Thursday, June 7, 2012
pistachio waffle with bitter chocolate cream.
I made some pistachio paste a few days ago because I wanted to make two recipes in the Pierre Herme Pastries book- this and a mosaic cheesecake, which both called for pistachio paste. The recipe for the pistachio paste is over here. A word of caution- if you tend to be lazy sometimes (like me), scrap that attitude for a few minutes because if you over ground the pistachios after you add in the syrup, you'll end up with a oily hard lump of green play dough. I was fine all the way up till the incorporation of the syrup to form a sticky paste, and the next thing I had to do was to knead in the butter.
The genius in me thought hey, why not just throw the butter into the blender and let it do the work? Obviously, it was not such a good idea. Because the butter kept plastering itself to the edges of the blender, I let the blades go much longer than I should have, and ended up overworking the previously near-done paste to a lump in a puddle of its own oils. It was a downward hill from that point. Suffice to say that I'm lucky it's still usable, although its a downright pain to even try to scoop it. You know what, scratch that- chop is a better word.
Anyway, blabbering aside, the pistachio paste worked well in the waffle. It definitely wasn't faint, but the pistachio flavour wasn't as strong as I would like either. Then again, using too much might result in a dense stodgy waffle. I think a touch of almond extract would be wonderful. (I didn't add it in with the paste.)
This waffle recipe contains an ingredient which is a first for me in my waffle-making history.
You heard me. It adds a subtle milky flavour to the waffle, and I think its the ingredient that yields such a soft interior. Too soft, in fact. I could barely support the flopping waffle from the waffle iron to the cooling rack less than 30 cm away. I had to transform this whole ensemble into a parfait precisely because the waffle gave up on holding itself together. Aesthetics is very important, no?
The bitter chocolate cream, reflecting upon it now, is actually a chocolate ice cream custard in its pre-churning/freezing state. Creme anglaise + bittersweet chocolate. Why didn't I realize that before? Needless to say, it was silky, creamy and with just a touch of sugar, a cream that renders most people powerless in the face of it and a spoon. I felt that the recipe called for too much of the cream with respect to the amount of waffle, but now I'm secretly glad that I made extra.
The consistency of the cream is nowhere near stiff. Think semi-melted ice cream but with uniform viscosity. This made scooping it into nice semi-spherical mounds impossible. The way this dessert was presented in the book was two pieces of waffle sandwiching two scoops of bitter chocolate cream. It is meant to be served while the waffle is still hot and crispy and the cream cold. The molten state the cream was pictured in made it hard for me to tell if Pierre managed to scoop out semi-spheres, but I can pretty safely assert that his cream had more structure than mine.
P.S. The bitter chocolate cream is great with the speculaas I made.
Accompanying the waffles and chocolate are golden raisins plumped in a honey-ginger syrup. Of course, there are many other weird ingredients in the syrup but those are the two dominant flavours. I've always loved the combination of raisins and chocolate but I feel that sultanas work better with chocolate than the golden variety. To each his, or her, own, I guess. Oh and I threw in some candied ginger for good measure.
I wasn't planning on rambling on so much but once I started, I couldn't stop! Can you believe that I wanted to turn this into a wordless post?