Friday, 18 September 2009

Degustion des Pommes
Genoise aux pommes, candied apples, ginger custard, milk jam, apple sorbet and apple chips

There is a stunning sweet pictured on page 233 that really caught my eye when first leafing through Under Pressure. The beautiful apple chip sitting atop a quenelle of apple sorbet is beautifully presented and obviously a challenge to prepare. This dish was chosen by our Development Director to serve at an Alumni dinner the college is hosting this evening. We don't need to replicate the recipe once....we need to replicate it ninety times! I tasked my Sous Chef Ioana with preparing this dish three days ago, the recipe is quite complex and require several days to finish. We started with the Genoise aux Pommes (apple cake) which was quite simple.

We needed four trays to get 90+ cake rounds. The apple sorbet was next and this gave me an excuse to use my new magi-mix juicer. The magi-mix is great and has been used to juice, carrots, beetroot and now apples. We take the leftover pulp from inside the juicer and dry it overnight in our Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator. In the morning we powder the fruit/veg in a vita prep and then vacuum pack for later....but I'm digressing. The sorbet gets it nice colour from adding a few leaves of spinach with the apples whilst juicing, this didn't affect the taste which was terrific!

The apple chips were the most difficult part. The recipe calls for slicing the apples and warming them gently in syrup for one and a half, to two hours. You then dry them in an oven for one hour to finish them-and finish them it did, they looked horrid! I ended up dipping them into the syrup and then drying them in the dehydrator overnight. I also added a little citrus powder to the syrup as the apples were turning brown quite quickly.

The candied apples were fun as we needed a little over 700 balls. After scooping the apple balls they are vacuum packed in poaching liquid (an even mix of sugar, water and white wine cooked as for syrup) and cooked at 75 degrees C for 3 hours. Again I would recommend adding a little citrus powder to help the apples retain their colour. We use Citrus from the El Bulli range of powders. The apples turn out nice, but look different then in the cookbook photo!

The custard did not set as firm as in the picture so we will more than likely pipe it onto the plate with a squeeze bottle, and the apple jam turned out perfect. As you can see below, we garnished our plate with an edible flower, I will change the presentation of the sauces when we plate this later tonight...more pictures to follow!

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