Ohhh, my. It’s been a while since my last Steven Universe entry, hasn’t it!? I certainly didn’t intend for there to be a gap this big, but life doesn’t always go as planned. Oh, well. I’m back at it now! I’ll take my attitude from the show itself and say, “If every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn’t have hot dogs.”
This time we’re finally dipping our toes into the Fusions! The first and most major fusion in the show is, of course, Garnet. It’s hard to try and find a way to sum up her character, simply because she’s got an incredible amount of depth. Garnet often figures prominently in storylines that touch on much heavier subjects like racism, consent and abuse. Her storyline as a whole has made me laugh and made me deeply emotional.
Because she’s so cool outwardly, it’s twice as hard to see her struggle. Despite everything, she’s still a great mentor to Steven and a great friend to all the other Crystal Gems. She is also, of course, a super awesome fighter and the best at lava-swimming.
“No dinner for 1,000 years.”
-Garnet, season 1 episode 18, Fusion Cuisine
In terms of food, there’s nothing Garnet shows any kind of overt interest in. She’s not disgusted by food like Pearl, but she doesn’t spend much time thinking about it either.
Garnet: “We don’t need to eat. ”
Nanefua: “Oh, you young people and your experimental diets.”
-Season 1, episode 18: Beach Party
I wanted to fuse the flavors and hot-and-cold elements of Ruby and Sapphire’s desserts while still making something distinctly Garnet. I ended up taking various components from each of their desserts and combining them into a bombe alaska, which is a meringue-covered ice cream dish much like baked Alaska. The only difference is that it’s flambéed instead of baked.
The overall appearance is made to resemble her gauntlets, but when you cut it open you’ll see a liquid strawberry sauce to represent Ruby and the ice cream with blueberry cake to represent Sapphire.
One quick note about alcohol content: to keep the strawberry sauce liquid and for the flambé, it’s necessary to use alcohol. However, the overall amount is very small and any alcohol used in the flambé process will generally burn off. You can omit it if you like, but without it the strawberry sauce won’t remain liquid.
GARNET’S BOMBE ALASKA
Yields: 4 bombes, 2-4 servings each
QUARK ICE CREAM
675g (24 oz.) quark or sour cream, full-fat
480ml (2 cups) heavy cream
200g (1 cup) sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp triple sec (optional)
1. Whisk together all ingredients and chill in the fridge for 4 hours. For chilling instructions, see ASSEMBLY section.
240ml (1 cup) chopped strawberries
120ml (1/2 cup) corn syrup
juice of 1/2 lemon
40g (3 tbsp) sugar
2 tbsp everclear or vodka
1. In a blender or with a handheld mixer, blend together your strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Fill this sauce into a saucepan and cook, stirring regularly, until it’s reduced to about 1/4-1/3 cup in volume.
2. Transfer the sauce into a bowl and whisk in the corn syrup until combined. Whisk in the everclear and store covered in the fridge until ready to use.
2 egg whites
10g (2 tsp) sugar
75g (just over 1/3 cup) powdered sugar
75g (2/3 cup) almond flour
30g (1/4 cup) flour
2 tsp oil
100g (1 cup) blueberries
1. Preheat your oven to 175°C/350°F and grease a 9″ square cake pan. In a clean bowl, whip the whites until foamy. Sprinkle on the sugar and whip to medium peaks, then transfer to another bowl.
2. In your original bowl, whip together the powdered sugar and whole eggs until light in color and doubled in size. Now add the almond flour and whip to combine. Finally, fold in all but about 2 tsp of the flour.
3. Fold the egg white into the batter. In a separate bowl, toss your blueberries with the 2 tsp. flour and fold them into the batter. Now pour the batter into your cake pan.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cake is lightly browned on top and springs back in the center when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Invert the cake onto a sheet of parchment and cover it with plastic wrap until ready to use.
8 egg whites
400g (2 cup) sugar
80ml (1/3 cup) water
240ml (1 cup) strawberries, chopped
Red and maroon food coloring
1. In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a bowl with a hand mixer ready), but do not beat them yet. Boil the sugar without stirring until the mixture reads 240F on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, keep a cup of cold water on hand and test the sugar by dropping a bit in it. The sugar is hot enough when it forms a soft, somewhat squishy ball when dropped in the water.
2. Remove the sugar from the heat and immediately begin whipping the egg whites on high speed. When they are at soft peaks, gradually drizzle the hot sugar into the whites while still beating. Try not to hit the beaters with the sugar drizzle. Continue to beat the meringue until stiff, glossy, and cooled down to room temperature.
