(This recipe appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
This dessert was created from a love of foraging, rhubarb and developing new vegan recipes. My wife Natasha and I love to explore our local forests in Whistler, BC, Canada, and get outdoors whenever we can. This is a fun dessert that can be prepared a day or two before serving, and is full of flavour, texture and aromas. Throughout the year we can find an abundance of wild food from local farms that can be incorporated with seasonal produce, so our menu at BReD is heavily influenced by the seasons and this mindset. Elderflower blossom is a magical ingredient that has amazing health properties and beautiful flavor and is in season with rhubarb. I love using ingredients that elevate each other but also grow at the same time of the year.
- 250 g cold aquafaba (the liquid drained from a can of chickpeas)
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 125 g caster or raw cane sugar
- 125 g confectioners’ sugar
- Whip the cold aquafaba with an electric whisk or stand mixer on medium speed until frothy. Then, add the cream of tartar and continue to whisk for 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and slowly add both sugars slowly. Once all the sugars are added, reduce the speed slightly and continue to whisk for 12-15 minutes, until thick, smooth and firm peaks form.
- Place into a piping bag with your choice of nozzle and pipe onto parchment paper. Place into a dehydrator or oven (no fan) at 175˚F (80˚C) for 2-5 hours, depending on size of meringues. Once fully dry or a little chewy (depending on how you like your meringues), store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- 25 elderflower heads in full bloom (reserve some flowers to garnish the jelly)
- 3 unwaxed organic lemons, finely zested and juiced
- 1 unwaxed organic orange, finely zested and juiced
- 1.5 lt water
- 1 kg organic cane sugar
- Inspect the elderflower heads carefully and remove any insects or leaves. Place into a deep container with the citrus zest. Bring the water to a boil and pour over the blossoms. Cover and leave to infuse overnight.
- The following day, strain the liquid through a fine chinois or muslin cloth into a suitably sized saucepan. Add the citrus juice and sugar, then bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Pour straight into sterilized bottles, leave to cool, and store in the fridge for a week (or freeze).
- 2-3 g agar agar powder (depending on strength of the powder and how set you want the jelly)
- 500 g cold Elderflower Syrup
- Whisk together the powder with the cold syrup and bring to the simmer. Once simmering, whisk for 3 minutes to allow the agar to activate. Once the timer goes off, strain into a suitably sized container (the jelly will be 0.4ʺ/1 cm thick), then sprinkle over some blossom/flowers. Allow the jelly to cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Cut to 0.4ʺ (1 cm) squares and place on a tray ready for plating later.
- 400 g Elderflower Syrup
- 100 g water
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 kg rhubarb
- Place Elderflower Syrup, water, lemon juice and zest into a suitably sized saucepan. Wash the rhubarb under cold water and trim both ends lightly. Cut down the center lengthways, and then cut into small squares. Place into the poaching liquid. Slowly bring the liquid to a simmer and then remove from the heat. Allow the rhubarb to sit in the liquid on the counter until desired texture is achieved. If you prefer a little more texture remove from the heat earlier, or if you want it to be more tender, continue to poach for a little longer. Once cooked to desired texture, remove from the liquid and allow both to cool separately, then return both together to maintain flavor. Store in the fridge until needed.
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 capsules vegan-friendly probiotic capsules (not solid pills, as they need to be crushed)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp organic Canadian maple syrup
- Make sure your coconut milk is at room temperature before starting. Shake well to allow to incorporate, then pour into a very clean bowl and whisk to make sure it’s smooth.
- Sterilize a glass jar that is about 750 ml to 1 lt in size with boiling water; allow to cool before continuing.
- Pour the coconut milk carefully into the jar so it doesn’t drip down the sides. Empty both probiotic capsules into the milk and thoroughly stir using a wooden or plastic spatula, do not use a metal spoon as it can react to the probiotic powder. Once the powder is fully mixed in, cover your jar with a piece of muslin cloth or very thin tea towel and a rubber band. This will allow the mix to ferment and breathe but prevent any bugs getting in. Allow the yogurt to activate for 24-48 hours, depending how warm it is where you are. (I prefer the 48-hour mark, as it gives the yogurt a nice tanginess and balances well with the sweetness from the meringues. It’s best to taste the yogurt with a wooden spoon throughout the process to check the thickness and taste.) Once you are happy with the yoghurt, cover with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate overnight.
- Wild foraged flowers
- Start with the delicious tangy, thick Coconut Yogurt on the base of the bowl, then arrange a few pieces of rhubarb and the elderflower jelly, followed by some pieces of meringue. Then, break up a couple of meringues and spoon a little poaching liquid over the rhubarb. Garnish with fresh wild foraged flowers (e.g., salmonberry, strawberry, elderflower or mint, baby basil or red vein sorrel).
About Chef Ed Tatton
Chef Ed Tatton is the Co-founder and Head Baker of BReD, a vegan bakery in Whistler, BC, Canada. For more vegan inspiration or to ask Ed a question on this recipe, follow him on Instagram @eds_bred or visit https://edsbred.com/.