Romance 香恋

Ah.. cakes? you bet. I was browsing through iPhoto looking for cakes which I haven’t blogged about. There are quite a lot. I’ve already saved them as backlogs as I knew I woldn’t have much time to bake or cook during the moving period. Indeed, it’s been quite quiet in the kitchen lately. When there are free times at home, we would resolve to cleaning, unpacking and beautifying the new house. And there are really lots of free time because the internet isn’t ready at home yet. But that’s good too, gives more time to rest from all those never ending cleaning jobs.



As usual, with my crazy book-buying character, I saw some pretty awesome pastry books but they’re both in Chinese. During the past, I would used to pull my hair and jump up and down in frustration, but not after I am able to handwrite the Chinese characters and translate them. I have to thank the late Steve Jobs for that. Otherwise I would have been bald by now, for sure. LOL So since I knew I could translate, I bought the books without hesitation. It’s always the Taiwanese / Japanese dessert books that are more tempting than the English ones.. So after browsing through a few recipes, I landed on this one, Romance (香恋). The main prob was it uses Kumquat, and at that time where I was making this cake, there wasn’t any kumquat available (cause it wasn’t in season).. I had to make a substitute and the closest was probably going to be mandarin. I had a hard time looking for mandarins then as well as it wasn’t in season as well. But the South Americans had Nova Mandarins and oh boy, was I lucky! I quickly lugged a bag of it, tested it and it;s not too bad; kinda sweet too. Sometimes in cake making, the hardest is not the process of making the cake, but sourcing for ingredients (and translating, for me that is.)


I made this cake for a bloggers meet up some time ago, along with the earl grey macarons.

The original recipe consists of  a few elements;

Maple joconde
Ginger Mango jelly
Raspberry Cream
Kumquat White Chocolate Mousse.

I had to make a couple of changes are some of the ingredients are quite hard to come by, one of those was Maple sugar granules. So I skipped that and made it into a normal joconde with hazelnut and almond meal. As for the kumquat, as mentioned, I changed with mandarin. The mousse requires one to make a puree, then add in with the white chocolate and cream.In the book, it didn’t quite mention on how to make the puree, so I just assume that it was a frozen puree, I had to use my own way. The method of making mandarin puree is quite similar to a Middle Eastern cake of boiling and pureeing whole oranges for the cake. Even for the Ginger Mango jelly, it uses pectin. Pectin results in a more gummy texture but I wasn’t able to get my hand on any then, so I adjusted the recipe accordingly and used gelatin instead.

Take note, this is another one of those super long recipes with confusing steps for those who aren’t familiar with entremets. I am typing out assuming the person making this cake would know the basic technique of how to make creme patisserie or a joconde.Also, because it is a very long work to translate all the method, I had to assume some and use my own experience and technique in making it. The recipe in the book makes 2 cakes, this recipe below, makes 1 as I’ve scaled it down.

Romance 香恋

(makes 1 x 9″ cake)
(Adapted from the book below)


I would arrange the steps of making this cake to :

1. Make mandarin puree
2. Make ginger mango jelly
3. Make raspberry cream
4. Make joconde
5. Make the mousse for final assembly.

Mandarin Puree

70g mandarins, whole
enough water to cover the pot

1. Wash and scrub the mandarins, making sure they’re dirt free cause you’re eating the skin as well. Put them in a pot, cover with water then bring to a boil.

2. Let it simmer, with the cover partially closed, till the mandarins are soft. If the water evaporates, add more boiling water. You will know it’s soft when you poke a knife through it and it comes out easily.

3. When it’s soft, drain the mandarins and discard the water. Let it cool for a while.

4. Put the whole mandarin into a blender and blend away. Pass through a strainer to remove any impurities or parts which are not blended.


Raspberry Cream

100g raspberry puree
30g egg yolk
35g egg
25g sugar
3g gelatin
18ml cold water
50g whipping cream.

1. Whip cream to medium peaks, leave in the fridge till ready to use. Cover gelatin powder with water and let it bloom.

2. If using frozen or fresh raspberries, gently simmer them till soft, then blend in a food processor. Return the raspberry puree back in to the pot and cook till 90 C.

3. In a bowl, whisk egg yolk, egg and sugar. Pour in raspberry puree when it’s at 90 C. Whisk to combine, then return back into the stove and bring up to 82C. Stir constantly with a whisk to avoid burns.

4. Heat up gelatin in the microwave till it’s melted, then add into the raspberry mixture. Cool over and ice bath, then fold in whipped cream.

