Originally I wanted the surrounding joconde sponge to be one clean sheet around the cake (or at least two sheets wrapped around, since I have neither an oven nor baking pan long enough to line the circumference of even a small 7"cake tin). Unfortunately I made too much cake batter to go into too small a flat baking tin, resulting in a rather thick, inflexible joconde that threatened to break when I attempted to pick it up in one go. And so, I cut it up into 'soldiers' and made a Charlotte structure instead.
It all went downhill from there.
The change in proportions meant that I didn't have enough mousse to make a level top, so I had to us more strawberry jelly- and I also ran out of kosher gelatin (which isn't readily available here), so I had to use the packeted vegetarian stuff for the top, which you can't let cool before using or else it sets- this partially melted the white mousse layer and threatened the structure of the cake. Also, it made it look like this:
...But just looked ridiculous on the cake.
So here we are. From fine French patisserie to kitch 70's cookbook cover, and all because I got a bit too slapdash with measurements. But hey, it's been a while since my last cake fail (over two years to be exact, ever since the great honey cake debacle that ended up in the microwave...) I think a child would love it, but my mum in her usual pull-no-punches style eyed her slice, eyed me and said, "I just hope it tastes better than it looks."
Thankfully, it does. White chocolate, green tea and strawberry all go together swimmingly, the sponges I made were good, the matcha mousse layer was executed beautifully (if I say so myself). It's just that all together, it looked... well, mad.
The layers from bottom to top go: strawberry ogura sponge, green tea mousse, white chocolate mousse, fresh strawberries encased in strawberry jelly. On the outside is an almond joconde sponge, and a white chocolate collar and chocolate decorations flavoured with green tea and strawberry (I made the green tea chocolate myself simply by adding some matcha powder to melted white chocolate).
I won't give the entire recipe as it'll be looooooong. However since I think the matcha green tea mousse was awesome and I do want to share that, here's how I made it:
Ingredients for Matcha Mousse:
-3.5g (half a packet) gelatin powder, soaked in 1tbsp water
-3tsp matcha powder dissolved in 2tbsp hot water
-2 pasteurised egg whites
-150ml double cream
-35g caster sugar
1) Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff white peaks, as if you were making meringues, and thoroughly whisk in the caster sugar
2) In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks (careful not to overdo it! Just whip until you get a dolloping texture)
3) Mix the matcha paste you've made with the water with the milk, and strain into a pan to get rid of any small lumps
4) Gently heat the green tea mixture over a medium heat until barely simmering, and turn the heat down to low
5) Add the soaked gelatin and stir until completely dissolved, and then leave to cool to room temperature (but don't let it go cold or it'll set before you're ready)
6) With a balloon whisk, whisk the cooled green tea mixture into the egg whites, and then fold in the cream until just combined
7) Use for a mousse layer cake, or pour into little glasses for individual mousse desserts, and set in the fridge for at least four hours
8) Find a spoon and dig in!
And remember: always, ALWAYS check measurements for everything.