Making my way: a plated dessert

As I do have a habit of naming my desserts after songs and lyrics, it is very easy to assume I named this one after “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton. And I don’t blame you if you think that, because that is a touching song and it reminds me of White Chicks, a movie that I bonded with my ex-coworkers from Inglewood over. However, the real inspiration is a song called “Making My Way” by Billie Piper. It’s a super old song from the Pokémon The First Movie soundtrack. Weirdly enough, it didn’t even ever play during the movie, so I’m not even sure why it was included in there, but it was. The song just reminds me of my childhood, so I decided to bring childhood elements such as lychee jelly, soy milk, and strawberry jam to the forefront with this dessert.

For the components of my dessert, we have soy bean milk panna cotta, Chinese almond cookie crumble, strawberry fluid gel, strawberry-lychee sorbet(one of my absolute favorites to make!), and lychee gelee. If you do not have lychees, you can also use rambutan, which honestly taste exactly the same, but just have furrier exteriors. Just to specify for the soy bean milk, I mean the Chinese stuff, not the Silk brand soy milk. I grew up on both, admittedly, but the taste is different, with the Chinese one being naturally sweeter and just having a different mouthfeel. In a pinch, you could use the mainstream brand, but I will judge you. Not really. Maybe. Okay, a little. 

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For the panna cotta:
2/3 cup soy bean milk
1/2 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Bring ingredients to a simmer. Divide between three bowls.

For the almond cookies:
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons chopped almonds
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Mix ingredients together. Spread on a sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Blitz in a food processor into a fine crumb.

For the strawberry fluid gel:
1/4 cup strawberry puree
2 tablespoons agar agar
a pinch of salt
water as needed

Melt down half of your puree with agar and salt. Set firm. Puree in a food processor with the rest of your puree and water until it forms a smooth consistency. Transfer to a squeeze bottle.

For the sorbet:
1/4 cup strawberry puree
1/4 cup lychees, diced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Puree ingredients together. Pass through a sieve. Churn in the ice cream machine until firm and freeze for at least 1 hour before using.

For the lychee gelee:
1/4 cup diced lychees
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons agar agar
a pinch of salt

Melt agar into water with salt. Take off heat and add in the lychees. Pour onto a sheet tray and set in the fridge until firm. Dice up.

For plating:
Start with a circle of the crumble on the panna cotta. Dot with the fluid gel. Brush some fluid gel onto sliced strawberries and garnish with those and some cubes of gelee. Finish with a quenelle of the sorbet.








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