Midsummer Night’s Dream Dessert

Midsummer Night’s Dream Dessert

The next post in my book themed month is based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare! This book/play has long been one of my favourites and so I couldn’t wait to make a dessert to reflect it. I first read the play at school and I instantly loved all the imagery, wit and chaos that goes on, as well as the magical themes running through the whole story. I’ve tried to capture this magic and fun in this dish, as well as use floral and summery flavours to complement the themes and title of the play.

This dessert is made up of elderflower and raspberry Mousses on a peach marshmallow, with a meringue ring and a raspberry coulis to serve. I’ve also decorated the plate with lots of lovely flowers from m’ garden for aesthetic. I should point out that these aren’t all edible, so if you have similar ones in your garden please don’t assume you can eat them! This will take a bit of time to make so if you’re in a hurry you could buy marshmallows and meringues from a shop, and then serve them with the two mousses and coulis to make a fancy eton-mess-type-thing.

Recipe

Serves 4

Time: 3 hours, plus setting time

Ingredients

For the Meringue

  • 3 Egg whites
  • ½ tsp Cream of tartar
  • A few drops of Lemon juice
  • 230g Caster sugar
  • Orange food colouring

For the Marshmallow

  • Oil for greasing
  • 100g Icing sugar
  • 50g Cornflour
  • 10 Gelatin leaves
  • 280ml Peach juice
  • 425g Caster sugar
  • 15g Liquid glucose
  • 2 Large egg whites

For the Elderflower mousse

  • 2 Gelatin leaves
  • 90ml Milk
  • 2 Small Egg yolks
  • 10g Caster sugar
  • 8g Cornflour
  • 2 tbsp Elderflower cordial
  • 200ml Double cream

For the Raspberry mousse

  • 2 Gelatin leaves
  • 2 Eggs, separated
  • 80ml Double cream
  • 40g Caster sugar
  • 150ml Raspberry puree

For Plating

  • Raspberry coulis
  • A few Edible flowers
  • A sprinkle of Edible glitter
  • A Few mint sprigs
  • Popping candy

Method

  1. Begin by making the meringue rings. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Take a 5cm ring/cookie cutter and draw round it onto the baking paper to get 12 rings. Then turn the paper over so these pencil marks are on the underside.
  3. Put the egg whites into a super clean metal or glass bowl. Add the lemon juice and cream of tartar and whisk up with an electric whisk until they form soft peaks.
  4. Add the sugar one tbsp at a time, whisking constantly, until it’s all incorporated and the mixture is stiff.
  5. Put a pipping bag with a small, round nozzle into a glass or beaker to hold it upright. Take the food colouring and brush it down either side of the inside of the bag. Fill the bag with the meringue mixture and twist the top of the bag to create some tension.
  6. Pipe blobs of the meringue onto the baking paper in a ring, using the circles you dew earlier as a guide.
  7. Bake the meringues in the oven for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 140˚C and bake for another 20 minutes until the meringue is dried out and hasn’t started to brown. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue to cool in the oven to prevent them from cracking.
  8. Now move onto the marshmallow. Grease a 20x30cm tin with oil. Then line it with clingfilm and grease the clingfilm lightly.
  9. Mix the icing sugar and cornflour in a bowl and dust the tin with the mix.
  10. Take the gelatin and put it into a bowl with some cold water. Then leave it to soak for 5 minutes until soft.
  11. Next squeeze out the gelatin and put it into a pan with 100ml of the juice.  Stir the mixture constantly over a medium heat until the gelatin has dissolved. Keep warm but don’t let simmer.
  12. Now put the sugar, glucose and the rest of the juice into a large pan and put over a high heat. Stir the mix until the sugar has dissolved (you shouldn’t be able to feel the crystals scrapping the bottom of the pan).
  13. Leave the mixture to boil, using an electric thermometer to check the temperature, you want to bring the mixture up to 110˚C.
  14. Meanwhile put the egg whites into a very clean metal or glass bowl. When the sugar/juice mix hits 110˚C start whisking the whites until they hit soft peaks.
  15. When the sugar/juice mix reaches 121˚C start to pour it into the egg whites, whisking continuously. Try to avoid pouring it onto the beaters or you’ll end up with spun sugar!
  16. Once it’s all incorporated pour the gelatin mix into the marshmallow and continue to whisk for 5-10 minutes until the mix has cooled completely and is stiff.
  17. Pour the mixture into the lined tin, dust it with more of the cornflour mix and leave it to set completely, it’ll take about 2 hours.
  18. Now make the elderflower mousse. Put the gelatin in a bowl with some cold water and leave to soak until soft (about 5 minutes).
  19. Put the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  20. Meanwhile put the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and elderflower into a bowl and whisk until smooth and pale.
  21. Pour in the milk whilst whisking until fully combined. Then pour the custard mixture back into the pan and whisk over a medium heat until the mixture thickens. Pour the custard into a bowl and leave to cool completely.
  22. Pour the cream into a bowl and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Fold the cream into the cooled elderflower custard and pour this into a pipping bag with a small round nozzle. Leave the mousse in the fridge until needed.
  23. Now make the raspberry mousse. Leave the gelatin to soak in a bowl of cold water. When it’s soft squeeze the gelatin and put it into a small pan. Add 1 tbsp cold water and put over a medium heat. Stir until the gelatin has dissolved, then set to one side and keep warm.
  24. Put the egg whites into a clean metal or glass bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form.
  25. Then pour the cream into a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.
  26. Next put the sugar and egg yolks into a bowl and whisk with an electric whisk for a couple of minutes until pale and fluffy. Stir in the raspberry puree and the warm gelatin mix.
  27. Fold the cream into the main mixture until it’s all incorporated. Then fold in the stiff egg whites, ½ at a time, until it’s all folded together and there’s no flecks of white.
  28. Pour the mousse into another pipping bag with a small round nozzle and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours until it can be piped, or until needed.
  29. When you’re ready to plate start by spooning (or piping) a dot of the coulis into the centre of the plate. Then take a large, round, flat lid or plate and press straight down on into the coulis. Lift the utensil up and a pattern should appear. Alternatively you could just flick or dot the coulis around the plate if you’d prefer.
  30. Then cut a 5cm circle of marshmallow and put it onto the plate, I like it when it slightly offsets the coulis shape but it’s up to you. Pipe alternate blobs of the two mousses over the marshmallow and top it all off with one of the meringue rings.
  31. Decorate the plate with the edible flowers and mint and then dust it all off with the edible glitter and the popping candy.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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