Honey, Lavender and Hazelnut Meringue Petite Gateaux
Prep 2 hours (+ 4 hours chilling time)Bake 30-40 minMakes 18 serves
These divine desserts petite gateaux were created by Rachel Hunt, one of our Make Me a Baker students for her graduation. A crisp, nutty, meringue base is topped with a mirror-glazed, ever-so-light honey-infused mousse surrounding a floral lavender jelly. Using a number of techniques, this recipe showcases all the fantastic new skills and confidence Rachel gained over the course of our 6-month program and, lucky for you, she’s sharing it so you can make them at home! Rachel uses 18 x 30mm and 60mm (top measurement) half sphere silicon moulds however other shapes/sizes can be used.
- 6 fresh unsprayed lavender heads or 2 teaspoons
dried culinary lavender, plus extra to decorate
- 250ml (1 cup) water
- 110g (1/2 cup) sugar
- 1½ teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 2½ tablespoons cold water
- Purple food colour (optional)
- 5 eggs, separated
- 40g butter, diced
- 135g good-quality white chocolate chips (like Callebaut)
- 60ml (¼ cup) good-quality honey
- 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 300ml thickened cream
- Vegetable oil, to grease
- 150g hazelnut meal or peeled toasted hazelnuts
- 7 large egg whites
- ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 385g (1¾ cups) caster sugar
- 2 tablespoon powdered gelatin
- 250ml (1 cup) cold water
- 330g (1½ cups) caster sugar
- 160ml (2/3 cup) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups good-quality white chocolate chips (like Callebaut)
- To make the lavender jelly, combine the sugar and 250ml water in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the lavender. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- When the syrup is almost cool, place the cold water in a small heatproof bowl or dish and sprinkle the gelatin over. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatin is fully rehydrated. Sit the bowl or dish into another bowl of hot water and stir until dissolved and the mixture is clear.
- Strain the jelly syrup through a sieve to remove the lavender. Transfer the gelatin mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the syrup until well combined.
- Tint the jelly syrup with purple food colouring if desired. Place 18 x 30mm (top measurement) half-sphere silicon moulds on a tray and pour in the jelly syrup (there will be some syrup left over and you can set it in other moulds or glasses if you wish). Place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, or until well set.
- To make the honey mousse, lightly whisk the egg yolks and combine in a medium saucepan with the butter, chocolate and honey. Stir over low heat until the chocolate is just melted (be careful not to overheat). Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
- Place the cold water in a small heatproof bowl or dish and sprinkle the gelatin over. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatin is fully rehydrated. Sit the bowl or dish into another bowl of hot water and stir until dissolved and the mixture is clear. Stir gelatin mixture into the chocolate mixture until combined. Cover and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand-held balloon whisk to whisk the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the cooled chocolate mixture until just combined. Whisk the egg whites with a clean whisk in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add half the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and gently fold through. Add the remaining egg whites and gently fold through until just combined.
- Place 18 x 60mm (top measurement) half sphere moulds on a tray and pour in the mousse mixture to fill each until almost full. Remove the lavender jelly domes from the smaller moulds and press into the centre of each individual mousse, ensuring the mousse completely covers the jelly. If the jelly isn't completely covered, add a little more mousse. If necessary, scrape a palette knife across the top of the moulds so that the base of the mousse domes will be level. Chill for at least 4 hours, or until set.
- To make the hazelnut meringue, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Lightly grease 2 oven trays and line with non-stick baking paper.
- If using whole toasted hazelnuts grind the nuts with 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar in a food processor until fine but still with some texture.
- Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites and vinegar until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once half the sugar has been added start adding the rest in larger quantities, whisking well after each addition, until stiff, glossy peaks form. Use a metal spoon or spatula to fold the hazelnuts through the meringue. Spoon the meringue onto the prepared trays and spread evenly in a rectangle until about 1-1½cm thick. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until a crisp crust forms. Remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes on the trays and then transfer them to wire racks, still on the baking paper, to cool completely. Carefully remove the baking paper and transfer to a cutting board. Use a 6cm round cutter to cut discs from the meringue sheets. Set aside in an airtight container.
- To make the mirror glaze, place 80ml (1/3 cup) of the cold water into a small bowl or dish and sprinkle the gelatin over. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatin is fully rehydrated.
- Combine the remaining water, sugar and condensed milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture begins to bubble. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin mixture and stir until fully dissolved. Add the white chocolate chips and stir slowly until melted. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a large jug and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Remove the petit gateaux domes from the fridge and place on a wire rack over a larger oven tray to catch the drips. Carefully and slowly pour the glaze over ensuring the domes are completely covered. Sprinkle dried lavender on top to decorate if desired.
- Set aside at room temperature for at least 20 minutes or until the glaze is set.
- Use a palette knife to transfer the mousse domes to the hazelnut meringue discs and serve.
- The mousse domes will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- The Hazelnut meringue will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Photography by Alan Benson.