Here is a doable yet exceptional dessert that can be achieved using fancy molds, or regular cake rings. It begins with a luscious white chocolate hazelnut mousse, layered with lemon marmalade, crunchy praliné, and soft pecan brownie biscuit.
Make 3 days ahead. This recipe yield a 600ml Silikomart Amore Heart-Shape silicone mold. (Look up at my Shop Page), and a 8''x2''/20x5cm cake ring. For the poached lemons, look up at Poached Lemons Recipe. If you prefer skipping it, that's fine – the cake will still be delicious without the lemon insert. Perhaps, you may want to add a layer of praliné spread instead.
Melt chocolate slowly in bain-marie; keep it lukewarm. In the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs and sugar on high for 5 minutes. Transfer mixture into a pastry bowl. In the same mixing bowl, beat soften butter on high. Add chocolate gradually. Beat on high speed until fluffy; it should have the texture of buttercream. Warm up if too firm, or place in the freezer for a few minutes if too soft. Incorporate a third of the egg-sugar mixture into the butter-chocolate mixture; add remaining. Fold in sifted flour – then pecans. Spread batter onto a 18''x13'' sheet pan lined with a lightly oiled parchment, or silicone mat.
Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Bake brownie for 20 /22 min. Do not over bake. Cool to room temperature and freeze brownie overnight. To remove from sheet tray: run a spatula around the edges. Heat up bottom over the flame for a few seconds. Top brownie with parchment and flip. Cut out into desired shapes; keep frozen. The bottom of the brownie can be coated (Chablon) with a mixture of melted dark chocolate and 10% oil. Save scraps for later use.
Toast hazelnut on the stove, or in the oven at 350ºF/180ºC for about 12 min. Cook sugar to brown color (Caramel a sec). Add vanilla seeds, salt, and nuts. Transfer onto a baking mat. Let cool completely. Break caramelized hazelnuts into pieces. In a running food processor, throw them in and let run until it turns into paste. Praliné can be stored for months in a cool area, or refrigerated. Stir up before using.
Crush corn flakes in the food processor; set aside. Melt milk chocolate; do not overheat. Combine praliné with chocolate, and melted butter. Fold in flakes. Roll it out into a 1/4-inch/6mm thick sheet between 2 parchment paper, or silicone mat. Chill and cut into desired shapes (Smaller than the mold, or cake ring. Keep frozen until ready to use.
This mousse is a ganache montée. Soak gelatin sheets in cold water to soften, drain and set aside. Bring to boil milk and toasted hazelnuts. Mix using and immersion blender. Pass mixture through a sieve and press down solids to extract as much flavor from the hazelnuts. Spread solids on a sheet pan and pop in oven to dry out - save and mix with your morning granola. In a saucepan, bring to a boil the hazelnut flavored milk (≈250g) along with the heavy cream (225g). Pour over white chocolate and mix with an immersion blender; add gelatine and mix. Add remaining chilled heavy cream (225g) and praliné. Mix well and chill overnight. Beat ganache montée to soft peaks right before using.
*Depending on the brand, I noticed that agar-agar may have different strength. If using Now Foods Agar powder, divide the amount by 2 (Use 4g vs 8g). Mix sugar and agar to together; set aside. Heat up lemon juice and water. Swirl in sugar-agar mixture, and bring to a boil; let simmer a minute. Cool over ice water and chill overnight to set. Add olive oil, and smooth out using an immersion blender. The texture should become like corn syrup; not too firm nor soupy. Add chopped poached lemons. Make insert using device that comes with the mold kit, or use a cake ring that should be a size down smaller than the ring. Also, the thickness of the lemon insert should not exceed 0.5''/1.25cm and should weight 125g if using the Silikomart Amore Heart-Shape cookie cutter. Freeze overnight.
Fill mold two-third up with the chocolate hazelnut mousse. Add the frozen lemon marmalade insert, and gently press it down. Pipe out more mousse around the edges, and smooth out with a spoon. Top marmalade with the frozen crunchy praliné, and then the brownie biscuit. Freeze cake overnight. De-mold cake the day you want to glaze it.
Line cake ring with plastic acetate that matches its height. Freezer bag strips can be used instead, in this case lightly oil the cake ring. Place cake ring onto a flat tray lined with silicon mat, or parchment. Place a brownie disk that should be 0.5''/1.25cm smaller than the ring diameter. Pipe out some chocolate mousse all around the edges. Lift up sides using a spoon. Add crunchy praliné which should be in direct contact with the brownie. Add the frozen lemon marmalade insert. Top with mousse and smooth out with an off set spatula. Freeze cake overnight. The day of glazing, de-mold cakes, and keep frozen.
Make a day ahead. Soak gelatin in cold water to soften; drain and set aside. In a saucepan, cook water, sugar, and corn syrup for 3 minutes. Add condensed milk, and gelatin. In a narrow container, add chocolate and pour in hot liquid. Mix mirror glaze using an immersion blender. Keep nozzle down to prevent air bubbles to form; sieve. Mirror glaze can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 weeks, or kept frozen for months.
Rewarm mirror glaze to 104ºF/38/40ºC. Transfer frozen cake onto a tray lined with plastic wrap and a wire rack. Glaze and transfert cake onto a serving plater. Let thaw overnight before serving. Decorate cake with a real rose, or made out of marzipan, gold leaf...
Happy Valentine's Day ❤️