Here’s a cake I made for our family gathering over the weekend. I paired up lychee and raspberry for a sweet and tart combination as well as a beautiful contrast of colour. I was trying to add a hint of rose flavour too, but my kids didn’t like the flavour after a taste test so I just left that out. I used canned lychees in syrup for this cake as they are more convenient. I tested with two brands and preferred Aroy-D lychee in Syrup more (and this was the more expensive brand). When preparing for the lychee coulis, try to drain the lychees ahead of time so the lychees won’t be too wet (otherwise your lychee mousse would be diluted). Do not discard the lychee syrup as it can be transformed into a jelly layer on top. For the raspberries, I found that frozen raspberries resulted in a much more vibrant colour. When I made my Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake, I used to puree the raspberries with a blender but discovered that some tiny specks of seed would still pass through the strainer, leaving my mousse with a sandy texture. So this time I switched to manually pressing the cooked mixture through the strainer. It required more labour but the mousse turned out to be silky smooth.
When preparing the cake, I made a mistake by pouring too much raspberry mousse. At the end there wasn’t enough space for me to fill the pastry ring with an even layer of the lychee mousse and jelly. So be sure to plan ahead and keep the height of your pastry ring in mind while building the cake layers.
Lychee and Raspberry Mousse Cake
Makes a 7″ round cake
For the Chiffon Cake (Tang Mian Method)
55 g cake and pastry flour
A pinch of salt
30 g grapeseed or vegetable oil
40 g milk
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice (I use Korean apple vinegar)
35 g granulated sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
Notes: the eggs I use each has a net weight of 50 – 55 g.
For the Raspberry Coulis
130 g raspberries (I use frozen)
20 g granulated sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
For the Lychee Coulis
250 g canned lychee, drained
10 g granulated sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
For the Raspberry Mousse
5 g gelatin powder
25 g water
120 g raspberry coulis
80 g whipping cream
For the Lychee Mousse
9 g gelatin powder
45 g reserved lychee juice
210 g lychee coulis
150 g whipping cream
6 – 7 canned lychee, drained and cut into pieces
For the Lychee Jelly
4 g gelatin powder
20 g lychee syrup (add to gelatin)
80 g lychee syrup
20 g white corn syrup
Fresh fruits (for cake decoration) as needed
For the Cake 蛋糕體
Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Heat oil in a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave until it reaches 130-140ºF/55-60ºC. Immediately pour warm oil into the flour mixture and stir with a pair of chopsticks or a spatula to form a smooth paste. Stir in warm milk and then the vanilla until it becomes a very soft dough. Whisk in egg yolks one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Batter will be glossy, smooth and of a thick syrup consistency.
In another impeccably clean mixing bowl, whip egg whites and vinegar with a hand mixer using medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar in batches and continue beating until glossy and firm peaks form. Change to low speed to minimize the air bubble size toward the end of the beating stage. When you lift up the whisk, the peak will hold its straight and pointy shape but the tip will fall back only very slightly.
Add one third of the meringue to the yolk batter and fold with a whisk to lighten. Add mixture back to the meringue and fold gently and thoroughly first with a whisk then with a spatula until homogeneous.
Pour batter into an unprepared 6” round cake pan with a removable bottom. Tap the pan against the kitchen countertop several times to get rid of any large air bubbles. Smooth top with an offset spatula. Rest pan on a baking sheet, place a small cup of hot water beside it, then bake in a 300℉/150℃ preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes. The cake is fully baked when it is golden on top and has reached its maximum height and decreased in height slightly. Every oven is different so adjust baking time accordingly while using the colour and height reduction as a hint. Drop cake pan on the kitchen countertop at a distance upon removal from the oven. This will release any gas trapped in the cake cells and minimize shrinkage. Invert pan on a wire rack to cool completely before unmolding. Refrigerate for at least half a day before slicing as the cake is delicate. Slice the chilled cake horizontally into ½-inch layers (only 2 layers are required here). Keep covered with plastic wrap and store in the freezer overnight before use.
For the Raspberry Coulis 紅桑子果蓉
Heat the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat with occasional stirring until sugar dissolves completely and the raspberries are soft and mushy. Strain mixture through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Let cool.
For the Lychee Coulis 荔枝果蓉
Drain the canned lychees while reserving the syrup to make the jelly. Squeeze out 45 g of clear lychee juice from the well drained lychees to be used later. Puree the remaining lychee pieces and sugar with a blender until smooth.
For the Raspberry Mousse 紅桑子慕絲
Chill mixing bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes before start. Bloom gelatin by mixing it with water and set aside for 5 minutes. Warm mixture in the microwave or sit the bowl in hot water until gelatin is liquefied. Add to raspberry coulis and stir well.
In the chilled mixing bowl, beat whipping cream with a hand mixer until thickened and soft peaks form. Fold into the raspberry mixture with a spatula in two batches until homogeneous.
For the Lychee Mousse 荔枝慕絲
Chill mixing bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes before start. Bloom gelatin by mixing it with lychee juice and set aside for 5 minutes. Warm mixture in the microwave or sit the bowl in hot water until gelatin is liquefied. Add to lychee coulis and stir well.
In the chilled mixing bowl, beat whipping cream with a hand mixer until thickened and soft peaks form. Fold into the lychee mixture with a spatula in two batches until homogeneous.
For the Lychee Jelly 荔枝果凍
Bloom gelatin by mixing it with 20 g lychee syrup and set aside for 5 minutes. Warm mixture in the microwave or sit the bowl in hot water until gelatin is liquefied. Stir in the rest of the lychee syrup and corn syrup.
To Assemble 組合
Wrap bottom of a 6” pastry ring with plastic wrap. Place a frozen cake layer inside the ring (the cake layer should be the same size as the cake ring). Pour raspberry mousse over the cake layer until the ring is less than half full. Smooth top with an offset spatula. Use a small knife to cut a hole in the middle of the remaining frozen cake layer then place it over the mousse. Press down gently with an even force until the mousse starts to come out through the hole (make sure the height of the cake is no taller than 1.5”). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mouse has set.
Prepare a 7” pastry ring by wrapping the bottom with plastic wrap. Unmold the 6” cake and place it in the middle of the 7” ring. First fill the sides with lychee mousse and spread a thin layer of lychee mousse over the cake layer. Arrange lychee pieces evenly on top then cover them with the remaining lychee mousse. Level the top and eliminate any air bubbles by gently bangging the pastry ring against the kitchen countertop. Refrigerate until the mousse has set.
Remove chilled cake from the fridge. Arrange fresh fruit pieces on top while making sure the fruits won’t extend over the pastry ring. Use a spoon to drizzle a thin layer of lychee jelly liquid over the fruit pieces to adhere them to the cake. Pour the rest of the lychee jelly liquid evenly over the cake surface. Return the cake to the refrigerator and chill until the jelly has set. Remove plastic wrap and transfer cake to a cake board. Release cake by gently warming the sides of the pastry ring with a hair dryer. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
The interior. The raspberry mousse layer was a bit too thick compared to the other layers. Next time I will put less.