Japonaise, the first thing that might come to mind is whether its origins is based from Japan. It would be a good guess as "Japonaise" in French does mean "Japan" or "From Japan". But in this case there is no direct connection between this Meringue and Japan. So I decided to play around with this confusing yet interesting meringue and made it more Japanese. The way this idea come about was when I was asked to come up with new desserts for the menu at work. As I am working in a Japanese Restaurant I remembered this meringue from back in college. I think it stood out too me because I also first though it would have come from Japan or at least have some sort of Japanese history behind it. At first there was only one popular Japanese ingredient I wanted to incorporate, matcha. Matcha is the Japanese name for finely milled green tea leafs which have recently exploded into a huge hype, similar to that of Red Velvet.
The taste of good quality macha for me would be similar to that of seaweed or rather you would pick up some sort of "ocean taste" or "fishy taste" as some people say. This is what we who believe in the term umami could call umami. The meaning of umami when all your taste sensations are stimulated at the same time. This includes sweet, sour, bitter and salt
The other truly Japanese ingredient I wanted to incorporate is know as Anko, which is Azuki beans (red beans) which have been cooked till soft and then pureed. It is then sweetened and used in many traditional Japanese pastries. The way I would incorporate this unique flavour into my dessert is simple. I would start by making my own anko, this way you can control the sweetness and don't have to worry about it being over or under the desired sweetness. I would then incorporate it into a Diplomat Cream. Diplomat cream is the combination of whipped cream and creme Pastissiere. This would give you a good smooth and light texture which would go well with the slightly crunchy meringue. I have yet to experiment with this as I have not yet had the opportunity.
So now that you know a bit more about Japonaise and the two major ingredients in Japanese pastry world, Im now going to give you the Recipe for Japonaise. Once I have the chance to try the filling I will then also post that recipe, but for now I will just provide you with my first filling attempt.
160C/320F for 8-10 minute
This is just for you to first perfect the plain Japonaise and then later this week I will place the Filling Recipe as well as the Transfer Paste which allows you to make different patterns on the meringue. Its also in the Transfer paste which I used the matcha, so don't get confused if you don't see it in the recipe.
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I'm a chef at heart and by trade, enjoy what I do and have a passion for the culinary world.