seldom do i stun myself and feel above all of my cakes or above all of Rose’s bibles! i have made cake dreams come true, miracle cakes, and more blog entries that one can count, but i always felt none of my new creations would taste as good or better than Rose’s original recipes! This is the exception, ROSE’S heavenly CAKES: Red Fruit Shortcake (page 193), take with yellow fruit from Hawaii.
my yellow fruit shortcake tastes better than heaven! what an overstatement? i really need you to try it, it is a year long process, specially finding the tropical fruits, but been in gelatin mode, it will freeze well. i feel some divine power guided me for this take, this project is a little bit of every person i know nourishing my passion. btw, passion fruit is that old/new world fruit that now is making its come back, it really packs a lot of goodness for dessert making.
soundtrack: apple iphoto ‘09 sample music, island celebration
eating strawberries in hawaii makes my forehead frown. we grow excellent ones on the cool prairies of Kula, Maui, but unless you pick them ripe and eat them fresh, they equal to the california or mexico imports that are shipped completely green, then gassed to turn red! Rose’s Red Fruit Shortcake brings her back to Le Bernandin in Paris (the fruits fouges on the restaurant menu). My take brings you to Hawaii, i promise!
my inspiration was to stay with the letter P for paradise or the color Yellow for my yellow kitchen: pineapple, papaya, and passion. the flavor balance was perfect, insuperably.
the shells are formed on silicone molds, then frozen so they unmold/pop right off. each of the fruits were processed as fresh fruit purees, adding 2x to 4x the amount of unflavored gelatin recommended to gel by volume. with 2x, the shells turn into the most delicious puddles when taking the cake from the refrigerator to room temperature. with 4x, the shells keep their shapes longer. instead of shells, you can make sheets, then slice in colorful cubes, which reminds me of my mother’s signature ‘torta rompe vidrios’ (a bavarian cream mold with colorful jello cubes resembling broken glass); i plan to do so when a customer can spend $50 instead of $500.
the pineapple was prepared as Fresh Preserved Pineapple Puree (Cake Bible recipe). the papaya was prepared in the same way, but reducing the amount of sugar by half since papaya is sweeter. the passion fruit was prepared as Passion Fruit Syrup (ROSE’S heavenly CAKES recipe), and don’t ever think of skipping the vanilla bean which turns passion fruit into gold. i used maui turbinado sugar for all the purees, this sugar comes with a strong butterscotch scent, but when put together on this take, it turns into sheer light.
if you bring the fruits to a rolling boil for 5 minutes, you may need to use less unflavored gelatin than what i recommend. without a full boil, the digestive enzymes remain active (specially for pineapple and papaya), causing the shells to soften rapidly, in my opinion it is a health benefit.
we had this after a beautiful multi-course chinese dinner, i am so impressed all these flavors balanced together, including papaya!
this is the first time I feel satisfied, flavor wise, from going so far from your original recipe! consider this a compliment to you, because your recipes stand out first for flavor and now I was able to top that with my own!
best part was the cake. best part was how everything turned into a great pairing. passion highlights and brings together all other flavors, neither fruit has a clear presence . . . was like a great tropical fruit punch: the kids had fun watching and smashing the gelatin shells as they turned into puddles when the cake warmed up. Cake was tender, excellent foam structure, moist but never drowning. Amount of syrup was perfect, could not tell any syruping was done but cake was not dry! Yes!
notes: jellos in the refrigerator keeps its shape but loose its surface definition (shell lines smooth out). the pineapple turns into a near puddle though, suspect from the pineapple enzymes. store frozen, slice with warmed knife, jello shells will soften and turn into dollops within 30 minutes of seating at room temp; this is when you eat it. retest with cuadruple amount of knoxx or bring fruits to a rolling boil to inactivate enzymes; but will this loose health benefits and change taste?
bringing these little jello devils to my post thanksgiving party today: