Here is the question: Can you fear what you love? I say “yes.” I love cream–but I also fear what it can do to my midline. So I search for alternatives. “Seek and you shall find,” as they say.
While in Paris, I had the most delicious rhubarb dessert. The base was a shortbread cookie, and the rhubarb was topped with creme brulée with a dollop of strawberry ice cream.
In this Rhubarb with Molten Marshmallow, granola serves as a perfect, guilt-free base. The rhubarb is sweetened to a minimal degree. A single marshmallow, singed to perfection, and pinched open to expose the creamy white interior, provides a sweet contrast to the tart rhubarb. Creamless. Fearless.
Rhubarb with Molten Marshmallow
- 1 bunch of rhubarb (1lb, 3oz), leaves trimmed off, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/4 c honey (Add a bit more if you like it sweeter.)
- water to scarcely cover the rhubarb
- 1 c granola (Add more if you want a thicker base)
- 4 marshmallows, singed on a bamboo skewer, slowly rotated for about a minute, 1-inch above a candle flame
- mint leaves as garnish, some top sprigs, some whole leaves, some chiffonade
- 4 raspberries
Cook rhubarb in a medium-small sized pot with honey and water, stirring, until it melts into strands. It only takes about 6 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature.
Place a 3 1/2-inch wide stainless steel mold on a dessert plate. Put 3 tablespoons of granola into the mold. Spoon in 1/4 of the rhubarb and refrigerate until it firms up. When you remove the mold, a pink coloured syrup will slowly ooze into the plate. It adds colour and flavour.
Pinch the marshmallows to spread them out over the top of the molded rhubarb. Garnish with a teaspoon of granola, mint leaves and a single raspberry. Serves 4.
- Merci infinement Antoine Westermann, chef of Mon Vieil Ami, Paris. Here is Antoine’s original recipe for la tartelette à la rhubarbe, crème brûlée à la vanille for those of you who do not fear cream.
- Cream of Wheat Canada wants us all to try their newest instant cinnamon swirl flavour. I tried it by mixing it with regular instant cream of wheat to cut the sugar, and adding milk, a grated apple, walnuts, flax, chia and hemp seeds. I prefer the taste and texture of regular cream of wheat.
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