So… I had plans to make something that would blow my mind. Something I learned from Alton Brown, who’s tied as my favorite brain crush with Brian Lehrer (all you WNYCers know what I’m talking about). Something that I figured I could mix and measure and adapt as necessary. I even wrote the post out last night. It was brilliantly witty. Pinky swear it was.
And while the experiment worked up to this point…
… that beaker of coolness was as far as I got. They were to be these beautiful pearls of dark red wine that I had simmered with some really potent dried ginger, honey and gelatin sheets. Dropped into chilled oil, they were to separate easily when rinsed clean.
I tried several variations – still think I need more gelatin.
So, in a pinch – what could I make?!?! Because the recipe we were given, the one that we were to try to keep close to, was this:
So what I took from it was: fruit, gelatin, ginger. My original idea for the swap was to be a take on Charlotte Russe, which I’ve been wanting to adapt since I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn again a few months ago. But for the same reason that this recipe makes me gag, I couldn’t do it.
So the result was a relatively healthy, bi-blueberry dessert served with a gluten-free lady-finger. I did not make them. If you want to make your own, I suggest this recipe from Krissy’s Creations.
This is definitely not my most proud swap. But as this post goes up I’m not even near NYC at all, but on an island off of Portugal touring a vineyard, cooking food in the ground, interviewing chefs and chasing dishes around the island while my recorder runs and my photographer clicks away. In prep for the trip I’ve been working like mad to meet deadlines. And as I gobbled this up, I realized sometimes even last-minute creations come together when you need them.
Now please go check out my fellow swappers for, I’m sure, a tasty combo of creations!
Blueberries and Cream
- Scant 1lb of fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup dark red wine
- 1 tsp dried ginger (less if you don’t like too much spice)
- 2 sheets gelatin, bloomed (soak in cook water for about 5 minutes to bloom)
- 1-8oz container cream cheese or alternative (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 8 slices candied ginger
- 16 ladyfinger or Madeleine cookies
- Rinse and separate the blueberries, and reserve 1/2 cup. Put in a small pot on medium heat with the wine and dried ginger. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes, crushing some of the blueberries with a fork. Meanwhile, bloom the gelatin. Whisk in slowly, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Turn off heat, and remove 1/4 cup blueberry liquid. Add remaining 1/2 cup blueberries to pot, and stir in – these will soften a tad but give the jam a nice texture.
- Remove the pot to refrigerator until chilled.
- In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1/4 cup blueberry liquid. Stir until completely incorporated. Return to fridge to chill until firm.
- When ready to serve, scoop the cream cheese mixture into a small ziploc bag. Snip the corner, and pipe onto the flat side of one cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Spoon about a tablespoon of chilled jam onto plate, then rest cookie sandwich on top. Garnish with candied ginger.