Croquembouche, a classic wedding cake composed of choux puffs assembled into a tower, seems like an illustration right out of an old Parisian cookbook. “You need to leave the choux in the oven for 45 minutes after they’re done,” says Ernie Lim, 30, of Pulse Patisserie. “If you didn’t dry them well, the puffs would soften easily.” If that happens, they may start dropping off. The filling of chocolate mousse is given a Provence touch with an infusion of lavender; its cold, creamy texture stands out against the toasty crispness of the choux.
The log cake, with its ganache textured to resemble a real log, features a dark chocolate mousse incorporated with cinnamon, a rather uncommon touch, and therefore, a pleasant surprise. “We have also hidden a bit of salty toffee underneath the chocolate coffee sponge,” says Lim. “You only get to it at the end, so when it appears, it’s like the lingering perfume of a woman you’ve just met.” Personification is also clear with Neige, a white sabayon cake with a name that means ‘snow’.
“She looks prim and proper but when you get to know her she really is not,” says Lim, and that’s because within the pristine appearance are hidden tangy guava, mango, berries, and a caramelised meringue with a hint of burnt smokiness. With rocky road, Lim has taken a candy bar from his childhood, and made it into a crunchy treat for adults. “I think most chefs will always draw from their childhood memories,” says Lim. “We look for inspiration from there, and bring them into the future.”