Rose Water tends to fall into the category of what we call ‘polarising flavours’. Some love it and others hate it.
Things like marmite, coriander, violet and lavender are all good examples of polarising flavours and the best advice I can offer is never pair two polarising flavours on the same dish if you want to sell it from a menu. Using one controversial flavour will split your audience 50/50 but two on the same dish will carve your audience down to 25%.
When using these kinds of flavours I like to pair them with something familiar and popular such as raspberries, strawberries or chocolate. This will widen the audience and also encourage some people who are unsure to give it a chance and discover something new that they thought they wouldn’t like. The amount of Rose Water in this dish may seem light. You can use more if you like, but don’t under estimate how the flavour in the cream will develop as it rests overnight. If in doubt, test it out first and you can always add a few more drops before you whip it up.
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Raspberry and rose liquid centre
3 drops of Rose Water
Mix the Agar Agar through the sugar in a small bowl (this will prevent clumps from forming) and warm the puree in a pan.
When the puree is warm to the touch, sprinkle in the Agar and sugar mixture and then bring it up to the boil whisking continuously. Turn down the heat slightly and let it boil gently for at least one minute.
Pass the puree into a suitable container and add the rose water. Chill until completely cold.
When cold, the mixture should be set into a hard jelly. Scrape the jelly into a blender (ideally a Thermomix) and blend until smooth.
(Optional) Pour the mixture into a high sided tray that fits inside the vacuum pack machine and place it inside uncovered. Bring the pressure down as far as possible. The mixture will bubble up, so keep your hand on the stop button just incase you tray is over full and it expands too far. As the pressure is released it will suck out all of the air bubbles from the blending process and leave a more colourful and shiny gel.
180g Egg whites
4 Leaves of gold gelatine
850g Philadelphia cream cheese
150g Greek yoghurt
2 Vanilla pods, split and seeds scraped
Put the cream cheese, vanilla seeds and yoghurt into your KitchenAid bowl and beat together with the paddle attachment until smooth and set aside in another bowl, washing the KitchenAid bowl for reuse.
Soak the gelatine in ice cold water, making sure to separate the sheets before putting them into the water.
Lay out three silicone stone mould mats onto a flat tray and have a piping bag ready.
Place the sugar into a small pan with just enough water to form a paste and place on a gentle heat (the less water you use the quicker the heating process, but ensure the sugar has enough water to create a paste so it doesn’t colour from direct heat). Continue to heat until the mixture reaches 121c on a kitchen thermometer. While the sugar is heating put the egg whites into the clean KitchenAid bowl and attach the whisk, whipping until the whites start to foam.
When the whites have become foamy and the sugar syrup is at temperature remove the pan from the heat. Slowly drizzle the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into to egg whites, being careful to avoid the whisk (A video demo will be available in the online courses area soon). Just before all the sugar has been added add the soaked and drained gelatine to the pan and use the remaining heat of the last of the sugar syrup to melt it.
Use a spatula to scrape in the melted gelatine and any contents left in the pan, again being careful to avoid the whisk. Turn up the KitchenAid to a medium to high speed and leave to whisk until the mixture cools and turns to a thick meringue (Tap your palm on the bottom of the bowl to check for when it is cool)
When the meringue mix is cool, add a small amount to the cream cheese mix with a whisk to loosen it and then fold the rest of the meringue in with a spatula.
Place the finished mix into a piping bag and pipe into your silicone stone moulds.
Take the raspberry and rose inserts from the freezer and place one in the centre of each mould. Seal them inside by piping a little cheesecake mix on top and running a palette knife over the top of the moulds to flatten any mix. Place the tray in the freezer overnight or the blast freezer for 1-2 hours.
White chocolate cream
270g White chocolate
5 Drops of water
Make a ganache a by boiling up the 180g of cream and pouring it over the chocolate, use a whisk to form a nice smooth mixture, place a peice of cling film against the surface of the ganache and setting it aside to cool.
Once the chocolate mix is cool stir in the cold cream and rest ideally overnight or a minimum of 3 hours in a shallow container in the fridge, covered with cling film.
Crispy Raspberry Bases
210g Digestive crumbs
105g White chocolate
48g Cocoa butter
10g Freeze dried raspberry chips
18g Dried cranberries, chopped fine
Melt the cocoa butter in the microwave until liquid and then add the chocolate, stir together and then put the bowl back into the microwave on 10 second bursts for as long as it takes for the chocolate to melt completely. mix well with the rest of the ingredients and place the mix between two sheets of paper. Roll to roughly 5mm thick and cut out circles with a round cutter that is the same size as the diameter of your silicone stone moulds. Place the tray into the fridge to set (they will be too soft to remove from the trimmings until they have hardened).
Finishing the mousses
200g Cocoa butter
300g White Chocolate
2g MSK Fat soluble red colouring
Melted white chocolate in a small piping bag
Melt the cocoa butter in the microwave and blitz in the colour with a hand blender. Add the chocolate, putting the bowl back into the microwave until all the chocolate is melted.
Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into the cup of a Wagner Paint sprayer <(there are alot of overpriced sprayers on the market but for me this is by far the best option. It’s also the cheapest that I’ve owned over the years and after two years it is still as good as new).
remove the cheesecakes from their moulds onto a wire rack and spray with an even coat of chocolate mix. If you haven’t practised spraying before then look out for my video tutorial on spraying and glazing coming soon.
Once sprayed, cut a small hole in your chocolate piping bag and flick the chocolate over the top of the cheesecakes by moving the bag quickly over the top while squeezing gently.
Take the bases from the fridge and arrange them on a tray, using a small palette knife to move the cheesecakes on to the bases while they are still frozen, you can now leave these in the fridge to defrost for 3 hours or outside for about an hour ready for service.
White chocolate powder
150g White chocolate
Place the MSK abzorbit into a blender and start it on slow while drizzling in the white chocolate. Once all the chocolate is added, open the blender and pour the powder into a small container.
Whip the white chocolate and rose cream very gently on your kitchenAid, it will only need a quick whip just to thicken it to piping consistency. It will split very easily if over whipped. Place into a piping bag with a plain nozzle.
Place the cheesecake in the centre of the plate and pipe 5 small balls of cream around the cheesecake.
Fill the cavity of 3 raspberries with the raspberry and rose gel and stick to the cream, bottom side up. Fill the gaps with the white chocolate powder and dots of the gel.