All Right: a plated olive oil cake

This dessert was inspired by three things. The fennel pollen-olive oil cake that Kristen Kish never got to serve in her finale for Top Chef, Northern Californian olive oil my friend David gifted to me that has pleasant and fragrant grassy notes, and finally the song All Right by Koda Kumi, which ties in with the bright, light colors of the dessert itself. I knew that I could make an olive oil gelato and cake from that, and combining it with maltodextrin means that I could make a powder with it as well. Because of how little flavor tapioca maltodextrin takes on, oddly enough, it works better in dessert, where delicate flavors come through more without umami being present to dominate everything else. For my rendition of Kristen’s dessert, I’m going to make the same cake with the candied fennel and olive oil powder garnishes, but I’m also making olive oil gelato and a yuzu gelee that will be finished with edible flower petals.

Fennel pollen-olive oil cake:
1/4 cup grated fennel
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg white
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel pollen

Macerate the grated fennel with salt, olive oil, and half of your granulated sugar. Whip the rest of the sugar with the vanilla, fennel pollen, baking powder, and egg white. Sift your flour. Fold everything together. Pour onto a lined sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool completely.

Candied fennel:
Fennel stems
1/4 cup granulated sugar + more to coating
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon yuzu juice

Make the simple syrup and poach the fennel stems in that for 2-3 minutes. Cool down and then toss in the sugar to finish.

Olive oil gelato:
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of salt

Temper egg yolk and sugar with heavy cream and olive oil. Whisk on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes then strain. Season. Churn in an ice cream machine until firm. Transfer to silicone 1 inch half dome molds and freeze for 90 minutes. Press together to form a sphere of ice cream.

Olive oil powder:
1/4 cup tapioca maltodextrin
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine into a powder.

Yuzu gelee:
3 tablespoons yuzu juice
3 tablespoons residual simple syrup from candied fennel
2 1/2 tablespoons agar agar powder
a pinch of salt
edible flowers

Bring yuzu, simple syrup, and agar to a simmer. Season. Pour into the 1/2 inch silicone dome molds and press in the flowers. Set until firm.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

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