This shooter came straight from the hip one sunny afternoon.
It’s one from the ‘Dinner for 8’ which started as a regular old gazpacho and as the day progressed, the sun shone more fervently and the creative juices took over it morphed in to thickened tomato water with suspended gazpacho caviar and finally became the star that it is today.
To create something it is great to have a goal in mind. In this instance the requirement was for a refreshing palette cleanser for between entrée and main; one that could deliver some quirky fun and surprises in it too. I like the concept of cold as a refresher, something that has been around for centuries; gelato or ice cream on a hot day for instance. Tomato with its green fresh notes, its cutting acidity and its umami is also refreshing. After playing around with some molecular gastronomy: suspending gelatinous spheres of gazpacho with a liquid centre in a xanthan gum thickened tomato water, I returned to the original requirement. True, this creation was quirky, but didn’t give the freshness and ‘surprise’ that I was looking for.
Returning to ‘cool’, I thought about a gazpacho granita. This worked well but the ice crystals didn’t complement the flavour – it was just too cold, the flavour was counteracted by the numbness on the tongue and the texture just felt wrong. However, as a start it was great and from it I developed the sorbet, which when left at room temperature for about 15 minutes turned into a fantastic gazpacho slush. This slush was cool and refreshing, yet as it liquefied in the mouth the real flavour of the gazpacho revealed itself.
It was missing that surprise though. A slug of vodka was good; a quirky addition but still not something to play with the senses. Then I thought about heat and the potential of using a hot chilli in the gazpacho so there would be the cool sensation of icy slush in the mouth and then the heat would come through with the flavour. This worked incredibly well and it played around with my head in a good way.
Finally, I wanted to experiment with texture, and as I had already extracted tomato water I thought of foaming it. The light airy texture of the foam complemented the heavy slush and the essence of tomato worked marvellously with the spicy gazpacho. To stabilise the foam I used the xanthan gum.
As this ‘dish’ was meant to be a refresher and not something to quell the appetite I decided on shot glasses for presentation, placing the slush in the bottom ⅔rds of the glass and the foam on top. To finish the look I wanted something that could be sprinkled on the foam, in true cappuccino style; the ingredient also had to complement the flavours of the cappuccino. Smoky paprika was perfect. And so came in to existence the Chilled Tomato Cappuccino Shooter.
Chilled Tomato Cappuccino ShooterPrint
- For the Tomato Water Foam:
- ■ 250g tomato water | See below for recipe link – requires about 6 hours preparation time.
- ■ 0.6g xanthan gum (powdered) | We are looking at about 0.25% of gum to liquid.
- For the Gazpacho:
- ■ serve of gazpacho | See below for recipe link. This quantity will be more than ample.
- ■ ½ red bird's eye chilli | Replace the jalapeño in the original with this bird's eye chilli (with seeds).
- ■ 10% by weight Stolichnaya vodka | For every 100g of gazpacho add 10g of vodka. Stolichnaya is a personal favourite but any non-flavoured vodka will do.
- ■ garnish smoky paprika | Use to sprinkle over each shooter.
Prepare the tomato water as per this recipe in Duck and Roses (the tomato water takes at least 6 hours).
Prepare the gazpacho as per this recipe in Duck and Roses. However, substitute the Jalapeño in the original recipe for the birds-eye chilli (with seeds). Once you have made the gazpacho add the vodka – 10g for every 100g of gazpacho. There is no need to let this gazpacho rest for a day.
Now churn the gazpacho in an ice-cream maker, according to the instructions of your machine. After churning, freeze the sorbet for at least two hours.
For the tomato water foam add the xanthan gum to the tomato water and using a hand blender, blend until the gum has been fully dissolved. Now blend the surface of the water so that it foams up.
To serve, remove the gazpacho sorbet from the freezer, 15 minutes prior to serving. The sorbet should have softened. Now spoon in to individual shot glasses, the quantity being about ⅔rds of the glass. Now top the final ⅓rd with the tomato foam. Carefully and lightly sprinkle (best through a fine sieve) the smoked paprika on top.
■ If you do not have an ice-cream machine then you can create the sorbet by putting it in to a plastic container and putting it in the freezer. Stir every half an hour to break up the ice crystals forming. Keep doing this until the sorbet is too thick to stir. Then freeze for a further two hours. ■ Xanthan gum can be bought at health food shops, specialist ingredient shops or the health food section/ organic section of a supermarket.