written by Ben
One of my big child memories was these big vacherins and norvegian omelettes they used to prepare at a restaurant managed by farmers for some special occasion like my family meetings. I remember these enormous white shiny ice cakes resting on the table in a shadowy empty room or this huge caterpillar shaped norvegian omelette coming out of the oven covered by a lot of swirly spikes. I can also remember the good taste of the full fat milk used to make these ice creams! 😀
That’s why for my weeding party, I decided to make 2 vacherins – I am gonna wait to be more confident to make a norvegian omelette since you have to put the ice cream cake in the oven to bake the italian meringue on top -.
I thought it would be refreshing to eat that after the shabu shabu.
It is an ice cream cake, except there is airy and melting in your mouth meringue and whipped cream, and fresh fruits.
With this recipe, you make 1 vacherin. I doubled the portion to make two cakes in 8 inch circles. Height is around 7 cm or 2.8 inch.
The recipe comes from “The art of French Pastry”, written by Jacquy Pfeiffer, a high talented pastry chef teaching in a pastry school in Chicago.
I am gonna make a summary of this 5 pages long recipe with some of my personal novice notes.
You can also buy the book if you wanna have more details on the methods.
The recipe is long but it is kind of simple. You just have to make a meringue, an ice cream, a sorbet, a coulis and whip some cream.
Yield: one tall 7 inch cake. Serving 12 people.
Confectioners’ sugar 50g
Granulated sugar 150g
Egg white 100g
Sea salt a pinch
Vanilla extract 5g
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting as needed
BANANA ICE CREAM:
Whole milk (3.5% fat) 520g
Heavy cream (35% fat) 250g
Granulated sugar 100g
Vanilla bean 1 bean
Egg yolks 80g (about 4)
Granulated sugar 100g
Ripe banana, peeled 260g peeled
Lemon juice 20g
Ground nutmeg a pinch
Fresh pineapple peeled and cored 645g
Corn syrup 45g (I used honey, which is also an inverted sugar that prevent the sorbet to crystalize)
Granulated sugar 55g
Clover Honey 15g
Fresh ripe mango, peeled and diced 280g
Clover Honey 15g
FROSTING AND DECORATION
Heavy whipping cream 450g
Confectioners’ sugar 75g
Vanilla extract 5g or 1 tsp
Fruit for decoration As desired
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting As needed
Preheat the oven to 120 degrees C.
Sift the confectioners’ sugar and set aside.
Divide the granulated sugar in three 50g portions.
Whisk the egg whites and sea salt on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Add the first 50g portion of sugar and whip for 2 minutes on high speed.
– If you have a small hand mixer with only one little whisk, I suggest you to make the meringue in two batches, or buy a more serious hand mixer. –
Repeat it two other times to incorporate the rest of sugar.
After 6 minutes, you should have a stiff, shiny meringue.
Add the Confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla extract to the meringue, then fold it in with a large rubber spatula. Try to be efficient to not collapse the meringue.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 3/4 inch round tip.
Hold the bag vertically and make two circles. With the rest of the meringue, pipe twelve 2-inch-long by 3/4-inch-wide sticks.
– It should be easy to pipe. If it is too liquid, it will be hard to cut each end of your sticks with the tip and it will spray to much.
Moreover, it will not be crusty on the outside and melting in your mouth as if you eat a cloud. It will be too roughy.
Dust the meringue with confectioner’s sugar. –
Bake 1 hour or till it is done. You can make some extra meringue as sample tests as I did to check if it is cooked enough inside. You might also bake the circle a little bit longer since the mass is more important and take more time to bake.
I suggest you to check under each circle, in their middle.
BANANA ICE CREAM
– if you never made an ice cream but you do know how to make a curd, you will be familial with the method-
Fill a large bowl of ice and set a ramequin in the middle that you can balance a medium bowl on.
Set aside 50g of the milk.
Place the rest of the milk, all of the cream, the first 100g of sugar in a medium saucepan.
Cut the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds. Add it to the saucepan.
Place over medium heat and stir for a few seconds to make sure the sugar do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and the remaining 100g of sugar in a medium bowl and whisk for 30 seconds. Add the 50g of milk you set aside.
When the milk comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Remove the vanilla pod.
Whisking constantly, pour about 2 cups of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture. Whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the hot milk in the saucepan. Quickly rinse and dry your medium bowl and place it in the bowl of ice.
Place the saucepan back on low heat. stir constantly in a figure 8 in order to touch the entire bottom of the pan.
Test if the sauce is thick enough. Place a thermometer in a saucepan and continue to stir constantly unti the temp. reaches between 75 to 82 degrees C.
Strain the mixture into the bowl set in the ice.
Stir for a few minutes or once in a while until the mixture has cooled. -try to cool it in less than 20 minutes to not allow salmonella bacteria reproduce- You can also put the mixture in the freezer and stir it once in a while.
Blend the ripe banana with the lemon juice and the nutmeg to a puree. -I personally added some cinnamon because the bananas weren’t ripe enough at my own taste-
Once the cream is cool, add the pureed banana and blend. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Place all the ingredient in a blender till completely smooth. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
BUILDING THE CAKE
-Since I made 2 cakes and our fridge is small, it struggled to freeze the ice cream parts and took more than 7 hours instead of 3-4 hours to be set enough before decorating it-
Blend the banana ice cream using the immersion blender and freeze it till it is stiff enough to shape a cake layer but not packed hard.
Place a meringue disk on a plate. Place a circle or a spring form pan too. transfer the banana ice cream to the disk and smooth it out. – the recipe tells to put just 1/4 of the ice cream but I put everything-
Freeze for 15-30 minutes or until set.
Puree the fresh mangoes in a blender. Weigh out 80g and mix with the honey and refrigerate in a container. -taste your mangoes. Some of mines were ripe but acidic and I had to discard them-
Blend the pineapple sorbet and freeze it again for about 1 hour. -If you don’t have an ice cream machine like me, stir it time to time while freezing-
Pour the mangoes puree on the ice cream layer and freeze it for 30 minutes.
Spread the pineapple sorbet.
Place the second meringue disk, flat side up.
Freeze for 1 hour.
Whip the heavy cream. Careful to not over-whip it or it will be grainy.
Add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla and mix it for a few seconds.
Transfer 2/3 of the chantilly to the cake and cover it with a spatula. You can also use a pastry bag and smooth the chantilly with a spatula.
-People where already waiting for me at the restaurant and I was in a big hurry. I did a very crappy decoration, sorry about that-
Glue the meringue stick and pipe in between chantilly. Decorate the cake with the rest of chantilly.
Put the cake in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Decorate the cake with some fruits or everything you want. Dust with confectioner’s sugar if you want too.
The ice cream should be soft but not melt, and the chantilly should not be hard, but smooth.
It can be kept for 1 month in the freezer, covered with a plastic wrap.