Cosme’s corn husk meringue with corn mousse

Cosme’s corn husk meringue with corn mousse

By
From
The Desserts of New York
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

Epicurious called it ‘basically The Most Instagrammed Dish of 2015’. Eater praised the ‘Mexican pavlova’, as did just about every review. When I finally tried the corn husk meringue with corn mousse at Cosme, superstar Mexican chef Enrique Olvera’s lauded restaurant, I had to have the recipe for this otherworldly dessert.

Chef de cuisine Daniela Soto-Innes, who created it with Olvera and gladly granted my request, said it was inspired by her childhood in Mexico City. ‘When my mum saw me carrying a bag of meringues filled with whipped cream, she knew my dad had been late picking up my sisters and me from school. She’d feel bad too and would make our favourite sweet corn soup.’ I love desserts rooted in time and place, and this one with charred husks and burnt vanilla is spectacular.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
husks of 2 corn cobs, silks removed (reserve the corn for the mousse)
3 egg whites
180g caster sugar

Corn mousse

Quantity Ingredient
250g corn kernels, from about 2 corn cobs
1 tablespooon caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
260g pouring cream
125g mascarpone

Burnt vanilla icecream

Quantity Ingredient
1 vanilla bean
375g thickened cream
2 tablespoons pure icing sugar, sifted

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  2. Place the corn husks on a baking tray and bake, turning regularly, for 8–10 minutes or until dark brown and very dry. Cool and break into small pieces, then finely grind, in batches, in a spice grinder. Sift through a fine sieve; you should have 10 g of husk powder.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 90°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  4. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. With the motor running, gradually add the sugar and whisk to medium peaks. Add half the husk powder and whisk until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a piping (icing) bag fitted with a 1.5 cm plain nozzle and pipe six 7 cm rounds on the prepared tray. Bake for 1 hour or until the meringues are set and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Set aside for 2 hours or until completely cool.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the corn mousse, place the corn kernels, sugar, salt and 180 ml cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring almost to the boil, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the corn is tender. Transfer to a food processor and process to a purée. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Cool the purée completely, then whisk in the mascarpone. Using an electric mixer, whisk the remaining 80 ml cream until stiff peaks form, then fold into the mascarpone mixture. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  6. To make the burnt vanilla cream, cut the vanilla bean in half widthways. Roughly chop one half and place in a small saucepan. Cook, tossing occasionally, for 3–5 minutes or until fragrant. Cool, then finely grind in a spice grinder. Split the remaining half of the vanilla bean lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Using an electric mixer, whisk the cream, sugar, vanilla seeds and vanilla powder until stiff peaks form.
  7. To assemble, divide the meringues among six plates. Using the back of a spoon, gently crack them open. Spoon over the vanilla cream and then the corn mousse. Sprinkle with the remaining husk powder and serve immediately.
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Desserts
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