Rhubarb and custard entremets

Rhubarb and custard entremets

B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself

Entremets are a bit bonkers, to be honest. They are a labour of love, and a good way of showing off as many skills as you can in as small a bake as possible. If I’ve got a spare Saturday and really feel like getting stuck in in the kitchen, I’ll make a batch of these. So far, no two batches have been the same, mainly because there are so many choices and combinations to be made that it almost feels like a wasted opportunity to recreate a version that has already worked. Hopefully, this recipe will act as a jumping-off point for you to start mucking about with your own entremets. These flavours are pretty classic, but the construction can be a bit fiddly, so precision is the watchword. Have fun with this recipe, and remember, you can always look back through the book and incorporate different skills and flavours into your own insane versions.


Quantity Ingredient

For the custard

Quantity Ingredient
90ml whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 large egg yolk
20g caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
75ml double cream

For the sponge

Quantity Ingredient
a few drops flavourless oil
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
50g caster sugar, plus more to sprinkle
50g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pink gel food colour
yellow gel food colour

For the biscuit base

Quantity Ingredient
65g unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons caster sugar
100g plain flour, plus more to dust
1 teaspoon ground ginger
30g ground almonds

For the rhubarb filling

Quantity Ingredient
100g rhubarb
20g unsalted butter
20g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour

For the ginger cream layer

Quantity Ingredient
125g mascarpone
125ml double cream
30g icing sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger

For the jelly layer

Quantity Ingredient
100g rhubarb
30g caster sugar
1 gelatine leaf
pink gel food colour, (optional)

For the finishing touches (optional)

Quantity Ingredient
100g white chocolate

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
swiss roll tin, (check it fits in your freezer)
electric whisk
2 piping bags
2 mm icing nozzle
baking trays
6 6 cm-diameter entremet or cooking presentation rings
2 wire cooling racks
long-nosed nozzle
small offset palette knife
patterned chocolate transfer sheet, (optional)


