Welcome to HowToCookThat, I’m Ann Reardon and this is The Sweetest Thing. This is a new series that I’m doing on my channel and I’m on a mission to find other people who are as crazy about desserts as I am.
Today we are going to make this incredible dessert, it looks amazing and it’s inside this ice tear drop which looks impossible to make but it’s really not that hard to create. Everyone has the potential to be creative but often they’re just too nervous or too scared to try.
We had no TV for ages when I was growing up so me and my sister always had to come up with creative ideas to keep ourselves occupied. So one summer day it was really, really hot and we found this sheet of corrugated iron in the backyard and we thought this will make the best slippery slide ever.
So we put it on a slope and then we got the dishwashing detergent and we squirted that all over it and then we went and got the hose and just sprayed the hose on. Being the youngest I was super excited, I went ‘I’m going first’ and I ran down and locked my elbows into the grooves and slid down super fast.
The only problem was it was old corrugated iron that we’d found in the backyard and it had been used before and where the nails had been hammered through and then pulled out, there were like these jagged pieces of metal sticking up so you can imagine what happened next.
It was just like blood and Mum! And tears and then she fixed it all up, bandaids, I still have got scars on my elbows from it. And then we were on to the next adventure. I think being bored as a kid actually forces you to be creative.
Whenever we would say I’m bored Mum, she’d say ‘occupy yourself’ so we’d go and think of something to do. So I used to love drawing, I still love painting. A little while ago, I did this painting which is actually a forgery of a Normal Rockwell painting called The Runaway, which Jedd really likes now because he likes policemen.
He says he looks at this painting in the morning and looks at the policeman talking to the little boy. And I also did this other one which you’ve probably seen on my kitchen wall before which is my version of a family tree and it’s got different things on there that represent different people in our family.
So it’s got the typewriter there because Dave is a writer, he used to be a journalist, he’s writing a novel. And it’s got some poems that my kids did and it’s got a little footprint from Jedd because he was too little to write when I did it.
And then it’s got some cooking stuff of course for me because that’s what I do. And that’s where most of my creative time and energy and passions go now, into making creative cakes and designing recipes and then turning them into fun videos.
I’m always on the look out for other artistic and creative people who are doing new things, they’re not just copying everyone else. So I was really excited when I found Mike Belcher’s feed on Instagram because he had some cool looking desserts on his feed.
So we’re going to fly to Melbourne and go and check them out. Thanks for coming down and visiting us. This is like an ice crystal sculpture around the dessert, how on earth do you make that. It’s pretty simply once you break it down to stages.
So we have just a normal balloon, we’re going to fill it up at the tap. So we are just going to remove that air pocket so you get a really nice long stem that comes all the way up. And then we are hang it from a piece of string and set it in the freezer.
If you want to have a flat bottom you can have a tray and that will flatten off the bottom here. So this is frozen but not all the way through … and just like that. So what we do is remove our balloon.
That is beautiful. It looks like a glass sculpture. So now we need a blowtorch and we are going to hit it bang in the middle. We are just going to release all this water which is going to make it a lot easier to open it up and create a nice big cavity.
Beautiful, so we put that back in the freezer and then move onto the vanilla bean panna cotta. What are the ingredients for that one? So we’ve got water to hydrate our gelatine, we have our gelatine, milk, castor sugar, vanilla bean and we also have our 35% full cream.
I’ll put all of the recipe quantities on the HowToCookThat.net website in grams, and ounces and cups and I’ll add a link to that below. What do we do first? We are going to put our cream into the saucepan, take it to bit of a simmer.
Dissolve the sugar. We need to scrape out the seeds and we are going to put that straight in. And get a bit of heat going through our vanilla bean so it starts releasing the flavour. While that’s coming to a gentle simmer, we are going to start hydrating our gelatine.
Put it in the there. We are going to remove it and we are going to add a little bit of our milk. Probably like a third. We are going to get our gelatine, that’s going to go into our warm cream. Just stir it until it’s melted.
Do you want the rest of this milk? That can go all at once. And then tip it into the glasses. The whole idea of a good panna cotta is that it should just be set. As it’s on your spoon it should have a gentle wobble to it, it shouldn’t be firm.
When it hops in your mouth it should just dissolve. So just melt in the mouth. Okay so now for that juicy compressed pineapple, what do we need? So we’ve got a vac pack bag here, we’ll just open this up.
