A huge hooray to the pastry chefs, a profession sometimes forgotten in our country. This and the next posts are my homage to all those working in the baking and pastry arts all over the world, but specially the ones in my country, Portugal. They are responsible for a light and harmonious end, a very important part of our meals.
This is also my homage to a very talented and passionate man, Antonio Bachour, who kindly prepared especially for me all the desserts that I am going to analyse in my blog, Conversas à Mesa. Antonio is a very young man, born in Puerto Rico and with a big and luminous future ahead of him. He works as Pastry Chef in the luxurious St. Regis Hotel, in Bal Harbour, Miami.
Antonio Bachour loves to work with tropical fruits. Passion fruit is His number one passion. All the desserts I tried are very light, because taste results from the different ways the fruit is treated in terms of textures: mousses, foams, jellies...
Its natural acidity is never disguised, becoming a serious plus at the end of the meal. All desserts have a strong aesthetic value, they are almost still paintings. In the dish, colours appear in monochordic harmonies or in contrasting brushstrokes, sometimes in an almost excessive way.
Passion fruit foam Raspberry foam
Let’s start with the first dessert, an example of how the sweetness of tropical fruits lives so well with the raspberry discreet acidity. First, a spiral of coconut panna cotta, than raspberry foam and fruits, several flowers, namely yellow clovers, and a “biscuit” of tapioca fried in piping hot oil. A final touch of Jamaican mint proves that flowers and leaves are not just final touches, and cannot be used only for their pretty faces, but can change the balance of a dish. In this case, in a precious way.
Tapioca is fried in piping hot oil
Coconut panna cotta with raspberry jelly
Raspeberries, raspberry foam and flowers
The second dessert is based on chocolate and dulce de leche, but the judiciously distributed passion fruit foam changes all, balancing the sweetness. It’s almost a deconstruction of the Brazilian brigadeiro, reminding us also of the Argentinean alfajor. To crown all this monochromatic beauty, a caramel ice cream.
Sue and Guillermo
Chocolate and dulce de leche
Chocolate, dulce de leche and passion fruit foam
Thank you Antonio for this unforgettable and talented sweetness. To be continued.