I believe that our country’s produce should be of the highest quality, whether it’s for importation or to be enjoyed locally. We need to invest time and money in growing an assortment of fruits so that one day we won’t need to import them. As a pastry chef, I can only hold myself responsible for continuously creating and producing innovative fruit desserts that promote the flavors of our local produce such as atis, mango, jackfruit, and more in the local market. The more exotic, the better.
Fruity desserts are less appreciated than their chocolate-based counterparts, but there is still hope. With the digital revolution, more Filipinos and tourists are going around the country in search of delicious fruits, paving the way for more flavors to be enjoyed by diversified palates.
Using fruits in desserts reduces calorie intake and may even make dessert healthier, especially when used as an alternative to sugar. And it’s not as hard as you think. Fruit can be peeled, hulled, and sliced, paired with your favorite sponge cake or scoop of ice cream, or sautéed in sugar and its own juices to produce a delicious compote topping for chilled or baked cheesecakes, custards, or mousses. Most fruits can also be grilled to caramelize the natural sugars and then paired with sorbets. For me, though, the most delicious way to prepare fruits is to bake them inside a pie crust topped with a simple spiced crumb top.
Using fruits in desserts reduces calorie intake and may even make dessert healthier, especially when used as an alternative to sugar. And it’s not as hard as you think.
As we prepare to brave the summer heat and enjoy the peak of ripeness for most of our local tropical fruits, I have created my version of the popular ice cream stick on a bar. Made with Tagaytay wild raspberry purée and Laguna peanut butter purée, topped with tons of fresh grapes, nectarine, and melons, it makes for a refreshing and decadent treat.
ICE CREAM STICK ON A BAR
Makes 10 bars
CHOCOLATE, PEANUT BUTTER, AND JAM ICE CREAM
CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
5 egg yolks
250 grams cream
250 grams milk
110 grams Valrhona 70% Guanaja dark chocolate, melted
25 grams cocoa powder
75 grams white sugar
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepot, simmer milk, cream, sugar, and cocoa powder. Stir in melted chocolate.
- Whisk the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks in a steady, slow stream. Cool down rapidly.
- Place in an ice cream churner. Keep frozen until ready to be molded.
PEANUT BUTTER AND JAM SEMIFREDDO
3 egg yolks
175 grams milk
100 grams cream
50 grams white sugar
10 grams cornstarch
70 grams fresh strawberry puree
70 grams unsweetened peanut puree
- In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Boil cream and sugar then reduce to a simmer.
- Whisk in egg mixture onto simmering mixture, until smooth and thick.
- Divide mixture in two. Whisk fresh strawberry purée in one part and puréed peanuts in the other.
- Cool down rapidly. Spread the peanut butter layer on a lined cake ring or loaf pan. Freeze until set. Keep the strawberry layer frozen until ready to use.
- Fill an ice cream bar mold with the chocolate ice cream mixture, approximately 110 grams in each cavity or almost to the top. Slice the peanut butter and jam semifreddo into 1.5 x 2 inch-rectangles. Place one slice at the center of the ice cream bar. Press until semifreddo is inside the ice cream bar, and then freeze completely.
- Remove from mold, then glaze.
WHIPPED BURNT WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
100 grams cream
110 grams burnt white chocolate
10 grams glucose
10 grams butter
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepot, simmer glucose and cream until 90°C. Pour hot cream over the burnt white chocolate. Leave for two minutes. Stir and blend using hand blender, add in butter, blend until emulsified, and chill overnight.
- The next day, place chilled ganache in planetary mixer using a paddle. Whip the ganache until light and fluffed. Place in a piping bag, then chill until ready to be used.
WILD RASPBERRY GLAZE
250 grams local wild raspberries
10 ml lemon juice
100 grams white sugar
250 grams water
10 grams apple pectin
2 grams red food color
- In a small bowl, mix sugar and pectin. Set aside.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepot, boil water, wild strawberries, and lemon juice.
- Place the hot mixture in a blender and purée until smooth and well blended. Strain.
- Boil the mixture again then whisk in sugar and pectin until dissolved.
- Cool down to room temperature.
- Dip ice cream bar, coating it fully.
- Freeze until ready to be used.
PISTACHIO MICROWAVE SPONGE
70 grams pistachio purée paste
90 grams cake flour
0.5 gram green food color (liquid)
30 grams caster sugar
2 grams fine salt
150 grams egg whites
100 ml vegetable oil
- Combine the pistachio paste, flour, green food color, sugar, and salt.
- Gradually whisk in egg whites and then the oil.
- Whisk until well mixed. Strain.
- Pour into a siphon, load with two cream charger cartridges, and shake.
- Dispense onto microwavable coffee cups. Microwave for 30 seconds on full power, then set aside. Unmold before use.
100 grams melons, peeled and sliced into 2 x 2 cm cubes
20 pieces miniature red grapes
10 pieces miniature green grapes, sliced in half
1 nectarine, sliced diagonally in 3 cm pieces
45 grams pomegranate seeds
- Sprinkle the melon cubes and nectarines with fine sugar. Torch until sugar is caramelized.
- Place the ice cream bar on a flat plate (or on a bed of crumble if preferred).
- Top with whipped burnt white chocolate ganache, torn pieces of pistachio microwave sponge, two halves of the green grapes, two pieces of miniature red grapes, two slices of the brûléed nectarine, four cubes of the brûléed melons, and garnish with pomegranate seeds and microgreens.
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