5. Gently fold, pour into desired moulds and chill for at least 1 hour to set. Remove only when ready to assemble.

Mango Ginger Jelly

80g Mango puree
120g diced mango
1g freshly grated ginger
30g caster sugar
3g gelatin powder
1 tsp water
a light squeeze of lemon juice

1. Peel mango and dice into 1cm cubes. Puree the rest of the mango to get 80g. I used about 2 mangoes for 2 cakes.

2. In a microwavable bowl, dissolve gelatin powder and water. St aside to bloom.

3. Cook mango puree, ginger and caster sugar till sugar has dissolved. Add in gelatin and stir well.

4. Add lemon juice (to taste), then add the diced mango.

5. Pour into moulds and let it set for 1 hr in the fridge. Remove only when ready to assemble.

Hazelnut and Almond Joconde

50g egg
32g eggy olk
62g caster sugar
30g hazelnut meal
35g almond meal
115g egg white
40g caster sugar
12g butter, melted
50g low protein flour

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolks, caster sugar, almond and hazelnut meal.
2. Whisk till pale and doubled in volume.

3. Meanwhile, if you have another mixer, use that to whisk the egg whites till medium peaks. Otherwise do the traditional way, use the whisk and do it by hand.

4. Combine egg whites into egg yolks in 3 parts, folding with a whisk (gently here..)

5. Fold in flour using the same whisk. When you fold in the melted butter, use a spatula.

6. Pour into a flat baking pan and bake at 190 C for 16 minutes or until cooked through.

7. Remove pan from oven and let it cool in a pan. Sprinkle some caster sugar on top and cover lightly with a towel (optional)

8. When ready to use, cut to desired shapes.


White chocolate Mandarin Mousse

30g yogurt
6g gelatin powder
60ml water
150g white chocolate
65g mandarin puree
10g passionfruit puree (sans seeds)
200g whipped cream


1. Whip cream to medium peaks, set aside in the fridge until ready to use. Dissolve gelatin with water in a bowl till it blooms.

2. Cook mandarin and passionfruit puree in a pot.

3. In the meantime, melt white chocolate. Add white chocolate and yogurt into the mandarin puree, stir. Heat gelatin till dissolves then add into. Use a stick blender to blend the mixture till smooth.

4. Get ready an ice bath and cool the mandarin white chocolate to about 35 – 38 C.

5. Fold in whipped cream, then assemble immediately.


To Assemble:

1. Lay a joconde sponge layer at the bottom of the ring (with a board underneath)

2. Pour 1/4 White chocolate mandarin mousse into the mould, put the mango jelly, press lightly.

3. Pour another 1/4 of mousse and make surey ou get to the sides. Add the Raspberry cream layer, press lightly.

4. Pour another 1/4 of mousse then add a final layer of joconde. Press lightly to make sure theres no air bubbles inbetween.

5. Finally, pour the remaining mousse till the top, then smoothen it with an angled spatula.*

*This depends on the height of your cake ring. If it’s low, you can omit 1 layer of joconde and just use it as a base. If it’s a high ring, you can use 2 layers of joconde. The mousse should be right to the height of the ring so it’s easier for you to smoothen it, and make sure it’s smooth!

6. Let it chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

7. Glaze the top with an apricot glaze, garnish with fruits or as you wish.



PHEWWWW !!! This post took me a couple of days to write as the steps are realllly long. If you haven’t fell asleep yet, bravo!!


I tried really hard to look for fresh raspberries as garnishes but there weren’t any available. Mostly frozen (which I used for the cream inside) Oh well.. I guess another berry would work too.

This cake would need a soaking syrup to soften the joconde a little. So IF you’re making it, don’t forget to add the soaking syrup. But then again, I really doubt if anyone is going to attempt this cake. Let me know if you do!

Are kumquats in season now ? I wanna get some and make a rendition of a milk chocolate and kumquat cake I ate in Seoul some time ago… ppfftt..

Ok till then!




36 thoughts on “Romance 香恋

  1. Haven’t seen kumquats around here now but luckily for us we have fresh raspberries almost all year round. I’ve never attempted entremets but the flavors in this one sound refreshing and the components look managable. Thanks for sharing the translated recipe!

    1. Wendy, yalor, need to wait for this to set, that to set..

      Pickyin, it’s a very summery cake and the components are not difficult at all. Just need to wait for them to set then you can assemble it..

  2. hi swee san, isnt that great now that you are expanding your cookbooks to mandarin ones? i’m sure from time to time will be seeing you baking more of japanese or taiwanese influenced desserts. Wow! i must say this to you! always so professional looking ..but of course lah, coming from a professional baker like you!! One bite into this and i’ll be going oohh oohh and aahh and aahh!!

