Gyakkou: a plated dessert

With this dessert, my aim was to create something that was delicate and light, while at the same time, having a pronounced flavor. So I opted for rose and almond for the flavor combination, being inspired by Persian baking, and me wanting to use Turkish delight and almond cake in some way or form. So we have an almond cake base with Turkish delight, rose-almond milk tea mousse, a rose mirror glaze, and tempered white chocolate feathers to finish.

For the Turkish delight:
1/4 cup cornstarch plus more for dusting
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon gelatin powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons rose jam
1/2 cup water in two parts
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pitaya powder

In a pot, stir together your cornstarch, sugar, gelatin, lemon juice, rose jam, half of the water, and salt first. Whisk continuously for 5 minutes on medium-low heat. Then pour in the rest of your water and continue whisking on medium heat for another 5. Pipe onto a cornstarch-lined surface in a 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch line and freeze until set, making sure to dust the entire tube of dough. Slice into 2 inch long pieces.

For the almond cake:
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg white
3 tablespoons brown butter
a pinch of salt

Whip egg white with sugar to stiff peaks. Mix the almond meal and xanthan gum with the brown butter and salt. Fold together your two mixtures and pour onto a sheet tray. Spread and bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. Slice into 1 inch by 2 inch rectangles.

For the rose milk soak:
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon rose jam

Mix together and dunk the rectangles of cake into the liquid.

For the almond and rose mousse:
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin powder
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons rose jam
1/4 cup almond milk
3/4 cups heavy cream, whipped stiff
a pinch of salt

Mix gelatin with water then place into a pot with the almond milk. Bring that to a simmer. In another bowl, mix your egg yolk with the rose jam first then pour in the almond milk. Whisk everything together, pour back into the pot and whisk on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Pass through a sieve and allow the mixture to cool down, adding in salt to season. Once the mixture has cooled down to room temperature, fold in the heavy cream. Pipe the mousse into silicone bar molds then place in your Turkish delight, and finally, the cakes. Freeze these for at least 2 hours to set.

For the mirror glaze:
1/2 cup ruby chocolate
1/2 cup white chocolate
2 1/2 teaspoons gelatin powder
1/2 cup almond milk in two parts
1 teaspoon pitaya powder

Mix half the almond milk with gelatin. Melt the gelatin into the rest of the almond milk over low heat in a pot. Stir into that the ruby and white chocolates, and then the pitaya powder. Pass through a sieve. Keep the glaze no warmer than 90 degrees F and pour over the set mousses, while those are still frozen solid, to glaze them. Do this over an icing rack for the best results.

For the white chocolate petals:
1/2 cup white chocolate

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler then stir until the chocolate reaches 88 degrees F. Using an offset spatula, coat one side with the chocolate. Press the spatula against a strip of acetate, then lift and pull the spatula away to form the feather. Repeat this as necessary. Chill down the feathers until set, about 5 to 10 minutes, before removing.

For the almond crunch:
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons brown butter
2 tablespoons rose jam

Mix together and spread between two pieces of parchment. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Allow to cool down before breaking into smaller pieces.

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