Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sonata in Three Movements – Sugar High Friday: Ginger

Sweet. Pungent. Hot.

Ginger lends itself to many types of food. Both savory and sweet.

And comes in many forms. Raw, preserved, pickled, crystallized. I wanted to combine a few of my favorite forms of ginger into something interesting for Sugar High Friday.

So I combined fresh ginger, preserved ginger and sweet pickled ginger into a chocolate decadence. With a little poached pear, just to balance the opulence of chocolate, cream and ginger with something a little cleaner. For this month's , hosted by .

The result – Gingered Chocolate on Vanilla Ice Cream with Poached Pear in Ginger Chili Sauce.

The chocolate combines the sharp pungancy of fresh ginger with the syrupy sweetness of preserved ginger into an addictive ganache. The sauce combines sweet pickled ginger, most often associated with sushi, with hot chilis, to give the dish a background heat. The pear is poached in a nice Viognier with some cinnamon and black pepper corns.

In each bite, there is lots of sweet, a touch of sharp bite, and a subtle heat that finishes it off. Best shared with someone you care a lot about. Not just because it's a bit heavy, but you want to be sure you've licked up every molecule! (Hey! some places are hard to get to with your own tongue!)

Although my burnt sugar lattice didn’t quite survive intact, we arranged it as best we could (for one magic second, the entire thing was in one piece in my hand).

The original ginger chocolate ganache recipe came from the cookbook “Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home. But I took it out of the pie shell of the original recipe and added the ice cream and the ginger chili sauce. Believe me, the combination works well. As long as you really, really, really like ginger!

Gingered Chocolate on Vanilla Ice Cream with Poached Pears in Ginger Chili Sauce
Adapted from recipe by "Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home" by Ten Speed Press by surfindaave

For the Ginger Chocolate Ganache

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup preserved ginger
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

To make the filling: Prepare 6 to 8 individual 1 cup molds (depends how much you want per person) by lining them with plastic wrap. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Bring the cream and fresh ginger to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, strain the mixture through a fine sieve over the chocolate, and discard the ginger. Let the chocolate mixture stand for 3 minutes, and then whisk until smooth. Fold in the preserved ginger and pour the mixture into the molds until they are no more then ½ full (leave room for the ice cream). Set the molds in the fridge to set up.

For the Poached Pears

2 cups white wine
2 sticks cinnamon
8 black peppercorns
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 small pears, peeled, halved, and cored

To prepare the pears: Combine the wine, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Add the pears and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Remove to a plate and reserve.

For the Ginger Chili Sauce

2 cup sugar
2 cup water
4-5 tbsp Japanese pickled ginger, drained/coarsely chopped
½ cup raisins
½ tsp crushed dried hot peppers
grenadine syrup, good splash

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, over moderate heat for about 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, including enough grenadine to make a pleasant rosy color. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then serve over vanilla or coconut ice cream.

To assemble:

Vanilla Ice Cream

Place individual serving plates in freezer for 10 minutes.

While plates are chilling, fill remaining half of individual molds carefully with ice cream.

Spoon some of the ginger chili sauce onto the serving plates. Carefully pulling on the plastic wrap, unmold the chocolate and ice cream into the plates. Place a pear half on top. Spoon some additional sauce over the dessert. Serve. Enjoy!

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Blogger Ruth said...

What an interesting combination. I can't wait for the recipes.

4:46 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I forgot to mention - the roundup will be ready later today. And once you're feeling better, and if you want to include the recipe, I'll be happy to update the roundup post.

Thanks for participating.

4:47 AM  
Blogger surfindaave said...


Thanks for the comment. The recipes are up now.

The combination was great - the rich gingery chocolaty ganache was balanced by the fresh pear and the just slightly hot sauce. No one could stop eating it!

5:15 PM  
Blogger Haalo said...

That's just gorgeous - I have a spoon with it's name on it!

11:52 PM  

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