Caramel Cream, Cacao Fruit Sorbet, Sesame Shortbread, Banana Citrus Pearls, and Passion Fruit Nectar

The First Annual StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition
Round One: Pre-Dessert
Adapted by StarChefs.com
December 2010
Yield: 12 to 14 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Caramel Cream
100 grams sugar
20 grams glucose
50 grams butter
2 grams salt
1 Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean
500 grams warmed cream
2.1 grams iota carrageenan
Cacao Fruit Sorbet
435 grams Perfect Purée cacao fruit purée
255 grams coconut milk
38 grams glucose
115 grams sugar
4 grams trimoline
173 grams water
13½ grams Sosa gella gum
1½ grams citric acid
Sesame Shortbread
150 grams butter
100 grams sugar
1 Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean
120 grams almond flour
115 grams all-purpose flour
20 grams rice flour
130 grams sesame seeds
Banana Citrus Pearls
2¼ grams agar agar
50 grams water
0.7 grams locust bean gum
50 grams sugar
223 grams banana
20 grams lemon juice
60 grams orange juice
Grapeseed oil, chilled overnight
Passionfruit Nectar
200 grams Perfect Purée passionfruit purée
25 grams agave
5 grams ultra-tex
To Assemble and Serve
Petite lemon grass, julienne

METHOD:

For the Caramel Cream:
In a medium saucepan, caramelize the sugar and glucose and deglaze with the butter. Add the salt and vanilla bean. Add the warm cream in small additions to ensure no clumps of caramel form. Bring the cream back to a boil. Immediately pour into a Vita-Prep container and shear the iota into the mixture. Allow to blend on medium for 2 minutes. Strain the cream through a chinois. Pour this into a shallow container and allow to set at room temperature. Put in the refrigerator chill overnight. Place cream in Hobart mixer and whip to medium peaks.

For the Cacao Fruit Sorbet:
In a medium sized saucepot, combine the puree, milk, glucose, sugar, and water. Bring to a quick boil while stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula. Pour this mixture into a Vita-Prep and blend on medium speed. Shear in the gellan gum and allow to blend for 2 minutes. Pour this mixture into a shallow pan and let it sit at room temperature until set. Remove to refrigerator to chill. Agitate the gel with rubber spatula to break into smaller pieces and return to the Vita-Prep. Add the citric acid and blend until completely smooth. Freeze this mixture in a Carpigiani ice cream machine.

For the Sesame Shortbread:
Preheat the oven to 315°F. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a Hobart mixer with paddle attachment for 3 minutes. Mix in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Spread this mixture out onto a Silpat lined half sheet tray. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and dry. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, break the shortbread into small pieces and set aside.

For the Banana Citrus Pearls:
In a Vita-Prep, shear the agar and locust bean gum into the cold water. Allow to run on medium speed for 1 minute. Combine water with sugar and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 1 minute. Purée the banana with lemon and orange juice until completely smooth. Pour hot syrup directly into the puree as the blender is running. Allow to run on medium for 1 minute. With a ½ teaspoon measure, drop puree into chilled oil. Once pearls have set in the cold oil, strain and very gently rinse in cold water to remove excess oil.

For the Passionfruit Nectar:
Combine the passion fruit purée and agave in a Vita-Prep. Shear in the ultra-tex, blending for 2 minutes. Strain and reserve.

To Assemble and Serve:
Using a spoon, drop the passion fruit nectar into 5 random dots on the plate. With a good amount of pressure, pipe the caramel cream, moving the tip from side to side, to create a ribbon. Place a small pile of the shortbread pieces next to the ribbon of cream to serve as a base for the sorbet. Randomly place a few pieces of the shortbread around the cream. Place 3 of the pearls next to the shortbread. Quenelle the sorbet and place it on a designated shortbread piece. Garnish the dish with the petite lemongrass.