Honey Mousse, Fennel Sand and Fresh Berries

My dad and I have a lot in common. We both love being in nature, creating things with our hands and most of all, we love food.

On the topic food we differ in opinion. My father wants a full plate of good quality food, at a reasonable price while I, am a very visual person who is passionate about simple and artistic plating. In my opinion, less is more!

My idea for this dish is based on the fennel sand component. At my work we use fennel sand for a scallops starter where it's considered to be a secondary component. From the day i tasted it, i knew i want to pair it with honey - I don't know why, it just seemed right to me.

The berries give the rather sweet dish a welcome sourness. The mint which, could be overlooked as just being a "garnish" contributes a balancing freshness.

I took the photo in natural light on a overcast day. I used the Canon 50mm 1.8 and my Canon Eos 7D. 

Below you can see the before/after view of the photo after editing it in Lightroom.

The photo was enhanced using basic Lightroom tools like highlights/shadows.

Ingredients 

Honey Mousse

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 200g honey
  • 3 gelatin leaves
  • 375ml cream, whipped to soft peaks

Fennel Sand

  • 75g grounded almond
  • 50g plain flower
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 25g fennel seeds
  • 50g butter (room temperature)
  • 3g salt

Meringue

  • 3 egg white
  • 170g sugar

Raspberry Segments

  • 10 raspberries

Method

Honey Mousse

  1. Whisk egg yolks in an electric mixer until thick and pale (5-7 minutes).
  2. Combine honey and 75ml water in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until combined. Bring to a boil (be careful not to boil over) and cook until syrup reaches 115°C on a sugar thermometer (7-10 minutes).
  3. With motor running, gradually pour syrup over yolks (reserving about 2 tbsp in saucepan). 
  4. Squeeze excess water from gelatin, add to reserved syrup, stir to dissolve, then add to yolk mixture, whisking continuously until cold (7-10 minutes). 
  5. Gently fold through cream, then spoon mousse into a container, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (1-2 hours).
  6. Note: I also added around 150 g of Philadelphia cheese to the recipe to give it a twist.

Fennel Sand

  1. Grind the fennel seeds to a fine powder.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together and use a „Robo Coup“ or your hands to combine to a crumble. 
  3. Bake the crumble in the oven at 190°C for around 10min. 
  4. Let it cool down and grind it to a sand like consistency.

Meringue

  1. Preheat the oven to 80°C.
  2. Whisk the egg white until foamy. 
  3. Add sugar slowly while still whisking. When sugar is added, whisk on highest power until stiff and glossy. 
  4. Spread the Meringue out thinly on a tray lined whit baking paper.
  5. Dry in oven over night or until dry. 
  6. Crumble Meringue to sand like texture.

Raspberry Segments

  1. Put the raspberry in a ziplock bag and put it in the freezer until frozen. 
  2. Brake carefully in to segments.

Plating

  1. Use chilled plate and start with the fennel sand.
  2. Place three quenelle of mousse on the fennel sand.
  3. Add the crumbled meringue and the raspberry segments. 
  4. Finish garnishing with fresh berries and peppermint leaves.