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Deconstructed Bavarese with Peas and Lemon Balm

Words by
February 21, 2017
Winter is here but the holidays are over which means that tradition no longer dictates what is on the menu. Anyway, there’s always room to play when it comes to the end of the night and something sweet. Badeggs chefs Federico Bassi and Veronica Amoroso decided to have a little fun in the kitchen, creating a contemporary take on a classic dish: the Bavarese (or Bavarian Cream). Their version, which is still rich, dense and creamy, was inspired by the fresh flavors of home grown plants: peas and lemon balm in particular.
photo © Badeggs, Simone Nocetti
What was once a heavy and decadent dessert becomes refreshed: still warm and filling with a star anise-spiced cream base but balanced with the freshness of a lemon balm infused layer. And what might typically be considered a garnish becomes a main component of this green dish: peas. A baked pea foam adds updated texture to the dessert while a sprinkle of dehydrated pea dust makes for festive green colour. The real kicker is a topping of pea microgreens: bite-sized versions of the full-grown plant that boast a more intense flavour.

This multi-step recipe is deliciously simple if you take it slow and steady. There’s not rush when it comes to plated perfection. For the fullest flavour and an elegant winter table, grow your greens at home.

Deconstructed Bavarese with Peas and Lemon Balm

Total Time: 3.5 hours

What you can grow:
Lemon Balm: 12 to 14 hours of Bulbo light per day
Microgreens: 12 to 14 hours of Bulbo light per day
Peas: 8 to 12 hours of Bulbo light per day
photo © Badeggs, Simone Nocetti
Step one: Bavarese with Star Anise
250 ml milk
125 g sugar
12 g cornstarch
8 g gelatin
125 g fresh whipped cream
12 g star anise

Rehydrate the gelatin in cold water. In a heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat, warm the milk with the star anise until it reaches 60°C. Turn off the heat and let it rest for one hour. Strain the milk to remove the star anise and return to saucepan. Mix together the sugar and cornstarch and add them to the milk, reheating over low heat until the mix thickens. Remove from heat and add the gelatin (remove any excess water first). Let the mixture cool covering it with plastic wrap directly on the top of the mix so no air bubbles remain. As soon as it has cooled down, add the fresh, slightly whipped cream. Pour into small moulds (or small glass cups) and cool in the fridge for at least two hours.

Step two: Cooked Pea Foam
240 g egg whites
24 g almond flour
16 g white 00 flour
14 g powdered sugar
70 g peas

Cook the peas for 6 to 7 minutes in boiling water. Drain and put them in an ice bath to retain the color. Strain the peas and then blend all of the ingredients together. Filter with a chinois and continue to blend with an immersion blender. Put the mix into a whipping siphon, spray into the small glasses, and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes at 950 W.
Step three: Crème Anglaise
250 ml milk
2 egg yolks
60 g sugar

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and pour them on top of the milk. Heat the mixture heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat without letting it boil. The crème anglaise will be ready when it reaches a temperature between 82 and 84°C.

Step four: Savory Crumble with Almonds
45 g white 00 flour
30 g butter
30 g cane sugar
3 g salt
10 g almonds

Coarsely chop the almonds. Mix together all the ingredients and spread across a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cook at in the oven at 180°C for about 10 minutes.

Step five: Dried Pea Dust + Plating
50 g of peas
Pea microgreens
Lemon balm leaves

Parboil peas for 2-3 minutes and then quickly move them into a water and ice bath. Let the peas air dry and then put into a ventilated oven at 70-80° until they are dehydrated (or if you are a pro put into a dehydrator). When they are completely dried out, blend and sift them to create a fine dust.

Plate the dish by putting down first the Crème Anglaise, then the Bavarese on top, some of the crumble, a couple pieces of the pea foam and finally decorate with pea microgreens, lemon balm leaves and the pea dust.
photo © Badeggs, Simone Nocetti