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Black Licorice Cake and White Asparagus Ice Cream

Black Licorice Cake and White Asparagus Ice Cream

Pastry Chef Jordan Kahn, Varietal, New York City

Chef Kahn serves the combination of cured rhubarb, white asparagus ice cream, black licorice cake, verbena gel, yogurt cream, frozen bitters, black licorice pate de fruit and squid ink syrup, garnished with black licorice powder and fennel fronds.

1 kg whole milk
400 g white asparagus, peeled
200 g sugar
5 g dextrose
14 g glucose powder
2 g xanthan gum
1 1 ⁄2 sheets gelatin, bloomed
10 g nonfat milk powder
4 g salt
6 whole eggs
360 g sugar
100 g milk
75 g Pernod, Absente or other absinthe-llike liqueur
375 g all-purpose flour
12 g baking powder
150 g canola oil
200 g glucose
10 g trimoline
10 g powdered licorice extract
3 g salt
15 g squid ink

For ice cream: Cut asparagus into small pieces and place in vacuum-sealed bag. Submerge bag into simmering water and cook until asparagus is fully tender, about 25 mintues. In separate medium pot, combine 700g milk, the sugar, dextrose, glucose powder, bloomed gelatin, salt and milk powder and bring to a boil. Blend remaining 300 g milk in a blender with xanthan gum on high for 1 minute. Add asparagus to blender, with both milk mixes, and blend on high for 1 minute. Strain through a fine chinois, and leave to mature in refrigerator overnight. Freeze in ice cream machine.

For cake: In electric mixer, whip eggs, sugar and salt on high speed until mixture triples in volume. Fold in milk, liqueur, and squid ink. Sift flour, baking powder and licorice extract over mixture gradually while folding to combine. Finish batter with the glucose, canola oil and trimoline. Transfer to sheet pan lined with a silpat and bake at 325° F for 12 minutes, or until resilient.