hearts of palm dates young coconut

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hearts of palm dates young coconutThis dessert represents the single most important interaction between food and ceramics. The interplay of the hues of the dates, hearts of palm, and coconut with similar themes on the rough slab plate was the beginning of much of the collaborative work with the artisans that has followed (see this page).

  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • 900 grams | 2 pounds hearts of palm
  • 1 .4 kilograms | 6 cups heavy cream
  • 490 grams | 2 cups whole milk
  • 20 grams | 6 sheets bronze gelatin, bloomed in ice water
  • and wrung gently of excess water
  • 8 grams | 1 ½ teaspoons iota carrageenan
  • 90 grams | ½ cup sugar
  • 6 grams | 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 230 grams | 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 230 grams | 1 cup muscovado sugar
  • 200 grams | about 4 eggs
  • 280 grams | ¾ cup dark molasses
  • 320 grams | 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 grams | 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 12 grams | 2 tablespoons caraway seeds, toasted in a dry
  • pan until fragrant and ground into a powder
  • 4 .5 grams | 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 80 grams | ¾ cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut
  • 150 grams | ⅔ cup canola oil
  • 1 kilogram | 5 cups sugar
  • 18 grams | 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sorbet stabilizer
  • 1 kilogram | about 4 cups water
  • 450 grams | 1 pound powdered glucose
How to Make It
  1. FOR THE HEARTS OF PALM CUSTARD: Dice the hearts of palm into uniform pieces and put them into a large plastic container. Combine the cream and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour the hot cream mixture over the hearts of palm and place in a warm spot to infuse for 1 hour. Strain the hearts of palm from the infusion, place the infusion in a large rondeau, and discard the solids. Add the bloomed gelatin, iota carrageenan, sugar, and kosher salt to the infusion, place over high heat, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for at least 20 seconds, until the liquid thickens slightly. Strain the custard base through a chinois into a container and let cool to about 130°F (54°C). Transfer to a sauce gun or large squeeze bottle.
  2. Have ready at least 6 metal cylindrical molds about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter and 6 inches (15 centimeters) tall. Seal one end of each mold with plastic wrap and stand the cylinders on that end. Secure the molds together with butcher’s twine to ensure they are stable and sealed on the bottom. Pour the custard into the molds to create tube shapes. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until set.
  3. Separate the molds from each other, then unmold the custard tubes by removing the plastic from the bottom end of the mold and lifting gently to loosen the custard. Slice each custard tube crosswise into 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) pieces. Using a smaller cylindrical mold, punch out the center of each custard piece so that it resembles a heart of palm and discard the trim. Repeat with the remaining custard portions and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  4. FOR THE CARAWAY CAKE: Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper and spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the butter and muscovado sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until the butter is slightly aerated. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the molasses, and mix on low speed until smooth. Using a tamis, sift together the flour, ginger, caraway, and baking soda into a bowl. On medium speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches at short intervals to avoid overmixing the flour. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the coconut and canola oil just until evenly incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and smooth the surface. Bake the cake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the center springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. Let cool to room temperature in the pan, then invert the pan and peel the parchment away. Cut into roughly 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) cubes. Store the cubes in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  6. Gather up the trim left over from cutting the cubes, spread on a dehydrator tray, and dehydrate at 125°F (52°C) for 6 hours, until dried. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until uniform crumbs form. Store the crumbs in an airtight container with silica gel packets at room temperature.
  7. FOR THE SORBET SYRUP: Prepare an ice bath. Combine the sugar and sorbet stabilizer in a bowl and whisk together to distribute the ingredients evenly. Pour the water into a saucepan and warm gently over low heat. Whisk in the sugar mixture and heat, continuing to whisk, until it has dissolved. Add the glucose and increase the heat to high. Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 30 seconds. Remove the syrup from the heat, strain through a chinois into a bowl, and then nest the bowl in the ice bath to cool the syrup. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve, or for up to 1 month.
  8. FOR THE DATE SHERBET: Put the dates in a metal container and pour boiling water over them just to cover (about 4 kilograms/4 quarts). Allow the dates to soften for 2 minutes, then drain them, discarding the water. Pit and peel the dates, discarding both the skin and pits. Place the cleaned dates in a blender and mix on high speed for about 3 minutes, until a smooth puree forms. Strain the puree through a chinois, measure 1 kilogram (4 ½ cups), and reserve. Combine the milk, cream, and sorbet syrup in a saucepan, place over high heat, and heat to 187°F (86°C). Remove from the heat, add the date puree, and combine with an immersion blender until smooth. Season with the lime juice and pour into an ice cream machine. Run a cycle for 6 to 8 minutes, just until the sherbet is thick but still pourable. Transfer the sherbet to a few plastic containers and hold in the freezer for at least 1 hour before use.
  9. FOR THE CARAMELIZED COCONUT WATER: Combine the coconut water and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. When the liquid begins to simmer, shift the pan slightly off the burner to avoid boiling. Reduce the liquid for about 2 hours, until a light syrup forms. Strain through a chinois and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and store in the refrigerator until needed.
  10. FOR THE YOUNG COCONUT, HEARTS OF PALM, AND FRESH DATES: Break the coconut in half, reserving the coconut water. Slice the flesh away from the shell and cut it into small dice. Slice the heart of palm into thin, round slices. Using a mandoline, shave the dates lengthwise into thin slices. Combine the reserved coconut water and sugar, mix well, and divide evenly among 3 containers. Immerse the coconut flesh, hearts of palm, and dates each in its own container. Refrigerate until needed.
  11. FOR THE CRISPY HEARTS OF PALM: Fill a small stockpot half full with oil and heat the oil to 325°F (165°C). Meanwhile, cut the heart of palm into 2-inch (5-centimeter) pieces, then, using a mandoline, shave each piece lengthwise into very thin strips (which will then naturally separate into threads). Lightly dust the threads with confectioners’ sugar, shaking off the excess, then add to the hot oil and fry for about 15 seconds, until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain and pull the threads apart while still warm. Season with kosher salt, let cool, and store in an airtight container with silica gel packets at room temperature

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