For the coconut flan:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
Big pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degreees F.
Place 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan and heat until it caramelizes and turns a deep amber, about 7 minutes.
Immediately pour into a 9-inch cake pan, swirling to coat the bottom. If it hardens before you coat the entire bottom, simply heat the cake pan up over low heat on a burner until the caramel becomes liquid again.
Put a kettle on to boil.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, and second sugar measurement together briskly until lighter yellow colored and foamy.
In another saucepan, heat the salt and coconut milk until simmering.
Whisking constantly, slowly stream the hot milk into the eggs until all is incorporated. Pour into caramel coated pan.
Place the pan in a deep roasting pan and pour the boiling water in until the water is 3/4 of the way up the sides.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the flan is set around the edges but still slightly wiggly in the center.
Leave in water bath for 5 minutes, then remove from the bath and move to refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
To turn it out, place a plate with a slight rim on top of the cake tin, and quickly flip over.
To cut circles, use a circular cookie cutter.
For the mango spheres:
100 grams frozen or fresh mango
2 g calcium lactate gluconate
For the bath:
1400 g low-calcium water
65 g sugar
6 g sodium alginate
Purée the mango until very smooth; push through a sieve to remove any particulate matter; mix in the calcium lactate with an immersion blender.
Pour into a hemispherical mold and freeze completely.
For the bath:
Heat up the sugar and water until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
Add in the alginate and mix very well with an immersion blender.
Allow to sit for at least 6 hours to allow any air bubbles to escape.
Remove the purée from the mold and place frozen spheres directly into alginate bath. Leave for 4 minutes; do not allow the spheres to touch each other.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place in clean water. (Do not serve immediately because the cores will still be frozen; wait at least 1 hour.)
To store, either store in clean water or water mixed with mango juice in the fridge. Can be stored for up to one week.
For the lime pâte de fruit:
Adapted from the October 2010 issue of O magazine
1/4 cup lime juice
Zest of one lime
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon powdered pectin
1 1/4 cup sugar
Lightly oil a 6″ pan.
Combine sugar, juice, zest, applesauce, and pectin in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until mixture reached 225 degrees F. Stir in some green food coloring, if desired.
Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle extra sugar on top. Allow to cool completely, then cut out small cubes, toss in sugar, and allow to completely firm up overnight.
For the ginger-fennel purée:
Okay. I’m going to be honest. I roasted a fennel bulb, threw in some grated ginger, added some heavy cream, some white chocolate, salt, etc, until I was satisfied. There wasn’t a… um… recipe per se. I just winged it; I’m sure you can do the same. Sorry!
For the brûléed pineapple:
Clean a pineapple, remove the core, and cut into desired shapes. (I did a rectangular prism). Sprinkle with sugar, brûlée, then flip onto the next side. Repeat for at least three of the longer sides so that all visible sides
Schmear the purée on the base of the plate.
Place 2 pieces of brûléed pineapple flush to the bottom of the plate.
Arrange 3 lime pâtes de fruit organically around the plate.
Slide a flan above the pineapple; do not let it touch the purée.
Finally, using a slotted spoon, transfer two mango spheres to the plate.
Le soleil se reveille.
Les villes sont illuminées; le petit matin scintille avec des rayons de soleil.
On apprécie toujours les couleurs vives.
Le jaune clair se transforme et devient le jaune doré.
Le soleil s’étire et ainsi, le jour est réalisé.
The sun rises.
Cities are illuminated; the dawn sparkles with sunbeams.
The bold colors are always appreciated.
Pale yellow morphs and becomes gold.
The sun stretches and thus, the day is realized.
I’m dreaming of bright sun and warmth. The winter is dragging its feet out the door, and I’m ready for the transition from gray to green.
I mean, really.
This tropical produce-inspired dessert didn’t help much.
I don’t know whether my desire for a beach inspired the dessert, or whether the dessert inspired the desire.
Dessert-inspired desire or desire-inspired dessert?
These mango spheres, which look like farm-fresh yolks, were just short of mind-blowing.
You can actually handle them like egg yolks; they’re not overly delicate, but when they hit your tongue, they release a lovely mango purée, fragrant and sweet.
I was so enamored with them that I also whipped up a small batch of sticky coconut rice (black forbidden rice cooked in coconut milk with a pinch of glutinous rice flour, then topped with a reduced coconut milk and jaggery sauce) to serve underneath them as a pre-dessert; it was a textural play on sticky rice with mangoes, a popular dish where I live.
I wish the fennel purée had been a bit smoother, but the fibrous nature of fennel was working to my detriment. I was content with the flavor (mild, gingery, and a creamy foil to the acidic lime and pineapple), but I wish it had been just a bit silkier.
I know that root vegetables tend to make smoother purées, so in the future, I may stick to roots rather than bulbs like fennel.
I plated this dish to look like its namesake: a sunrise. I played around with the look of a sunny-side up egg, also an indicator of morning.
With a tropical flavor profile and nouveaux textures, this dessert wakes you right up.
Lime pâte de fruit