Citrus season is here, so now I can use a variety of these fruits for a creation I have had in mind for some time now. Lemon and poppy seed cakes are part of my childhood memories, and I love the texture that the poppies give to a sponge. This creation changed little by little as I had different elements in my head, but at the last moment I could visualise how it would look. I like using natural colors, and using the jelly insert as an element of the decoration gives a pop of color to the finished product. In a production setting an assembly like this facilitates the manipulation of the inserts. This creation is completely gluten- and nut-free.

Lady Caviar

Yield: 20 petits gateaux

Special equipment: Pavoni #PX4350 sphere molds


  • 130 g brown rice flour
  • 1.5 g guar gum (preferably Louis François)
  • 50 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 17 g oatmeal flour
  • 1.2 g salt
  • 70 g unsalted butter, 82% fat
  • 28 g whole egg
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients with the butter to form a sandy texture. Add the egg and mix until a dough forms.
  1. Roll dough out to a thickness of 0.12ʺ (3 mm) and then refrigerate to firm up.
  1. Cut 2ʺ (5 cm) diameter discs and bake on a perforated silicone mat at 300˚F (150°C) for 15 minutes (par-baked). Allow to cool.

Gluten-Free Flour Mixture

  • 12 g brown rice flour
  • 12 g fine corn meal
  • 12 g potato starch
  1. Sift together all ingredients and whisk gently to combine. Place in airtight container.

Lemon Poppy Seed Sponge

  • 80 g raw ‘unrefined’ sugar
  • 1.3 g fine sea salt (fleur de sel)
  • 80 g oatmeal flour
  • 25 g whole egg
  • 25 g egg yolk
  • 25 g heavy cream, 35% fat
  • 20 g poppy seeds
  • Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 70 g unsalted butter
  • 90 g egg whites
  • 10 g superfine granulated sugar
  • 35 g Gluten-Free Flour Mixture (above), sifted
  • 2.2 g baking powder (gluten-free)
  1. In a bowl, using a spatula, mix together the sugar, salt, oatmeal flour, egg, egg yolk, cream, poppy seeds and lemon zest. Melt the butter and add to the mixture, combining well.
  1. Whip the egg whites and gradually add the superfine sugar to form a French meringue. Fold the meringue into the poppy seed mixture, then stir in the Gluten-Free Flour Mixture and the baking powder.
  1. Pipe 20 g of the sponge batter onto each par-baked shortbread in a 2ʺ (5 cm) diameter silicone mold. Bake at 350˚F (180°C) for 10-15 minutes (for a fan forced oven).
  1. When the sponges come out of the oven, cut them to 1.5ʺ (4 cm) for assembly.

Chef’s tip: You can replace or remove the poppy seeds and lemon zest in the recipe.

Bergamot Orange Compote with Finger Lime

  • 80 g bergamot orange puree (Capfruit)
  • 260 g water
  • 60 g superfine granulated sugar
  • 50 g instant inulin (preferably Louis François)
  • 7 g pectin NH
  • 2 g locust bean gum
  • 35 g finger lime
  1. Heat the puree with the water to 122˚F (50°C). Add the powders and blend before heating to 185˚F (85°C). Allow to cool.
  1. Fold in the finger lime. Pour 25 g directly into molds.

Chef’s tip: Stir the compote well before pouring to ensure that the finger lime is well incorporated into the mixture.

Timut Pepper Infusion

  • 187 g water
  • 2.5 g Timut pepper
  1. Boil water with pepper; cover and infuse for 2 hours.

Mascarpone Mousse

  • 148 g Timut Pepper Infusion
  • 50 g gelatin mass (1:6)
  • 2 g salt
  • 540 g mascarpone
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 160 g pasteurized egg whites
  • 80 g superfine granulated sugar
  • 20 g instant inulin
  1. Melt the gelatin mass to 104˚F (40°C) and pour onto infusion; add salt. Pour onto the mascarpone and cut and scraped vanilla bean before emulsifying with a hand blender.
  1. Blend whites with sugar and inulin and whip to form a creamy meringue. Fold meringue into mascarpone base at 59-68˚F (15-20°C). Use immediately.

Chef’s tip: The Timut pepper has a certain floral flavor profile which works well with the bergamot. Using a water base for the recipe enables increased sensation of the mascarpone in the recipe.

Neutral Glaze

  • 388 g water
  • 559 g superfine granulated sugar, divided
  • 13 g pectin X58 (Louis François)
  • 40 g lemon juice
  1. Heat water with 460 g of the sugar to 122˚F (50°C).
  1. Add the remaining 99 g sugar and pectin. Blend well and heat to 185˚F (85°C). Add lemon juice, cover and refrigerate to 24 hours.

Chef’s tip: This glaze can last for months if well covered and refrigerated.

Neutral Glaze for Glazing

  • 1000 g Neutral Glaze (above)
  • 200 g water
  1. Heat glaze with water to 89-95˚F (32-35°C). Glaze frozen cakes as directed below.


  1. Pour 25 g Bergamot Orange Compote into each cavity and blast-freeze to set.
  1. Pipe mousse into molds then insert sponge/shortbread insert. Smooth tops, then blast-freeze.
  1. Unmold and dip into glaze with a toothpick.
  1. Place onto a cake board and decorate with dried flowers.