You know, for a long time I just didn’t appreciate Minako. I think the main reason is that my first exposure to anime was the dubbed version of the original anime, which did her no justice at all. Once I got to know manga Minako, I changed my tune. Let’s face it… she’s pretty awesome. I also happen to like her portrayal in Crystal quite a lot, but we’re not here to talk about that… we’re here for dessert!
ACT FIVE: MINAKO
Passionfruit Napoleon with Mango Orange Glaze and Italian Meringue
Yields: 3 (2-serving, or 1 big serving) slices.
Timing Notes: The tuile batter needs to rest overnight, and the pastry cream and glaze will need a sufficient amount of time to set. It’s a good idea to split the making of this recipe over two days, or at least allow yourself a good amount of time to chill the cream and tuile batter.
Puff Pastry, recipe follows
Mango Orange Glaze, recipe follows
Passionfruit Pastry Cream, recipe follows
Italian Meringue, recipe follows
Tuile Garnish, recipe follows
Gold Powdered Food Coloring
1. If necessary, trim the puff pastry rectangles to make them neater. Pour warmed glaze into a shallow bowl or onto a plate, and dip the tops of 3 of the puff pastry rectangles into the glaze. Smooth the glaze gently with the back of a spoon, making sure it doesn’t drip over the edges.
2. Fill the passionfruit pastry cream into a piping bag with a round tip about 1/2″ in diameter. Begin by choosing the bottom pastry layers. Attach them to the plate they’ll be served on with a small dot of cream. Then, pipe the cream onto the bottom layer in an even row. Remember this is a soft cream and it will squish out quite a bit, so pipe a little less than you think you will need. Top with a second layer of puff pastry, and pipe another layer of cream. Finally, top this with a glazed puff pastry layer.
3. Fill the meringue into a piping bag fitted with the same size of round tip you used for the cream. Pipe 5 small beads on top of each of the Napoleons.
4. Working very carefully, dust the tuiles with gold dust. You can either sprinkle it on or carefully blow gold dust at them with a puff of air. (I’m not going to advocate blowing on your desserts. My puff of air comes from an airbrush machine, but since not many people own one, if you have another creative method for this I’d love to hear about it.) Place the tuile on top of the meringue bulbs. Garnish plate with leftover glaze if desired. Done!
Blitz Puff Pastry
4 oz (115g) bread flour
4 oz (115g) pastry flour
1/2 lb (225g) cold butter, cut into large cubes
1/2 cup (120ml) cold water
1 tsp salt
Flour, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 400F and line and grease a large cookie sheet. Have a second, smaller cookie sheet handy as well, as well as a heavy baking pan of some sort. Dissolve the salt in the water and set aside. In a food processor, combine the flours and butter and pulse briefly. You want huge chunks of butter to be left, about 1″ large. Transfer the mix into a bowl.
2. Pour on the water and mix the dough until it’s ragged and barely coming together. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
3. Roll the dough out into a long, large rectangle. Fold the outer sides inward, then fold the dough in half. This should create four layers. See the first three photos below. Repeat this process three times, then re-chill the dough for 20 minutes.
4. Roll the dough out to about 1/8″ thickness. Cut out 9 rectangles, approximately 2″x5″. Place them on your baking sheet upside down, about 1″ apart.
5. Bake your puff pastry rectangles for approximately 10 minutes, or until puffed up with the top layer set. At this point, place the second cookie sheet on top, and a third to weigh it down if necessary. This is to keep the puff pastry from rising too much. Check on the puff pastry every five minutes. You want to bake them until they are well-browned and cooked throughout. The bake time on these will vary a ton, but mine took about 40 minutes.
Passionfruit Pastry Cream (3-component)
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
1 tsp gelatin
1 tbsp cold water
1 cup passionfruit puree
1.75 oz (50g) sugar
1.5 tbsp (12g) cornstarch
1 cup (240ml) milk
2 1/2 tsp. (20g) cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1.75 (50g) oz. sugar
1. Stir gelatin into water and allow to bloom for five minutes. In the meantime, whip the cream to medium peaks. Set aside.
2. In a saucepan, combine passionfruit puree, sugar and cornstarch. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened, darkened and free of starchy taste. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a moment. Stir in gelatin while mixture is still warm, then set aside.
3. In a saucepan, combine milk, cornstarch, egg yolks and sugar. Cook on low-medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils for at least a minute. Remove from heat and whisk together with the passionfruit mixture. Strain if necessary. Pour the cream into a container and cover with plastic wrap, touching the plastic wrap to the top to prevent a skin forming. Cool to room temperature.
4. Fold the whipped cream into the passionfruit cream until smooth, then refrigerate for at least two hours.
2 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar
2.3 oz (65g) sugar
3 tbsp water
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 add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and begin whipping them 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.
Orange Mango Glaze
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
5 oz fresh or frozen mango, pureed and strained
.25 oz sugar
1/2 tsp gelatin
1 tbsp water
1. Stir gelatin into water and allow to bloom for five minutes. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the bloomed gelatin until dissolved.
2 oz (60g) flour
2.6 oz (75g) granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 large egg whites
1 tbsp (15g) melted unsalted butter
1 tbsp milk
1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for the butter. Once the mixture is smooth, stir in the butter. Cover in plastic wrap and rest in your refrigerator for 1-4 hours, or overnight. In the meantime, create a template by drawing a chain of hearts on the edge of a piece of paper. The hearts should not be more than 1/2″ wide. You should also find something to roll the tuile around. I used a rolling pin with a relatively thin barrel.
2. Preheat your oven to 350F. Fill the tuile batter into a bag with a small round tip (I used a #2). Line a baking sheet with either a silicone mat or a sheet of parchment, and grease very lightly. Lay the template under the silicone mat or parchment, and pipe a string of hearts 8-10″ long with the tuile batter. You’ll want to do one chain at a time… trust me on this.
3. Bake the chain for approximately 3 minutes, or until set in the middle and just starting to brown on the very ends. Pull the sheet out, and quickly use an offset spatula or knife to loosen the chain from the sheet. Start at one end and work your way across. Flip the chain over and return it to the oven for 45 seconds. At this point you should have whatever you’re molding the chain around ready to go.
4. Remove the tuile from the oven. Working extremely quickly, pick up the hot tuile and wrap it around the rolling pin (or whatever else you’re using). You only have about 5 seconds to get it into the shape you want before it will harden and crack. This may take a little practice. Once the tuile is firmed up, gently slide it from the rolling pin and set it aside. Repeat for the remaining chains.
If you make the tuiles ahead of time, keep them in an air-tight container. A silica packet or small bowl of baking soda in there with it won’t hurt either. They do absorb moisture quickly and become soft, otherwise. Your best bet is making them day-of.
Keep this dessert refrigerated until it’s time to serve! Which should be at tea time, because this dessert practically BEGS to be paired with tea.