Gingerbread Verrine with Maple Foam
For the vanilla pastry cream:
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1½ cups milk
- ½ cup half-and-half
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
For the gingerbread cake:
- ¾ cup fancy molasses
- 1¼ cup hot water
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1½ teaspoons dried, ground ginger
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups flour
- 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the maple foam:
- 1 teaspoon Bubblo
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¾ cup water
Prepare the vanilla pastry cream:
- Combine the vanilla bean, milk, and half-and-half in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat, cover, and then remove from the heat. Let infuse for twenty minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, flour, and sugar in a large bowl.
- Bring the milk mixture to a simmer once more, remove the vanilla bean, and pour very slowly into the large bowl with the egg yolks (while whisking constantly(. Be careful not to pour too quickly, or else the eggs will curdle.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened, about five minutes, whisking frequently.
- Transfer to a bowl and let cool overnight in the fridge. Whisk thoroughly before using.
Prepare the gingerbread cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter and flour an 8’’ square baking tray.
- Combine the fancy molasses, hot water, and baking soda in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, using a whisk, cream together the butter and sugar. Once the sugar is incorporated, slowly add the egg while whisking.
- Slowly whisk the molasses mixture into the large bowl with the butter, sugar, and egg.
- In another bowl, whisk together the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix only to combine; do not overmix.
- Pour into the baking tray and bake for thirty to forty minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool completely before ripping into bite-sized pieces.
Prepare the maple foam:
- Combine the Bubblo, maple syrup, and water in a medium-sized bowl.
- Use a hand blender to whip in bubbles. Hold the blender at an angle near the surface.
- Wait a moment for the bubbles to stabilize before collecting them with a spoon and transferring to a bowl for momentary storage.
- Reblend to make more bubbles.
- Layer the vanilla pastry cream and gingerbread cake chunks in serving glasses. Top with maple foam and serve immediately.