Tropique Salad: Black Pepper Cheesecake, Rum Granité, Seed and Nut Croquant, and Tropical Fruit Sorbets

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

INGREDIENTS:

Black Pepper Cheesecake
6 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
½ tablespoon spiced rum
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup whipped crème fraîche
Pinch sea salt
¼ teaspoon coarsely chopped black pepper
Rum Granité
1 liter water
200 grams sugar
1 stalk lemongrass
1 teaspoon coriander
½ Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean
Zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
3 Kaffir lime leaves
¼ cup chopped mint and cilantro
250 milliliters white rum
Sorbet Base: (Yield: 1 Quart)
1000 grams water
200 grams glucose powder
800 grams sugar
20 grams trimoline
Tamaya Gourmet Chilean Carica Fruit Sherbet
150 grams plain yogurt
65 grams glucose
30 grams trimoline
60 grams sugar
2 grams pectin
500 grams Tamaya Gourmet Chilean carica fruit
Small pinch fleur de sel
Avocado Sorbet
500 grams ripe avocado
Juice of 1 lime
Small pinch fleur de sel
Lychee Sorbet
500 grams Perfect Purée lychee purée
Small pinch fleur de sel
Fruit of the Cacao Sorbet
500 grams Perfect Purée Fruit of the Cacao
250 grams PreGel Neutro ice cream stabilizer
Small pinch fleur de sel
Raspberry Sorbet
500 grams fresh raspberries
250 grams PreGel Neutro ice cream stabilizer
Small pinch fleur de sel
Seed and Nut Croquant
100 grams fondant
65 grams glucose
20 grams sesame seeds
20 grams sunflower seeds
20 grams dried coconut
To Assemble and Serve
Fresh raspberries
Micro coriander
Micro basil

METHOD:

For the Black Pepper Cheesecake:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cream the cream cheese with the sugar. Add the egg and liquids and stir to combine. Fold in the whipped crème fraîche with the salt and pepper. Pipe the mixture into small 2-inch hemisphere fleximolds. Bake in a covered water bath for 6 to 8 minutes or until set. Cool at room temperature and transfer to the freezer to aid in un-molding. Cheesecakes should set for an hour. Invert onto small squares of wax paper and reserve for plating.

For the Rum Granité:
Infuse the water with the aromatics over medium heat; remove from heat and add the fresh mint and cilantro and steep for 20 minutes. Add the rum and strain through a chinois. Freeze using Irinox Blast Chiller. Scrape intermittently to create uniform ice crystals.

For the Sorbet Base:
Heat the water, glucose powder, sugar and trimoline to 170°F. Be sure all sugar is dissolved. Strain through a chinois and chill for 24 hours prior to processing in a Carpigiani ice cream machine.

For the Tamaya Gourmet Chilean Carica Fruit Sherbet:
Warm the yogurt in a small pot over a low heat, and add the glucose and trimoline. Whisk together the sugar and pectin and add to the stabilized yogurt mixture. Heat the mixture to 170°F. Add the carica fruit. Let the mixture ripen for 24 hours. Mix and strain through a chinois. Churn in a Carpigiani ice cream machine. Reserve for service.

For the Avocado Sorbet:
Combine the avocado, lime, and fleur de sel with 200 grams of the sorbet base and mix thoroughly. Strain through a chinois. Churn in the Carpigiani ice cream machine. Reserve for service.

For the Lychee Sorbet:
Combine the lychee purée and fleur de sel with 250 grams of the sorbet base and mix thoroughly. Strain through a chinois. Churn in the Carpigiani ice cream machine. Reserve for service.

For the Fruit of the Cacao Sorbet:
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Strain through a chinois. Churn in the Carpigiani ice cream machine. Reserve for service.

For the Raspberry Sorbet:
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Strain through a chinois. Churn in the Carpigiani ice cream machine. Reserve for service.

For the Seed and Nut Croquant:
Cook sugar to 160°C and add the seeds and nuts. Spread this mixture on a Silpat and roll between two Silpats to create a thin layer. Cut while warm into long thin shards, about 6 or 7 inches. Grind all remaining trim into a powder and store in an airtight container.

To Assemble and Serve:
Sprinkle the croquant powder in a line down the center of a rectangular plate. Place the cheesecakes on the powder, evenly spacing them and leaving room for the sorbets.

Quenelle sorbets alternating color profile and set them at a bias on the late, i.e. avocado, lychee, carica, raspberry and fruit of the cacao. Place croquant shards so as to playfully accent the soft shapes of the quenelle and cheesecake and to create an architectural element. Put five quartered fresh raspberries per plate, as well as small leaves of coriander and basil (5 to 7 leaves total). Finish with a delicate spoon of the rum granité.