, roasted apple and genoise. Thnak You for posting.

    Posted by Cathy | 11 November 2005 #
  • aha! I presume you’re quite a picky eater, Keiko, just not as bad as The Pizza Man! ;P

    this would sure be great with Calvados, but I wouldn’t complain with dark rum at all. beautiful job as usual.

    Posted by chika | 12 November 2005 #
  • Keiko,

    You just amaze me with your patience for this work of art. Looks good and I wish I had the chance to taste it, and experience the different flavours and textures for your wonderful creation.

    Posted by steffles | 12 November 2005 #
  • hi Keiko! i really like seeing the desserts you pick out of your books to make each time. would you like to link blogs?

    Posted by cathy | 12 November 2005 #
  • Hello, I’m picky about fruits. I love Kougyoku, but I don’t crazy about other apples>m< by the way I heard today about the veryvery expensive apple...it had an indredible price.

    I would love to taste this combination of its texture and flavour one day...

    Posted by akane:rgb-nanairo-nianco | 12 November 2005 #
  • Keiko, really, if you ever are looking for a new career, I think you might make a fantastic surgeon, my dear. The precision of everything you make is just astonishing! Absolutely gorgeous. And to this fan of apples--I just ate one, actually--the combination of flavors sounds wonderful, and wonderfully sophisticated too. Sheer artistry!

    Posted by Molly | 12 November 2005 #
  • Keiko

    i had the most wonderful apple dessert in paris last week.

    much more peasanty than yours, which is why i hope/aimto recreate it when i get home. it involved lots of butter, salty caramel, and pain epice

    and I have some pierre herme pictures to post up eventually, too.

    sam x

    Posted by sam | 13 November 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko. I just got your message about the apples! You know, when you mentioned that you didn’t like them, it brought to mind how I dislike kaki so much. : ) I dislike so much that I don’t think I’d even cook with them. (so in that respect you’re more courageous than me! ) : )~emi

    Posted by emi.lipe | 13 November 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    for me is difficult to cook with an ingredient that I really don’t like. Fortunatly there aren’t so many of them...

    But besides that, looking at this photo I was wondering how do you get such a smooth nice cut. It’s just perfect!

    Posted by Marcela | 13 November 2005 #
  • How do you get it to look so perfect!? Even when doing a simple cake, it doesn’t look quite right! Yest when you do it, it looks like one of those ones from a fancy cafe... How do you do it?

    Posted by Catherine | 13 November 2005 #
  • It looks delicious and perfect as always. I’m still wondering how you can make it like that. Good job! I really like apples, i try to eat an apple a day... :-)


    Posted by Shanna | 13 November 2005 #
  • that is one amazing layered creation - I echo and re-echo the others - how do you get it so perfectly in rows - you must have a lot of patience in the kitchen!

    Posted by eatzycath | 13 November 2005 #
  • Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm !!!

    Posted by Le confit c&#8217;est pas gras ! | 13 November 2005 #
  • This is beautiful. You are an artist! Would love to make this. I love apples and was raised eating and baking apple pies. I like Granny Smith for their tartness in pies but for fresh eating I like Honey Crisp, Fuji or Gala. I enjoy your posts.Fran

    Posted by Fran | 13 November 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    Great blog! I love it! By the way, do they have an English version of the Hidemi Sugino book? I would love to get it if they have an English version in print. Also, do you have similar cookbooks of that calibre to recommend to me? Would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

    Posted by Karen | 13 November 2005 #
  • hi keiko, mothers are always right, aren’t they ;) what a beautiful and delicious looking dessert...when i’m feeling extravagant, i get the "ringowork" unfiltered juice from the local japanese supermarket - but as with all good japanese things, it’s so prohibitively expensive i only allow myself a few sips from a shot glass at a time!

    Posted by Joycelyn | 14 November 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    I’m not really an apple person either, but if I were presented with a dessert that looked like that, I probably wouldn’t turn it down. In fact, I’d probably ask for more! The photo makes this dessert look mouthwateringly good.

    I would probably prefer Hosui nashi more.

    Posted by Reid | 14 November 2005 #
  • Ooh, I’m very much an apple lover (especially the tarter types) and that looks and sounds absolutely divine!

    PS It was lovely to meet you last Saturday!

