L’Espoir: a plated dessert

So this was actually a concept that had been sitting around in my culinary to-do list for months. I wanted to do a dessert that featured matcha, olive oil, and goat milk, but I kept holding off on it for one reason or another. But now that I have finally caught up on a lot of my projects, I decided, screw it, let’s get it done and do it right. For the name of the dessert, it is French for hope. I sort of wanted the dessert to be an abstract homage to a Christmas tree with that naturally green look, so that’s where the tie-in lies. You can’t help but feel optimistic and cheerful when you see a Christmas tree, and I wanted that same feeling when you see this vibrant green dessert sprouting out of the wooden plate.

For the actual components, we have a matcha-goat milk-olive oil marquis with olive oil-matcha powder, bee pollen-olive oil gelato, and matcha chocolate twigs. I also garnished the dessert with nasturtiums, just because I have a ton growing in my backyard, and because I love that peppery finish that it has. It helps with toning down the sweetness of the white chocolate I used throughout the dessert. For those of you who do not know what a marquis is, it’s basically like a set chocolate mousse. It’s one of my favorite desserts to make in the winter because it is decadent and rich. For my powder, I wanted to make it resemble snow, so I used tapioca maltodextrin to accomplish that effect.

Makes enough for 6 servings:
For the olive oil gelato:
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons bee pollen
a pinch of salt

Bring bee pollen, salt, and cream to a simmer. Temper the sugar, egg yolks, and olive oil with the bee pollen cream. Whisk on medium-low heat on the stove for 1-2 minutes, then pass through a sieve. Allow to cool before churning in an ice cream maker. Alternatively, freeze the ice cream base solid and puree in a food processor. Refreeze for another hour to set the ice cream. Dip a spoon into warm water to make the quenelles or rocher. I highly recommend pre-making those and allowing them to sit in the freezer just so that they can stay nice and firm for plating.

For the marquis:
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup goat milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon matcha powder
2 tablespoons agar agar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Whisk together the goat milk, olive oil, agar, cornstarch, and salt first on medium-high heat until the cornstarch has thickened the milk mixture. Turn off your stove and then fold in the matcha. Melt down the white chocolate in a separate bowl, either over a double boiler or in the microwave, and fold that into the matcha-milk mixture. Pour onto a lined sheet tray and allow to set in the freezer for at least 35-45 minutes, or until firm. Remove, beat with a paddle attachment in a stand mixer, and transfer to a piping bag for the final plating.

For the powder:
1/4 cup tapioca maltodextrin
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon matcha powder

Mix ingredients together to form a powder. Refrigerate so that it can stay cold and firm.

For the twigs:
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons matcha powder
a pinch of salt

Over a double boiler, melt 3/4 of the white chocolate with salt and matcha powder. Take off heat and add in the remaining white chocolate, stirring until everything is incorporated and smooth. Transfer to a piping bag. Set up a bowl of ice with water and pipe the matcha chocolate directly into the ice-cold water to create your twigs.

To plate:
Nasturtium leaves

To plate, start with a piping of the marquis first. Press the back of a warm spoon against the dollop to form a perfect crevice for the quenelle of ice cream to sit on. Sprinkle on the powder, then the quenelle, then top with your twigs and nasturtium leaves.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

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