Eat Pale Pink and Linen – Rose Water and Pear Compote

Today we eat Pantone Rose Smoke and Linen, and both are sweet treats that I discovered on www.cookingmelangery.com.

image via cookingmelangery.com

This is yet another edible color confection that finds its flavor in the delicate essence of rose water. Nougat has a texture that rather expresses the feel of pale pink, and cranberry rescues this confection from succumbing to cloying sweetness, with some tart contrast.

Rose Nougat image via melangery.com

Wikipedia says:

“Nougat is a term used to describe a variety of similar confectioneries made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts(almonds, walnuts, pistachios or hazelnuts are common, but not peanuts) and sometimes chopped candied fruit. The consistency of nougat can range from chewy to hard depending on its composition, and it is used in a variety of candy bars and chocolates. There are two basic kinds of nougat: white and brown. White nougat is made with beaten egg whites and is soft, whereas brown nougat (called nougatine in French) is made with caramelized sugar and has a firmer, often crunchy texture.”

Yelena Strokin of Cooking Melangery says that this recipe is good, but that the nougat has consistency of the gummy candy. I have tried nougat at the holidays, and I think I see the problem. I would reverse the increments of the corn syrup and honey, and maybe add an egg white – corn syrup is a primary ingredient in gummy candy and responsible for its texture. But the recipe below is re-printed verbadum, so make adjustments as you see fit.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry cranberries
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted
  • 3/4 cup whole pistachios, toasted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pink food coloring
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
  • 1 tsp rose water

You also need:

  • edible rice paper (This recipe also calls for edible rice paper, also known as wafer paper. The rice paper helps prevent the nougat from sticking to everything and makes it easier to cut, serve, and store the candy. It can often be found in Asian food markets and in some gourmet stores, or purchased online. I did not have it, so I did it without it, next time I am going to use it. If you cannot find any, line your pan with parchment paper or foil and spray it thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. I did.)
  • candy thermometer
  • pan
  • large stand mixer with whisk attachment

Directions:

Place the sugar, corn syrup, honey and water in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, then use a wet pastry brush to wipe down the sides of the saucepan to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Insert a candy thermometer and continue to cook the syrup, without stirring, until the candy thermometer reads 252 degrees.

When the sugar syrup is nearing the proper temperature, begin to beat the egg whites until they are opaque with firm, stiff peaks. Once the sugar syrup is at 252, carefully remove 1/4 cup of syrup and keep the rest of the syrup on the heat. With the mixer running, slowly pour the hot 1/4 cup of syrup in a thin, steady stream into the egg whites. Beat the whites at high speed for few minutes until they hold firm peaks.

While the egg whites are being beaten, continue to cook the rest of the sugar syrup until the thermometer reads 315 degrees.

Once the syrup reaches 315 degrees, remove the pan from the heat. With the mixer running, pour the hot syrup slowly into the egg whites. Beat the whites on high until they hold the mixture is glossy and a thick ribbon forms when the whisk is lifted from the bowl.

Stop the mixer and add the vanilla extract, pink food coloring, rose water, salt, and butter. Turn the mixer back on until a thick ribbon forms when the whisk is lifted from the bowl. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the nuts by hand.

Prepare your pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray and lining the bottom with rice paper. If you don’t have rice paper, line the pan with parchment paper or foil and spray it thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray.

Scrape the nougat into the prepared pan. It will be stiff! Use a rubber spatula to scrape the candy from the sides of the bowl. Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray and press the candy into a thin, even layer. Allow the nougat to set overnight.

When you are ready to cut the nougat, spray a knife with nonstick cooking spray and run it along the edges of the pan to loosen the candy. Turn the nougat out onto a cutting board. Using a knife sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, cut the nougat into small squares or rectangles.

Your nougat is now ready to eat! If you will not be serving it immediately, it is a good idea to wrap the pieces in waxed paper so that they do not spread and stick together. Store the nougat in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Eat Linen – Cardamom Pear Compote over Vanilla Tapioca with Meringue and Pistachio

Pear Tapioca 1

Pear Tapioca 2 by Yelena Strokin, on Flickr


Ingredients:

For the vanilla tapioca:

  • 2/3 cup large tapioca pearls
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp  ground cardamom
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

For the pear compote:

  • 4 firm, but ripe pears, peeled, halved, cored, cut into thick slices
  • 1 1/5 cup water (or for adult version you can use sweet white wine)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • lemon zest from 1/2 lemon

For the meringue:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup pistachio, crushed
Directions: 

Pantone Linen

Prepare the vanilla tapioca:

In a medium bowl, soak the tapioca pearls in the water for an hour. Drain and discard the water. In a large saucepan set over medium heat, bring the tapioca, milk, almond milk, honey and cardamom to a boil. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into saucepan; add bean. Lower the heat and simmer 20-25 minutes or until the tapioca looks translucent. Remove from the heat, discard vanilla bean and place a piece of plastic wrap right on top to prevent a skin from forming as it cools.Prepare the pear compote:

Combine water, sugar, lemon zest, cardamom,allspice berries and cloves in heavy large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Add pears and simmer until tender, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pears to medium bowl. Boil liquid in saucepan until slightly thickened and syrupy, about 15 minutes. Pour over pears. 

Prepare the meringue:
Preheat an oven to 275°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Place over simmering water and whisk until the mixture is hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the bowl to a mixer and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture is lukewarm, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a soup spoon, drop the batter in large mounds spaced 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with pistachio. Bake until crunchy outside and still chewy inside, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool completely before removing the cookies from the parchment.When ready to serve the dessert, spoon the tapioca into the bottom of each of 6 glasses, dividing it evenly. When the pear compote is cool, divide it in between the serving glasses on top of the tapioca. Top with meringue cookies.

Eat linen and all color trends with gusto!