Pistachio Custard, Wisconsin Les Frères Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, Pineapple-Basil Compote, Cognac Shortbread, Pineapple Cotton Candy, and PreGel Fig Arabeschi Sauce

The First Annual StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition
Round Two: Plated Dessert
Adapted by StarChefs.com
December 2010
Yield: 8 Servings


Wisconsin Les Frères Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Ice Cream
80 grams pasteurized egg yolks
40 grams nonfat milk powder
585 grams skim milk
135 grams sugar
75 grams glucose powder
11.5 grams gellan gum
170 grams Wisconsin Les Frères Crave Brothers Farmstead cheese, rind removed
Aerated Pistachio Custard
2.9 grams agar agar
0.46 grams locust bean gum
525 grams cream
83 grams pasteurized egg yolks
66 grams PreGel Pistachio Sicilia Traditional Paste
2.25 grams salt
Cognac Shortbread
150 grams butter
75 grams sugar
3 grams salt
17 grams cognac
175 grams all-purpose flour
25 grams rice flour
Pineapple-Basil Compote
100 grams diced pineapple
15 grams lime juice
15 grams agave
4 medium basil leaves
Pineapple Cotton Candy
50 grams PreGel Magic Sugar (Isomalt)
6 drops essence of pineapple
Fig Sauce
200 grams PreGel Fig Arabeschi
25 grams water
5 grams lemon zest
To Assemble and Serve
Micro basil


For the Wisconsin Les Frères Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Ice Cream:
Combine the egg yolks and milk powder in a Vita-Prep and blend on low. In a medium saucepot, bring the milk, sugar, and glucose powder to a boil. While the Vita-Prep is still running, carefully pour the hot milk mixture into the yolks, increasing the speed as necessary to keep the mixture blending to create a homogenous mixture. Immediately shear in the gellan gum. While the Vita-Prep is still running, add the Les Frères in small chunks to emulsify. Once all the cheese is emulsified into the mixture, turn blender to high and blend for 30 seconds. Pour this into a shallow pan and allow to gel at room temperature before placing in refrigerator to chill overnight.

On the day of service, agitate gel with rubber spatula to break into smaller pieces. Return this to the Vita-Prep and blend on high until completely smooth and homogenous. Freeze in Carpigiani ice cream machine. Pack into airtight container and hold in freezer set to 14°F for service.

For the Aerated Pistachio Custard:
In the Vita-Prep, shear the agar and locust bean gum into the cream. Allow to blend for 1 minute. Put this mixture into a saucepan. Combine the cream with the sugar and bring to a quick boil. Add the yolks, pistachio paste, and salt into the Vita-Prep and blend on low. While it’s running, carefully pour the hot cream into the mixture, increasing the speed as necessary to blend into a homogenous mixture. Let the mixture keep blending until it reaches 45°C.

Pour this mixture into iSi Gourmet Whip Plus and charge with 3 iSi original soda chargers (N20 cartridges). Disperse into a Silpat-lined half sheet pan. Very gradually, pour the liquid nitrogen onto the aerated custard. As the liquid nitrogen boils and sublimates it will help to set the custard as well create uneven bubbles within the custard, creating a rough look within a smooth item. Put immediately into the freezer to finish setting up. Remove from pan and portion into 7.5cm x 7.5cm pieces. Keep stored in the freezer for service.

For the Cognac Shortbread:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a Hobart mixer, cream the butter, sugar and salt for 4 minutes, scraping the paddle and sides of the mixing bowl well. Keeping the mixer at medium-low speed, stream in the cognac to emulsify. Sift the flours together; mix the flours into the butter-sugar mixture just until a homogenous mass is formed. Shape into a square and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Break the chilled dough into small pebble-sized pieces. Store in the freezer until ready to bake. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

For the Pineapple-Basil Compote:
Combine the diced pineapple, lime juice, and agave in a small saucepot and cook over medium heat until the mixture is almost dry and pineapple is tender. Chill the mixture in a refrigerator. Finely chiffonade the basil leaves and toss with the chilled compote just before service.

For the Pineapple Cotton Candy:
Mix the isomalt and pineapple essence together. Process in Koerner cotton candy machine as directed.

For the Fig Sauce:
Bring the fig paste, water, and lemon zest just to a boil. Strain through a fine chinois. Portion into squeeze bottles and store in the refrigerator until needed.

To Assemble and Serve:
Pipe a few random curved lines of the fig sauce on the plate. Place a square of the pistachio custard in the center of the plate. In the two corners opposite the pistachio custard, place a few pebbles of the cognac shortbread. Next to each of these piles of shortbread, place 5 pieces of the pineapple-basil compote. Place a quenelle of the Les Frères ice cream at the top of the pistachio custard square and weave the cotton candy around the right side of the composed dessert. Finish by placing 3 small micro basil leaves on the cotton candy.