Nov 15, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017

Olive Oil Sponge Cake with Bergamot Marmalade, Marcona Almonds, Chevre Cream, Chestnut Honey and Lavender Powder

Brian Mercury's Olive Oil Sponge Cake with Bergamot Marmalade, Marcona Almonds, Chevre Cream, Chestnut Honey and Lavender Powder.

Bergamot marmalade, chestnut honey olive oil emulsion, chevre mousse, grapefruit paper, lavender powder, Marcona almond butter, Marcona almond granola and olive oil cake by Brian Mercury, Executive Pastry Chef of Harvest at Harvard Square.


Yield: 15-20 plated desserts

Brian Mercury, Executive Pastry Chef, Harvest, Harvard Square.

Bergamot Marmalade (Yield: 5 lb/2.26 kg):

  • 4 lb/1.8 kg bergamot
  • 3.5 lb/1.58 kg granulated sugar

1. Cut half of the bergamot into eights, cover with water, wrap and rest overnight. Cut second half of bergamot into small pieces, cover with water, wrap and rest overnight.

2. Cook first amount 2-3 hours until fruit is very soft and liquid is syrupy (you may need to add more water). Strain, wrap and rest while dripping overnight. 

3. Cook second amount of bergamot until skins are tender on medium, 30-40 minutes (you may need to add more water). Cover and rest overnight.

4. Discard larger pieces of bergamot and strain juice. Combine juice with sugar, strain small pieces of bergamot and add to juice/sugar mix. Cook at rapid boil until set, about 30 minutes, stirring when mixture begins to boil and stirring every few minutes.

Chestnut Honey Olive Oil Emulsion:

  • 3.7 oz/105 g chestnut honey
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 8 liq oz/236 ml olive oil

Combine honey, salt and yolks in food processor and begin to blend. Drizzle in oil slowly while blending; continue until all oil has been added.

Chevre Mousse:

  • 7 sheets gelatin
  • 14.5 oz/411 g goat cheese
  • 15.5 oz/440 g heavy cream, divided
  • 9 oz/255 g white chocolate
  • 3.5 oz/100 g egg yolks
  • 1 oz/30 g granulated sugar
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt

1. Bloom gelatin. 

2. Process goat cheese until smooth and combine with 9.5 oz/270 g of the cream.

3. Melt chocolate over a double boiler.

4. Heat remaining 6 oz/170 g cream and add to chocolate; stir to combine. 

5. Combine yolks and sugar, pasteurize in warm water to 140°F. Whip to full volume. Combine chocolate mixture and yolks.

6. Melt gelatin and add to chocolate mixture. Whip cheese and cream mixture to soft peaks. Fold small portion of cheese mixture into chocolate mixture, add juice and salt, add remaining cheese mixture and mix until smooth. Pour into desired container, chill to set.

Grapefruit Paper:

  • 16.3 oz/463 g grapefruit juice
  • 5.3 oz/151 g simple syrup
  • 0.21 oz/6 g agar agar
  • 1 vanilla bean

1. Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer; simmer for 2-3 minutes.

2. Pour into pan and cool until set.

3. Puree until smooth, spread thin on a transfer sheet, dehydrate.

Lavender Powder:

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2.8 oz/80 g maltodextrin
  • 2.5 liq oz/74 ml lavender oil

Scrape bean and combine with maltodextrin in food processor. With machine running, drizzle in oil. Scrape down to make sure all has been incorporated, process for a few pulses.

Marcona Almond Butter:

  • 7.5 oz/212 g Marcona almonds
  • 7.5 oz/212 g almonds
  • 2.3 oz/66 g granulated sugar
  • 1 1/8 tsp salt

1. Toast both almonds.

2. Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Transfer to Vitamix blender and blend until very smooth.

Marcona Almond Granola: 

  • 6 oz/170 g bran
  • 4 oz/113 g wheat germ
  • 15 oz/425 g rolled oats
  • 12 oz/340 g Marcona almonds
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 0.5 oz/14 g ground cinnamon
  • 0.25 oz/7 g vanilla extract
  • 2 oz/57 g granulated sugar
  • 8 oz/227 g brown sugar
  • 8.5 oz/241 g molasses
  • 12 oz/340 g unsalted butter, melted

Mix all ingredients together to combine evenly. Divide onto sheet pans, toast in oven at 325°F until evenly browned, stirring constantly. Cool.

Olive Oil Cake:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 6.5 oz granulated sugar
  • 5.3 liq oz/157 ml floral olive oil
  • 5 oz/142 g cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt

1. Whip eggs and sugar in mixer with whisk attachment to full volume. Drizzle in oil and mix until well combined.

2. Sift together dry ingredients and add to egg mixture, mixing just until combined. 

3. Spray molds and fill halfway with batter.

4. Bake at 325°F until cakes spring back when touched.


  • Micro tangerine cress

Place small pile of granola in center of plate. Tear olive oil cake and place on top of granola; place Chevre Mousse next to cake, Top cake with marmalade. Place lavender powder on the side of cake/top of granola. Pipe alternating dots of honey emulsion and almond butter around. Place broken pieces of grapefruit paper across dessert. Finish with micro tangerine cress.


Click here to read more about this and related recipes in the article "House Dessert by Brian Mercury."

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