Raspberry, Marzipan and Poppyseed Mousse Cake – a luxurious treat

There were lots of things to celebrate last weekend: losing one stone in weight, being back in the house after months of builders, Christmas being on the way and my mother coming to stay. We had also committed to a return match for dinner with friends from the village; a date we wanted to keep even though it meant cooking for 9 on the same weekend we were putting up the Christmas trees (yes trees …..the beloved likes his trees colour themed).



This wondrously tasty bake (which is also gluten free) consists of a ground hazelnut and poppyseed sponge, with a layer of raspberry ganache, followed by raspberry jelly all surrounded with a marzipan and poppyseed mousse which is covered in a clear mirror glaze and topped with a circle of raspberry curd sprayed with red velvet cocoa butter to give it that extra pop.

The mousse is wonderfully light, the raspberry 3 ways sets off the creaminess of the mousse perfectly and the sponge adds an element of bite to counteract the gelatine infused layers above it. I have never seen a pudding disappear so fast nor have so many done their impressions of Oliver Twist so well.


This bake was a classic example of baking inflation. With so much to do this weekend, I was under strict orders to keep it simple but once I stumbled on the inspiration for this recipe on Maren Lubbe’s wonderful website MaLu’s Koestlichkeiten. (MaLu’s Delicacies) I was a gonna. The combination of ground poppyseed (I had a bag that needed using), and new techniques (entremet, mirror glazing) proved far too much of a temptation for me and I found myself all week doing the necessary military planning this cake takes.


I had to adapt the recipe quite a bit. Firstly it had to be a cake big enough for 9 people rather than individual tarts (mostly because I didn’t have the mould) which meant scaling up the ingredients which is never fun and actually involves multiplying everything by 4. One of my guests is celiac so I had to find a gluten free sponge compared to MaLu’s genoise  base. I was also concerned that there was not sufficient raspberry to offset the mousse so added a raspberry white chocolate ganache as a layer. Lastly I switched the curd making to a more classic method which greatly reduced the chances of air bubbles when using the swirly mould.


So how did it go? Well not bad really considering the number of firsts in here but it was a hell of a lot of work as typing this up has reminded me!  Each individual element on its own is not tricky but it is the combination of all three that is the issue along with the long apps needed to get various bits frozen before moving on to the next stage (the beloved has banned me from buying a blast chiller).


The mirror glaze was the main bit that went wrong slightly. I got impatient waiting for it to cool and poured it when it was still too liquid so it didn’t really stick to the side as well as it should have. This glaze was unusual sit is clear to show the prettiness that poppyseed makes so it was thinner than one made with condensed milk.  I will be trying again with mirror glaze and at least looking into the technique meant I stumbled across The Topless Baker’s YouTube channel which I am enjoying for all the wrong reasons.

In retrospect I would also have neutered off the edge a bit with a warm palette knife which probably would have meant less trouble with the glaze and the sticking up edges acted as a bit of a dam for the glaze creating runnels on the side.

The marzipan poppyseed mousse is lovely though and very unusual to British tastes.  That ring said once the whipped cream was added it lost a lot of the marzipan flavour so  I have doubled the marzipan in the recipe below to counter this.

Should you bake this? Absolutely but allow yourself plenty of time.  Because of the freezing (and refreezing)  you need at least 48 hours to do this or 3 evenings, and before it is due to be eaten you need most of a working day to get it defrosted after glazing.


The Recipe


You need a few things here

  • an 8″ and 10″ ring mould (about 8cm heigh) – though the edge of a springform cake tin will work
  • 10′” thin cake board
  • 9″ baking tin
  • acetate strip the height of the 10″ mould
  • thermometer
  • 8″ silicone mould (one for sandwich loaves is fine)
  • Red velvet cocoa butter spray
  • Tourbillon mould (large)
  • Culinary blow torch
  • Time and patience !

Ingredients & Method

These have been presented in the order you need to make them. TThe elements are

  • Stage 1
    • Raspberry jelly – which needs freezing in the mould
    • Hazelnut and poppyseed sponge
    • Raspberry ganache
    • Assemble sponge and ganache in 8″ ring mould and allow ganache to set
  • Stage 2
    • Raspberry curd – which needs freezing in the mould
    • Marzipan poppyseed mousse
    • Put Jelly on top of the sponge and ganache and fill the 10″ mould with mousse
    • Allow to freeze overnight
  • Stage 3
    • Make the Transparent mirror glaze
    • Pour over the cake
    • finish of the curd swirl and put on the cake
  • Stage 4
    • Defrost for 6-7 hours at room temperature

There is a lot of raspberry puree in this.  You can pre buy it from Amazon which is more cost effective than it might seem.  If you are going the long way round and want to use fresh raspberries, you need roughly twice as many raspberries as the puree quantity required in the recipe.

To puree raspberries you need a sieve, spatula and a lot of sweat (or in my case a Kenwood Chef puree attachment).  Simply press the raspberries through the sieve and carry on working the mixture in the side until you are left with just pulp.

It also uses industrial quantities of sheet gelatine.  Thankfully these come in a standard size these days but it assumes 7cm x 11.5cm sheets.

