by Karlos Ponte
on June 28, 2016

Karlos Ponte does Cassava 3 Ways: Naiboa

Naiboa is a traditional Venezuelan sweet made from casabe, a flatbread made from cassava root, upon which melted panela (raw cane sugar) is spread and topped with fresh cheese. It's a popular treat that can be found at many roadside stands throughout my home country, and it serves as the inspiration for this dessert at my Restaurant Taller in Copenhagen.

In this visually stunning dessert, the cassava ice cream's caramellic and honey-scented aromas find similar aromatic connections to the honey gelatin shards and crispy fried corn toppings. Both of these, in turn, share separate aromatic links to the other ingredients in this dish.

Naiboa

Cassava ice cream

preparation

  • 1000 g cassava root, peeled
  • 1500 g whole milk
  • 120 g granulated sugar
  • 20 glycerin
  • 1000 g Sosa Procrema 100 (or any other ice cream stabilizer)

Roast the peeled cassava in the oven for 15 minutes at 220ºC/428ºF, or until it turns a golden-brownish color. While still warm, place the roasted cassava and milk in a vacuum seal bag and allow to infuse for 12 hours.

Next, sieve the cassava-milk infusion into a container and let rest to allow the sediment to settle. Discard the sediment.

Blend 1000 grams of the cassava-milk infusion with the remaining ingredients. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze.

Optional: If available, transfer the mixture to a Pacojet beaker and 'pacotize' for an extra smooth, creamy consistency.

Yogurt sheets

preparation

Blend all of the ingredients together in a Thermomix or other blender until smooth. Allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes.

Then, spread the mixture onto Excalibur sheets in separate layers of about 2 millimeters. Dehydrate the yogurt layers on the sheets for about 24 hours at 58ºC/136ºF.

Using a sharp knife, cut the dried yogurt sheets into irregular shards about 4 to 5 centimeters wide. Store in a dry container.

Goat Cheese foam

preparation

  • 200 g goat cheese
  • 300 g heavy cream
  • 150 g whole milk
  • 75 g granulated sugar

Blend all of the ingredients together in a Thermomix or other blender until smooth. Pass the mixture through a sieve and then transfer for a 1-Liter-sized whipping siphon. (Be sure to charge the siphon with 2 gas cartridges and set aside until ready to use.)

Lime Peel purée

preparation

  • 250 g lime peel
  • lime juice, to taste
  • Texturas Xantana (xanthan gum), as needed

In a saucepan, add the lime peel and enough cold water to cover it. Bring to a boil and then discard the water. Repeat three times.

Next, blend the boiled lime peel with the lime juice until you reach the desired consistency. Add some Xantana (4 grams of Xantana per every 1,000 grams of liquid) to your lime mixture and blend using a hand mixer. Transfer the mixture to a squeeze bottle and set aside.

Honey gelatin

preparation

  • 250 g water
  • 250 g honey
  • 2 gelatin sheets

Bloom the gelatin sheets in cold water. Meanwhile, blend the water and honey, then divide into two equal portions. Heat half of the honey water in a sauce pan over low heat and set the other half aside.

Squeeze out the excess water from the bloomed gelatin and add it to the saucepan of heated honey water. Stir until the gelatin sheet has completely dissolved. Then, stir in the remaining half of the honey water, remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

Cut into small irregular pieces, about ½-centimeter in size.

Fried Corn

preparation

  • 250 g mote corn
  • 70 g sunflower oil
  • salt, to taste

Soak the corn in water for 24 hours. When ready, cook the corn in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes or until tender. (The corn should still hold its shape.) Drain the liquid and reserve the corn.

Heat oil on high in a saucepan and fry the corn for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent any burning.

Next, transfer the corn to a metal baking tray and bake in a dry oven at 200ºC/392ºF for approximately 20 minutes until the corn develops a roasted color. Be sure to rotate the corn cobs every 5 minutes to prevent it from burning unevenly. Season with just a touch of salt and allow to cool.

Once cool, transfer the roasted corn to a plastic bag and use the flat surface of a chef's knife to crush the crisped corn. The idea is to separate small, randomly-sized pieces of crushed corn from the cob.

Naiboa (plating)

preparation

  • cassava ice cream
  • lime peel purée (in squeeze bottle)
  • 6 pieces of honey gelatin
  • 5 yogurt sheets
  • 1 spoonful of crushed, fried corn
  • goat cheese foam (in whipping siphon)
  • liquid nitrogen

Prepare the liquid nitrogen.

In the center of a plate, arrange the crushed, fried corn and honey gelatin. Squeeze out 5 dots of the lime peel purée evenly throughout. Carefully add a quenelle of the cassava ice cream on top. Then, insert 5 shards of the yogurt sheets into the quenelle of ice cream.

Just before serving, use the whipping siphon to create a few lines of the goat cheese foam in the liquid nitrogen. The lines should be 8 centimeters in length. Use a slotted spoon to remove the frozen lines from the liquid nitrogen and break them into popcorn-sized pieces, which you'll add to finish the plate.

Discover my other cassava recipes here

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