Here comes a thought: a plated dessert

When I came up with the concept for this dessert, it really was to be something that would tackle the themes of anxiety and depression, two things I had to deal with a ton when I had come out. Having an entire student organization essentially outcast and passive aggressively bully you, as anyone can imagine, can create a lot of emotional turmoil. But there was something that I listened to almost every night to calm me down. A song from a cartoon, Steven Universe, called “Here comes a thought”. It addresses how to deal with panic attacks and stress, and when I was experiencing those, I would just listen to it, and repeat the lyrics to myself. Taking a step back, a deep breath, and just calming yourself down. Keeping the butterflies in your stomach from bubbling up and bursting out. So for the components of the dessert, I really just wanted to use blueberries, butterfly pea tea, blood orange, and ginger. These flavors go together, and from a color standpoint, you really can paint a picture with these, and easily.

For the different components, we have blueberry-ginger foam, blood orange mousse, blueberry gelee, blood orange-ginger sable, blueberry mousse, ginger-blood orange meringue sticks, and butterfly pea chocolate butterflies. This is a really architectural dessert, so you will definitely need a ton of silicone molds, including a 1-inch sphere mold, a doughnut mold, and a petit gateau mold. Also, having a ton of freezer space helps as well. You’ll have to be able to store several silicone molds and on flat surfaces, so just keep that in mind when or if you are making this.

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For the blueberry-blood orange gelee:
juice and zest from 1 blood orange
1/4 cup blueberry puree
3 tablespoons agar agar
a pinch of salt

Reduce ingredients together. Pass through a strainer and pour into the bottom of silicone doughnut molds, filling each 1/8th the way up, and spreading the rest onto a sheet tray.

For the blood orange mousse:
1/4 juice blood orange juice
2 teaspoons blood orange zest
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream; whipped stiff

Combine everything but the gelatin and then whisk on medium-high heat until the mixture thickens. Pass through a sieve. Cool down and fold in your cream. Pipe into your silicone petit gateau molds onto the set gelee. Freeze solid.

For blueberry consommé:
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
salt

Toss together in a heatproof bowl and wrap in cling film. Place on a double boiler for 30 minutes, then remove. Strain out the solids.

For the ginger-blueberry mousse:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cups heavy cream, whipped stiff
3/4 teaspoons gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 cup blueberry puree
a pinch of salt

Combine gelatin, puree, and ginger and bring to a simmer. Season with sugar and salt. Add in vanilla. Strain and cool down. Fold in whipped cream. Pipe into silicone half dome molds.

For the ginger-blood orange sable:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon blood orange zest
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 egg yolk
a pinch of salt

Combine the dough. Cool down in the refrigerator until firm, about 10 minutes. Dust with flour and roll out to about 1/16th inch thickness. Cut out rings with a 2 inch and 1/4 inch cookie cutters. Bake on a lined baking sheet at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.

For meringue sticks
1 egg white
1/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon blood orange zest
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

Whip into soft peaks and transfer to a piping bag. Pipe into lines on parchment and bake at 285 degrees F for 10 minutes. Cool down slightly before removing.

For the white chocolate butterflies:
1/3 cup white chocolate
a pinch of salt

Melt all but 1 tablespoon of white chocolate and salt on a double boiler. Keep stirring until the white chocolate reaches 95 degrees F. Add in the white chocolate, off heat. Pour 2/3 of the chocolate onto acetate. Color the rest with the powder, and pour that onto the acetate as well. Spread out to make streaks of it. Cut out circles using a 1/4 inch round. These will be the wings. Prop up two sheets of acetate, and then pipe a small line of the white chocolate. Place the wings (four of them) along this line. Set inside the fridge until the chocolate is firmed.

For the blueberry-ginger foam:
2 egg whites
blueberry consommé
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water

Melt gelatin into blueberry consommé, water, and ginger powder. Once the mixture is warm, puree with the egg whites. Transfer to a stand mixer and whip until frothy. Use immediately.

For plating:
Start with the sable first. Then place your blood orange mousse on top, then the ring shaped shortbread. On that, place two half spheres of the blueberry mousse. Lean two meringue sticks against the tower at different angles, and garnish with the butterfly and foam to serve.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

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