Chef Higashiguchi Tomoko
HELMED by Chef Higashiguchi Tomoko, 44, Patisserie Glace has been winning over a steadily growing number of local consumers since its inception in 2008.
And it has been doing this by staying true to a simple plan: To offer Singaporeans "the best of Japan's cakes, pies and cookies and tarts". Although a large portion of its tempting line-up tends to reflect a more typically French accent, its pastries are preservatives-free and moderately priced, assured the native of Nara (near Osaka). They also feature quality Japanese ingredients, such as the recent Halloween pumpkin pie made with Hokkaido pumpkin.
Fans will soon be able to swing by the shop at Icon Village for a sweet potato pie, which pays homage to a root vegetable that is traditionally in fashion in Japan during the fall and winter months.
Interestingly enough, it is also a produce that's has quickly gained favour in savoury as well as sweet dishes, in both Japanese and contemporary European cuisine over the last few years.
Keeping in time with its seasonal appeal and the all-time allure of a well-made French dessert, Chef Tomoko has suggested the sweet potato mont-blanc - a cold dessert traditionally made with chestnut purree (creamed with a hint of vanilla) and sometimes paired with a little meringue. This version is also the latest feature in Chef Tomoko's hands-on "Bake Like Glace" baking class for this month.
Recipe for Sweet potato mont-blanc - Serves 4
Sweet potato mont-blanc
[Sponge cake 15cm in diameter]
- 2 eggs (large), room temperature
- 60g sugar
- 20ml warm milk
- 60g regular flour, sifted twice
- 20g unsalted butter, melted
[Sweet potato paste]
- 300g sweet potato
- 40g sugar
- 1g salt
- 20g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg yolk
- 60g fresh cream or milk
[Sweet potato cream]
- 90g sweet potato paste
- 60g whipping cream
- 6g sugar
[Baking Sponge cake]
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Line the bottom and sides of 15cm round cake pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk the eggs. Add the sugar and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar has combined.
- Transfer to an electric mixer and beat at medium speed. When the mixture is white and fluffy, add the milk and beat until it's light and fluffy again.
- Add the flour into the batter and mix gently with a spatula. Do the same with the melted butter.
- Pour the sponge batter into the cake pan and bake for 18 minutes. When it is done, remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool.
[Making sweet potato paste]
- Remove skin of sweet potato and cut into 2cm-width slices. Boil sweet potato with about 1l of water until cooked.
- Drain away water and mashed the sweet potato. Add sugar, salt, egg, butter and fresh cream. Mix well.
- Cook mixture over medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes. Strain the sweet potato. Set aside to cool.
[Making sweet potato cream]
- Whip cream with sugar on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
- Add sweet potato paste into the fresh cream and mix to combine well.
[Building sweet potato mont-blanc cake]
- Slice sponge cake into 3cm-high pieces.
- Place a sliced sponge cake into a bowl (about 12cm in diameter) and stuff with sweet potato cream.
- Place another sliced sponge over the sweet potato cream to cover the cake. Chill for 30 minutes to let the cream set.
- Turn over the bowl and take out the cake.
- Decorate the cake with fresh cream and more sweet potato paste.