3. In a blender, puree your strawberries and run them through a sieve to remove the seeds. Place this juice in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until bubbling. Now continue to microwave it 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each microwaving, until it has thickened significantly and lost a great deal of its moisture. Cool the mixture.
4. Add 4 tbsp of the strawberry puree to the meringue and mix until just incorporated. Now split the meringue between two bowls, with one bowl containing about 2/3 and the other 1/3. Using your food coloring, dye the bowl with 1/3 a light shade of pink. Now dye the bowl with 2/3 of the meringue a deeper red.
5. Fill the meringue into 2 pastry bags fitted with the same size round tip. I used a standard coupler.
Brandy or other high-proof liquor
Long-handled metal ladle
Course sugar granules (for garnish)
Red and yellow food coloring
Marzipan/Fondant/Modeling Chocolate, roughly 50g (2 oz)
Star cookie cutter
1. Pour your ice cream base into your ice cream machine and freeze according to the machine’s directions. While the ice cream churns, arrange 8 4″ pastry rings on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Once the ice cream has reached soft serve consistentcy, work quickly to spoon it into the pastry rings. Fill 4 all the way, then fill the remaining 4 halfway. Smooth them down a tad with a spoon, but don’t get too worried about it getting perfect. The main thing is it that the ice cream does not melt too much, or it may become icy once it freezes solid. Freeze either 8 hours or overnight.
2. Take your ice cream cylinders out and use a spatula or spoon, warmed in hot water, to level off the tops of the ice cream a bit. Refreeze for 20 minutes to set, then unmold the ice creams. I do this simply by warming the pastry ring with my hands and allowing the cylinders to slide out. Return to the freezer for 20 minutes. Now, take them back out and use a melon baller to scoop a shallow dome out of the taller ice cream cylinders as shown below. Return to freezer for another 20 minutes.
3. Work fast to fill the domes. First, pour the strawberry sauce into each dome shaped cavity. You want the cavity mostly full, but not quite level. Top with the thinner rounds of ice cream and return to the freezer. In the meantime, cut 4 4″ rounds from your cake and place them on top of the ice cream cylinders. Flip the cylinders onto the plates you’ll be serving on, oriented so the cake sits on the bottom. Return the ice cream to the freezer to set up again.
4. Get both your meringue bags ready. If your house is warm, this will be significantly more difficult and you may have to return the cylinders to the freezer multiple times. Work with only one cylinder at a time. Use a knife to indent approximate guide lines for the angle of your meringue rows. Now pipe alternating lines along the guides as shown below, beginning from the bottom. Remember to allow your meringue to drop rather than pressing it onto the ice cream; this will result in more even lines of meringue.
5. Flatten the tops of the meringue peaks with a spatula, moving from the outside into the middle. Pipe a darker red swirl to cover the top and return the bombe to the freezer until ready to serve.
6. In a bowl, combine some course sugar with just a drop or two of food coloring and toss to combine. Now take out your marzipan or fondant. Knead a small amount of yellow coloring into the marzipan/fondant until evenly colored. Now dust a surface with cornstarch and roll the marzipan/fondant out to roughly 1/8-1/16″ thickness. Cut out 8 star shapes. Lightly brush 4 of the stars with water to get them sticky. Place two toothpicks at the base of each water-brushed star as shown below, then sandwich one of the unbrushed stars on top. Use your fingers to smooth things out a little and conceal the toothpicks. Allow these to dry as long as they need to to firm up some; usually about an hour. Once they’re firm, carefully insert the toothpicks into the tops of each bombe to attach the star.
7. Once you’re ready to serve, pull the bombes out of the freezer. Allow them to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften the ice cream. Sprinkle the course sugar on top and around the base. Take your ladle and fill it with about 2 tbsp of brandy per bombe. Be sure to only flambe one bombe at a time. Using a lighter, carefully set the brandy on fire. Pour the flaming brandy over the bombe, then serve immediately.
SAFETY NOTES: Please be sure to use a ladle with a very long handle, and to hold it at the end. To be extra safe, wear a mit or glove in case the ladle becomes very hot. The fire should burn itself out in about 20 seconds. Be sure to make sure there’s nothing flammable nearby (napkins, etc.) and be ready with a fire extinguisher in case something goes wrong. It’s not likely, but better safe than sorry!
OTHER NOTES: Pastry rings are expensive, guys! At least in the US. I invested in a set years ago, but if you can’t afford them you have the option of using cans with both ends opened with a can opener. Additionally, you could purchase ONE ring and use cake collars or acetate taped around it to make the 8 rings. You don’t have to drop a ton of money to make molded desserts! While I do suggest investing in pastry ring sets if you bake a lot, if you’re a casual home baker you can always play McGuyver.
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