Compressed Native Strawberries, Beet, Cacao Fruit, Elderflower, and Violets

Adapted by
March 2010


Kaffir Lime Leaf Meringue
1 kilogram hot water
50 grams kaffir lime leaves
8.25 grams methocel F50
200 grams sugar
Pinch salt
Pinch citric acid
Strawberry Glass
500 grams strawberry pulp
Fraise de Bois-White Chocolate Sphere
500 grams fraises des bois
250 grams strawberries
50 grams sugar
500 grams white chocolate, melted
100 grams cocoa butter, melted
Cacao Fruit Sorbet
28 grams HM pectin
900 grams sugar
1.6 kilograms water
400 grams dry glucose
150 grams dextrose
2.3 kilograms cacao fruit pulp
citric acid
Elderflower Meringue
200 grams filtered water
250 grams Nikolaihof elderflower syrup
8 grams Versawhip
1.1 gram xanthan gum
100 grams sugar
Compressed Native Strawberries
12 small strawberries
500 milliliters fresh strawberry juice
Beet Genoise
510 grams eggs
800 grams sugar
1 teaspoon salt
964 grams beet puree
454 grams cake flour
Violet Sauce
50 grams organic violet petals
50 grams blue Pansies
1 kilogram water
6 grams agar agar
200 grams sugar
80 grams glucose
Pinch of salt
To Assemble and Serve
candied violets
Freeze-dried strawberries
Borage flowers
anise hyssop


For the Kaffir Lime Leaf Meringue:
Infuse the hot water with the lime leaves for 30 minutes. Put the infusion in a pot and bring it to a boil. Transfer 500 grams of the infusion to a Vita-Prep blender and, with the machine running on low, add the Methocel; blend on high for 1 minute; place in an ice bath and cool to 38°F.

Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the sugar, salt, and acid. Use a mixer with the whisk attachment to whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread out onto 2 acetate-lined dehydrator trays and place in the dehydrator for 24 hours. Remove and store in a plastic zipper bag.

For the Strawberry Glass:
Blend the strawberry pulp and sugar in the Vita-Prep blender until smooth. Spread on acetate sheets and place in the dehydrator for 24 hours, until crisp.

For the Fraise de Bois-White Chocolate Sphere:
Puree the fraises des bois, strawberries, and sugar until smooth and strain through a chinois. Pour into spherical molds and freeze.

Combine the white chocolate and cocoa butter thoroughly and strain through a chinois. Unmold the frozen strawberry sphere from the mold; prick the sphere with the tip of a pin to dip it into the white chocolate. Store in the refrigerator.

For the Cacao Fruit Sorbet:
Mix the pectin with 100 grams of the sugar. Put the water in a medium pot and whisk in the pectin mixture; bring to a boil while whisking constantly and continue to boil for 1 minute. Add the remaining sugar, glucose, and dextrose, and whisk until dissolved. Pour the syrup into an ice bath, and chill completely. Combine the syrup and cacao fruit pulp with a hand blender, and season with citric acid. Freeze in an ice cream machine.

For the Elderflower Meringue:
Put the water, elderflower syrup, Versawhip, and xanthan gum in the Vita-Prep blender and blend on high speed for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the sugar.
Use a mixer with the whisk attachment to whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Store in air-tight quart containers.

For the Compressed Native Strawberries:
Put the strawberries and juice in a shallow container. Set the entire container in a vacuum-sealed chamber and pressurize completely.

For the Beet Genoise:
Preheat the oven to 320°F. Use a mixer with the whisk attachment to whip the eggs, sugar, and salt until the mixture is at full volume; fold in the beet puree; carefully sift the cake flour into the mixture while gently folding until all of the flour is absorbed. Scale to 682 grams per ½ sheet pan and bake.

For the Violet Sauce:
In a Vita-Prep blender, puree the water and flowers until smooth and well-blended. Put the violet water, agar, sugar, glucose, and salt together in a pot and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture into an ice bath and chill thoroughly. Transfer to the Vita-Prep and blend on high until smooth.

To Assemble and Serve:
The fraise de bois center of the white chocolate spheres should be liquid (not still frozen) for service. Arrange all the elements of the dish on the plate as you like; garnish with candied violets, freeze-dried strawberries, borage, and hyssop.