Wednesday, 9 July 2014


Guava Cotten-soft Cheesecake with Jaboticaba gelee, served with a Tamarillo, red wine & honey sauce, Passionfruit tuile, Lemon balm and Edible violet pansy.

                      This dessert uses four fruits from the south american region that we have been harvesting since the start of last month. We have a guava cheesecake, a jaboticaba gelee, a tamarillo sauce and a passionfruit tuile. For a few months now I've been collecting the ripened fruit from these four varieties and freezing the pulp, as the fruit ripens at various times, sometimes it may mean picking the odd berry here and there to beat the birds and have enough at the end of season to use them for something, only while our fruit trees are still in their early years and not bearing much fruit. This dish I guess is one of those end of season uses I was talking about, this is the rewards of our south american fruit harvests. The odd passionfruit is still falling from their vine and people have ice on their car windows in the morning, I don't understand. The peach and fig tree have gone into winer dormancy but I've got a rogue bitter melon cucumber plant flowering in the veggie patch. My coffee plants are holding the worst season of cherries by yield in the 6 years they been fruiting and the local strawberry farmers here are bracing themselves for a record high season, so try and plan for that.                                                          
                     Below is a scaled recipe and detailed method for each prep, you can have fun with this one and change up the fruits, like have a strawberry cheesecake with a sour cherry gelee or something. This is a cotten-soft cheesecake meaning the texture is soft and melts in your mouth. The recipe uses a combination of the traditional cheesecake with the fluffy texture of the sponge chiffon cake, with the flavour coming from added fruit puree.                                                                                                          
COTTEN-SOFT GUAVA CHEESECAKE- To make this cake I first preheated a 160C oven and greased and lined a 6" square and 1" high cake tin. I then halved and scooped out the pulp of 6 guavas into a blender and blended to a puree, making 1 cup of strained puree. Over a saucepan of gently simmer water I placed a heat proof bowl, adding to the bowl 125g of chopped cream cheese, 25g of chopped butter and 50ml of milk. I then mixed with a whisk until melted and smooth, removing the bowl from the heat and allowing to cool. I then added 35g of plain flour, 20g of cornflour, 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice, 3 egg yolks and a pinch of salt, stirring to incorporate. Using an electric beater, in a separate bowl I whipped 3 egg whites and a 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar until foamy, continuing to whip I added 70g of caster sugar in 3 batches to form a soft peak stage. I then folded the guava puree through the cream cheese mixture and then folded in the egg whites, this was then poured into the lined tin and baked for 40 minutes. The oven was then switched off and the cheesecake was left to cool completely in the oven before being removed from the tin and sliced into portion sizes.                                                                                                        
JABOTICABA GELEE- To make the gelee which is the purplish jelly film you see on top of the cheesecake, I washed and deseeded 12-14 small jaboticaba, placing them into a small saucepan with enough water to cover ( about 1 1/2 cups ) and a 1/4 cup of caster sugar. This was brought to a simmer for about 20 minutes, reducing the liquid to 1 cup of purplish coloured thin syrup. The syrup was then strained and the fruit pulp and skins discarded, the liquid was returned to the the saucepan and brought back to a gentle simmer. I then added 1 tsp of agar agar to the syrup, while whisking to dissolve the agar agar. This was then removed from the stove and poured out over a flat oven tray and allowed to set on the bench top. When the gelee had cooled and set I cut out appropriate sized rectangles to fit on top of the cheesecake portions.                                                                                                                              
TAMARILLO, RED WINE & HONEY SAUCE- This sauce actually came from the poaching liquids in the baked tamarillo dish and was reserved to eat with custard or ice cream or something. The sauce was made by simply baking tamarillo fruit in 1 cup of red wine, star anise and 2tbsp of honey. The remaining poaching liquid was further reduced and reserved for later preparations.                                      
PASSIONFRUIT TUILE- To make the tuile I gently heated 50g of glucose in a saucepan on low, once the glucose was running freely I added 60g of passionfruit puree without seeds and mixed the two together to form a syrup. This was then removed from the heat and poured into a mixing bowl, to which I added 75g of icing sugar and 60g of flour, mixing together to form a stiff batter. I then added 30g of melted butter and mixed through completely, I then placed the mix in the fridge to firm up a little. To make the tuile shape I spread the tuile mixture 1mm thick, between two strips of masking tape 5mm apart on a flat baking tray. Once I was happy the mixture was spread evenly and thinly from end to end, I removed the strips of tape to reveal a perfect straight 20cm long, 5mm wide and 1 mm high strip of uncooked tuile batter. This was then baked in a 190C oven for about 4-5 minutes until the edges began to colour and working very quickly and carefully while the baked tuile is still warm I was able to manipulate it around a pole to form a spiral, within twenty seconds of being out of the oven the tuile is crisp and vulnerable to humidity and moisture.


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