Navette is not only “boat” in French, but also the name of a very popular biscuit in the south of France. Most often perfumed with orange-flower water, these biscuits are somewhat hard and dry and are, as far as I’m concerned, an acquired taste. So I decided to make my own boat scene: a fromage blanc bavarois boat floating in a sea of cool pink rhubarb with a cookie sail.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
- Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
- 3 tbsp (40 g) sugar
- ⅛ oz (4 g) leaf gelatin, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water
- 2 egg whites
- Scant 1 cup (200 g) fromage blanc
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 18 oz (500 g) rhubarb, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- 4 tsp orange juice
- ⅓ cup (60 g) sugar
- 1 tsp orange-flower water
- Heaping 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp (30 g) butter, melted
To make the Bavarois
- Put the sugar and 3 to 4 tbsp water in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Make sure the sugar dissolves, then remove from the heat. Wait for the bubbles to stop rising, then squeeze the water from the gelatin and add the gelatin to the syrup.
- Beat the egg whites until foamy and white, then very gradually pour the sugar syrup over them. Continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Beat the fromage blanc and vanilla together, then whisk it into the egg white mixture until just incorporated. Divide the mixture among the individual ramekins and refrigerate to set for at least 2 hours.
- Pour ¾ cup water into a saucepan and add the rhubarb and sugar. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes before removing from the heat. Cool a little before refrigerating. Ten minutes before serving, place the syrup in the freezer. To make the Tuile
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Whisk together the orange juice, sugar, and orange-flower water. Sift in the flour while continuously whisking. Stir in the melted butter. Pour a ladleful of the batter into the middle of the lined baking sheet and spread the batter evenly, with an offset spatula, to 5 inches wide and ⅟₁₆ inch thick. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 1 minute before cutting into triangles.
- Unmold the ramekins onto serving dishes. Pour the ice-cold rhubarb syrup around them, and scatter some rhubarb on the plate. Place a tuile “sail” on top of each bavarois and serve.