Chocolate and Mint grasshopper pie, Chocolate mousse, Oreo crumble, Peppermint tagliatelle & film, Candied mint leaves and shaved white and milk chocolate.
To make this plate pairing I started with the candied mint leaves, first I beat egg whites until frothy and dipped the leaves in the egg whites, removing any excess before coating in granulated white sugar and setting aside on baking paper in a warm but circulated place to dry and crisp up. Next I made the base for the pie by separating Oreo cookies and scraping the filling off before crumbing the biscuits in a blender. I set some of the crumble aside for plating separately and with the rest I added some melted butter and mixed to incorporate before pressing into a lined tin and placed in the fridge to set. To make the pie filling I brought milk, cream, peppermint flavour, sugar, green colour and agar agar to a simmer while whisking to dissolve the agar and sugar. This was then removed from the heat and allowed to cool a little before pouring over the the biscuit base and refrigerating again to set the filling. The mousse was made with simply whipping cream with sugar and folding into melted chocolate and a little xantham gum to stabilise, this was then placed in the fridge to chill.
The last preparation was the tagliatelle and film, this was made by heating 250 ml. of water with green colouring, peppermint flavouring and 4.8 g. of gellan gum. This was brought to the boil and then poured on to a flat tray and spread evenly. The film was allowed to set and can be done at room temperature but I set mine in the fridge. From this I cut the square out for the base on the plate and film for the top of the pie and the remainder was cut into 5mm strips to form the peppermint tagliatelle.
Gellan gum is a water soluble poly-saccharide produced by the bacterium Pseudomonas elodea. It is primarily used as a gelling agent but also boasts thickener, emulsifier, and stabiliser properties. Gellan gum is used at half the strength of agar to reach the same desired gelling. Pure gellan gum is the most expensive of gelling agents but due to its strength it can be cost effective compared to agar and a vegan option over gelatine. All in all a fantastic product that is until I found out some facts when doing some further research on the gum.
You see the sad thing is by using the gum, it goes against my home kitchen rules and ethics. That is unless I can find another manufacturer of the gum I would be supporting a brand that is owned by ( in my eyes ) one of the most unethical companies trading today. Gellan gum was developed by C.P.Kelco which was originally formed in 2000 by a combination of Copenhagen Pectin/Food gums and the Kelco Biopolymers group of 'MONSANTO'. C.P.Kelco is now owned by JM Huber Corporation a division of the world giant 'Monsanto'. Kelco is solely responsible for obtaining food approval for gellan gum worldwide, therefore have the sole rights to sell it. There are a few sources in China but are small traders and rare to find on the market. For now I've already giving them my money so I'm going to use the 1kg (200 more preps.) I have instead of wasting it and I have this time to track down another preferred source.
To plate up I topped the pie with the film, laid the square film down in the centre of the plate of which I arranged slices of the pie on top, topped with a little tagliatelle and chocolate curl. To accompany this I piped the mousse on one side of the arrangement and presented the tagliatelle on the other side. I then spooned the oreo crumble in places before garnishing with shaved milk chocolate, strips of white chocolate and the candied mint leaves.