Spicy Cinnamon Puff Filled with Foie Gras
This modernist meringue has an extraordinary combination of flavors and textures. The smooth and rich foie gras pairs incredibly well with the cayenne pepper, cinnamon and sweet puff. The contrast of textures is really interesting too. A crispy and light outside with a smooth and dense center.
The puffs are made by dehydrating a foam made with Methyl Cellulose, Xanthan Gum, light syrup infused with cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt. A hole is then made at the bottom of the puff and filled with foie gras.
This recipe has been adapted from the original. I tried the original recipe for the puff several times with mixed results.
The foam was not stable enough and it would flatten too quickly. I tried different Methyl Celluloses, adding more Methyl, adding Versawhip, filtering all solid particles of the Cayenne pepper but the best results were obtained when I added Xanthan Gum. Not only the foam was much more stable and allowed me to make puffs with a nice pointed tip but it was also much more resistant to humidity (less hygroscopic) thus maintaining the crispiness for a longer time. (not too long though so serve immediately)
The second best results were obtained when I filtered all the solid particles of the cayenne pepper using a sieve covered in paper towel. It seems that the particles were making the foam unstable. The drawback of this solution is that you lose part of the spiciness of the cayenne pepper and the resulting puff was not as resistant to humidity as the version with Xanthan Gum. This version was also lighter than the puff made with Xanthan Gum which may be better if you are not filling the puffs with dense foie gras. In the picture on the left you can see the cross sections of both versions. The whiter puff on the left was made without Xanthan Gum.
Ingredients for Cinnamon Tea
- 65 g (2.3 oz) cinnamon sticks
- 500 g (17.6 oz) water
- 180 g (6.3 oz) sugar
- 2 g kosher salt
- 1 g cayenne pepper
Ingredients for Cinnamon Puff
- 210 g (7.4 oz) cinnamon tea (preparation above)
- 5 g Methyl cellulose F50
- 1.25 g Xanthan Gum
- 150 g Foie Gras terrine
1-Preheat oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
2-Toast cinnamon sticks for 10 minutes.
3-Transfer to medium heat proof bowl.
4-In saucepan bring sugar, water and salt to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
5-Remove from heat and pour over cinnamon.
6- Add cayenne pepper.
7- Cover and steep overnight in refrigerator.
8- Strain through fine sieve.
1- Bring tea to a simmer in small saucepan.
2- In bowl of stand mixer, mix cinnamon tea with methyl cellulose using an immersion blender.
3- Add the Xanthan Gum and mix thoroughly with immersion blender.
3- Attach bowl to mixer fitted with whisk attachment and mix for 10 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
4- Transfer to pastry bag fitted with medium round tip.
5- Line dehydrator tray with silicon mat, or acetate or parchment paper if you don’t have silicon mat.
6- Pipe bite sized mounds on the mat. Make sure the height of the mounds is not larger than the gap between the trays in your dehydrator.
7- Dehydrate at 66 °C (150 °F) for 4 hours or until crisp.
8- Using a cinnamon stick or other similar item, make a hole on the bottom of each puff by carefully rotating the stick clockwise and counter-clockwise.
9- Reserve in airtight container with silica gel bags.
Assemble and Serve
1- Fill pastry bag fitted with small round tip with foie gras.
2- Right before serving, fill each puff hole with foie gras.
3- Serve immediately or puff will get soggy.