I finally have a cake recipe. After giving the first four prototypes to virtually everyone I know in Tokyo and getting plenty of feedbacks, I completely revamped the recipe(a big thank you to Pei-ran and Yoko who gave really honest and constructive criticisms). The complaints people had for the first four versions are mostly about the grapefruit. The taste was too subtle, so unless told, most people couldn’t tell it’s in it. There was also a disconnect between the white color of the mousse and the image of grapefruit. So in the final recipe, I added paste made of grapefruit peel, got rid of the meringue and used egg yolks to further enhance the yellow color. I also increased the amount of champagne in the gelee layer to the same amount as grapefruit juice. I'm such an alcoholic when it comes to alcohol in cakes, so the more the merrier.
The end result is this. It’s 16cm instead of 18cm so I still need to make a full-sized one.
I also need to think of what to put on the cake as decoration. This cake was made over the weekend when Jason decided to surprise me by coming to Tokyo for a visit. As a result it was made in stages, mostly in the morning before we went out and at night after we came back. During the rush of things, I made a calculation error and ended up short on the strawberry/raspberry mousse. In an desperate effort to salvage the cake before the mousse starts to set, I forgot to sprinkle grapefruit peel on the cake surface. The decorations were thrown on the cake ten minutes before Jason was due to leave for the airport so he could take a look/taste and give me his honest opinion. Since he’s usually my toughest critic, I was glad that he liked both the taste and the texture of the cake. I am still not entirely happy with the white chocolate/feuilletine mixture I spread on the cake base to provide texture contrast. It wasn’t too hard to eat but it could be hard to cut through with a fork. That’s one thing I still need to work on, but it’s such a relief to come to an end of this cake saga, although I did have fun and learned a lot in the process.
Stay tuned for the final version (if there ever is one).