    Posted by Christina | 14 November 2005 #
  • don’t munch daily apple myself except for ROYAL GALA variety.

    can never understand why those "gourmet" apples from aomori cost so much but at the same time, always amaze how that could grow apples that were consistent in colors, shape, size & possibly weight too!!

    i really like the shades of similar colors, and the layers of flavors whereby tangy meets bitter-sweet sounds so lovely!

    Posted by slurp! | 14 November 2005 #
  • Keiko,

    I’m going to echo the sentiments of the others and ask how you make everything so precise?? I have actually seen the Sugino book (it IS very pretty and inspiring!) but as I don’t read Japanese I looked at the pictures and got a general idea of the recipes. How long does it take in general for you to make them? And do you ever have trouble unmolding the cakes? When I’ve unmolded cakes I get smearing on the sides and you have absolutely none! Beautiful work!

    I am meaning to get some more ring molds so I can do similar stuff in the kitchen but right now I am working on some chocolate experiments!

    Posted by Anita | 14 November 2005 #
  • Beautiful work, Keiko! The combination of flavors in this dessert sounds absolutely heavenly, and I’m glad you’re beginning to be beguiled by the charms of the apple. If Mr. Sugino doesn’t have plans to publish his book in English soon, maybe you could drop him an email to gently persuade? :)

    Posted by melissa | 14 November 2005 #
  • or better, maybe it’s time you do collaborated work with mr sugino and get published! we’ll be clamouring for copies!! :)

    Posted by Lil | 15 November 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko! I am just grinning from ear to ear because 1.) My husband hates apples raw, although he loves them cooked or baked. And 2.) Maddie is simply MAD for apples! For some reason this entire post is really making me smile because with the apple being ’the evil fruit’ of the Garden of Eden {heh heh}, the name of the dessert is justly called as Pomme d’Eve. Wow!!

    Posted by rowena | 15 November 2005 #
  • Sounds very intriguing to me - Bramley apples, never used them either. Looks fantastic.

    Posted by Dresca | 21 November 2005 #
  • Hi there, thanks for your kind notes and sorry for being late getting back.

    Cin - It might sound as if there are too many flavours going on but it works really well!

    Nic - I’m definitely less scared of using apples for cooking now :)

    Cathy - I guess caramel goes well with lots of fruit - praline mousse with yuzu scented apples sounds heavenly! I must check the PH book again, thanks for letting me know.

    Chika - I’m actually not *that* picky, I would say we have quite different taste :) No one can beat the pizza man, though!

    Steffles - it wasn’t as complicated as it may sound - and you must know by now that I’m quite an impatient person!

    Cathy - thanks for dropping by, I look forward to reading your posts!

    Akane-san - I can’t even remember what Kogyoku was like... the apples I was talking in the post were from Esashi, I’ve heard they are ridiculously expensive.

    Molly - I never thought about becoming a surgeon, but if I could I’d love to be a vet maybe...

    Sam - glad you both got back safely, give special care to Fred though. Can’t wait to see your gorgeous apple dessert.

    Emi - oh, it’s a shame you don’t like Kaki... but I think I understand how you feel, it’s got quite a distinctive flavour and texture.

    Marcela - I was really picky when I was small, but I guess one’s taste for lots of things changes as you get older...

    Catherine - I’ve made quite a lot of layered cakes like this one, it’s not that difficult once you’re used to it!

    Shanna - I still don’t think I want to eat raw apples, but I’m getting more used to them...

    Eatzycath - I don’t think I’m particularly patient, but maybe I am when I know I can eat something...

    Le confit - are you another apple lover? :)

    Fran - thank you for dropping by. I’d love to try Granny Smith next time, I’ve never heard of Honey Crisp though... sounds lovely!

    Karen - thanks for your note, I don’t think there is an English edition of his book at the moment. I like Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course, it’s a beautiful book.

    Joycelyn - yes, mums are always right ;) I can imagine how expensive the Japanese apples are, I don’t think I would use them for desserts, I believe they are made for eating or juicing as they are...

    Reid - I’m glad I finally found someone else indifferent about apples ;) I miss Japanese nashi including Hosui, are they really common in Hawaii? I remember I always wanted nashi when I was ill, they are so juicy and sweet, aren’t they?

