Blueberry-Chocolate Roll, Apple Sorbet, and Buckwheat Crème Anglaise

Posted by Florian in Desserts, Russian Food, tagged with , , , , , , , ,

It all started with Irina Chadeyeva’s Vypechka po GOSTu, a compilation of Soviet era baking hits, from the Kiev cake to the kartoshka (each of which I’ve encountered here and here, respectively). Chadeyeva’s recipes, often named after cities from the four corners of the Empire, for reasons unknown, are backed up with nostalgic pictures of the Good Old Days when communism was forever, money barely existed, the future was all mapped out, cakes tasted considerably better with buttercream, and nobody in their right mind used fruit for anything other than preserves. This is perfect fodder for Food Perestroika: dishes that haven’t evolved for decades and were once dictated largely by product scarcity and shelf life.

So… maybe for my first experiment I went slightly overboard. I’ve changed the original recipe so much that I can’t even remember what page of the book I took inspiration from! Was it the roll with buttercream and jelly (p. 44)? The roll with tvorog (p. 47)? Or the Czech roll (p. 50), a chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream and chocolate glaze? None of these contains blueberries or mousse or buckwheat, let alone crème anglaise or apple sorbet or freeze-dried blueberry powder, that’s for sure — plated desserts weren’t exactly a Thing in the Soviet Union.

Well, they certainly should have been. Blueberries, apples, and buckwheat abound in Russia, and so do rolls and frozen desserts. Thanks to the blowing winds of Perestroika, people no longer need limit themselves to dry sponge cakes, buttercream, nuts, and chocolate. The stand mixer and the ice cream maker are the hammer and sickle of the the 21st century baker!

As usual, I’ve adapted a sorbet from Liddell and Weir’s Frozen Desserts. I’m thinking it would also be nice to throw some crispy apple chips somewhere on the plate, but I’ll let you experiment with that on your own!

Blueberry-Chocolate Roll, Apple Sorbet, and Buckwheat Crème Anglaise

Apple sorbet
Yields over 12 servings

175 g water
175 g sugar
1.5 g pure vanilla extract
500 g peeled and cored McIntosh apples
40 g lemon juice
125 g water

  • In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the sugar and the vanilla extract, and stir until dissolved.
  • Measure 285 g of the sugar syrup, discarding the rest (or reserving it for another recipe), and return to a saucepan large enough to contain the apples. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Thinly slice the apples directly into the syrup, bring back to a simmer, then cover, and cook until tender. Remove from the heat, and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender, add the lemon juice and water, and process to a smooth purée. Transfer to a plastic container, cover, and refrigerate until completely cold. Chill the preparation in the freezer for another 30 minutes.
  • Churn in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to the freezer for at least 8 hours before serving.

Rolled sponge
Yields 6 servings

55 g (about 4) egg yolks
5 g water
70 g granulated sugar
1 g salt
50 g white flour
20 g buckwheat flour
1.5 g baking powder
80 g (about 3) egg whites
1 g cream of tartar
20 g superfine sugar

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, water, and granulated sugar to a pale ribbon. Mix in the salt, white flour, buckwheat flour, and baking powder.
  • Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar to soft peaks, then mix in the superfine sugar. Gently fold the egg white mixture into egg yolk and flour mixture using a spatula.
  • Using an offset spatula, spread the batter onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat, forming a 22 cm x 30 cm rectangle.
  • Bake in a 200 C / 400 F oven for about 11 minutes, until slightly golden. Immediately transfer the Silpat to a cooling rack, and let cool.

Blueberry syrup
Yields about 6 servings

200 g blueberries
85 g sugar
85 g water
3 g lemon juice

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the blueberries, sugar, and water to a simmer, stirring regularly.
  • Using a hand blender on low speed, crush the blueberries in the saucepan, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Pass the mixture through a chinois, pushing to extract as much flavor as possible. Mix in the lemon juice, cover, and let cool.

Blueberry mousse
Yields about 6 servings

285 g blueberries
55 g granulated sugar
5.5 g powdered gelatin
50 g egg white
25 g superfine sugar
100 g heavy cream

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the blueberries and granulated sugar for about 5 minutes, until the berries become soft. Reserve 1/3 of the blueberries whole. Transfer the rest into a blender and process until smooth, adding the gelatin while the blender is still running. Pass through a chinois, and mix in the remaining whole cooked blueberries. Let cool in an ice water bath until the purée thickens but not until it’s completely set!
  • Whip the egg whites to soft peaks, then mix in the superfine sugar. Gently fold this meringue into the blueberry purée.
  • Whip the cream to soft peaks, and fold into the blueberry mixture. Refrigerate until the mousse is almost firm, but still spreadable.

Blueberry-Chocolate Roll, Apple Sorbet, and Buckwheat Crème Anglaise

Blueberry-chocolate rolls
Yields 6 servings

rolled sponge
blueberry syrup
blueberry mousse
120 g 70% dark chocolate
40 g butter
40 g heavy cream
about 10 g freeze-dried blueberry powder (such as this one)

  • Transfer the sponge to a cutting board, and trim to a clean 21 cm x 29 cm rectangle (or whatever you can get). Cut the rectangle in half — you’ll be making two rolls. Spread some blueberry syrup on both sides of each sponge half (there might be some syrup left). Then, on only one side of each sponge, spread the blueberry mousse (again, there might be some left), leaving 2 cm clear along one long edge of each rectangle. Roll each rectangle; check out the above diagram to help you get a better idea. There will be some blueberry mousse coming out of the ends of each roll, but don’t worry about it. Refrigerate until firm.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate, butter, and cream to make a glaze.
  • Trim the ends of each blueberry roll, and place onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Coat both rolls with just one half of the chocolate glaze, using an offset spatula to spread it evenly. Put the blueberry powder in a sugar shaker, and sprinkle about half of it over the chocolate. Refrigerate until the glaze is set.
  • Reheat the remaining half of the chocolate glaze. Flip the blueberry-chocolate rolls, and coat with glaze until the sponge is entirely covered, again using an offset spatula. Sprinkle with the remaining blueberry powder, and refrigerate until set.

Buckwheat crème anglaise
Yields about 6 servings

125 g buckwheat, whole grains
500 g milk
45 g (about 3) egg yolks
50 g sugar

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, toast the buckwheat for a couple minutes. Add the milk, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture in a colander, discard the buckwheat, and measure 250 g of the milk.
  • In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar to a pale ribbon. Bring the 250 g of milk to a boil in a saucepan, and pour onto the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return to the saucepan, and mix over low heat to 175 F.
  • Pass through a chinois, and let cool in an ice water bath. Cover and refrigerate.

Assembly
Yields 6 servings

blueberry-chocolate rolls
buckwheat crème anglaise
about 360 g apple sorbet
about 6 g freeze-dried blueberry powder
24 blueberries

  • Cut a 3 cm x 25 cm rectangle from a sheet of paper to make a stencil.
  • Trim off the edges of the blueberry-chocolate rolls, and cut each roll into 3 thick slices.
  • Cover the bottom of each plate with buckwheat crème anglaise, then arrange a slice of blueberry-chocolate roll and a generous scoop of apple sorbet. Position the paper stencil and sprinkle with freeze-dried blueberry powder to create purple stripes over the sorbet and crème anglaise. Decorate with the fresh blueberries, and serve.

Blueberry-Chocolate Roll, Apple Sorbet, and Buckwheat Crème Anglaise