Because procrastination really doesn't pay off, I'm still posting desserts from this past Spring. This was our tasting menu dessert, comprised of a baked chocolate ganache, paired with chocolate rocks, chocolate mint, chocolate twigs, and passion fruit sorbet. The baked chocolate ganache is egg based, and we bake it in a water bath on low heat for one hour. It comes out with a beautiful crackly top, very similar to a brownie. We then freeze it to unmold, and when served room temp, it is the most luxurious flourless chocolate cake. This small disk is paired with a tart and refreshing passion fruit sorbet to cut through the richness, and the chocolate mint adds a fresh floral element as well. For texture, caramelized cacao nibs, chocolate rocks, and chocolate twigs add extra dimension. I love caramelized cacao nibs, as the sugar cuts through the bitterness of the nibs. When pairing nibs (dried, roasted, and fermented chocolate in its purest form) with a dark chocolate cake (an altered state of the beginning), both lift each other up.
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.
When you have an abundance of ingredients, it's nice to challenge yourself to create a cohesive dessert from a variety of extra things you have on hand. This dessert consists of components from a couple of different desserts and extra ingredients I had on hand. I had leftover passion fruit semifreddo batter from the baked alaska dessert. Toasted coconut was already on hand. Cocoa nib crumble leftover from a tart. Coconut cupcakes prepared for family meal. Chocolate ice cream for emergency requests. Sometimes these dessert challenges fail, but this time it yielded something delectable. That's the best thing when you set challenges for yourself, your never quite know the outcome.