Tag Archives: gelatine

Banana Bavarois with Oat Wafer and Salted Caramel Sauce

So – I’m not even a banana fan, and I love, love, love this dish!!

The recipe is from Terressa Jarvis, who is a Tasmanian Chef.  She has worked at some of Tasmania’s best restaurants, and takes a lot of her inspiration from French cooking techniques and the bountiful Tasmanian produce.  Not that you’d know from this recipe – by my reckoning, I can’t imagine Bananas growing in Tassie!

This would be an amazing special occasion dessert.  You can make each of the three elements in advance and assemble at the last minute.  I must admit I was quite impressed with my piping skills for this recipe – but it might just be that I am finally using the right equipment and not the ziplock bag trick. A month or so ago, I saw some disposable piping bags at the kitchenware shop, and I bought them.  They work out at about $1 each, so they are not expensive, and they worked beautifully.  I’ll definitely use them again.

There are three elements to this recipe:

  • Banana Bavarois
  • Oat Wafer
  • Salted Caramel Sauce

I must admit it was the salted caramel sauce that initially got me interested in this recipe.  Master 3 has recently discovered the love of the macaron.  It’s an expensive habit for me to maintain when we go out – I think the record has been $4.50 for one.  His favourite of recent times was a Salted Caramel Macaron – he asked for a second one later in the day, and then a third!  I succumbed to the request for the second (we were on holidays) but I knocked the request for number 3 firmly on the head.

In a real world, where you weren’t spreading this recipe across a couple of days, I think the Bavarois would be the first element that most people would attempt, mainly because it needs to set.  While you’re waiting for it to set, you could make the oat wafer and the salted caramel sauce.

So, I’ll start with the Bavarois.

Firstly, it is really important that you get the right strength gelatine leaves.  I’ve been using the Gelita ones, and I can say with some certainty, even though they don’t put it anywhere on the packet, that they are gold strength (see the picture if you want to know the exact packet).  If you use any other strength you’ll either end up with something that runs off your plate or a chewy rubber bullet (trust me – I speak from experience – not with this particular recipe, but with a pannacotta a year or so ago).

I used lady finger bananas and 85 grams was about one and a half bananas.  I also used some banana liqueur which I purchased at the local bottle shop.  Sadly, it wasn’t available in small bottles, so I have one rather large bottle to get through, so I think this recipe will be on repeat until the bottle has gone.

I think the saffron threads are in the bavarois for the colour, as I know that banana can go that awful grey colour once it’s been cut up.  This bavarois is a pleasant pale colour, not too artificial, and definitely not grey.  The left over bavarois has been in the fridge for 24 hours now, covered, and it still doesn’t show any sign of going any other colour.

The bavarois is pretty straightforward to make – although I did manage to turn my first lot of cream into butter 😮  I think the trick is to start very slow (speed 2 or 3) and then as soon as it gives a hint of forming soft peaks, stop!  If you don’t stop then, you will run the risk of turning the cream into buttery curdled bits when you incorporate the banana.

This makes lots of bavarois, far more than you need for a serving for 4 in my opinion.  Next time I’ll double up on the recipe for the oat wafers and the salted caramel sauce so I have more to go around, and don’t end up eating the bavarois by itself.

And now, for the oat wafers.  They are great – in fact, I made them last weekend expecting to make this dessert then, and then we had to cancel our traditional Sunday night dinner.  Needless to say, they are so delicious and addictive that the whole tray of them went in a day.  The wafers are sort of a cross between Anzac Biscuits and Butternut Snaps – lovely with a cup of tea or I would imagine amazing with some good old vanilla ice cream in between.  I’m actually disappointed I just thought of that combination – – – I might just have to whip some up now to try!

My tips for the oat wafer would be to err on the side of too thin for the oat wafer.  Also, when you are rolling it out between to sheets of baking paper, try and keep the shape uniform so when you come to cutting the wafer shapes, you will have nice even edges and not waste any.  I found it took about 15 minutes to get them to golden brown, but keep a close eye on them.  Cut the wafer shapes while they are still warm, and separate them if you can.  Mine were a little chewy, which was fine, but I think my preference would be for something with a little more ‘snap’, so you could hit it with your spoon and watch it crack.  I think my problem was not taking them off the tray after cutting them, and letting them dry out a little on a wire rack. I think it gets down to personal preference, but I think the textural contrast of something with a real crunchy bit to it would be even nicer.