I’ve got my diced pineapple which we are just going to put straight in, I’ve got our star anise and we are also going to put our leftover vanilla bean from the panna cotta. So that’s going to go in. So nothing’s wasted.
We’re going to get the most bang for our buck out of that vanilla bean. The sugar is really to taste, it just goes in. Then for us we’ll put it under the vacuum and seal it all up. If you don’t have a vac pack or sousvide at home you can just use a food safe watertight plastic bag and submerge that in a pot of warm water for about 30 minutes and then take it out and leave it in the fridge overnight for those flavours to infuse.
This bit we’re making the mango spheres which I like because they just pop in your mouth. What is going in these? We have our calcium gluconolactate, we have our castor sugar and we have our mango and lime puree.
What’s the purpose of the calcium salts in this? All that does is helps create the skin on the sphere, so we need to have the right amount of calcium to cause a reaction with the sodium alginate in our bath.
It’s just a matter of combining all our ingredients together. Okay so we’ve got a mango, a nice bit of sweetness and a lime for a little bit of acidity. So now we are just going to pour them into the mould.
These are really creative desserts that you’re making, you obviously like the creative side of food? Definitely with pastry, I think there’s a lot more scope for creativity. We like to play and we like to create experiences that people can have a bit of interaction with the desserts.
And this is going into the freezer until it’s solid, is that right? Yeah it has to be completely solid, so you can mould it. To make the gel around the outside we have to make another part don’t we ? Exactly we need to make the bath.
So what we have here is our sodium alginate so that is what’s going to cause the reaction. This is like gelatine but it only gels if there’s calcium. Yep, exactly so you do need to use a stick blender.
So we have got our water, we’re going to get the stick blender going, we going to create a little bit of movement so it doesn’t clump. Nearly there. Okay so you just kept going until all those lumps were gone.
We’ve got a bit of a foam going, so we’re going to leave that for a while. So all those bubbles can disappear. Okay what we’re going to do is put two or three of these into our sodium bath. So we are just going to keep that agitated, we don’t want them to sit on the bottom of the mixing bowl.
And they look very bright yellow like an egg yolk. It’s a bit of an illusion, you know you want to create something so that people go ‘what is that?’ and then when it goes in their mouth it’s different and that’s a talking point.
So when it’s ready after our 3 and a half minutes, to stop the gelification process we are going to put it in cold water. Now to make those round isomalt decorations, using powdered isomalt and cookie cutters.
We want to create just a nice even layer, get another silicon mat and we’re going to lay that on top as well because we want to create a bubble effect. So by putting one on top it conducts the heat a lot nicer as well so it’s nice and holey and very thin.
Okay now can you show me your plating magic of how you’re going to bring this all together. Okay so what we’re going to do is we’re going to get some of our compressed pineapple, now you want to keep some of that syrup there as well because that is full of flavour.
Now you add the little micro mint, it’s a nice little delicate flavour, lemon balm has got a great flavour it goes really well with the star anice and the sort of Asian flavours. Then we’re going to have our little sugar disc, that sits nicely on top of that.
Balancing on top. Sphere on top and this is where you have to be careful, this little sphere here is as delicate as a yolk. Centre that, just like that. One more thing we might just add is a little bit of bling is a little bit of gold leaf.
It looks gorgeous. Now we just need to put that in our ice droplet. How did you make sure it didn’t slide on this plate, how did secure that? Okay we have a frozen plate so as soon as a little bit of moisture on the bottom of the tear drop hit the bottom of the plate, it’ll create a nice little bond and it will hold there.
That is clever. Okay I’m just going to use a little bit of the crushed ice and going to put that around to create a little bit of a rustic look. And then we’ve just got some nice little violets. And these are edible flowers.
Yep, edible flowers, so then it’s just a matter of very gently, very carefully, dropping that bang into the centre there. Wow. Okay can I taste it, that’s what I really want to do? Exactly let’s just get in there.
Mango and pineapple first, hmm and the crunch of the sugar, that’s good when you eat it all together. A little bit of the creaminess of the vanilla panna cotta. You’re right that just melts in your mouth.
So it looks amazing but it’s my kind of dessert, it also tastes amazing. I want to just keep eat all of this, I’m going to eat the rest in a minute but thankyou so much for having me today and showing me all the different processes and how to make this beautiful presentation, it’s just amazing.
Oh thanks for visiting us. Subscribe to HowToCookThat for more cakes, chocolates and desserts. Click here for the recipe, here for my YouTube channel, make it a great week and I’ll see you all on Friday.