31/01/12 12:59 Filed in: Recipes
Carrot Cake, Ginger Sorbet, Orange Fluid Gel, Glazed Chantaney Carrots and a Cinnamon Dry Caramel.
View in more detail in the ebook ‘Modernist Vegetarian’
This dish is inspired by traditional Carrot Cake and the naturally complimentary flavours of Carrot, Orange and Ginger.
The hub of the dish is a moist crumbled Carrot Cake with spices and Macadamia Nuts, complimented by sweet Glazed Chantenay Carrots. The richness of the cake is then cut by a refreshing Ginger Sorbet which adds a little kick of heat from the ginger and a very clean, bright flavour.
The Orange Fluid Gel gives an added intense orange flavour to compliment the Carrot and Ginger with zesty citrus. Then finally we have a Cinnamon Dry Caramel (inspired by an Alinea technique) which almost magically turns to chewy soft caramel in your mouth. It’s a sensation that’s amplified by the fact that your mind expects something powdery and chalky from the look of the dry caramel then experiences it change texture swiftly in your mouth to a familiar soft and luxurious caramel.
The idea here is that all the elements work very naturally together and give the diner something both familiar - traditional carrot cake flavours, and something unexpected - the composition of the dish and textures.
Xanthan Gum & Agar used in this dish are available via www.Modernist-Chef.com
200g Finely Grated Carrot
200g Self Raising Flour
200g Vegetable Oil
200g Soft Light Brown Sugar
3 Free-Range Eggs
50g Chopped Macadamia Nuts
Zest of two Oranges
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Seeds of One Vanilla Pod
2 Tablespoons of Ginger Syrup (poured off stem ginger)
1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
Begin by lining a cake tin with baking paper and pre-heating the oven to 180C.
Sieve the flour into a large bowl along with the rest of the dry ingredients (sugar, spices, chopped nuts, bicarb and zest).
Now beat the eggs together and then whisk the oil into the beaten eggs.
Mix the beaten eggs and oil into the dry ingredients along with the ginger syrup.
Now fold in the finely grated carrot along with a small pinch of salt.
Spoon the combined mixture into your prepared cake tin and bake at 180C for 45 mins or until risen and browned on top, and check that a sharp knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Cool on a rack, the cake can then be stored in an airtight container. It could be served as slices simply with the ginger sorbet and is delicious like this but I decided to lightly crumble the cake when plating it up here to get a different texture and allow the diner to get a little of all the elements of the dish on a spoon easily. Also I liked the idea that mirroring the effect of the dry caramel this really moist cake would appear dry when crumbled then be revealed to be soft and fresh as its eaten.
250g Caster Sugar
70g Grated Ginger
Juice and Zest of one Lemon
1.5g Xanthan Gum
Squeeze the grated ginger in muslin or a clean tea towel to extract as much juice as possible. Set the fresh ginger juice to one side and reserve the grated ginger solids separately.
Heat the water and sugar in a pan together with grated ginger. Simmer for five minutes.
Now strain the hot liquid into a bowl to remove all the solids. Stir the Ginger juice, Cointreau, Lemon juice and zest into the hot liquid and then allow the mixture to cool.
Once the liquid has cooled blend in the xanthan gum with a hand blender then allow the liquid to sit for a couple of hours in the fridge so that it can fully chill and air can escape from the mixture.
Place the chilled liquid into an ice cream machine and churn while it freezes then store this in a sealed plastic tub in the freezer.
If you don’t have an ice-cream machine you can freeze the liquid simply in a plastic container but return to it frequently as it’s freezing to stir it (this will work ok but ideally its preferable to use an ice-cream machine).
Your sorbet can then be stored in the freezer until you’re ready to serve it. I set mine in hemisphere moulds but you could just take a quenelle or scoop of the sorbet as you need it.
Orange Fluid Gel
600g Orange juice – to be reduced to 300g
10 Cardamom Pods – Broken open
50g Caster Sugar
Zest of one Orange
First reduce the orange juice by half along with the cardamom, sugar, orange zest and pinch of salt. Strain and then let the liquid cool down to room temperature.
Whisk the 2g Agar into the 300g of cooled juice mixture and place it back on the heat. Bring to a simmer whilst whisking.
Pour out the Juice mixture into a wide plastic container and leave to cool and set.
To prepare the fluid Gel simply blend the set gel until it reaches a smooth consistency.
Cinnamon Dry Caramel
150g Caster Sugar
150g Soft Light Brown Sugar
200g Golden Syrup
300g Double Cream
3 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
A Large Pinch of salt
50g Ab-Zorbit Tapioca Maltodextrin
Heat the caster sugar in a pan wit a tablespoon of water. Gently heat until the sugar has turned a golden brown. Then quickly remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter followed by the rest of the ingredients. Then gently bring this mixture up to 110C in the pan before pouring it out to cool down.
Now take 200g of your caramel base and place it in a blender. In short bursts blend in the Tapioca Maltodextrin a bit at a time until you have a dry to the touch powder with the look of fine breadcrumbs. This can be stored in an airtight container.
See the top of this post for a brief description of how this changes texture in the mouth in quite a wonderful way.
Glazed Chantaney Carrots
8-10 Chantaney Carrots
2 Tablespoons Caster Sugar
1 Tablespoons Stem Ginger Syrup
1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
First off bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Place your carrots into the boiling water cook until just cooked through. As soon as the carrots are just done refresh in iced water.
Carefully slice the carrots in half. Now heat the sugar, ginger syrup and orange juice in a wide pan, as soon as the sugar has dissolved add the carrots into the pan and continue to heat until the glaze turns a golden caramel brown, moving the carrots around the pan to make sure the are nicely coated in the caramel.
Remove the carrots from the pan and allow any excess caramel to drip of them. Ideally serve these hot although they can be stored and served cooled.
Plating up -
Crumble a little of the Carrot Cake and place it into a bowl. Next to it sit two of the glazed carrots.
Now spoon some of the dry caramel mix into the bowl and press a hemisphere of ginger sorbet out of the hemisphere mould and place it at the bottom of the dry caramel.
Finish off by sprinkling a little chopped fresh coriander over the crumbled Carrot Cake and a small pinch of Maldon Salt on the Dry Caramel.