    Christina - it was lovely meeting you too, hopefully see you again soon!

    Slurp - what are royal gala like? I believe Aomori is the biggest apple producing region, but you can get really good ones from other places too. I remember Matthew was amazed when I told him that fruit in Japan are protected by individual bags on the tree - Japanese are really enthusiastic (maniac, perhaps!) about everything, aren’t they?

    Anita - I’ve been making quite a lot of stuff from his book so I’m used to reading his instructions etc. I’d say it takes about two hours to finish them except for waiting time (eg cooling etc) In most Japanese books I have, they suggest freezing the cake before unmoulding - it really helps especially when making mousse cakes. And I try to take pics of the better looking ones as you may imagine ;) I love your chocolate creations, they are absolutely gorgeous!

    Melissa, Lil - thanks for your suggestion, maybe I should drop him a line...

    Rowena - glad to know that your hubby doesn’t like raw apples either :) I didn’t think Maddie loves them though... it’s been really cold here too, keep warm and make lots of comfort food in the lovely brand-new kitchen!

    Dreska - glad you’re back :)

    Posted by keiko | 23 November 2005 #
  • keiko,

    about gala apples, get this link out


    it’s medium size, probably i will able to finishup in 3~4 bites (YES, i got big mouth hahaha...) they are crispy, midly sweet & have a very lovely scent

    Posted by slurp! | 24 November 2005 #
  • Hi Slurp - thanks so much for the link. As an apple beginner, I learnt lots of things from the site :) The recipes sound interesting too, I’ll try gala when I find them anywhere!

    Posted by keiko | 28 November 2005 #
  • Keiko,

    Thank you for answering my questions! We did layered mousse cakes in my class and I’m inspired by you now to go back and do more! I agree with you about taking pictures of the better looking ones:) I have been making chocolates and trying to pick out the best ones to photograph - even though those are the ones I should be giving away to my friends!

    Posted by Anita | 1 December 2005 #
  • Hi Anita - I always give the better looking ones to my friends so end up eating the ’rejects’ myself!

    Posted by keiko | 2 December 2005 #
  • hi keiko,

    LOVE, LOVE your site especially your pics. btw, been trying to look for the link to the recipes... can’t seem to find it. am i missing something here? please advice. thanks and keep up the great job!

    Posted by princess kelly | 17 December 2005 #
  • Hi Princess Kelly - thank you for your kind notes. I’m afraid the book is published only in Japanese, but here is a link anyway.

    Posted by keiko | 5 January 2006 #
  • Are you from Aomari? I spent my early childhood in Misawa :)

    Posted by MasPinaSarap | 28 March 2006 #
  • Hi MasPinaSarap - great guess, but I’m from Iwate which is just south of Aomori and they produce quite good ones (called Esashi), although they are quite recent and Aomori is still one of the best/biggest producers. I know Misawa has a big military base, is that why you lived there?

    Posted by keiko | 31 March 2006 #
  • hi keiko i love your blog however, how can i get the recipes and the how to for the pictures you post. thanks!!!

    Posted by marissa | 25 May 2006 #
  • Hi Marissa - thank you for your notes, I’m afraid the recipe is from one of my Japanese books!

    Posted by keiko | 30 May 2006 #
  • Hello Keiko
    I just discovered your site…all looks great…at this point have not been able to find the corresponding recipes…will try later though, curious to read through other entries, bye for now, Leonid

    Posted by Leonid Citer | 1 December 2006 #
  • Hi Leonid – I’m sorry I didn’t get back sooner. I always note where the recipes come from, as for the Japanese recipes, I simply don’t have time to translate them – will try when I can.

    Posted by keiko | 12 January 2007 #
  • Hello—-

    You have a beautiful blog. I would love to recreate the Pomme D’eve. Did you freeze the finished cake and then slice it or did you mold them individually? They have such a clean finish. Thank you. Lily

    Posted by Lily | 12 April 2008 #
  • Hi Lily – thank you for your kind note and I’m sorry it took so long to get back to you. I froze the cake and sliced up, that way it’s much easier to get a clean cut.

    Posted by keiko | 1 July 2008 #
  • Beautiful website

    Posted by ec | 19 September 2012 #

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