My favorite part about eating in a restaurant has to be the final course, the dessert! I am always intrigued by dessert menus at fine dining restaurants. Pastry chefs in fine dining restaurants are so creative, and I love to see how different elements may pair well, and come together on a plate. If I had to do this all over again, I know I would love to be a pastry chef and let my creativity take its own path.
I know I am no pastry chef, but I love to play with flavor combinations. I love french pastries and I really wish I could make pastries the way they do! I wish I can fulfill my dream of going to pastry school one day, even if it means I have to wait for my kids to go to college to do so! I always take the example of Julia Child, that she started cooking at the age of 50 and nothing stopped her. Age is just a number after all.
I am loving blood oranges right now. If you have been following me, you know my love for blood oranges and how I try to incorporate it in desserts in various forms. Their pretty magenta color is so gorgeous and inviting. The zest is so fragrant and flavorful. It adds freshness to any dessert.
I decided to make blood orange 3 ways: 1) Candied Blood Oranges 2) Blood Orange, Hibiscus, Black Pepper Sherbet 3) Blood Orange and Raspberry Financiers. And bring it all together on a plate. I have made candied blood oranges previously, and they are fantastic! I love eating them as is! They are so delicious! Blood Orange, Hibiscus, and Black Pepper Sherbet is sooo delicious and easy to make as well. You basically combine all the ingredients, chill it in the fridge, and then make it in the ice cream maker, and that’s it! The Financiers are simple too, and such delicious little treats!
I made raspberry meringues and raspberry coulis to get the plating all together. I could have made blood orange macarons, with a blood orange and rosemary jam buttercream in the middle(that I had made 3 years ago!), but that would take much longer. The elements on this plate are simple to make and put together as well.
Financiers are little cakes, made with melted butter, more nut flour than regular flour, and 2 types of sugar, giving a slight crust to the top, and topped with seasonal fruits. In this case, I put blood orange zest in the mixture, and topped it with candied blood orange and raspberries.
The plating came together beautifully. My kids wanted to decorate their own little plates so they did so too and they had so much fun! And ofcourse they ate it once they had plated it! Reaping their efforts ! 🙂
This dessert would be so pretty to serve as a Valentine’s Day dessert as well, or make the financiers by itself for Valentine’s day! They come out so delicious!
If you do make this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab and/or leave a comment on this blog post!
1 tbsp freeze dried raspberry powder(available at Amazon)
Pinch of cream of tartar
Blood Orange and Raspberry Financiers:
½ cup all purpose flour
¾ cup almond flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
8 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp blood orange zest
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites at room temperature
Candied Blood Orange slices
6 oz of raspberries
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
Candied Blood Oranges:
In a large saucepan, add the water and sugar, at medium-high heat and let it dissolve about 3 minutes. Then add the blood oranges slices into the water, and at medium-low heat, let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
Keep a baking sheet, with parchment paper and a wire rack ready. Use tongs and gently remove the blood orange slices and onto the wire rack. Let it cool, and set for 24 hours before they can be used.
For the blood orange simple syrup, after removing the slices, let it simmer for 5 more minutes. Switch off the gas. Let it cool. Store in a glass jar, in the fridge and use for lemonades or cocktails!
Blood Orange, Hibiscus, Black Pepper Sherbet:
Make sure the ice cream maker bowl is in the freezer atleast for a day. Mix all the ingredients together, and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Now let it chill in the refrigerator for atleast 2 hours. Make the sherbet per manufacturer’s instructors in the ice cream maker.
Put it into a container, keep it covered and let it set in the freezer overnight.
Pour egg whites into the bowl of your clean stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on low allowing bubbles to form. Add in a pinch of cream of tartar, and keep whisking for 30 seconds. Increase to high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
Add the granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking on high speed continuously. Once all the sugar is added, continue to whisk for 5 - 7 minutes. You should be able to rub the mixture between your fingers and not feel any grainy texture from the sugar. You know it’s ready to use when you turn the whisk upwards and the meringue holds its shape.
Pre-heat oven temperature to 220 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a dab of meringue on four corners of pan and press paper on top to hold it down flat.
To stripe kisses, turn piping bag inside out and paint on 4-5 stripes of food coloring. Invert the bag slowly and carefully add in the meringue mixture so it is packed in tightly. Snip off the tip of the piping bag about an inch in diameter and pipe kisses on baking sheet. You could also use a star shape and put it in the piping bag before you use color on the inside. Start piping the meringues keeping a distance of 1 inch between the 2 meringues. Make sure you pipe them perpendicular or 90 degrees to the pan.
Bake for 90 minutes until the kisses can easily be lifted off the parchment paper with bases intact. Once baked, let it cool in the oven for about 3 hours, whilst keeping the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Once they are cool, you can remove them gently from the parchment paper. Meringues stored in an airtight container will keep for up to two weeks.
Blood Orange and Raspberry Financiers:
Grease with soft butter and flour the financier molds or mini-muffin pans and keep it aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat; cook, without stirring, until butter begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl and let it cool.
With a large whisk, whisk the sugars, blood orange zest and egg whites in a bowl until smooth. Add the flours, salt and baking powder and stir until combined. Add the browned butter and vanilla extract, and stir until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350°. Pour about the batter into each mold but only half way up. Add a candied blood orange half slice, fresh raspberries, into each mold depending upon the size of the mold. Let it bake for about 20 minutes, again depending upon the size of your mold. It should turn a nice brown on the top(crispy). Remove it from the oven at this point. Let it cool completely, and remove from the mold.
In a small saucepan, add the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice. On medium heat, start cooking the mixture. Use a masher to mash the raspberries completely. Once mashed, let it cook for about 5 minutes. Switch off the gas. Strain the raspberry and remove all the pulp by pressing on it, with a rubber spatula, into a glass bowl. Add it to a squeeze bottle for plating the dessert.
Plating the dessert:
On a large white plate, use a medium sized bowl. Invert it into the center of the plate, and use a small strainer and raspberry powder to dust around it. Use raspberry coulis and put about a 1 inch dollop inside the circle towards the edge. Use a small spoon to create a swoosh effect. Add a financier in the middle of the plate. Now add in the meringues, a couple raspberries, gold leaf on the financier and white pearls. Add a small scoop of the sherbet in the end. Your dessert is ready!