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Holiday Baking 2007


White Chocolate Fennel Cheesecake, Pomelo Grapefruit Sherbet, Pomegranate Caramel
Pastry Chef Chad Guay of Table 1280 – Atlanta, GA
Adapted by StarChefs.com
December 2007

Yield: 20 Servings

Ingredients:

    Pastry Chad Guay's White Chocolate Fennel Cheesecake, Pommelo Grapefruit Sherbet, Pomegranate Caramel on StarChefs.comGraham Cracker Crust:
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 2 ounces dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

    Pomegranate Caramel:
  • 3 pounds sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 10 pomegranates, seeded, with juice

    Pomelo Sherbet:*
  • 1400 grams pomelo or grapefruit juice
  • 660 grams sugar
  • 240 grams corn syrup
  • 600 grams water
  • 200 grams whole milk
  • 3 egg whites

    Clear Croquant:
  • 8 ounces fondant
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean

    Fennel Puree:
  • 4 fennel bulbs
  • 1 ounce butter
  • 2 ounces sugar
  • 10 ounces white chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons fennel seeds

    Cheesecake:
  • 54 ounces hand-dipped ricotta**
  • 3 Tablespoons high-gluten flour
  • 6 ounces cream
  • 6 ounces crème fraiche
  • 3 Tablespoons vanilla
  • Fennel Puree
  • 18 egg yolks
  • 12 ounces sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 Tablespoon salt

    * If you can’t find pomelo, red grapefruit can be a substitute
    **If hand-dipped ricotta is not available, hang regular ricotta overnight in cheesecloth

Method:
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
Melt butter and sugar. Pour butter over graham crumbs and mix until well incorporated.

For the Pomegranate Caramel:
Make wet sand with sugar, water, and corn syrup. Bring sugar and corn syrup to a simmer and cook until light caramel. Remove from heat and fold in pomegranate seeds and juice. Return to heat so that all seeds and caramel are incorporated.

For the Clear Croquant:
Combine ingredients and bring to a boil. When temperature reaches 165°C, pour onto silpat and let cool overnight. When firm, crush into small pieces and grind in Robot Coupe until powdered. Sprinkle desired amount on silpat and bake until melted.

For the Pomelo Sherbet:
Bring sugar, corn syrup, water, and milk to a boil and add to pomelo juice. Once cool, whisk in egg whites, chill, and spin in an ice cream maker.

For the Fennel Puree:
Core the fennel bulbs and chop to medium dice. Melt butter in a large sauté pan, add fennel, and cook until tender. Add sugar and cook until lightly caramelized, then remove from the heat and fold in white chocolate. Put ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.

For the Cheesecake:
Pass ricotta through a sieve. Mix ricotta, flour, cream, crème fraiche, vanilla, Fennel Puree, and 6 yolks. Whip the remaining 12 yolks with half of the sugar (6 ounces) until ribbon stage, and fold into cheese mixture. Whip whites with second half of sugar to soft medium peaks, and fold into cheese mixture. Let rest overnight.

To Assemble and Serve:
Preheat oven to 200°F. Firmly press 1 Tablespoon of graham crumbs into the bottom of ring molds (2-inch ones were used for this recipe). Fill ring with cheesecake batter (leave ¼ inch free at the top) and bake for 60 minutes, or until set. Finish with Pomegranate Caramel, Clear Croquant, and a quenelle of Pomelo Sorbet.

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