I am deeply, deeply pleased to be finishing up this series with Sailor Saturn. Hotaru may never have gotten as much screentime as the others, but her story is as unique as it is sad. It left a lasting impression on me when I first experienced it, and she’s solidly been my favorite Outer since.
Hotaru’s dessert not only references her glaive and the crystal at the center of her bow, but also has elements of destruction represented with the hard candy shards. The redesign of the crystal also vaguely resembles a chrysanthemum, which seemed fitting.
THE FINAL ACT: HOTARU
Blackberry and Creme de Cassis Mousse Cake
Yields: 5 individual cakes.
Timing Notes: The gelatin plastic needs a minimum of 6-8 hours to dry. Also allow yourself an hour or two to thoroughly chill the mousse.
Striped Joconde Sponge, recipe follows
Blackberry Mousse, recipe follows
Creme de Cassis Syrup, recipe follows
Blackbery Creme de Cassis Glaze, recipe follows
Hard Candy, recipe follows
Edible glitter (I used a variety, white, silver flaked, etc.)
Gelatin Plastic Crystal/Flower, recipe follows
1. Cutting lengthwise (to make long thin strips), cut your sheet cake into five strips. Using a pastry cutter that fits into each strip, cut out five rounds. These cake rounds will be the base for your cakes. Set down one of your rounds and wrap a strip around the base to form a ring. The strip will be too long, so trim it to the appropriate size. Trim all your other strips to the same length. From your cake scraps, cut out 5 rounds about 1/2″ smaller than the base rounds.
2. Wrap your cake strips around each large cake round, then wrap acetate (food safe plastic) around the rounds. Tighten the acetate wrap to ensure there are no gaps between the cake and the acetate, then secure with a long piece of tape. You now have your molds! Brush a bit of syrup onto the bottom and rim of your cakes before proceeding. Arrange all your cakes on a sheet pan.
3. Fill your mousse into a pastry bag and snip off the tip. Fill your cake rounds about 1/3 of the way with mousse. Drop in your small cake round and brush it lightly with syrup. Now, fill up the cake rounds the remainder of the way, allowing the mousse to go higher than the cake, as shown above. To level out the mousse and allow things to settle, tap the sheet pan against the countertop a few times. Chill in fridge until the mousse has set.
4. Once the mousses have set, remove them from the fridge. Warm up your glaze until just liquid (you do not want it hot) and pour a small amount of glaze onto each mousse. Swirl the mousses a bit if you need to, just make sure the glaze covers the entire top. Return to fridge and allow to chill for 2-4 hours.
5. Pull the mousses from the fridge and carefully peel off the plastic layer on the outside. Now, cut small acetate strips and wrap them around your cakes, covering ONLY the exposed mousse and glaze. Do not cover the cake. Using a spritz bottle or airbrush gun, spray the cake with a small amount of your glaze. Since your glaze has a bit of food coloring, this will make the exposed joconde stripes lavender. Don’t overdo it on the spray; the pool you see above is what accumulated after I sprayed all 5 of my miniature cakes.
6. Fill extra glaze into a piping bag and snip off the tip to form a very small hole. Pipe a glaive onto each of your plates and sprinkle edible silve flake glitter inside of the glaive outline. Set your cake onto the plate in the spot shown in the photos.
8. Right before serving, insert your crystal into your desserts using the toothpick. Arrange your hard candy shards on the plate. Serve!
3.5 oz (100g) butter, softened
3.5 oz (100g) powdered sugar
3.5 oz (100g) egg whites
4 oz (120g) cake flour
Purple food coloring
1. In a bowl, cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Do not whip in too much air. Add in the whites. Add food coloring bit by bit until you like the color, then add the flour and mix until smooth.
2. On a clean half-sheet sized silicone mat (HIGHLY recommended for this recipe, as parchment will likely tear), spread a thin layer of stencil paste. If your mat is old, I would rub a tiny amount of butter onto the mat to ensure the cake releases properly. Using firm pressure, scrape a pastry comb across the paste in a diagonal orientation. It may take a couple of tries for you to get clean lines. If you mess up, just re-spread the paste and try again! If you have a couple of stripes that aren’t perfect, you can use a clean q-tip or toothpick to clean up the lines. Carefully place the sheet into a half sheet pan and place it in the freezer to firm up while you make the joconde batter.
Joconde (adapted from Joe Pastry)
8 room-temperature egg whites
10 ounces (280g) almond flour
10 oz (280g) powdered sugar
7 large eggs
3.75 (110g) oz all-purpose flour
3 oz (85g) vegetable oil
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl, beat your egg whites to soft peaks. Add a couple tablespoons of the powdered sugar and beat until you reach medium to stiff peaks. Scrape the meringue into a different bowl, and use your first bowl to beat your whole eggs with the remaining sugar until light, fluffy and pale. Add in the almond flour and beat vigorously for an additional minute. Stir the lime zest into your flour, and then add the flour to your egg mix and stir until just combined.
