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Fruit Mousse using puree


bripastryguy
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As a new business owner (wholesale to restaurants, caterers, country clubs and gourmet shops) I have found it part of my daily grind to find more cost effective ways of producing desserts. In my trials I have found it very difficult to complete a fruit mousse "cake" that did not cost around $5.00 to produce. Taking into account the cost of purees these days. Weither frozen or shelf stable they run anywhere from $7.00-up for approx 1 kg package. I have to sell these cakes (7" in diameter and anywhere from 1 1/2-2" high) for atleast $15.00 (hard to get wholesale, retail is alittle more flexible).

In my quest for the perfect fruit mousse cake recipe I look to you guys for cost conscious recipes.....Looking through the bible (Patisserie of Pierre Herme), his cakes use approx. 700 grams of puree......holy SH--! How can I make any money with a recipe like that? The recipes are truly awesome and flavors are great. I have even been forced to look towards compounds, extracts, fortifiers, etc....

I'm a pureist, I really dont like mixing these chemical additives into my pastry, but how do I avoid it?

Please help

Edited by bripastryguy (log)

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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Though I don't have a recipe... I do have a bit of advice. Try using straightforward, easy to identify flavors. For fruits you may want to use those high in acid, this will cut the other existing fat in the cake and make it a bit "lighter". Try not to complicate the tortes with two many flavors, it cost's more and the taster will get lost in it. Don't over "choclatize" a fruit torte, because more puree will be needed to bring the flavor through.

You could also try using fresh fruit fillings for the fruit flavor, and added texture. For the mousse you could use spices, as a little goes a long way. If you are finishing the torte with a mirror you can add a bit of fruit flavored liqueur to the glaze, to give it that last kick in butt.

Cory Barrett

Pastry Chef

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try building the cake in pan extenders, then cutting to respective size. you will save time ($!) in actuel production, and you can even produce large cakes and small ones at the same time. cut into rectangles, and decorate with garnishes that are produced according to weekly par levels (except fresh fruit garnishes of course).

the trick is cutting the cake into the biggest possible size while keeping the food cost in check.

ps. you could try adding some italian meringue into the mousse recipe since there frequently seems to being extra whites available in pastry work. it could help lighten, sweeten, and stretch the yield out...

regards

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This is a really hard challenge Brian. I'm a Herme' follower too and use his mousse recipes the most frequently. Other fruit mousse recipes I've used actually use more fruit puree because the often don't contain whites only whipped cream.

The only thing I can think of to cut costs is to stop buying instantly ready purees and to make your own. With certain fruits it will save you money, with others it's so time consuming that I bet you wouldn't save anything.

Until this past year, I never had purchased purees available to me. But I also have never done my own purchasing to break down the cost of the fruiit plus my labor to figure out what the real costs are.

If you look at The Roux Brothers book and Michael Roux's solo book and older pastry books written by top professionals you'll notice that they didn't have instant purees available and they give you formulas for making the fruit puree called for in their mousse recipes. I recall making apricot, lime, banana, pear and apple (just to name a few) from these two mentioned books and I think their recipes are every bit as good as Herme's. The problem is-it takes more of your time.

I guess if I was you, I'd look to discount grocery stores and talk to their produce managers. I know of one bakery in my area thats got an arrangement to purchase all of the stores left-over strawberries. They use them as cake fillings, but you can certainly take that further and process them into purees yourself. Do it as part of your production schedule....freeze your cheap buys and when you have enough make batches of puree, then refreeze them into usable amounts to make your life easier (just like the containers of purchased purees).

My experience using compounds to fortify flavors is, it isn't a perfect solution either. There are some flavors where the compound will help you and others where the flavor is so articfical they'll ruin your mousse. Then it all comes down to the quality of your compounds and typically they aren't cheap either! Extracts are cheaper (I believe) but I use them less and less as I mature as a chef.

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Make your own with what regional/available fruits you can. Puree huge batches, or have your prep,dishwasher etc do the grunt work of pureeing & straining. Then freeze. You could always buy IQF frozen berries as another cost saver. I have to buy passionfruit, mango, etc...

Melissa McKinney

Chef/Owner Criollo Bakery

mel@criollobakery.com

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Another option to add some more intense fruit flavor economically is to use layers of gelee made from puree, a little sugar, and gellatine. You only need a very thin layer to get a nice, refreshing fruit hit and you can make the mousse with contrasting (and less expensive) flavors like white chocolate, dark chocolate, coconut, lemon, etc. One of my favorite cakes from class was a nougat mousse cake that used pistachio dacquoise with the bottom later spread with apricot-passion fruit gelee, honey mousse, more dacquoise, more mousse and chopped pecans, pistachios, dried apricots and cherries.

You could also soak cake layers with fruit syrups or juice to add flavor.

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All solid advice guys, most I have exhausted all ready.

Making my own purees is very time consuming and very inconsistent as far as yield and $$$. I am working on buying "over ripe fruit" from my vendor, we'll see how that goes.

The quality of one compound i purchased is very good, it was Peach from Hero, nice perfume and no chemical after taste, i'll give it a try and let you know.

Neil,

I have also done the gellie idea, love it and so do most of my customers, but there is no real savings, because they use a decent amount of puree on their own. I also love the nougat torte you are speaking of, jaquey passed that one to me last year, only one problem-you can not use clover honey and Lavender honey can get up their in price too.

Work still in progress.........

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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Neil,

I have also done the gellie idea, love it and so do most of my customers, but there is no real savings, because they use a decent amount of puree on their own. I also love the nougat torte you are speaking of, jaquey passed that one to me last year, only one problem-you can not use clover honey and Lavender honey can get up their in price too.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. I'm still pretty inexperienced with this stuff. However, we did use regular clover honey in school and the flavor came through fine. In my opinion lavender honey isn't worth the extra cost if you're using it to flavor a dessert - I would actually rather use a cheaper honey and infuse with a little bit of dried lavender.

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Neil,

The nougat mousse was overpowering the whole cake, it lost the delicacy of the dacquoise. I'lltry it again.

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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