Ohhhh, the salted caramel!  I’m sort of afraid it’s so easy to make – it means I am mere weeks away from the hefty lady department!!  This is truly delightful.  I used Maldon Sea Salt and it tasted amazing – you sort of feel like it’s a little too salty by itself until you eat it with the bavarois and the oat wafer, and then it is pure bliss.  To make sure you don’t overdose on the salt component, invert the MC and weigh the salt into that , and once you’re happy with the amount then tip it into the mixture.  By my guesstimate, five grams of salt ended up being about 2 teaspoonfuls of Maldon Sea Salt.

My only mistake was to not take the salted caramel out of the fridge a while before I planned to serve it up – it tasted amazing, but looked a little blobby on the plate.

The family verdict was a resounding “please make this again”.  And I will!

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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Sweet Things


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Mozzarella Macarons

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I have a siphon!!  It took me ages to track one down, and my usual kitchen haunts had let me down, I couldn’t find one anywhere.  I googled, I internet shopped and finally I ended up at Chef’s Hat in South Melbourne, where there was only one kind left in stock.  It was more expensive than I expected at $155, but I have been desperate to try out a few of these recipes that need a siphon, so I lashed out and bought it for myself for Mothers’ Day – just a little early.

So, I’ve had the siphon sitting there for a few weeks staring at me asking me why I hadn’t used it.  So with a few people coming over and leafing through the “Bites” section of “In The Mix”, I landed on the Mozzarella Macarons.  These are a little weird in that they are not cooked – they are frozen!  So it’s quite a quirky dish.

The stars were aligned, because went I went to the supermarket there was only one brand of Mozzarella in water – and it was on sale.  Marked down from $6.99 for 110 grams to $4.19.  The use by date was only a few days away, but as I was planning to make and eat in the one day, it was perfect.  I bought three containers thinking I’d need to for the 250 grams of Mozzarella, but I got 250 grams in just two containers – so I have no idea where the 110 grams on the packet came from?!?

My first step was to put two trays lined with baking paper in the freezer, to get them really, really cold.  Our fridge wasn’t cooperating, the freezer part wouldn’t fit the trays I had, so I had to use the beer fridge freezer.  Make sure the area you are going to put the trays in is pretty level, otherwise you’ll have oddly shaped macarons.

Because I’d used the leaf gelatine a few weeks ago, I knew it was gold strength – so that was one weight off my mind.  I’d hate to go to all the trouble of making this recipe and then not have the macarons set!

The actual making of the mixture is simple – just remember not to throw out the mozzarella water when you take the mozzarella out of the container.

Once you’ve made the mix, you put it in the siphon and chill if for an hour or so.  Then you have to get up the courage to use the siphon.  I was an absolute novice and it seemed a bit weird to me.  My first lot of macarons were very oddly shaped, and I think I wasted about half of the gas trying to siphon the mix out on an angle rather than turning the whole siphon upside down and going from there.  I also tried the two different nozzles the siphon came with, and I should have stuck with the first one, the plain one.  Although the cream style nozzle did make nice little star shapes, I would have preferred the traditional macaron shape.  So, if you’ve never used a siphon before, turn the whole thing upside down and then press the button to dispense the mix.  I also had to recharge the siphon with another canister half way through siphoning.  This might have been because I didn’t have the courage to completely invert it at first!

I wasn’t thinking when I thought I’d run out of mixture, and thought I had used it all up.  In retrospect, it still felt quite heavy and I was happy with the number of macarons I’d made, so I took the lid off, and put it under the tap.  Hmmm, I could have made about double what I did make – I just should have shaken it a little to get the mixture moving in there.

You’d have to have lots of chilled trays to get everything done in one go – and enough room in your freezer to sit them all, but I left my first lot in the freezer for an hour, then peeled off the baking paper, and concertina folded the discs into layers.I reused the tray for my next lot of siphoning with a fresh sheet of baking paper.  I’m wondering if doing mine in shifts a few hours apart was what made the mixture settle in the bottom of the siphon?   I bet you could even make the macaron discs a few days before your event, if you were so inclined, and kept them in a container on the paper to stop ice crystals forming.

Next time I make these, I’ll also double or triple the amount of tomato sugo I use.  I love tomato and I think these would be even better with more of a tomato hit.

