I considered going back to my Italian roots and creating a dessert featuring ricotta and mascarpone...
I played with the idea of offering a simple angel food cake glazed and adorned with coconut and bananas...
I googled "meringue" and "pavlova" in search of inspiration in egg whites...
What has me pondering foods with more flavor than color? Seven Spoons' chosen theme for Sugar High Friday 31: the many shades of white.
In the end, I took inspiration from the bold flavor combinations I experienced and the techniques I learned in Sunday's 'Eggbeater' Ice Cream class (more on that very soon), my recent foray into the world of Rocky & Bullwinkle, and playing with my new pastry tips (more on that in yet another upcoming post).
The result: Coconut Ginger Mousse
4 tablespoons water
1 envelope (1 tablespoon) plain gelatin
1 cup whipping cream, plus 2 tablespoons
12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut meat
2 knobs fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
6 egg yolks
9 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 cup finely minced fresh ginger
5 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup toasted coconut
1/4 cup chopped candied ginger
Dissolve the gelatin in the water in a small bowl and set aside.
Combine the cream, evaporated milk, coconut and fresh ginger in a medium-sized enameled or stainless steel saucepan. Place over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges. Remove from the heat and allow to steep for 15-20 minutes until flavors are nicely infused.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until well blended, then gradually add all but 1 tablespoon of the sugar, whisking to thoroughly incorporate sugar.
Immediately begin adding the warm milk in a thin stream, whisking continuously.
Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and stir over low heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Patience is critical here. Keep stirring. Refrain from boiling to avoid curdling the custard. When thick, stir in the gelatin and the minced ginger. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Let the custard cool (to speed up the process, set the mixing bowl in a larger bowl of cold water or cracked ice). Set aside.
In a separate (clean and dry) bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the final tablespoon of sugar and the salt, and beat until the whites form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the custard mixture and stir carefully until well mixed.
Pipe into serving dishes and hill, covered, for at least 3 hours.
Garnish with candied ginger and toasted coconut immediately before serving.
Coconut-Ginger Mousse inspired by this recipe from the Dayton Daily News.
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