This is going to be a huge deal for me. It's already been well-established that coconut and I do not have a good working relationship. I think it began when I was a kid and I eagerly poured myself a glass of what I thought was refreshingly cold water. WRONG! It was coconut water. I felt betrayed by my taste buds. I didn't vomit or anything but the taste was not particularly pleasant for me. The following years of my life were also littered with tests to our relationship. Every now and then at a party the only dessert would be fruit salad, with strips of fresh young coconut. "Why do you torment me so?" I asked the coconut, "I thought we'd both be better off if we never encountered each other again, but here you are defiling a perfectly good fruit salad." It didn't answer back because it was coconut. One of the last encounters was when a nice girl offered me some coconut-based dessert. I politely refused but she forced it on me (ooh), assuring and promising me that it was good. I took a huge bite. OH MY GOD. She said, "It's good, no?" Not wanting to hurt her feelings, I nodded eagerly, then proceeded to the toilet to get rid of it all.
I realize I might sound a little unpatriotic going about how much I dislike coconut. Truth is, I've been trying to patch up our relationship, and I've started to take it in small doses, like in latik, or desserts made with coconut milk, coconut macaroons made with thick condensed milk, and it's always a truce when I have one of my favorite snacks, Butter Coconut Biscuits (by the way, if anyone has a recipe for this, please do share it!). So today as a peace offering for my bad behavior I'm honoring it for this month's Lasang Pinoy blogging event hosted by Kai of Bucaio, pairing it with our national fruit and other tropical flavors in this flag-raising Tropical Bombe, made with homemade mango sherbet, coconut parfait, pineapple-coconut joconde, mango tuiles, and kalamansi (Philippine lemon) cream. It's a very sweet dessert that's well-balanced by the acidity of the kalamansi. I think it's a perfect reconciliation dessert. This is inspired by pastry chef Michel Willaume's dessert, Delice de Saveurs Exotique Glacé.
This makes twice as much cake as you need. Just save the rest for random snacking.
Grease, line with parchment snugly, and grease again a 10x15" sheet pan. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). In a large bowl, combine the whole eggs, almond flour, and confectioner's sugar. Beat at medium speed until cream-colored and light, about 5 minutes. Sift the flour over the beaten eggs. In another stainless steel bowl using a clean wire whip, beat the egg whites at low speed until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to high and add the cream of tartar and continue whipping until soft peaks are formed. Gradually add the superfine sugar and continue beating until very stiff peaks are formed and the meringue has begun to slip and streak around the side of the bowl. Scoop a third of the meringue into the batter and fold it in until well-incorporated. Add the remaining meringue and fold it gently until completely incorporated. In a small bowl, fold together the melted butter and about a cup of the batter, then fold it back into the rest of the batter until uniformly mixed. Scoop the batter into the prepared baking sheet and smooth with a large spatula. Sprinkle with the crushed pineapple and coconut; don't mind if they sink into the batter. Bake until lightly browned and firm but not dry, about 8-10 minutes. Slip onto the cooling rack, parchment paper and all, and leave for about 15 minutes. Place another rack on top and flip over. Remove the parchment, replace the original rack and flip right-side-up. Divide into two and place in a sturdy tin, separated by parchment paper. Wrap airtight with cling film and freeze for later use.
Since I don't have an ice-cream maker, I used a blender. Just scoop the entire sherbet out and blitz it for a moment (you don't want to melt it, just loosen it) at progressively shorter intervals (3 hours after first putting it in the freezer, then 2 hours, then every hour and a half 3 more times).
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water, then place over high heat and bring to a boil; by this time all the sugar should have dissolved. Set aside to cool. Scoop out all the mango flesh and place in a blender or food processor, then purée until smooth. Drizzle in all the cooled syrup and the calamansi juice (take note that there is no straining of the purée at any point). Place in an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions, or just do as I did and place it in the deep freeze and loosen it up periodically.
This is not really meant to be sweet, and therefore is the only component of this dessert that can't be eaten on its own.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Combine the sugar and coconut cream together in a small bowl until dissolved. Fold the sweetened coconut cream and whipped cream together until well-combined. Set aside in an airtight container in the freezer.
This is a very versatile cookie that can be used as a garnish just served with coffee. However, it's very sweet, like a mango chip. I wouldn't recommend adding three of these to the finished bombe as I did in the picture; just use one each.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour and sugar together, then whisk in the remaining ingredients one by one until well-incorporated. Leave to rest in an airight container in the refrigerator overnight and for up to a week. Prepare a stencil of a 3" circle from a piece of thick card (from a file folder) or the plastic top of an ice cream or yogurt container. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare another sheet of parchment paper for the cooled tuiles. Place teaspoonfuls of the batter spaced 3" apart on the parchment. Place the stencil on each dollop and using a small offset spatula, spread the batter within the stencil so that it is very thin and even. Scrape off the excess batter back into the bowl. Bake the tuiles for about 12 minutes. Peel off the hot tuiles from the parchment (they will feel like stiff fruit leather), and while warm, cut each into a triangle shape with a pair of scissors. Place each tuile on the other sheet of parchment to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter. You can store the tuiles in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
In a medium heatproof bowl set over simmering water, whisk together the sugar, egg, and kalamansi juice. Continue whisking for about 8-10 minutes or until the mixture registers 80°C (180°F) on a thermometer. Take off the heat and strain into a blender, then blitz for about a minute too cool it to 60°C (140°F). Add in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, and continue blending until smooth, about 5 minutes. If you don't have a blender, you can use a food processor, or good old-fashioned vigorous whisking. Place in a small bowl and cover with cling film. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 7 days.
Take the cake out of the freezer and using a 2-1/4" biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out 6 rounds of cake. Take the coconut parfait out of the freezer and scoop out 6 small balls using a melon baller. Place these on a saucer and set aside.
In a 6-serving 3" demisphere silicone mold, scoop in enough mango sherbet to fill it 2/3 full. Using a teaspoon and working quickly, smoosh the sherbet partly up the sides while creating a hollow in the center, making sure the entire inner surface of the mold is filled with sherbet. Place a ball of the parfait in and top with a circle of cake. Press the cake down, letting the sherbet overflow over the rim of the molds. Using a teaspoon or spatula, clean out the excess sherbet that has overflowed. Place in the freezer to firm up.
To serve, place the kalamansi cream in a piping bag fitted with a #3 (3-mm) tip and pipe out a design onto a chilled plate. On a chilled saucer, invert one of the bombes in the mold on top and hit the outside with a hairdryer for about 10 seconds, then slip it out of the mold carefully onto the saucer with an offset spatula. Transfer it onto the chilled plate and stick a mango tuile on top. You may also freeze the whole dessert, plate and all, before adding the tuile.