Basil Chestnut Cake with Strawberries

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355 F
9×9 square pan, greased
184g chestnuts, steamed
200ml milk
5 eggs separated
200g caster sugar
100g butter
100g pastry flour
1 T dark cocoa powder
1 T basil powder
mascarpone cream (see below)
strawberry mixture (see below)
Simmer chestnuts in milk for 15 minutes, puree and cool to room temp.
Cream sugar and egg yolks.
Add butter.
Add chestnut mixture.
Add cocoa and basil.
Add flour.
In a separate bowl, whip egg whites to soft peak.
Fold into other mixture.
Smooth into pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
Once cake is cool (it might shrink a little) top with mascarpone cream & strawberry mixture.

mascarpone cream

4oz mascarpone
1 C heavy cream
50g caster sugar

Whip together to soft peak.

strawberry mixture

16 oz strawberries, chopped
1 t white balsamic vinegar
1 T basil, chiffonade
50 g caster sugar

Combine all and let rest for at least 30 minutes



Fish Taco Sous Vide


Sous vide Fish (see below)
6 corn or wheat tortillas
Avocado cream (see below)
mango salsa (see below)
Avocado cream (see below)
Pickled cabbage (see below)

To assemble:
Warm tortillas on a hot skillet.
Run a smear of avocado cream down the middle.
Top with mango salsa, cabbage and fish!

Souse vide fish:
1 ahi steak
1 mahi mahi steak
1 c avocado oil

Place fish and 1/2 of the oil in separate bags.
Souse vide at 132 F for 15 minutes (ahi) and 20 min (mahi mahi)
Remove from bags and cut into chunks

Mango salsa:
1 mango, diced
1 shallot, minced
10 grape tomato, diced
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 c cilantro, chopped fine
1/4 t oregano, dried
1/2 t epazote, dried
1/8 t cumin
1 t chipotle powder
1/2 t salt

Avocado cream:
2 avocado
1/2 C sour cream
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 t chipotle powder
1 clove garlic, microwave for 10 seconds
1/4 c cilantro

Process until smooth.

Quick pickle cabbage:
2 T avocado oil
1 small onion, diced
8 napa cabbage leaves
1 t epazote
2 T mezcal
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T malt vinegar
1/2 t salt

Sauté onion in oil until translucent.
Add cabbage, epazote and mezcal, sauté until almost dry.
Remove from heat, add vinegars and salt.


Salmon Sous Vide with Rhubarb Sauce


One salmon fillet was poached in ghee and the other in a rhubarb reduction, then served with a rhubarb sauce.

Poached Salmon

2 salmon steaks
1 T ghee
salt, pinch
1 T rhubarb sauce juice (see below)
rhubarb sauce (see below)
black pepper

Place one piece of salmon in a bag with ghee and a pinch of salt then vacuum seal gently…only enough to get most of the air out, but not compress the fish.
Place the second piece of salmon in a bag with rhubarb sauce juice and a pinch of salt then seal as above.
Sous vide at 118 F for 30 minutes.
Crack a little black pepper over fish and serve with rhubarb sauce.

Rhubarb Sauce

5 strands saffron
4 cubeb berries
pinch of sugar
150 g rhubarb
30 g honey
1 T ghee
1/4 C water

Grind the spices with the sugar with a mortar & pestle.
Add all, except water, to a small pot and simmer  until rhubarb turns to mush.
Add water and force a small amount of the sauce through a chinois to yield 1 T of juice.


The fish poached with the sauce was a little bit firmer, but both were perfection…

I had some of the leftovers for breakfast with scrambled eggs and an english muffin and was rather pleased with the combination.



Lobster Sous Vide Test


Lobster poached, sous vide, in two different fats:

1 lobster tail, removed from shell
100 g ghee
salt, pinch
1/2 t chervil, dried
lemon juice

1 lobster tail, removed from shell
100g coconut oil
salt, pinch
1/2 t chervil, dried
lemon juice

Place tail in bag with fat & chervil and vaccume seal.
Sous vide at 126 F for 20 minutes
Drizzle with a little lemon juice

I would like the lobster to be a bit more firm, so next time I will bump the temp to 130 F.
I would also like to try tarragon in place of the chervil.
The coconut oil imparted a slight coconut flavor to the meat and should go well with a lime/chili sauce…