segunda-feira, 2 de fevereiro de 2009
Vanilla cream with passion fruit jelly to cheer me up
I am quite impressed by the way I have been using food as a way to cheer me up. Maybe I should give more attention to what Chicó(*) have to say and buy a Canary instead of think about food all day long. As part of my food obsession, yesterday I made this passion fruit jelly with vanilla cream. Passion fruits do have the color of the feathers of the Canary and they really cheered me up.
It is probably a little bit unfair to write such thing, but I must complain about the Asian passion fruits. They are very different from the Brazilian passion fruits (of course they are, how couldn't they be? Nothing compares to Brazilian passion fruits). Brazil is the largest producer of passion fruits in the world but the passion fruit available here in Norway come from Malaysia and is, according to me, almost tasteless. The skin is dark red and inside they are light yellow. The taste is very sweet but too mild, almost insignificant, completely different from the strong taste of the Brazilian passion fruits which have a light yellow skin and the pulp is dark yellow, almost orange. The perfume is strong too and the flavor is as much acidic as it is sweet.
I have heard somewhere that the Brazilian passion fruit belongs to the so called 'Panamá' family which bear different characteristics. The Malaysian passion fruit is also very small and one single fruit does not allow much, you have to buy at least half a dozen of them to make a dessert. Even if they are small and almost tasteless, these passion fruits are very beautiful I must say. The dark red skin and the yellow pulp make a beautiful fruit which is definitely attractive to the eye. The skin of the passion fruit was also in its perfect ripeness as the music produced by the skin was simply amazing. I have always loved to here the music of the passion fruit skin, have you noticed it?
Vanilla cream with passion fruit jelly is the alternative I found to substitute the passion fruit mousse tart I was dreaming about. These little passion fruits are just too mild for the tart. The last time I made a tart with these red passion fruits it not only looked very pale but tasted like eggs which was pretty frustrating. As the flavor is very mild I made the jelly with very little water and little sugar as a way to keep the flavor of the passion fruit.
Vanilla cream with passion fruit jelly
For the passion fruit jelly:
4 small red passion fruits or 1-2 yellow Brazilian passion fruits
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tea spoon gelatin
8 tablespoons cold water
Since this dessert has two layers of gelatin, one on the bottom and the other one on top, you have to divide the ingredients and prepare the layers separately.
First sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of gelatin in two tablespoons of water and let it stand. Meanwhile in a small saucepan over low heat mix half of the fruit pulp with two tablespoons of water and one tablespoon of sugar and let it boil. Remove it from heat and let it cool for a minute. Add the gelatin mixing well. Take the mixture back to low heat and mix well until gelatin is incorporated and totally melted, just before boil. Remove pan from heat and let mixture cool for a minute before dividing in the ramekins or glasses to make the bottom layer. Let it cool and refrigerate.
When the vanilla cream is ready and refrigerated you can prepare the top layer of the gelatin exactly the same way you prepared the bottom layer using the second half of the ingredients.
Obs. I like to eat the black seeds of the passion fruits in this dessert but if you prefer you can make it without the seeds, just drain the pulp with the water before transferring it to the saucepan. You must press the pulp with a metal spoon a little to release the pulp from the seeds because they are entwined.
For the vanilla cream:
400 ml cream or heavy cream
80 to 100 grams of sugar (the amount of sugar depends on your preference)
2 teaspoons gelatin powder
Scraps of half vanilla bean (only scrap one side of the opened bean)
Let the melt gelatin in half cup of cold water. Meanwhile in a small saucepan over medium-low heat bring the cream, sugar and vanilla scraps to a boil stirring it all the time. When the mixture is boiling remove it from heat and let it cool for a minute. Add the melted gelatin to the cream mixture and mix it well to incorporate the gelatin to the cream. Return cream to heat and let it cook until gelatin is completely melted just before it boils again (**).
Take cream mixture from heat, drain to remove any solids and divide the cream among the four ramekins, over the layer of passion fruit jelly. Let them cool for 10 minutes before transferring to refrigerator.
Prepare the second layer of passion fruit jelly when the vanilla cream slightly hard and cold. After adding the second layer of gelatin let the ramekins refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
(*) Chicó is a character from the play Auto da Compadecida by Brazilian playwright Ariano Suassuna.
(**) The scraped vanilla seeds tend to stick together in the pan forming some lumps of vanilla. You have to press these little vanilla lumps with a wooden spoon to release them from each while stirring the cream mixture.