January 13, 2006

wgb/c project update

Here's an update on my recent pursuit of the wasabi-ginger-black sesame trio with chocolate (wgb/c, that is), originally triggered by Vosges' Black Pearl truffle/chocolate bar and as a follow-up to my latest attempt to realize it in a form of chocolate layer cakes. Inspired by a suggestion by she-who-never-fails-to-come-up-with-an-ingenious-idea, I tried and made something that may (almost) be called Black Pearl molten chocolate cake.

When I found the wasabi or ginger flavor hardly noticeable in my Black Pearl layer cakes, I contemplated trying out the WGB/C combination in something in a way that is more flavorsome, and one of my immediate candidates was cookies. But wasabi especially is a tricky ingredient to cook with - you don't want to heat it too long or its delicate scent and sharp tang will diminish. Then simple molten chocolate cake hit me as an excellent idea, in that it could really showcase the central ingredients in a very simple but beautiful way. Besides, molten chocolate cake is usually dead easy to make, which would be perfect for someone who's particularly pressed with work at this moment, like me. It seemed to fit the bill.

I used this recipe as a base, because I wanted very simple and very chocolate-y one preferably without flour. There I added some grated fresh wasabi and ginger roots along with lightly toasted black sesame seeds. To serve, I whipped up ginger ice cream, which I thought would go good with the cake, with this recipe in my mind. I simply made it by adding chopped crystallized ginger and a dash of rum to store-bought vanilla ice cream though; I had no time, energy, ice-cream maker, freezer space, or whatever it takes me to make ice cream from scratch.

Verdict: dainty. Not ultimately wasabi-y again, for one thing I didn't use enough wasabi (I was running out of it), but it was definitely there. I seemed to have baked the cakes a bit too long (typical!) and the center of the cakes wasn't oozy or runny as it was supposed to be (ugh!), but it was still very fudgy - not of dense, brownie-like fudginess but more of an airy, light feel. I think it was a nice delicacy with a touch of fresh spices and crunch of seeds, alongside sweet and tangy ginger ice cream. And it's definitely far easier to put together than the layer cake. Meanwhile, when it's warmer and when/if I feel like making home-made ice cream, I might try WGB/C ice cream or something; they sell wasabi soft serve in Japan, and it's good!

On another note, as many of you may already know, the 2005 Food Blog Awards have been organized by Kate at Accidental Hedonist and voting is under way. I would like to thank those of you who nominated this sometimes-it-seems-almost-neglected small blog for the category of photography. While I didn't make it to the shortlist like last year, we find outstanding blogs with spectacular photography as the finalists in that category, along with many other yummy blogs in other categories. Give them your votes and see who win!


Blackwidow said...

Do you own a bakery shop? you have to showcase, and sell all those goodies. everything you bake is amazing....  

Posted by Blackwidow

gattina said...

Yeah, I saw a food program interview the owner of Vosges. Last time she mentioned she still couldn't make curry powder work with her chocolates.
Be honest, I think you should even win the catagory of photography...

Posted by gattina

Santos said...

ooh, that is gorgeously elegant. elegantly gorgeous. i have yet to try fresh wasabi, i'm looking forward to the day i can try it. my favourite sushi bar in los angeles offers the option of fresh wasabi for a whopping $15 extra; however, i'd much rather try it in a sweet, i think.  

Posted by santos.

kuromame said...

Hi Santos,

Fresh wasabi is definitely worth a try - at least once. Even though it's an extra $15. Fresh wasabi is pricey in Japan too. The tangy ting is strong yet so delicate.! A must try! 

Posted by kuromame

chika said...

Hi there, thanks for the comments and kind words :)

Santos - does that option give you one whole root of fresh wasabi? If so, that could be something you might want to try, if you have a group of people to share it with, as you aren't likely to use up one whole wasabi root by yourself at once. I'd say the $15 charge is something a bit too much, agreed, but like kuromame says fresh wasabi's quite pricy even in Japan. (I got this for 400 yen or so, which is about $3.5... ah well, $15 is a bit over the top, probably... but hey, they sell a 4-oz tin of Mauna Loa macnuts at about $10 here!!) 

Posted by chika

Anita said...

I've had those Black Pearl truffles before - I think Vosges has some very creative flavor combinations but I feel some of them might "pop" more in a immediate/a la minute type of dessert like what you made. It looks very pretty! 

Posted by Anita

Caroline@Bibliocook said...

Your crème brûlée looks really good - I'm fascinated by the flavour combinations that you use. I came across some amazing wasabi from a little company in Canterbury, New Zealand while I was there and now I'm kicking myself that I didn't bring a jar of it home to Ireland. It would be perfect for these kinds of experiments.
Oh, and just letting you know that you've been tagged for the Wierd Meme ( Best of luck!