  3. Wow! That’s a lot of layers to make!
    To be honest I hate making puree, especially ones that requires passing through the sieve, like raspberry and passion fruit! Thanks for the process for making mandarin oranges puree, I never know that this is how it is done.
    I have to agree with you that the Taiwanese and Japanese pastry books are better than English ones. I couldn’t read Japanese, but the Taiwanese ones, which are usually translations of Japanese books anyway, is more intricate, elegant and challenging. Their flavours are always more inventive and textures more delicate than any English origins.
    I love your blog and now I really want to source out the book you are showing here…

  4. totally agree that chi/jap pastry books always seem so much more interesting! i have that book too. nt yet attempted anything from there tho. ur entremet looks so nice im tempted to flip through the book soon.

    ur cake layers look sooo good. esp the raspberry one. 😉 kumquat is so hard to find in sg too and when they are avail, they’re so pricy. good luck to u finding kumquats!!!

  5. Wow, stunning!!!!! This is my type of cake, with a lot of elements – an amalgam of flavours and colours. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try making this cake, hopefully it will turn out as beautiful as yours.

  6. Sonia, U’re welcome.. Still waiting for your nasi lemak 😛

    Blessed homemaker, thanks 🙂

    Lena, yes! I’m a big fan of Jap + French desserts..elegant and pretty, Not a very big fan of american bakes.. big and boring 😛

    Ann, sure I dont mind. If you make it let me know k..

    Cherry, Yeah I just dont know why they don’t translate them to English.. sigh have to go through all the trouble of translating and all.. thanks for dropping by 🙂

    Tina, thanks 🙂

    chelle, I thought they’re always available towards the end of the year.. But with the crazy weather lately, just not too sure abt the kumquats.. Gotta wait for it then..

    Wai Fong, Thanks for dropping by

    Emilia, you’re going to make it!! Oh let me see when u’ve posted about it please? 🙂

  7. I am so glad to have dropped into your blog few weeks ago. Since then I have visited your site everyday and have attempted quite a few of your recipes. I especially like the Emeraude. I will try to make this one in the coming week. Thank you so much for sharing. I enjoy reading your traveling journal as well. Keep up your good work.

  8. Oh man, this is so pretty! I want to try your wonderful cakes, they look SO good. You put so much effort into them as well… One day I will get over my laziness and make something like this, but till then I will just have to have a collection of bookmarked recipes (this included)!

  9. Lizl, thanks for dropping by 🙂 LEt me know how it turns out after you make Emeraude.

    Su-yin, haha it’s ok I’m very lazy as well. Cakes like these comes once in a blue moon when I’m in the mood. 😛

  10. This is friggin AMAZING, Swee San!! I’m COMPLETELY blown away!! You are seriously talented I’m so glad you shared this marvellous creation with us. I doubt I will ever be able to recreate this but it’s good to see you can. Every component is already fantastic on its own. Once put together, in absolute AWE. Please continue to keep it up! Take care! =D

  11. Hi I made this cake yesterday. It tastes so very nice, it has all the flavours that I like, mandarin orange, mango and raspberry. But my layers were not as perfect as yours. I promise myself to make another one real soon, hopefully next time I will do the layers as good as yours. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing. You are great.

  12. No, I don’t have a blog. I really appreciate your kind sharing. Your recipes are good and reliable. I tried a few of your cake recipes they all came out very good. I will try your new cinnamon bread this weekend.

  13. Hey Swee San, the cake’s gorgeous! Did you actually make 2 of them- 1 round and 1 square one!If you did, that’s crazy! Imagine the sheer effort spent on making just one. Lol.. Anyway, noticed that you didnt input any taste descriptive so just wanted to ask you how it might taste like..Abit game to make this for a party..most of them attending are Caucasians..not sure if this cake will suit their palate..Hmmm…Let me know what you think? Thanks!


  14. Hey this post was really amazing, and the explanations were really clear! I was looking for some ideas for the christmas evening dessert, and I think I might have just found the right one! The only thing is that I won’t find any mandarins at this time of the year (we have summer, in the south hemisphere)so what would you recomend me instead?? And well if you could give me any other recomendations or advices I would be so thankful! I just hope it will turn out right!

  15. Greetings from a Malaysian who live in France 🙂 I love French Entremet, i am going to attempt your cake as I have some guest coming over tomorrow will let you know how it turns out 🙂

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