Le Hugo figue (almond mousse & spicy fig)

hugo_figues_V1 (15 of 18)

Written by Benoit

Last year I made a tart with fig, but this time, I wanted to make this entremet seen in the magazine “fou de patisserie” n°7.
The creator of this recipe is Hugues Pouget (Hugo & Victor, Paris).

There is a layer of crispy (not after 2 days in the fridge but entremet lifetime isn’t more than 1 day, I guess) biscuit sablé, a layer  of almond flavored mousse which is very light and fluffy, a layer of dacquoise and on top a layer of flavorful spicy fig jelly.
The result is very delicate thanks to the almond mousse, fruity thanks to the fig jelly layer. Sablé and dacquoise add  crunchiness and smoothness “mâche” to the cake.
Problably one of the most succesful cakes I’ve made so far, up with the decadent chocolate gayaquil cake (from Jean-paul Hévin).
Moreover, it isn’t that long to make, if you prepare the sable and dacquoise the night before.

hugo_figues_V1 (16 of 18)

Baking time: 45 min.
Resting time: 24h+6h.
Prep. time: 1h30.
Pieces: 16 (in my 18x18cm metal squared frame)

For the biscuit sable (500g):
220g flour
132g butter
50g egg (1 egg)
5g sea salt
132g powdered sugar
30g almond powder

For the dacquoise:
140g almond powder
40g powdered sugar
150g egg white
50g sugar

For the almond mousse:
5g gelatin 220 bloom (gold quality, but it worked fine with my silver 180 bloom gelatin. If nothing is mentioned, it is probably silver or 180 bloom one)
100g heavy cream 30-35% fat
150g half skimmed milk
20g sugar
30g almond powder
30g orgeat syrup (almond syrup)

For the spicy fig jelly:
15g gelatin
500g of fresh fig
180g grape juice
35g sugar
1 vanilla pod
10g cinnamon sticks
10g star anise
40g lemon (1 lemon)
50g orange (1 orange)
30g blackcurrant (cassis) syrup

For the decoration:
Some figs

The day before, sift the flour.
Cut the cold butter into dices and mix it with the flour, by hands or with your kitchen aid.
You should have a kind of sand. Try to avoid butter clump.
Add the eggs an and the salt. mix the ingredients till well incorporated.
hugo_figues_V1 (3 of 18)
Add progressively the sifted powdered sugar and almond powder.
Stop working the dough when everything is mixed homogeneously. It is no worth to over mix the dough.
Roll out the dough to 4-5 mm thick (it was prescribed 7 mm but it turned out too thick for me)
Wrap the dough and let it rest in the fridge for 24h (you can let it rest till it just get hard enough, like 15min in the freezer :D).
hugo_figues_V1 (2 of 18)
hugo_figues_V1 (1 of 18)

The same day, cut the dough with a squared frame, remove extra dough outside of the square and bake for about 20 min at 150 degrees C.
I baked the sable with the metal frame but I think you can cut the sable with it while it is still hot.
In fact, the sable as a tendency to shrink and in my case, my pan bend and some parts of my metal square weren’t in contact with it anymore, which has the result to let run a little bit the melting dough out of the square…
hugo_figues_V1 (7 of 18)
Notice how the sable shrunken into the square.

hugo_figues_V1 (6 of 18)
My first one rolled out to a thickness of 7mm, raised up to 1cm after baking. Too thick for a delicate entremet. I did it again two time thinner.
Almond dacquoise:  
hugo_figues_V1 (4 of 18)
Sift almond powder and powdered sugar.
Whisk egg white till soft-medium peaks (something peaky but still smooth) with caster sugar:
Start to add 1/3 by 1/3 of the sugar after the egg white foamed to form a kind of cloud (before soft peak)
I usually whisk on low-medium speed before it foams and after the first 1/3 of sugar, like w do with meringue, I whisk on the highest speed.
You can slow down at the end to control better the texture, like a whipped cream, if you have no confidence on your whisking skill.
(Don’t make it too hard or it is gonna be clumpy and more difficult to mix it with the powders).

With a spatula, mix gently the powders to the meringue.
Spray the batter on a parchment paper or silpat to 5 mm thick maximum.
Bake for 7-8 min at 190 degrees C.
It should be golden on the edges and fluffy.
After letting the dacquoise cool down a little bit, cut it with the squared metal frame and put it aside.

Almond mousse:
Soften the gelatin in the cold water (warm or lukewarm water dissolves in a minute your gelatin and it isn’t what we want at this stage, because we need to grab it to put in the mixture later)
Whisk the cream till soft peak.
In a saucepan, bring the milk, the sugar and the almond powder to a boil.
Put the drained gelatin and the orgeat syrup in the saucepan and stir with a whisk.
When it is cooled down enough (you can put the milk mixture in the fridge to speed up the process but be careful of the gelatin doesn’t fix the mixture), fold the whipped cream in it with a spatula.
Set aside.
Spicy fig jelly:
Soften the gelatin in cold water.
In a saucepan, put the grape juice, cut figs, sugar, cut and scrapped vanilla pod, cinnamon, anise, lemon and orange cut in quarter.
Bring it to a boil and let it reduce for 30 min approximately, till you have a kind of fig sauce.
hugo_figues_V1 (8 of 18)
hugo_figues_V1 (9 of 18)

Remove orange, lemon, cinnamon sticks, anise and vanilla pod.
Mix to make it smooth with a hand blender.
Add the blackcurrant syrup and the drained gelatin.
I wonder how they got a very deep purple taint if you look at the picture in the magazine.
I personally added some red food coloring.

hugo_figues_V1 (10 of 18)
hugo_figues_V1 (11 of 18)

Assembling and decoration:
On the sable biscuit, in the frame, pour the almond mousse (you can do it just after making the almond mousse).
Add the dacquoise layer and pour on it the spicy fig jelly.
Let it set for about 6 hours in the fridge. (I just wait 3 hours and it was fine)

With a sharp knife, cut some rectangle.
You can make them big, I prefer to make them small to make them look more delicate.
Decorate with fig slices.
You can brush the fig slices with preserves or glacage to avoid them to dry out too fast but be delicate and don’t put too much on them because it will drop on your cake.

Et voila !
Excellente degustation !


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