A monochromatic dish

A monochromatic dish

Green Pickled Peaches
Chris Chen

This recipe aims to express the idea that, within the selfenforced limitations of a monochromatic white scheme, the contrasting tastes, textures and temperatures of the dish now become its primary distinguishing factors. If you can’t help yourself and have the urge for some colour relief, then, after putting the cream on the plate, dust it with a mixture of crushed crystallised violets and finely grated toasted almonds.

For the white sponge


Quantity Ingredient
70g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon dried yeast
100g caster sugar
80g plain flour
50g glutinous rice flour
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

For the white bean and almond cream

Quantity Ingredient
50g white navy beans, soaked in cold water overnight
80g roasted almonds
2 tablespoons caster sugar
200ml thickened cream
40g unsalted butter, softened

For the meringues

Quantity Ingredient
180g egg whites, (about 5 eggs)
350g caster sugar
100g almond meal
1 lemon, zested


  1. Make the white sponge:
  2. Combine the plain flour with the yeast and 100 ml water to make a smooth paste and leave to ferment in a warm place for a couple of hours. Combine the caster sugar with 125 ml water in a pot over heat to dissolve and form a syrup. Set aside.
  3. When the yeast mixture is sufficiently fermented, sift together the additional 80 g plain flour with the glutinous rice flour and mix with the yeast mixture. Stir in the vegetable oil and then the sugar syrup. Cover and leave again to ferment for 4 hours in a warm spot. Grease and line a 20 cm round cake tin. Pour in the fermented mixture and prove for a further 30 minutes. Steam over medium heat for 15 minutes until the sponge springs up when pressed. Turn out when ready to use and serve hot or warm.
  4. Make the white bean and almond cream:
  5. Drain the beans. Put in a saucepan, cover generously with cold water and bring to the boil. Cook until tender. Purée with a blender or food processor, then pass through a sieve into a bowl. Measure out 80 g and set aside. Pulverise the almonds with the caster sugar using a mortar and pestle. Bring half the cream to the boil and add the almond and sugar mixture. Leave off the heat for 1 hour to infuse. Strain through muslin, reserving the cream only. Add to the beans along with the butter and mix well. Whip the remaining half of the cream to soft peaks and fold into the bean and almond mixture. Keep chilled until needed.
  6. Make the meringues:
  7. Preheat the oven to 110°C and line two baking trays with baking paper. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in the ground almonds and lemon zest. Use a piping bag to pipe meringues of varying sizes ranging from 2 to 3 cm in diameter. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 100°C and bake for 1 hour. Do not allow to colour.
  8. Assemble the dessert:
  9. For each serving spread a tablespoon of cream on the plate. Break off a few small pieces of white sponge for each person and arrange around the cream. Add meringues of various sizes to the plate and serve. (You will have leftover meringues, which can be stored in an airtight container and eaten another time.)
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