Virgin coconut oil powder
Black sesame mochi
I was in the mood for caramelized banana (not a rare event). So I ransacked the kitchen for ingredients that could head in a tropical direction, and this is what I came up with. It isn't a dish I'd call service-ready. The banana was good of course, and I liked the lime zest and long pepper. The foam was just ok, and that was my first time making mochi, which clearly wasn't up to snuff. Have to get back to you on that.
But the coconut oil powder was a really good component. I made it with tapioca maltodextrin and virgin, unrefined organic coconut oil which are both interesting ingredients.
Tapioca maltodextrin is a modified food starch. Instead of thickening water-based liquids, it thickens and dries up oils, turning them into powders. Absolutely fascinating stuff. It is just an incredibly light powder, and you simply stir it into any fatty substance, like olive oil or peanut butter, until it is dry and then push it through a fine sieve.
The most amazing part is that when you put the powder in your mouth it just instantly melts back into a luscious liquid. It makes a very entertaining element on a plate. I recommend working with it in a bowl in the sink to keep the powder mess to a minimum. I haven't found it necessary to measure it, just start with maybe twice the volume of the fatty ingredient, and keep stirring it in until the magic happens.
Virgin coconut oil is tasty stuff. It is solid at room temperature, and has an enticing coconut aroma and a slightly sweet flavor. Spectrum Organics makes a good one, readily available at Whole Foods and good natural foods stores. Raw-food folks are really into it for various health benefits. I don't know much about that, but I do know it tastes really good. To use it with the tapioca maltodextrin, you need to melt it first, which can be done conveniently on low power in the microwave, or with a double boiler.
So there you have it… an experiment to start the week.