  1. Start by making the custard. Put the milk and vanilla bean paste in a saucepan over a low heat. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, sugar and cornflour with an electric whisk until creamy and combined. Once the milk is near simmering, pour it into the bowl with the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour back into the pan and mix with a silicone spatula over a low heat until thickened. Quickly scrape it into a clean bowl and lay cling film on to the surface of the custard to stop a skin forming. Put in the fridge to cool.
  2. Now start the sponge. Line a Swiss roll tin with baking parchment; I put a few drops of oil on the tray to stick the parchment down. Whisk the eggs, vanilla bean paste and sugar in a bowl using the electric whisk until very pale and with a lot of volume (this will take 5 minutes of constant whisking). Sift together the flour and baking powder and gently fold into the whisked egg mixture with a spatula; make sure you pick up all the flour from the bottom of the bowl, but try not to over-work the batter or you will knock out the air.
  3. Take 3 tablespoons of the mixture and put in a bowl. Mix some pink gel food colour into this (I use about the tip-of-a-knife’s worth) and load into a piping bag fitted with a 2mm nozzle. Pipe thin lines of pink sponge mix on to the lined Swiss roll tin and put in the freezer for 30 minutes. Mix yellow gel food colour (around ¼ teaspoon) into the remaining sponge batter.
  4. While the sponge is freezing, make the biscuit base. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until creamy and combined. Sift together the flour and ginger and mix into the butter with the ground almonds, beating with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Once it has come together, stop mixing: you don’t want to develop the gluten in the flour or your biscuit will be tough.
  5. Roll out the biscuit mixture on a floured work surface to a rectangle about 25 x 15 cm and 5 mm thick. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Gently lift the biscuit dough on to the tray and bake it for 12 minutes; it will just be taking colour by this time.
  6. Take out of the oven and gently press out circles using 6cm cooking rings while the biscuit is still hot and malleable. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. Increase the oven temperature to 190°C. Take the Swiss roll tin out of the freezer and check that the pink stripes are frozen. Now, working quickly, spread out the remaining yellow sponge batter evenly over the tin and bake for 8 minutes. While the sponge is cooking, cut a piece of baking parchment big enough to turn the sponge out on. Lay it on a cooling rack and sprinkle with a little caster sugar to stop the sponge from sticking to it when turned out.
  8. Take the sponge out of the oven and use a small knife to release it from the edges of the baking parchment. Turn it out on to your sugar-coated paper and peel off the now-exposed baking parchment from the base of the tin. Leave to cool completely.
  9. Make the rhubarb filling by chopping the rhubarb and heating in a saucepan with the butter, sugar and cornflour. Stir occasionally to stop the mixture from sticking to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes until the rhubarb has broken down and the mixture has become sticky. Scrape into a small bowl and put in the fridge to cool.
  10. Lay the sponge on a chopping board and, with a ruler as a guide, cut off the ragged edges. Cut out 6 strips of patterned sponge, each 17 x 3 cm. Put the cooking rings on a baking tray and lay the cooled biscuit bases in them, then curl up the sponge strips (striped side out) and fit them inside the rings, gently pressing them down.
  11. Turn the custard into crème pâtissière by whisking the double cream in a bowl until soft peaks form, then folding it into the now-cooled custard 1 tablespoon at a time. Load it into a piping bag fitted with a long-nosed nozzle and gently pipe a thin layer into each entremet case on top of the biscuit and around the inside of the sponge layer, but leave a small area for the rhubarb filling in the centre. Do not pipe above the sponge layer.
  12. Spoon some of the cooled rhubarb into the small indent in the custard (this should be about 1½ teaspoons for each cake). Put the entremets in the fridge (still on their baking tray) to firm up for 30 minutes.
  13. To make the ginger cream, spoon the mascarpone and double cream into a bowl and whisk together using the electric whisk until combined, but not yet thickened. Add the icing sugar and ginger and whisk until the cream thickens up.
  14. Take the entremets out of the fridge and, using a small offset palette knife, fill the cases up to the top with ginger cream, making sure not to leave any hollow areas at the bottom. Use the palette knife to form as flat a surface as you can on the cream and put the entremets in the freezer for 1 hour.
  15. Make the jelly by chopping the rhubarb into 1 cm lengths and cooking over a low heat with the sugar and 5 tablespoons of water. Cook for 10–15 minutes, mashing it up with a spoon occasionally, until the rhubarb has gone soft and sloppy. Put the gelatine in a cup with some cold water to soften it up.
  16. Once the rhubarb has disintegrated, strain through a sieve into a bowl. You may need a spoon to push the juice out of the rhubarb, but don’t worry – it won’t give you a cloudy jelly like it can with other fruit. Drain the gelatine and stir it into the rhubarb water until it dissolves. Depending on how pink your rhubarb is, you may want to add a little pink food colour.
  17. Take the entremets out of the freezer and – using the flat plunger that comes with your entremet rings, or improvising with another 6 cm-diameter flat-surfaced object – push the ginger cream down about 2–3 mm. The biscuit base will start to push out of the bottom of the entremet ring, so be careful that it doesn’t fall off. You may need to warm the outside edge of the ring with your hands to allow the cake to slide through. Pour the jelly on top of the cream layer of each entremet and chill in the fridge for at least an hour to set.
  18. If you want to make the chocolate finishing touches, melt half the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of water (don’t let the water touch the bowl). While it is melting, finely chop the remaining 50 g of white chocolate. As soon as the chocolate has melted, take off the heat and stir in half of the chopped chocolate. If this melts in fully in under 30 seconds, leave it for 5 minutes before stirring in the rest of the chocolate. Once all the chocolate is stirred in, spread it over the chocolate transfer sheet with the offset palette knife and leave to set at room temperature.
  19. Take the entremets out of the fridge and release them from their rings by pushing up with your fingers on the biscuit base (once again, you may need to warm the outside of the rings with your hands to get the entremets to move).
  20. Peel away the film from the chocolate transfers and stick these into the top of the jelly layer. Collapse with pride!


  • This recipe has a star bake (extra advanced) difficulty.


  • If, by the end of this book, you’re confident enough to tackle these entremets, I reckon you might not need me to suggest what you fancy doing next! These circular, layered and encased little cakes encapsulate most of the skills you need to construct whatever bake you feel like making. The things to remember with them are precision and scale. Keep everything neat and maintain the proportions of the layers: try to keep the layers defined, then top with beautiful jellies, candied fruits or tempered chocolate. Have fun and be creative. And, thank you for buying my book!
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