I was in a flurry trying to get these plated up and served because I thought they’d start to melt, but as it turns out, I think they’re best when they’ve been able to warm up a little – say 10 or 15 minutes.  They still keep their shape after that, but can be a little hard to get off the plate. If you serve them too soon you only really taste ice.

I’ll make these again, as I think once you’ve got the siphoning technique down they’ll be a breeze to make – I’ll just have to buy some smaller trays so I don’t have to keep running out to the garage!

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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Bites and snacks


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Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

First, let me say – this was a practice!

I have wanted to make this dish for a while, and was actually waiting for a blowtorch (which I have not so secretly let it be known I would like for Mothers’ Day) but today just felt like a lemon meringue pie day to me.  So here it is.  It will be the second time I’ve had lemon meringue pie this week – sinful!

I’m going to start off all grumpy.  I am so fed up with gelatine manufacturers!  All I want is someone to write on their packets what strength the gelatine is, and it seems impossible.  I googled, I went to the manufacturers website, I even got someone else to read the packet it case it was domestic blindness.  It seems I’m not the only person to suffer gelatine rage…just google it!  And the mathematical equation I was given to work out what strength gelatine was not going to work – being numerically challenged anything that involves square root calculations was going to throw me into a meltdown.  So today I’ve used the Gelita sheet gelatine and I hope it’s gold strength, otherwise the curd is either going to be like a rubber bullet or won’t keep its form when it’s plated up.  So, it’s just as well this is just a run of the mill Sunday dinner, or I’d be stressing!

I made the crumb first – which is sort of like shortbread crumb, which you bake AS a crumb.  As I’m typing this, I can look over the kitchen bench and see a lamington tray full of delicious golden crumbs containing almond meal, butter, sugar and flour.  I’ve already sneaked a few and they taste really good!  The leftovers will keep for a little while in an airtight container, so maybe if I don’t eat them all in the next week or so, I might be able to utilise the new blowtorch and not have to make the crumb part of the recipe again.

The lemon curd is a cinch.  I make it regularly in the thermomix, using the recipe from the Everyday Cookbook. It makes the quickest, easiest lemon tart ever – it’s become a family favourite in this house!  This recipe is richer in its egg content and because this is only a practice run, I used frozen egg yolks that I had on hand.  I’d frozen them before I knew the trick about freezing yolks, so they were a little bit thick, so I just blitzed the curd at the end of cooking for about 20 seconds to break up any big egg-yolky bits.  We’ll see if that works once I taste it later on.

I’m not going to make the meringue until I am just about to serve it… but I’m nervous!  The only thing that I’m never fond of is beating egg whites in the thermomix – I usually use my hand held electric beater for it.  The electric beater is the only appliance I still have in my kitchen since I bought my thermomix, and it gets an airing only occasionally.  You know how egg whites can be temperamental at the best of times?  I’m just scared I won’t have cleaned something properly and the egg whites will collapse, but as this is the test run, I’m going to be brave and try it.  And guess what?  It worked perfectly.  This is an Italian Meringue, so it’s cooked,  then piped, and then either grilled or blowtorched. I did make sure that the thermomix bowl was really, really clean before I put the egg whites in, and I think that definitely helped.  I’ve seen that in Dani’s pavlova recipe, they actually recommend cleaning the bowl before you start.

The meringue was a hit.  One family member who shall remain nameless was seen piping the left over meringue straight into his mouth from the piping bag.  And there was a fight over the big bits of the crumb…so I guess you could class this recipe as a success!

When I make it again with my new blowtorch, I’ll be a bit more careful about the size of the tray I pour the lemon curd in to, or use a smaller shape to cut out the curd.  I wasn’t thinking and although I cut my shapes close together, I could only get 4 of the scone cutter shapes out of my 20×20 cm square tin.  If I needed more than 4 serves, I would have been stuck, so make sure you check what size cutter you’re using and the shape of the dish you’re going to pour your lemon curd in to.

As for the lemon curd, I could still see little bits of yolk flecked through the mix, so next time I’ll use fresh egg yolks.  It tasted fine.  I’ll also use a little less of the gelatine, as it was an ok consistency, but I would have preferred something a little less firm.  I’m not sure if blitzing the curd at the last minute to get rid of the egg yolky bits added too much air, but next time I’ll bang the dish with the curd in it a few times on the bench before I popping it in the fridge, as mine was a little bubbly.

When I make it for real next time, I’ll also make a raspberry coulis to serve with it, for some added colour on the plate.


Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Sweet Things


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