Red Team's Japanese Zen Garden
Recipe by: Red Team
For the Cherry Blossoms
- Preheat oven to 70C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Use a small knife to cut the tops off each strawberry.
- Using a mandolin, thinly slice each strawberry. Spread the strawberry slices onto the lined tray and dehydrate in the oven until dry and crisp, about 3 – 3 ½ hours.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Use a small amount of food glue to stick three of the strawberry slices petals together at the pointed end of the strawberry slices. Stand with the joined end facing upwards and set aside on a tray to allow the glue to set. Use as decoration or string through middle of each flower with fishing line to hang in lengths.
For the Sand
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the flour, butter and sugar into food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together as a dough. Spread onto a lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Once cool, return to the food processor and blitz to a coarse crumb, resembling sand. Mix through the sesame and coconut until combined and set aside.
For the Macarons
- Preheat oven to 130C.
- For the Macaron, place caster sugar, 37ml of water and the black food colouring into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to 118C, brushing down the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystallisation.
- Meanwhile, whilst the sugar syrup is coming to temperature, add half of the egg whites to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed to soft peak stage.
- Once the syrup has reached temperature, with the mixer still running, slowly pour it down the side of the mixer bowl into the egg whites and continue to whisk until a thick and glossy meringue is achieved.
- Meanwhile, sift the almond meal and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the remaining egg whites to this bowl and use a spatula to mix through until combined. Fold in the meringue and continue to fold until the mixture flows slowly off the spatula.
- Transfer the mixture into piping bags.
- Line 3 baking trays with baking paper. Pipe 2cm circles onto the 3 lined baking trays.
- Place trays into the oven and bake until the macarons are well risen and firm, about 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cool, use an offset palette knife to gently lift the macarons from the tray and detach. Set trays of macarons aside until needed.
- For the Matcha Ganache, heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.
- Place the white chocolate and matcha powder into a medium bowl, then pour the hot cream over the top and allow to sit for 3 minutes. Stir well until the chocolate has melted and mixture is completely smooth.
- Place into the fridge until cooled and thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge ad use a wooden spoon to mix vigorously until slightly lighter and thicker. Transfer mixture to a piping bag and pipe the ganache onto half of the cooled macaron shells. Top with the remaining macaron shells and press gently until the filling meets the edge of the shells.
For the Choux and Sable
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- For the Sablé, place the butter and caster sugar into a food processor and blitz to a paste-like texture. Add the flour and matcha powder and blitz for a further 1 minute.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl and use fingertips to continue to mix until smooth. Roll the dough into a ball then wrap in cling film. Place into the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Unwrap the dough and place between 2 sheets of baking paper. Roll the dough out to 5mm in thickness. Remove the top layer of baking paper and use a ring cutter to cut out 8 x 4cm discs from the dough, then cut out 5 x 7cm discs from the dough. Remove and discard the excess dough from around the discs. Place into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- For the Choux, place the milk, 130g of water and the butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.
- Gradually whisk in the flour, sugar and salt. Using a spatula, work the mixture until it forms a smooth dough that pulls away from the sides of the saucepan.
- Remove from the heat and allow the pastry dough to cool.
- Place the cooled dough into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed. Add the eggs, 1/3 at a time, ensuring eggs are fully incorporated before each addition.
- Once all of the eggs have been incorporated, continue to beat the mixture until all of the steam has evaporated from the mixture, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag.
- Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Pipe 5 x 7.5cm domes onto one of the trays. Top each dome with a 7cm Sablé disc. Place into the oven for 30 minutes then remove from the oven.
- Pipe 8 x 4cm domes onto the second tray. Top each dome with a 4cm Sablé disc. Place into the oven for 20 minutes then remove from the oven.
- Pierce the bottoms of each dome with a skewer and place, upside down, back onto the tray to allow the steam to escape.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 60C. Wait 10 minutes to allow the oven to reduce in temperature.
- Place both trays back into the oven for 25 minutes to allow the choux to dry out completely.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- For the Matcha Mousse, place the gelatine into a bowl of cold water and set aside to soften.
- Place the milk into a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer then remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, place the egg yolks and sugar into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the cornflour, flour and matcha powder and continue to whisk until combined.
- With the mixer still running, slowly pour in the hot milk and continue to whisk until well combined.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan. Place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring until the mixture thickens and reaches 80C. Remove from the heat and place over an ice bath to cool.
- Meanwhile, place the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip to soft peaks.
- Fold in the whipped cream through the cooled crème patissiere.
- Squeeze out the gelatine to remove excess water and place into a small saucepan over low heat to melt. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of the crème patissiere mixture and whisk thoroughly until combined. Set aside in the fridge until needed.
- For the Lemon Curd, place the gelatine into a bowl of cold water and set aside to soften.
- Half fill a medium saucepan with water, place over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and set over the saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 85C.
- Remove from the heat. Squeeze out gelatine to remove excess water and whisk into the curd mixture until completely dissolved. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and set aside to cool. Once cool, transfer to a piping bag.
- To serve, slice the Choux in half. Pipe some Matcha Mousse onto the bottom half of the Choux. Add some Lemon Curd, then top with the top half of the Choux and serve.
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