Almond Tuile with Passion Fruit Custard and Caramelized Banana
This elaborate dessert features towers of tuiles and passion fruit custard and a tuile horn set on decorated plates and crowned with spun sugar. But at heart the dessert is made with almond tuile cookies, stacked with glazed banana pieces, raspberries, and passion fruit custard. The elegant plate decoration and spun sugar tops are not essential to the enjoyment of the dish. Chef Maddox uses a paint sprayer to lightly spray one section of the rims of the dessert plates with a thin mixture of melted chocolate diluted with cocoa butter; because getting the proper gear and cocoa butter mixture is difficult for the home cook, we suggest a very light dusting of cocoa powder to color the rims instead.
- Passion Fruit Custard
- Unflavored gelatin - 1/2 packet
- Cool Water - 2 tablespoons
- Passion fruit puree - 1 cup
- Passion Fruits - 4
- Eggs - 2
- Sugar - 2/3 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup, beaten to firm peaks
- Almond Tuiles
- Orange Zest - zest of 1/4 orange, minced
- Flour - 1/3 cup, sifted
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Orange Juice - 1 orange
- Egg Whites - 2
- Almonds - 1-1/4 cup, blanched, sliced, roasted (see Basics)
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup, melted
- Grand Marnier - 2 tablespoons
- Caramelized Bananas
- Bananas - 4
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Cocoa powder - for dusting
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 6 ounces, chopped
- Raspberry Puree (see Basics) - 1/2 cup
- Strawberry Puree (see Basics) - 1/2 cup
- Mango Puree (see Basics) - 1/2 cup
- Kiwi Puree (see Basics) - 1/2 cup
- Creme Anglaise (see Basics) - 1/2 cup
- Sugar Clusters - four, 4-inch-wide spun (see Basics; optional)
- Fresh Raspberries - 1-1/2 pints
- Mint sprigs - 4
- Confectioner’s Sugar - for dusting
To make the custard: Put the gelatin powder in the cool water in a small bowl to dissolve. Put the passion fruit puree into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cut the passion fruit in half and scoop the insides into the puree. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes. In a large heat-proof mixing bowl, beat or whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is pale and slightly thickened. Beat a large spoonful of hot passion fruit mixture into the egg-sugar mixture, then slowly add the remaining hot passion fruit mixture to the eggs and sugar, slowly beating or whisking constantly until the mixtures are combined. Put the developing custard back over medium heat and cook until it thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and pass through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Stir in the dissolved gelatin. Put the bowl in a larger bowl of ice and whisk gently until the mixture is cool. Gently fold half of the whipped cream into the mixture, then fold in the other half of the cream, keeping the mixture as light and fluffy as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.
To make the tuiles: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone sheets or foil. Combine the zest, flour, and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in the orange juice and egg whites. Put the almonds in a plastic bag and crush slightly with your hands, then add to the batter. Stir in the melted butter and Grand Marnier. Drop by spoonfuls on the prepared sheets, spreading out with the back of the spoon; the cookies will spread quite a bit, so leave plenty of room between them. Make sixteen cookies. Bake until browned, 4 to 6 minutes, then remove from the oven. One at a time, quickly roll four large tuiles into cones and set aside to cool, placing them seam-side down. While still pliable, cut the remaining twelve tuiles into perfect circles with a 4-inch cookie cutter. Trimmings may be crushed and used as ice cream topping. If the tuiles cool too much to cut, place them in the warm oven again for 30 seconds to a minute to soften before continuing. Set the circles aside to cool.
To caramelize the bananas: Peel the bananas and cut each straight across into four 1-1/4-inch pieces. Place the banana pieces on end on a baking sheet lined with a silicone sheet or foil and sprinkle with sugar. Glaze with a small kitchen blowtorch. Or, heat the broiler to highest temperature and glaze under the broiler. Remove and set aside.
To garnish the plate: Put the cocoa powder in a fine-meshed sieve and very lightly dust one corner of the chilled dessert plates with cocoa powder. In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool slightly to let the chocolate thicken a little. Put the chocolate in a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip. On the dusted side of the plate, pipe six open petal shapes in a circle on one side of each dessert plate. Pipe a chocolate stem curving across the plate from the flower, and pipe two open leaves on the stem. Put in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes. Put the purees in separate squeeze bottles. Fill the petals with alternating raspberry, strawberry, and mango purees. Fill the leaves with kiwi puree. Drop a small spoonful of creme anglaise in the center of the flower petals. Return the plates to the refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble: Put the passion fruit custard in a pastry bag fitted with a medium fluted tip. Put a dime-sized dot of custard beside the flower design on a prepared plate and place an almond tuile on the dot, pressing it down to anchor it. Place four glazed banana pieces on the tuile and put another tuile on top of the bananas, pressing down gently to anchor. Pipe a small circle of custard in the center of the tuile and stand a ring of raspberries around the outside. Put another tuile on top, pressing down gently until it touches the tops of the raspberries. Pipe another small circle of custard on top of this tuile and place a spun sugar cluster on top. Fill a tuile horn with passion fruit custard and place it beside the design on the plate. Garnish the top of the spun sugar and the tuile horn with a mint leaf and a raspberry. Very lightly dust with confectioner’s sugar. Repeat with remaining plates.
Note: If you wish to spraypaint the plates with chocolate, combine 2 ounces cocoa butter with 2 ounces of melted unsweetened chocolate. Cool the mixture to 90 F, then use like paint in a sprayer. Cocoa butter may be obtained from New York Cake and Baking Distributors, 56 West 22nd Street, New York NY 10010; 212.675.2253.