Gomakashi: a plated dessert

When I was coming up with this dessert, I had already made a black sesame flan in advanced, but didn’t necessarily know what else to pair it with. Luckily, my friend Ellen had just reached out to me, suggesting I make a dessert using dalgona coffee. Dalgona coffee, which has been recently been popularized on social media, is this Korean whipped coffee made from whipping instant coffee with sugar and hot water. It reminded me of the egg white based foams I normally make, so I wanted to use that technique, coupled with my own technique, just to lighten up both the sugar content and the potency of it. I already had black sesame flan, and this coffee foam, so I thought about what else I could use, and I felt like something that could bridge the two would be misugaru. Misugaru is nutty, fragrant, almost like peanut butter, and I figured, since I was already going Asian, the Korean coffee and the Korean misugaru would work together pretty well. So we have bitter, nutty, and sweet so far, and I knew with the misugaru, I would be making a crumble for texture and an ice cream to help regulate the temperature of the dessert. And from there, I thought about something sour or tart, just to offset the sweetness from the flan, coffee, and the ice cream. And that’s when I went with oxalis. Oxalis are edible clovers that have a punch of sour to them. I knew that the dessert would need some color, so this would help with both color and flavor. I named the dish “gomakashi” after a TrySail song, with the word itself meaning “sham” or “falsification” in Japanese. I went with it because the dish almost looks like a fake rock, and really just for that simple reason alone.

Makes enough for 3 portions:
For the misugaru ice cream:
1/2 cup misugaru
1 cup heavy cream
a pinch of salt
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together your misugaru with the heavy cream first, until slightly thickened, then whisk in your brown butter, salt, and sugar. Take off heat and whisk in the vanilla to finish with your seasonings. Cool down to room temperature and churn in an ice cream machine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before attempting to quenelle.

For the black sesame flan:
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 cup black sesame powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk the black sesame, heavy cream, and salt into the egg yolks first. Fold in the condensed milk and vanilla. Pour into 3 muffin or mini flan molds and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Throw in the freezer for at least another 2 hours to allow the custards to set and freeze solid before attempting to turn out.

For the misugaru crumble:
1/2 cup misugaru
2 tablespoons tahini paste
2 tablespoons brown butter
a pinch of salt

Combine together to form a dough. Clump together into larger pieces, about 8, pressing the dough together inside of your fingers. Bake on a lined sheet tray at 400 degrees F for 12 minutes. Cool completely and break apart into smaller pieces.

For the dalgona coffee foam:
2 tablespoons instant coffee
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons egg white powder
a pinch of salt

Whip together half of your water with the sugar and instant coffee. In a pot, melt down gelatin and reduce the rest of your water down to about 1 tablespoon’s worth of liquid. Pour into the coffee mixture, still whipping, and then add in the egg white powder and salt, continuing to whip until light and stable, about 2-3 minutes at low speed in a stand mixer, then 4-5 minutes at medium speed.

For garnish:
Oxalis leaves

Start with your unmolded flan first. Garnish the sides with three small mounds of the crumble, and top those with the oxalis. Quenelle the ice cream with a warm spoon. Spoon on the foam first, and then top with the quenelle to finish.

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