2. Fold the meringue into your batter, taking care not to deflate it too much. Once it is mostly incorporated, fold in your oil. Remove the sheet pan with the stencil batter design from the freezer, and carefully spread the batter over the design. Tap the sheet pan on the counter a few times to be sure the batter gets between the stenciled stripes, then bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for a moment before flipping it onto a countertop lined with saran wrap or parchment. Peel back the parchment/silicone mat slowly. Cover with saran wrap until assembly time.
1 cup (240ml) blackberry puree (I pureed fresh berries and strained out the seeds)
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
2 1/2 tsp gelatin
3 tbsp water
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Violet food coloring (optional)
1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow to bloom for 5 minutes. In a saucepan, mix the puree, lemon juice and sugar. Boil, stirring frequently to avoid burning, until the puree has reduced to about 2/3 cup. Remove from the heat and stir in the bloomed gelatin until dissolved. At this point you can add a bit of food coloring if the puree is pale, though this may not be necessary if your berries have good color. Cool to room temperature, but do not allow to set up completely.
2. Whip your cream to medium peaks. Fold the cream into the blackberry mixture in 3 parts. Be sure there are no chunks of unincorporated cream.
Blackbery Creme de Cassis Glaze
1/2 cup (120ml) blackberry puree (I pureed fresh berries and strained out the seeds)
1/2 cup (120ml) water
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp gelatin
1 tbsp creme de cassis
Violet food coloring
1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin onto the water and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. In a saucepan, combine the puree and sugar and heat until just boiling. Remove from heat and add in the gelatin/water mixture, creme de cassis, and food coloring to your liking.
Creme de Cassis Syrup
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/2 cup (120ml) boiling water
creme de cassis
Violet food coloring
1. In a small bowl, combine the first three ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add food coloring as desired to make the color more of a lavender.
1 tbsp pearl-colored powdered food color
6 tbsp gelatin
1 cup + 2 tbsp (280ml) water
3 oz. (90g) tempered chocolate or candy melts
1. In a small bowl, stir together gelatin and water and allow to bloom for five minutes. Transfer to a saucepan on VERY low heat and warm until just melted. Add in the pearl dust and stir to incorporate.
2. Working quickly, pour the mixture onto a large silicone sheet or nonstick cookie sheet. Spread it evenly with the back of a spoon, ensuring that it’s quite thin. Allow to set. Using a 5-petal flower cutter, cut 45 flowers out of the gelatin. Remove the gelatin from around the flowers. You can store this extra gelatin in an airtight container; you can remelt it to make more gelatin plastic later. Allow the flowers to dry for 6-8 hours, or until they begin to lift from the sheet themselves.
3. Using a pair of scissors, cut each individual petal. Carefully bend one end of each petal with your fingers.
4. On a piece of parchment or food-safe plastic, pipe 5 circles of tempered chocolate or candy melts. Arrange 10 petals and a toothpick along this circle and allow to firm up. See photos.
5. Pipe more chocolate into the center of your crystals, then arrange 6 petals on top to make a second layer. Allow to firm before repeating the process with 4 petals, creating your final layer. Pipe a dot of chocolate into the center.
6. For the back of the crystals, recreate the 6-petal and 4-petal layers individually as shown below. Once set, adhere this to the 3-layer crystal part to complete the crystal. Allow to firm up before carefully painting any exposed chocolate parts with a mixture of pearl dust and vodka (or another clear, 80 proof or higher alcohol).
Hard Candy Garnish
2 cups (400g) sugar
3/4 cup (180ml) corn syrup
1/2 cup (120ml) water
a few drops flavoring oil (like Blackberry, but you can choose another fruit if it’s hard to find)
gel food coloring
Edible glitter in silver and white
Pearl-colored powdered food coloring
1. In a saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Insert a candy thermometer into the syrup and boil, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 310°F (155°C). Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the flavoring oil and food coloring. Pour the hot sugar onto a large silicone mat.
2. While the sugar is still a bit tacky, sprinkle it liberally with edible glitter. Once completely firm, use your fingers to spread a bit of pearl powder color in swirls over the surface. Allow to cool completely before breaking the candy into irregular shards.
This cake was super, super good. The blackberry mousse was just wonderful, and the creme de cassis added depth to the flavor.
While gelatin plastic isn’t exactly tasty (it’s edible, but it tastes like it sounds it would taste), I think it’s worth having a stunning topper for each dessert. They also last for ages, so if you save them to reuse on a cake or something, I won’t judge you.
My husband and I are currently in Germany and will be for the next month, but I’ll continue to post from here each Monday!
I want to take a minute to thank everyone that has shared, followed, and recreated this dessert series. I’m just so thankful. Your e-mails and photos never fail to make my day. An especially big shoutout goes to /r/sailormoon! Your compliments, support and excitement about this project kept my spirits up and gave me motivation to keep coming up with more desserts.
You are all just so awesome! Stick with me for more nerdiness, even if my Sailor Moon series is done for now!