So hold onto your hats  and here goes

Raspberry Jelly 

  • Ingredients
    • 600g raspberry puree
    • 80g caster sugar
    • 8 sheets of  gelatine
  • Method
    • Soak the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water
    • put the  puree and sugar together in a pan and heat until the sugar is fully dissolved
    • squeeze all excess water out of the gelatine sheets
    • stir into the puree mixture until fully dissolved
    • pour into 8″ silicone mould
    • allow to cool to room temperature
    • put in freezer until frozen

Hazelnut Poppyseed Sponge

  • Ingredients
    • 100g softened unsalted butter
    • 30g icing sugar
    • 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
    • 90g caster sugar
    • 110g ground poppyseed (these must be ground not whole as otherwise the flavour does not come out and it is not pleasant to eat)
    • 110g ground hazelnuts or almonds
    • 1 pinch of salt
  • Method
    • Line a 9″ baking tin with baking parchment
    • Heat the oven 180C / 160C fan
    • Separate the eggs
    • Put the icing sugar and butter in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy
    • Beat in the egg yolks one at a time (adding a spoonful of ground nuts with each yolk to stop the mixture curdling)
    • Beat in the remaining ground nuts and poppyseed
    • Put the salt  and egg white in a bowl and whisk until  it begins to stiffen, then add the sugar a spoonful at a time and continue whisking until you have stiff peaks
    • Fold into the nuts and poppyseed mixture taking care not to knock any air out
    • Put into baking tin and bake for 40 minutes
    • Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack
    • Once cool place on a 10″ thin cake board
    • place your 8″ mould ring on top and cut the cake to size so there is a tight fit around the cake

Raspberry Ganache

  • Ingredients
    • 320g fresh raspberries
    • 300g white chocolate
    • 50g ground almonds
  • Method
    • Chop the chocolate
    • Puree the raspberries
    • Melt the chocolate over a bain marie
    • Heat the raspberry puree to 40C
    • Pour over melted chocolate and mix
    • Stir in ground almonds
    • Pour on top of the poppyseed sponge (while it is in a mould so that the ganache does not go down the side) ensuring you have a smooth finish
    • Place in fridge until the ganache has set

Raspberry curd

  • Ingredients
    • 1 large egg
    • 50g raspberry puree
    • 45g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
    • 1 sheet of gelatine
  • Method
    • soak gelatine in a bowl of cold water
    • put the remaining ingredients into a bowl and place over a pan of simmering water
    • stir all the time until until the mixture coats the back of a spoon
    • squeeze excess water out of gelatine and add to the mixture until fully dissolved
    • press mixture through a sieve
    • then pour into the Tourbillon mould (placed onto a baking sheet)
    • tap the mould on your work surface gently to remove all air bubbles
    • put in freezer – it needs to set hard as de-moulding is tricky

Marzipan Poppyseed Mousse

  • Ingredients
    • 800ml full fat milk
    • 200g white marzipan
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 8  egg yolks
    • 4tsp cornflour
    • 12 sheets of gelatine
    • 120g ground poppyseed
    • 720ml whipping cream
  • Method
    • soak gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water
    • grate the marzipan
    • combine the cornflour, egg yolks and sugar and beat until pale
    • heat the milk and marzipan until just about to boil
    • whisk into the egg mixture a ladleful at a time until both are at the same temperature
    • return all the mixture to the pan and cook at a gentle heat stirring all the time until the mixture thickens (it will be about 85C at the right point) – you are aiming for a thick custard texture
    • squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine and stir into the custard until fully dissolved
    • cover with cling film and allow to cool until it reaches 30C
    • fold in the ground poppyseed into the custard
    • whisk your cream until it is creamy (very soft peaks)
    • ofld into your poppy seed custard


  • line your 10′ mould ring with acetate (make sure it is the height of the mould, and slightly wet it to ensure it sticks to the side)
  • get a 12″ thick cake board (or any other firm board that will fit in the freezer)
  • put a 10″ thin cake board on the wider board and put the 10″ mould ring around it
  • get your raspberry jelly out of the freezer and push it out of the mould
  • place your ganache covered cake in the middle
  • put the jelly slice on top
  • fill the mould with mousse up to the top
  • smooth off  the top with a long ruler
  • put the whole assembly on the freezer over-night


  • Ingredients
    • 380g glucose syrup
    • 300g water
    • 300g caster sugar
    • 16 sheets of gelatine!
  • Method
    • soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water
    • put the rest of the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil until it reaches 105C
    • allow it to cool to 85C
    • squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and stir into the mixture
    • put into a jug, cover with cling film touching the top
    • wait until the mixture drops to 35C – this is important and it takes time – I went  to glaze too early and the mixture was too thin and watery
    • get your cake out of the freezer
    • slide the mould off (you will need a culinary blow torch to heat the side of the mould to loosen it)
    • put your cake on a wire rack over a baking tray perched up on a smaller container
    • smooth off any sharp edges with a warm palette knife
    • now take your glaze and pour it through a sieve to take out any last lumps
    • using a hand blender put it in the mixture at an angle beneath the surface of the liquid and blend for a few minutes –  this will push out any last air bubbles
    • now being brave, pour the glaze over the top of the cake encouraging it over the sides using a large palette knife
    • neaten off any drips hanging off the bottom
    • allow to set – it shouldn’t take long

Final Decoration

  • take your curd swirl out of the freezer
  • press out (this is tricky so work fast before it defrosts)
  • spray lightly with the red velvet cocoa butter (don’t be tempted to do more as you will fill in the definition on the swirl)
  • place carefully on the centre of your cake



This is such a large cake it takes about 7 hours at room temperature to defrost fully or overnight in the fridge.  The jelly is the last to defreeze though having a slight icy crunch is actually quite nice!Last but not least, stand back and admire and await the chorus of oohs from guests and your loved ones!


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