This month's TGRWT challenge came from Aiden Brooks and featured plum and blue cheese, specifically candied plum and gorgonzola. Aiden is a British chef trainee in Spain, and he upped the typical TGRWT anty by offering to recreate the best recipe in his restaurant. Well...I couldn't pass up this opportunity!
So, playing to the audience I offer you: The Niña, Pinta & Santa María aka Espuma de Turrón con Ciruela(Turrón Mousse with Plum):
Candied Plum 3 Plums, fresh and medium sized 600g (3 C) Sugar 350ml (1 1/2 C) Water Combine sugar and water in saucepan. Score an X into the bottom of the fruit and add to the cold syrup. Bring to a boil, reducing to simmer. Simmer for 60-90 minutes looking for opacity in the fruit. The skin should fall off on its own. Set to drip on cooling rack at least one hour. If you plan on using the skin for the finished product (such as the sails), then set flat to dry as paper. (notice my waves?)
Turrón Mousse 80 g Almond butter 40 g Almond milk 125 g Gorgonzola Dolce 1 t. Almond extract 2 1/5 Sheets of Gelatin, silver, hydrated
190 g Honey - I prefer Big Tree Farms Coffee Blossom honey because of its bold flavor 10 g Glucose 2 Egg whites, room temp
In saucepan over medium heat combine almond butter and almond milk. Once warmed and combined, add cheese, gelatin and extract and mix until thoroughly dissolved. Set to cool to room temp - about 15 minutes.
In saucepan heat honey and glucose and bring to hardball stage. While heating, whip the whites to just under hard peak. Carefully pour the honey mixture into the whites and continue whipping until firm, glossy and room temperature.
Combine the meringue into the turron batter being thorough but not deflating any more than necessary. Whip the cream til firm, and fold honey/turrón mixture, as well as the finely diced candied plum into the cream.
At this point, set in glasses or, if you're more ambitious, make your own sugar bottle and make a ship in a bottle! In TGRWT we always like to share how it worked. In this instance, it was all a natural. Of course honey goes well with Gorgonzola. And of course plums go well with blue cheese, so it is all well tied together. I found this dessert to not be overwhelmingly sweet, in fact, I found a bit on the savory side. Someone with more time (or staff) could really have fun with this ship in a bottle concept...I on the other hand, have other projects waiting in the wings!