My obsession with eggs is widely known.
Every Easter I try to find interesting ways to serve them (in addition to my mother-in-law’s perfect deviled eggs). Last year I even made my very own eggshell candles (see photo, at left. Also see author, a nerd).
This year I’ve decided to go big and try something new. Duck eggs, ostrich eggs, and some eggs-that-aren’t-really-eggs.
I dipped my toe in last year with a sorbet-and-crème-anglaise-confection made up to look like a fried egg (right). This year I need to get my hands on a Spherification Kit – what says Easter more than a little Molecular Gastronomy? I was inspired by countless celebrity chefs and Eli’s pastry chefs, who are planning some dessert plating ideas involving “spherification” at this year’s National Restaurant Association Show, the country’s largest tradeshow for the food industry. Spherification, in this case, refers to coercing a liquid into keeping a round shape. Add calcium to a liquid, squirt some into a bath of alginate and the liquid drop will form an outer shell of gel that can withstand a bit of gentle handling. When you bite into it, the liquid inside will burst in your mouth. You can buy all the supplies that you need online so I’ll use this technique at home to make something that looks like an egg yolk that isn’t really an egg yolk. Just for fun. But what to use for the yolk?
We were in Eli’s R&D kitchen last week for a product tasting (it’s a dirty job…) and it hit me – passion fruit!
It’s not new, but I’ve seen it everywhere lately. When the bakery is filled with a certain sensual aroma, I know we’re baking our Lime Coconut Passion Cheesecake, which has a delicate ribbon of housemade passion fruit curd sandwiched between two layers of key lime cheesecake and toasted coconut mousse. Diana and Laurel, our R&D chefs, have worked tirelessly the past few months to develop a mouth-watering dessert bar topped with a thick slab of bright yellow passion fruit – check back this summer for more information and where to find it.
Passion fruit was said to be named by Catholic missionaries in South America because parts of its flower resembled religious symbols. Great flavor and a great story for my Easter feast. But no matter what holiday you’ll celebrate this spring, the bright flavor of passion fruit is just the thing to help kiss this winter goodbye.