HomeRecipesHibiscus Glazed Poached Rhubarb, Cornmeal Financier with Vanilla Ice Cream by Gigi...

Hibiscus Glazed Poached Rhubarb, Cornmeal Financier with Vanilla Ice Cream by Gigi Ramirez

(This recipe appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

This dish is a nod to spring and a modern interpretation of a favorite dessert that I used to eat with my family. The recipe calls for the rhubarb to be poached in a light syrup and glazed, which preserves its crunchy texture. The poaching also maintains the bright and tart flavor, creating a balance with the buttery nutty notes from the financier. The fresh mint gel lightens this dish and complements the rich and sweet vanilla ice cream. Desserts that remind me of being with family and evoke nostalgia are definitely ones that I tend to re-create with a modern approach.

Yield: 24 portions

Rhubarb Poaching Liquid

  • 250 g grenadine syrup
  • 200 g lemon juice
  • 2500 g water
  • 1600 g granulated sugar
  • 25 g hibiscus leaves
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Peel from 1 lemon
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 rhubarb stalks, washed
  1. Place the rhubarb in a lidded lexan container and set aside.
  1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients except rhubarb and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and allow the liquid to stand for just a moment before pouring it over the rhubarb. Place the lid on and allow the rhubarb to steam for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is tender, but still has a bite.

Brown Butter Cornmeal ‘Financier’

  • 300 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g cornmeal
  • 2 g baking soda
  • 1 g baking powder
  • 5 g salt
  • 100 g all-purpose flour
  • 250 g egg whites
  • 350 g brown butter, warm, divided
  1. In a bowl, combine the sugar, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Whisk the egg whites into the dry ingredients. Whisk 250 g of the warm brown butter into the mixture. Pour onto a quarter sheet tray and bake at 350˚F for 10-15 minutes.
  1. After removing the financier from the oven, pour the remaining 100 g of brown butter on top.

Hibiscus Jelly

  • 1000 g water
  • 100 g dried hibiscus
  • Granulated sugar, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 10 gelatin sheets, bloomed
  1. In a medium pot, bring the water and hibiscus just to a boil. Strain the water into a second pot, discarding the hibiscus. Season the hibiscus water with sugar, salt and lemon juice to desired taste and sweetness. Scale out 1000 g of the base and add the bloomed gelatin to it whisking to dissolve. Strain into a bowl and place into an ice bath. Once the base begins to ‘jellify’, strain the jelly and use to glaze the drained rhubarb, leaving some of the rhubarb unglazed for garnish.
  1. Let the rhubarb set for 15 minutes, then transfer to a clean tray.

Mint Gel

  • 500 g farm chocolate mint
  • 1500 g cold water
  • Granulated sugar, to taste
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of lemon juice
  • Agar agar, as needed
  1. Place a 2ʺ tall, small metal ring in the center of a large pot. Scatter the mint around the ring to cover the bottom of the pot. Add the cold water to cover the mint and place a small bowl on top of the ring. Fill a large bowl with ice and place it on top of the pot. Bring the mint water just to a simmer (do not boil), and leave until the ice on top of the bowl has melted completely.
  1. Take the mint water out of the small bowl inside the pot, place it in a small rondeau, and season it with sugar, salt and lemon juice to taste. Scale the total amount, then add 1% of agar agar to it. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute to activate the agar. Pour into a lexan and allow to cool completely and set before processing in blender. Pass through a chinois.

Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 670 g organic milk
  • 470 g organic cream
  • 300 g granulated sugar
  • 1 Tahitian vanilla bean, split
  • 2 Madagascar vanilla beans, split
  • 12 g trimoline
  • 10 g ice cream stabilizer
  • 12 large egg yolks
  • 50 g dextrose
  • 1 lime
  1. In a pot, combine the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla beans, trimoline and ice cream stabilizer and bring to a full boil.
  1. Whisk together the egg yolks and the dextrose. Temper the hot liquid into the yolks, whisking constantly. Return the yolk mixture to the pot and cook to 185˚F (85˚C), until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (nappé). Immediately remove the pot from the heat and transfer to another container. Whisk for 30 seconds to cool. Strain into a bowl set over an ice bath. Cool, whisking occasionally. Transfer to a plastic storage container and reserve in the refrigerator. Spin as needed.


  • Micro mint
  • Edible viola flowers
  1. Cut the cornmeal financier to 4ʺ (10 cm) x 0.78ʺ (2 cm) rectangles (the width of the rhubarb), and place it in the center of a plate. Cut the glazed rhubarb to 4ʺ (10 cm), and place it on top of the financier.
  1. Put the Mint Gel in a squeeze bottle and pipe a line on top of the rhubarb. Micro-dice an unglazed rhubarb, grate some lime zest on top, and place on top of the Mint Gel. Garnish with micro mint and viola flowers. Place a quenelle of Vanilla Ice Cream to the left of the dessert and serve.

About Gigi Ramirez

Chef Gigi Ramirez joined The French Laundry pastry team in 2018 after a decade working for the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts at various properties throughout the United States. She started as a chef de partie and is now a pastry sous chef, crediting her early childhood memories with informing her career path.

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