Sweet Dim Sum Box
This elaborate South Seas dessert sampler was created for President and Mrs. George Bush during one of their visits to Hawaii, where it was spectacularly presented in a bamboo steamer over dry ice. Note that there is a recipe for green tea ice cream which follows the main recipe; if you are making your own green tea ice cream, begin a day ahead.
- Marzipan and Azuki Bean Paste Egg Rolls
- Marzipan - 8 oz
- Azuki bean paste - 1/2 cup
- Candied Kumquat Pot Stickers
- Puff pastry dough - Four 2-inch circles
- Candied kumquats - 4
- Prune Wontons
- Peanut Oil - For deep-frying
- Wonton wrappers - 4
- Prune puree - 4 tablespoons
- Papaya and Mango Beggar’s Purses
- Papaya - 1/2 cup 1/4-inch, diced
- Mango puree - 1/4 cup
- Cake or cookie crumbs - 2 tablespoons
- Egg roll wrappers - Four 6-inch
- Cream Puffs with Orange Filling
- Four 2-inch cream puffs (see Basics)
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Orange concentrate - 1 tablespoon
- Unflavored gelatin - 1/2 tablespoon (1/2 envelope)
- Water - 1 tablespoon
- Plain fondant - 3/4 cup
- Red paste food coloring
- Phyllo Tartlets
- Phyllo Dough - 3 sheets
- Fresh bread crumbs - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 6 tablespoons, melted
- Pistachio Sauce
- Creme anglaise - 1 cup
- Pistachio paste - 3 tablespoons
- Confectioner’s sugar - 1-1/2 tablespoons, sifted
- Blackberry sauce - 1/2 cup
- Chocolate Sauce - 1/2 cup
- Green tea ice cream - 4 small scoops
- Pastillage fans (optional)
- Dry Ice Chips - 2 cups (optional)
To make the marzipan and azuki bean paste egg rolls: Preheat the broiler. Divide the marzipan in half and roll between two sheets of waxed paper into two strips, each 1-1/2 inches wide and 8 inches long. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip with the azuki bean paste. Pipe a 1/2-inch strip of paste along each marzipan strip. Roll up lengthwise into a long slender roll and cut into 2-inch lengths. Decoratively score the tops of each on the diagonal, making a ropelike effect. Place on a baking pan close under the broiler for a few seconds, or until lightly browned.
To make the candied kumquat pot stickers: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Gently roll the puff pastry rounds on a lightly floured board. Place a kumquat on each, centered on one half of the round. Fold the dough over, press together, and use a 2-inch round cutter to trim the excess dough. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.
To make the prune wontons: Pour oil to a depth of two inches in a heavy pot or skillet. Heat to 375 F. Meanwhile, lay out the wonton wrappers and place 1 tablespoon prune puree in the center of each. Fold up two opposing corners toward each other, but do not press them together. Grasp the other two opposing corners in your fingers and twist them, clockwise, around the two standing corners.Twist until the filling is enclosed and the packet holds its shape, then turn back the points of each corner like a petal. Fry the wontons, turning frequently, until golden and crisp, two to three minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Reserve the oil.
To make the papaya and mango beggar’s purses: In a small bowl, combine the diced papaya, mango puree, and cake or cookie crumbs. Lay out the egg roll wrappers and place about 2 tablespoons of the papaya mixture in the center of each. Pull up the edges, gathering at the top, and tie each gently with an 8-inch piece of white string. Reheat the wonton oil to 375 F, or until almost smoking. Fry the purses in the hot oil, turning frequently, until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
To make the cream puffs: In a deep bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in the orange concentrate. In a small saucepan, combine the gelatin and water. Heat over low heat until the gelatin is dissolved. Let cool, then fold into the cream mixture. Place the mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a small tip. Make a small “X” in the bottom of each puff and pipe in the orange cream mixture. Refrigerate.
In a double boiler over simmering water, heat the fondant until it is liquid enough to coat. Insert a skewer in the bottom of a cream puff and dip the puff into the fondant to coat it. Remove and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or waxed paper to dry. Repeat with the remaining cream puffs. Place one dot of red paste food coloring on top of each in the center. Refrigerate.
To make the phyllo tartlets: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place 1 sheet of the phyllo dough on a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper. Sprinkle lightly with some of the bread crumbs and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the butter over using a pastry brush. Repeat with another sheet, then place a final sheet on top. Brush the top with the remaining butter. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out 8 circles. Press the circles into eight 2-inch fluted tartlet pans. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Let cool.
To make the pistachio sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the creme anglaise and pistachio paste. Set aside.
To serve: Preheat the oven to 350 F and reheat the pot stickers, beggar’s purses, and wontons for 6 to 8 minutes. Dust the beggar’s purses with confectioner’s sugar. Place the blackberry puree and pistachio and chocolate sauces in squeeze bottles. Divide the serving plates down the center with an elongated “S” of chocolate sauce. Fill one side with blackberry puree and the other with pistachio sauce. Place 1 beggar’s purse in the center of each plate, then alternate egg rolls, pot stickers, wontons, and puffs around the plates. Place green tea ice cream in the phyllo shells at the last minute and place two on each plate.
To duplicate Chef O’Malley’s presentation, top the ice cream with a pastillage fan or similar wafer. Place 1/2 cup of the dry ice chips in the bottom of each of four lacquer boxes (handle the dry ice chips with small tongs; do not touch them with your fingers). Add a small amount of hot water. Place a small bamboo seamer on top of each box and place the plated dessert in the steamer. The hot water will active the dry ice and “steam” will pour out.
Green Tea Ice Cream
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the cream, half-and-half, and vanilla bean, if using. Submerge the tea bags or tea balls in the cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags or tea balls from the cream. Return the cream to the heat and bring back just to a boil. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly whisk some of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, then add the egg yolks to the hot cream mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and remove the vanilla bean pod, or stir in the vanilla extract at this point. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.