Keller & Keller
Banana Mille-feuille Date Cake Soaked in Rum sauce, Vanilla/Parsnip Puree, Cocoa/Banana Wafers
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Banana Mille-feuille Date Cake Soaked in Rum sauce, Vanilla/Parsnip Puree, Cocoa/Banana Wafers

Craigie on Main, Cambridge, Massachusetts , Jessica Scott / May 2012

For 50 servings

Cocoa/banana wafer:
• 3 sm. unripe bananas
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 2 Tbsps. glucose powder
• 2 3/4 Tbsps. isomalt
• 3 Tbsps. plus 2 tsps. cocoa powder
• 2/3 tsps. methocel SG A4C

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender; blend at high speed until smooth and mixture registers 180°F; spread out very thinly and evenly on nonstick baking pad lined with 1" by 6" strips of ace­tate sheets; carefully lift off acetate sheets with offset spatula; place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper; let wafers stand until dry to the touch (about 2 hours).

  2. Heat oven to 275°F.

  3. Place wafers on acetate in dehydrator; dry out until ace­tate peels away from wafers with no resistance; remove from dehydrator; place wafers on baking sheets lined with nonstick baking pads; bake 5 to 6 minutes; remove from oven; reserve.

Hard sauce:
• 1/2 cup dark Muscovado sugar
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• 3 Tbsps. Sailor Jerry spiced rum
• 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter
• 1/8 tsp. salt

Heat all ingredients in small saucepan set over medium-high heat; cook until slightly thickened; remove from heat; strain through fine chinoise; reserve.

Date cake:
• 1 cup plus 2 Tbsps. medjool dates, coarsely chopped
• 1 cup boiling water
• 2 Tbsps. plus 2 1/2 tsps. Armagnac
• 1/2 Tbsp. baking soda
• 1 1/4 tsps. instant espresso powder
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2/3 tsp. salt
• 1/3 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
• 12 1/2 Tbsps. unsalted butter
• 1 cup dark brown sugar
• 4 lg. eggs

  1. Heat oven to 325°F.

  2. Mix dates, boiling water, Armagnac, baking soda, and espresso in a bowl; cover with plastic wrap; let stand until dates are softened (about 20 minutes); place in a blender; blend until smooth; reserve.

  3. Mix flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl; reserve.

  4. Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment until light and fluffy; with mixer running, gradually add eggs, beating until completely incorporated; add dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with date puree in 2 batches; mix well; pour batter on half sheet pan lined with nonstick baking pad; smooth with offset spatula; bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean (about 10 to 12 minutes); remove from oven.

  5. Immediately soak hot cake with half of hard sauce; invert cake onto another baking sheet; soak with remaining hard sauce; cool; reserve.

Banana cream:
• 3/4 cup whole milk
• 3 sm. bananas, sliced
• 1/2 tsp. low acyl gellan
• 2 1/2 Tbsps. granulated sugar
• 1/3 tsp. salt
• 3/4 cup heavy cream
• 2 1/2 Tbsps. sour cream
• 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

  1. Bring milk and 1 banana to a boil in a saucepan; remove from heat; place in a blender; add gellan; blend 1 minute; pour into baking sheet; let stand until set.

  2. Place gel and remaining 2 bananas, sugar, and salt in a blender; blend until smooth; reserve.

  3. Beat cream, sour cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla bean in the bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment until soft peaks form; fold into banana puree; place in piping bag fitted with round tip; reserve.

Assembly:
• 1 1/3 cups parsnips, peeled and chopped
• 1 1/4 cups whole milk
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 tsp. salt
• 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
• 25 banana, peeled and sliced lengthwise
• Demarara sugar (for serving)

  1. Place all ingredients except banana and Demarara sugar in vacuum-sealable plastic food bag; vacuum-seal; cook sous-vide, maintaining water bath at 185°F, 1 hour; remove bag from water bath; cool.

  2. Open bag; place contents in a blender; blend until smooth; reserve.

  3. To serve, cut date cake into 50  3/4" by 5" pieces; place each on a serving plate; cover each date cake with a cocoa/banana wafer; pipe banana cream on top of each wafer; place another cocoa/banana wafer on top of cream; place a lengthwise slice of banana on each; sprinkle with Demarara sugar; brûlée; spoon parsnip puree to one side.

What to drink: Pierre-Yves Tijou Coteaux du Layon-Chaume Château Soucherie 2007