Farmer Lee Jones / February 25th, 2013
Providing diners with a familiar flavor in an unfamiliar form is a surefire way to delight their palates. That’s why we grow many greens, herbs, and vegetables in up to eight different stages of growth—from the cotyledon stage before the first true leaves appear to the mature flowering version.
Jimmy MacMillan, executive pastry chef of JMPurePastry in Chicago, fuses the flavor of a full-size carrot into his original take on classic carrot cake using micro carrots. This dessert combines white chocolate gelato and carrot sorbet in a terrine, which then gets topped with passion fruit seeds, carrot/ginger confit ribbons, and carrot cake puree.
“The carrot cake dessert was inspired by the ingredient, the natural sweetness of the micro carrots,” says MacMillan. “Acidic passion fruit and buttery, sweet white chocolate were good compliments. We added the carrot cake puree to ground the dish to its classic counterpart."
MacMillan maximizes the flavor of the micro carrots used in the carrot/passion fruit sorbet by gently steaming them in order to make a puree. Passion fruit vinegar and agave syrup are added into the mixture to create the frozen dessert.
No part of the micro carrot gets wasted, as the tops are used to garnish the plate. This not only adds a unique element of texture, it also provides a green color contrast that complements the bright orange fruit in a way that a bright orange carrot could not.