Finally, a Spring dessert! I call this, pistachio ³ (actually it's just pistachio parfait on the menu lol). I adore pistachios, especially the bright green Sicilian variety and decided to add it as part of the Spring & Summer dessert menu. This dessert is a pistachio parfait, a frozen dessert made with cream, eggs, and sugar. To get a rich pistachio flavor, we use a combination of ground pistachio paste, including one made in house. On the bottom is a very thin dacquoise, made with pistachio flour which acts as a base. The entire parfait is then sprayed with a Valrhona Opalys white chocolate spray for a neat finish (and a nice cocoa butter snap). It is paired with a steamed pistachio cake and lime yogurt. The crumble is flavored with fresh lime zest, chopped sicilian pistachios, and green tea. The crumble is sweet, acidic, and earthy thanks to the green tea. So far in the season, the most beautiful things at the market is rhubarb, which we use for the sorbet. All of these components are combined with a strawberry and rhubarb sorbet. On top is a crunchy pistachio honey tuile and it is finished with red-veined sorrel, a lovely acidic addition.
It has been such a cold winter and even thought its officially Spring, there's still a chill in the air. I have been craving all things beach, sun, sand, and all things tropical. The closest I've come to escaping this NYC tundra is this mashup pavlova. It looks innocent enough, but there's a lot going on. Underneath is a green tea white chocolate mousse enrobed in a passion fruit whipped cream. Covering the outside is crispy meringue, candied kumquats, and starfruit. Let's just say, even though I'm lounging near a palm tree, this kind of feels like one.
It's taken me over a year to put an Indonesian-inspired dessert on the blog. I'm pretty embarrassed about that, being Indonesian and all. But when I think about it, I'm not that surprised. To me dessert is ooey gooey brownies, blondies, and chocolate cake with super rich fudge icing. What can I say, I ate a lot of Entenman's cakes when I was younger. Indonesian desserts have a different meaning for me. My memories of Indonesian desserts are of my mom and her friends frying up batches of pisang goreng, while I just ate and eavesdropped on the conversation. Also, sharing es buah with my mom, who always served me a bowl with the best chewy fruits. When I made this I was trying to capture the best of the Indonesian dessert soups, think sweet coconut, starchy element, & fruit. This dessert is comprised of a coconut & green tea "soup", passion fruit jelly, tapioca, candied kumquats, and kiwi. I like the chewy stickiness of the tapioca along with the coconut and green tea. Green tea is not exactly an Indonesian staple, but it's replacing pandan flavoring (which is hard to find outside of Queens, NY, just saying). I used seasonal fruits, and I wanted this to be as simple as possible. Why simple? Because when I eat a spoonful of this, I don't need an armful of ingredients to take me back to my Indonesian roots.
There are some staple fruits that we always keep on hand in the kitchen, such as blueberries, strawberries, lemons, limes, oranges, and pineapple (weird, I know) and the like. Somehow, I started munching on some blackberries and stopped. They were good! We've hit blackberry season?! I assumed berries would not come into season until the height of summer, yet here I was eating some delicious blackberries. After munching on a few juicy berries, I paired it with some dark chocolate ganache, green tea diplomat, and whipped cream. Sometimes simple is best.
Now that we're nearing the end of winter, brainstorming for Spring desserts have become my biggest priority. When thinking of a new seasonal menu, I never think of flavors together, but rather ways in which to highlight an ingredient. My idea was to play around with citrus, a bridge between winter and spring. What better way than to make a fruit curd. Popular curd flavors include lemon, lime, and orange. My favorite flavor of curd happens to be grapefruit. I love how the bitter grapefruit is tamed with the addition of eggs, sugar, and butter. The biggest surprise of this dessert happens to be the crumble. It is a basic green tea crumble, but it's the flavors that are added after that makes it come alive. This entire dessert brings about flavors and ideas people are familiar with, such as curd or a crumble, but it is the way it has been treated that makes the familiar new.