Aroma-Menu is the irrefutable evidence of the versatility of desserts. ‘I want to show people that today’s patisserie is able to handle more than just the classic elements’, says Christian Hümbs, currently working as a pastry chef at restaurant Haerlin.
Hümbs took up the challenge which Frank Nagel, managing director of the restaurant La Mer in Sylt (Germany), posed him at the end of 2011, when he was working as pastry chef of the luxury resort, why not a dessert menu?
It was such a great success all through 2012 that the chef was commissioned an expected challenge – Aroma-Menu 2013, to which we devote these pages.
Hümbs describes his proposal as a stroll he takes alongside his guests. The freedom to choose the ingredients he will use is the key; whether spices, salts or vegetables – all of these are options at the chef’s disposal.
The chef constructs his desserts on three pillars – acid, sweet and a linking element. The best example is probably Rhubarb-Chocolate-Yogurt, included in this year’s series. The acid plays an essential role. Through them, he gives his courses a lightness that does not make his guests sluggish. This is how he reaches the searched-for harmony.
Aroma-Menu 2013 consists of a Finger Food, yellow/red paprika, macadamia nut, spinach leaf; an Amuse, lettuce, white chocolate, passion fruit, cucumber; and four courses: carrot, lingonberry, broccoli, watercress; Baked potato; Tomato BBQ; and Yogurt, nutsedge, raspberry, wild herbs.
We would like to share with our readers three of these suggestions with which chef Hümbs exceeds the boundaries of conventional patisserie and offers really surprising experiences.
white chocolate cream
- 1000 g cream
- 28 g glucose
- 875 g Ivoire chocolate
- 28 g cocoa butter
- 600 g cold cream
Boil the cream with the glucose.
Mix with the couverture and cocoa butter and emulsify the cold cream.
passion fruit cucumber granite
- 500 g Boiron passion fruit purée
- 350 g fresh cucumber juice
- 150 g sugar syrup, 1:1
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 10 g ginger
Mix everything together, and allow to rest for one day.
Pass through a sieve and freeze.
passion fruit stock
- 1 l passion fruit purée
- 500 g sugar
- 4 stalks lemongrass
- 100 g mango purée
- 80 g pineapple juice
Boil everything together.
white chocolate popcorn
- 300 g Ivoire chocolate
- 400 g milk
- 100 g cream
- 200 g egg whites
- 3 gelatin sheets
Heat the milk and cream and mix with the chocolate. Add the bloomed gelatin and the egg whites. Fill a siphon and allow to cool down.
For use, spray into a container with liquid nitrogen.
- 90 g butter
- 200 g flour
- 40 g vanilla sugar
- 100 g brown sugar
Mix everything together and bake at 190°C for 12 minutes.
- 2 heads of lettuce
- 2 green apples
- cucumber juice
- citric acid
- Syrup, 1:1 sugar/water
Wash the lettuce and squeeze through the juice machine.
Squeeze the apples through the juice machine.
Season the lettuce juice with the apple juice to taste and add the cucumber juice.
Season with citric acid and the syrup made of sugar and water.
Amuse Lettuce: Vegetables in a dessert?
With his now well-known ‘Lettuce, white chocolate, passion fruit, cucumber’ dish, Christian Hümbs raises in his guests the doubt of vegetable in desserts. With this lightweight character, Hümbs follows the classical menu sequence and his guests are not overwhelmed with rich creations. Mainly due to the constant, slightly acid present it arouses the curiosity of the eater.