“What do you get when you get a drunken horse thief to stop drinking?”
OK Computer, or rather, OK not ok.
1997 was a great year for both me and Radiohead. Following up on their surprise 1992 smash hit, ‘Creep’, the release of OK Computer proved they were for real. In a not at all similar way, I arrived in Paris in 1997 with no previous number one hits, and no sophomore project in the works. It was simply a chance to get in the game.
One of my favorite misunderstood desserts is a Mont Blanc, despite a bearably light Pierre Hermé iteration, it tends to be overly sweet, cloying, and starchy.
Fast forwarding ten years and it was the halcyon days of Room4Dessert NYC, just before the fall, and one of our guests was celebrating her birthday. Pom Pom Yeah just seemed like the right thing to do, a tasty way to make a dessert about her and a 518 area code, the key to the phone if not the heart of one of the last great elusives.
*Excerpted from Room for Dessert by Will Goldfarb.
- 215 grams milk
- 50 grams sugar
- 43 grams chestnut puree (unsweetened)
- 21 grams gelato base
The pom (pomegranate and beet [beetroot] cream)
- 200 grams pomegranate juice
- 200 grams beet (beetroot) juice, reduced to 100 ml
- 0.4 g xanthan gum
The fake pam (gandaria and matoa)
- 60 grams gandaria (Bouea macrophylla) or apricot
- 60 grams matoa (Pometia pinnata) or lychee
- 5 grams sugar
- 40 grams kocbek pumpkin seed oil
- 10 grams tapioca maltodextrin, or alternatively use 40 grams pumpkin seeds, fried and grated to resemble powder
To make the chestnut gelato
- 1 Bring the milk and sugar to a boil, add the chestnut puree and infuse covered, off heat for one hour, reserving a little sugar for your gelato base.
- 2 Bring to another boil and add the gelato base, taking care it doesn’t burn. Hand blend, strain, chill, and mature overnight. Process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
To make the pom
- 1 Mix all the ingredients in a high speed blender (on low speed, without a trace of irony) for 2–3 minutes. This works your xanthan gum well and allows you to use just a tiny bit of the old cabbage-y fermentation specialist, xanthomonas campestris.
- 2 Strain through a fine mesh sieve, and add to a whipping cream canister (we recommend ISI), charge twice with the laughing gas, and then allow to rest for a few hours more. Alternatively, whisk to a mousse-like consistency, then freeze.
- 3 To make Pom Pom Yeah, discharge into a biocompostable cellulose bag and allow to set in the freezer.
To make the fake pam
- 1 Peel and slice the gandaria, and also peel and cut the matoa. Macerate with the sugar, then it’s ready.
For the pomp
- 1 Mix ingredients together with a spoon and then pass the paste through a drum sieve at least once, and perhaps twice. Reserve extremely dry.