※Powdered gelatin (a type that you can use without softening in water)
※Pink food coloring
a tiny amount
Sugar (for the cream)
Cherries in syrup (canned)
a small can containing about 8 cherries
(For the jelly part:)
The syrup from cherries in syrup
Cherry blossom syrup
Powdered gelatin (a type that you can use without softening in water)
Salt-preserved cherry blossoms
Soak the salt preserved cherry leaf in water for about 30 minutes to de-salt it. Pat dry and chop finely Take out the tough stem.
Wave the cherry blossoms around in water to rinse off the salt, then soak in fresh water for an hour. Pat dry and cut off the stems.
If you have mousse film, line the mold with it. I line the bottom with kitchen parchment paper first so that I can take out the cake easily, and put the film on top of that.
Slice the sponge cake 1.5cm thick and line the bottom of the mold with it. Brush the sponge with lots of cherry blossom syrup (not listed in the ingredients).
Pat the cherries dry, cut in half and remove the pits. Line them up on top of the sponge evenly. Reserve the cherry syrup.
Put the ※ ingredients in a pan, and heat over a low flame until the sugar and gelatin have dissolved. Take care not to let it come to a boil. Turn the heat off once the sugar and gelatin have dissolved.
Put the cream in a bowl with the sugar and whip it to the soft peak stage.
Put the bottom of the pan from step 6 in ice water, and cool down while mixing continuously. It should thicken enough so that scraping the bottom of the pan reveals it before the mixture flows back to hide it. Don't chill it too much!
Add the whipped cream from step 7 to the pan from step 8 and mix well. The mixture in the photo has a special mousse setting ingredient in it so it's very thick, but with gelatin it will look more gelatinous.
Pour the mixture on top of the sponge slowly. Smooth out the top of the mousse neatly, hit the mold on your work surface to eliminate any air pockets, and chill until well set in the refrigerator.
Make the jelly. Put all the jelly ingredients in a pan, and heat over a low flame to dissolve the sugar and gelatin. Don't overheat this either!
Turn off the heat, and leave it to cool completely. If it's warm, when you pour it over the mousse the jelly will melt the mousse and become cloudy.
Pour the cooled jelly on top of the well chilled and set mousse from step 11 very slowly. Move the cherry blossoms around with a skewer so that they are evenly distributed. Put back in the refrigerator to chill and set.
When unmolding the cake, if you used a mold with a removable bottom, warm up the outside of the mold with a warm wrung out kitchen towel and unmold carefully.
The cherry blossoms are blooming beautifully in the jelly.
The mousse and jelly layers are so pretty from the side too.
I know I'm being redundant now....but a cut slice is so cute too, I specify 8 blossoms, but it's a bit hard to cut through a blossom so the one in the middle may not be needed...
Story Behind this Recipe
I saw a pudding topped with jelly with cherry blossoms in it at a pastry shop that was so cute, so I used that as inspiration to create a mousse cake.
If you are using the type of gelatin that needs to be softened in water, use part of the water in the recipe for that step. Gelatin will not set if you let it boil, so please pay attention to the temperature when you heat it. When chilling the mousse in step 8, it tends to firm up fast once it starts to set, so pay attention.