Got me going’: a plated dessert

Back when I was thinking of signature dishes for MasterChef, this was one of the four that I came up with, being a back-up dessert to my chocolate cake. Normally, when you think of a signature dessert, you’d think like a cake, tart, cream puff, something where a dough or batter takes the center stage. However, for this dessert, the star isn’t the baked component, but rather, the curd that lies beneath it. The concept itself was an homage to my favorite Top Chef winner, Mei Lin, as well as a nod to Christina Tosi’s strawberry and corn cookie pie. During her finale, Mei produced a strawberry-lime curd dessert that blew the judges minds. I used that as a basis to make this strawberry lemon curd dessert, using ginger and lemon, as well as a corn sable, which is an obvious nod to the corn cookies that I make all the time. I garnished the dessert with a ginger-lemon kanten jelly, and a syrup made from the roasted strawberry leaves, as well as freshly sliced berries.

The name of the dessert came from a Koda Kumi song, Got Me Going’, while the inspiration was to make a dessert that energizes you, something ginger, lemon, and strawberry leaf tea can all do. Whenever I’m not feeling well, ginger and lemon automatically energize me, while strawberry leaf tea helps with your mental state. It is also a summery dessert, something that I know represents me well as a person, since I literally live for the beach and the ocean(and live by and work by as well!). I would have been okay with making this dish on the show, since I love to bake and make desserts anyways, but I got to do the chocolate cake instead, which was perfectly A+ okay with me! The obvious differences between the two desserts is that one features a baked component as the star, being a cake, while the other features the curd as the star, something a little less conventional in bakeries, but more so prominently seen in restaurants these days. It’s definitely a balanced and light dessert, sure to get you going!

For the curd:
1 cup diced fresh strawberries
juice from 4 lemons + zest
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
salt to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Reserve strawberry leaves. Simmer strawberries with half of the lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Mix the remaining lemon juice with cornstarch and zest and pour into the berries. Whisk until thickened and pour into a blender. Puree, adding in the butter, then strain. Pour into bowls and refrigerate.

For the corn sable:
1/2 cups Japanese corn powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Combine ingredients together. Spread onto a large sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool completely and break into pieces.

For the gelee:
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger
juice from 2 lemons + zest
1 1/2 tablespoons agar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Simmer ingredients together, except for the agar . Reserve about 3 tablespoons of the liquid, then add in the agar into the remaining liquid. Whisk and pass through a strainer. Cool that mixture down to form the gelee.

Simple syrup:
3 tablespoons liquid gelee base
1/4 cup water
strawberry leaves

Bake leaves in oven at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. Add into the other ingredients and simmer for 3 minutes. Strain and chill down.

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