Milky way: a plated dessert

This concept came about from when I was watching a singing anime on Netflix, called “Carole & Tuesday”. Some of the sounds really stuck out to me as good inspirations or launching points for dishes, including one called “Milky Way”. For obvious reasons, I had to include milk in this dessert as a pivotal focus. So I went with a buttermilk blanc manger, buttermilk sorbet, and caramelized milk crumble to start with. I went with plum as my fruit of choice, just because there is a tartness there that will guarantee a not too sweet outcome, while I garnished the dessert with charcoal tuiles and compressed plum to finish, along with a “milky way” veil, made with charcoal, pitaya, and butterfly pea tea, set with agar.

For those of you who do not know what blanc manger is, it’s like a set milk custard, similar to panna cotta. Typically, it’s thickened with almonds or cornstarch on top of the gelatin, and in my case, I opted for the cornstarch. For the veil, I did add a little lemon juice into the base, to play on the tartness of the buttermilk and plum, and also to change the color of the butterfly pea to purple, just to better suit the “milky way”/”galaxy” aesthetic I was going for. In this dessert, the crumble is really pivotal in just adding an element that is not tart or acidic, while the tuile adds the texture and sweetness as well.

For the blanc manger:
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Off heat, whisk the buttermilk with cornstarch and sugar until the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Season with salt. Heat up while whisking and add in the bloomed gelatin powder. Whisk until the mixture has thickened and then pass through a sieve to remove lumps and buttermilk solids. Pour into silicone bar molds and freeze until fully set firm (1-2 hours).

For the buttermilk sorbet:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons mizuame syrup
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine ingredients together. Pour into an ice cream machine and churn until thickened. Freeze for at least an hour to set.

For the tuiles:
1 egg white
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon activated charcoal powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons brown butter

Whisk ingredients together and spread as thinly as possible onto a silpat. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. Cool down and break apart.

For the compressed plums:
1 black plum
2 tablespoons muscovado sugar
1/2 teaspoon walnut oil
a pinch of salt

Slice plums into thin pieces on a mandolin. Toss with other ingredients. If you own a vacuum sealer, use that on the plums. If not, then you can place into a ziplock and squeeze out any air. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Remove the plums and reserve the liquid for your caramel crumble.

For the plum coulis:
1 red plum
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cassis liqueur
a pinch of salt

Pit the plum and dice finely. Add to a pot with other ingredients and water and bring to a simmer. Puree once the plums are soft and pass through a sieve. Cool completely before using on the final dish.

For the caramel crumble:
3 tablespoons crushed walnuts
3 tablespoons brown butter
residual plum liquid
2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Bring residual plum liquid, salt, and sugar to a simmer. Once the mixture reaches 230 degrees F, take off and add in your walnuts. Stir in the brown butter as well and pour onto a silpat and allow to cool down. Blitz into a nice crumb, about the size of a fourth  the size of your pinkie nail.

For the galaxy veil:
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons agar agar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon activated charcoal
1 teaspoon pitaya powder
1 teaspoon butterfly pea powder

Bring the first four ingredients to a simmer. Pour into four different bowls. Dye three with the three powders. Pour the four mixtures quickly over one another on a lightly oiled sheet tray and spread thin. Set until firm and slice into pieces.

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