Eternal memories: a plated concept

I was inspired to create this concept from a song by Crystal Kay of the same name. The chorus talks about finding yourself, despite how difficult that may be to do so. The song just reminded me of my own culinary journey so to speak, coming up from being a vegan cupcake baker to a line cook and former culinary instructor. The different ingredients, techniques, and concepts I have done over the years, I was reminded of those, and wanted to incorporate them into this dish. I wanted to compile all of my accomplishments and happy moments involving food into a single dish, just as a perfect homage to the song.

For the dessert, I have an olive oil creme brulee, elderflower veil (dyed blue using butterfly pea tea), a yuzu-blackberry consomme, yuzu shards, yuzu-olive oil puree, and a yuzu-olive oil-elderflower macaron. Olive oil in desserts has been something I’ve been doing since I first had olive oil gelato 6 years ago. Yuzu, a sweet Japanese citrus, is an ingredient I have come to love over years and years of eating Japanese food. Elderflower just reminds me of lychee, and it tastes of nostalgia. Blackberries just remind me of a former best friend I had in high school, and how he would often push me to innovate with blackberries. Even though the friendship is not necessarily there anymore per se, I developed a genuine sense of comfort when it comes to cooking with blackberries themselves. The tartness of them pairs well with citrus, and I hate the seeds, which is why the idea to do a consomme came about. For the macaron, it took me about five years into baking for me to finally nail them. To me, they represent a huge stepping stone in my growth as a baker.

For the olive oil creme brulee:
3 egg yolks
2/3 cups milk
3 tablespoons agar agar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt down agar, sugar, and salt into the milk. Whisk in olive oil to the yolks. Temper the eggs. Whip over medium-high heat until the eggs are thickened. Take off heat and add in the vanilla. Pour onto a lightly oiled loaf pan and refrigerate until set. Cut out 2 inch circles, and reserve the remaining brulee mixture.

Elderflower veil:
2 tablespoons elderflower liquor
2/3 cups butterfly pea tea
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons agar agar
a pinch of salt

Melt down the ingredients, bring to a simmer. Pour onto a lightly oiled, shallow plate. Refrigerate.

Yuzu shards:
1 cup white chocolate
2 teaspoons yuzu zest
a pinch of salt

Melt ingredients together. Spread onto parchment and refrigerate until set. Break apart.

Yuzu-blackberry consomme:
1 cup blackberries
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon yuzu juice + 1 teaspoon yuzu zest

Combine ingredients. Cover in cling wrap and cook on a double boiler for 35 minutes. Strain out solids.

Yuzu-olive oil puree:
3 tablespoons yuzu peels
3 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of salt

Puree ingredients.

For the macaron:
3 egg whites
1 cup almond flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Whip egg whites with granulated sugar until stiff. Sift the other ingredients. Fold together. Pipe into circles on a parchment sheet, tap the pan, and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. Bake at 300 degrees F for 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking process.

For the macaron filling:
Remaining creme brulee*
1/4 cup white chocolate
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon yuzu juice

Melt down the chocolate. Blend together everything until it is smooth. Transfer to a piping bag.

For assembly:
Pipe the filling for the macarons. To plate, spoon on the consomme, then place on a creme brulee. Garnish with a 3 inch cutout of the set veil mixture. Surround with dollops of the puree. Top with the shards and macaron. Serve immediately.

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