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I want to make a dessert that simulates a salmon roe sushi (like this) using rice pudding and spherified melon juice with a chocolate "seaweed" wrapping. But I can't figure out how to make the seaweed convincing.

I can't believe it's not roe!

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Just to let you know that your image link doesn't work. –  Kyra Jul 21 '10 at 22:15
    
great question. –  Sam Holder Jul 21 '10 at 22:17
    
wow, that looks amazalatin'. I want one. What's the green? –  Sam Holder Jul 22 '10 at 10:23
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Heh. Sam, That picture is the real sushi that I want to mimic, so I imagine that the green is wasabi. However, I plan to use a raspberry sauce as "soy", sliced peaches as "ginger", and some green whipped cream as "wasabi". –  yossarian Jul 22 '10 at 13:57
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@sama, it turned out great. Check the new answer. –  yossarian Oct 21 '10 at 19:48

4 Answers 4

up vote 20 down vote accepted

"Plastic chocolate" is a form of chocolate used for modeling and shaping decorative elements such as chocolate roses, ribbons and other elements for cakes and desserts.

Take about 1 lb. of bittersweet chocolate and melt over a double boiler. When chocolate is melted, stir in 2/3 cup of light corn syrup. Mix until evenly blended and then set aside to cool. When it firms up, wrap tightly in a heavy gauge plastic bag or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let sit for several hours or overnight. No need to refrigerate it, ambient temperature is fine.

Cut the plastic chocolate into smaller size chunks that will be easy to knead. Begin kneading to soften it. If it gets sticky, use a little cocoa powder but be careful not to dry it out. Knead until pliable and then roll out to desired thickness and cut as desired to shape your sushi rolls, decorative elements, etc. You can roll it through the roller of a pasta machine to help get it to an even thickness.

If you're wanting the rough look of nori then press some crumpled foil into it after rolling as previously suggested.

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That sounds like just what I want. I'll have to try that soon. –  yossarian Jul 22 '10 at 14:00

So I made this. It worked out really well. The recipe leaves some room for improvement, but overall, I was happy with the way it turned out.

I rolled out the chocolate, pressed crumpled tin foil in, and then made the nori.

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The dish put together.

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Dessert for four.

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I used reverse spherification of peach puree for the caviar, sliced peaches as ginger, raspberry sauce as soy, rice pudding as sushi rice, and pistachio butter as wasabi. The presentation was great. The flavor was good.

Some things that could greatly help this dish:

  1. The pistachio butter didn't work at all. The flavor clashed terribly with the dish. Next time, I think I'll try a mint whipped cream with some green food dye.
  2. To get the texture in the chocolate, I crumpled the tinfoil and then uncrumpled it to make the impression. I think this would have worked better if I'd crumpled it in to a cylinder and then rolled it across the chocolate.
  3. I left the spheres in a water bath for a while and flavor leached in to the bath (the spheres tasted different upon making and serving). This should be the last step next time.
  4. I didn't strain the raspberry sauce. It tasted good, but was too thick as "soy". Straining would have fixed that, I think.
  5. The peach slices could have been cut much thiner so that they could get a ginger folded look on the plate.
  6. I could have done a more Japanese presentation. Some soy sauce containers with the 'soy' and the 'wasabi' would have been a much better presentation. Unfortunately, I didn't have a set of 4 plates.
  7. The chocolate was firm to begin with, but really got soft with handling and being in a hot kitchen. Next time I would make the cups, fill with rice, and then refrigerate until service.

I welcome thoughts or suggestions in the comments.

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That looks really delicious. Well done. How difficult is the spherification process? Perhaps you could use a more translucent liquid than peach to give a more caviar-like look. Perhaps pomegranate juice? –  Sobachatina Oct 21 '10 at 20:04
    
@soba, spherification is relatively easy if you have the right chemicals and a scale that's accurate to .1g (i.e. not a standard kitchen scale). I think I could strain the peach puree or even just buy peach juice to get a more transparent look. I hadn't thought of that. Good idea. Of course, just about any fruit juice would work for the dish (although more acidic fruits may effect the spherification). –  yossarian Oct 21 '10 at 20:09
    
awesome feedback. –  Tobias Op Den Brouw Nov 3 '10 at 9:25
    
@yossarian In her "tiramisushi", Elizabeth Falkner uses shaved bosc pear for the ginger (I used a veggie peeler to shave it), and grated ginger for the wasabi. Because her dish is chocolate heavy, the "wasabi" was both accurately spicy and worked well. (My Rendition of the dish ) –  Steve Jun 24 '12 at 5:23
    
@yossarian For your chocolate shell, if you want something closer in appearance to the original photo, I'd recommend getting some acetate sheets, putting a thin layer of tempered chocolate on it with an offset spatula, wrap it around your roll, and chill. It will be a crisp shell, but give you a nice clean look. I did it in this dish, but used parchment, so it ended up a little more wavy than I'd like. –  Steve Jun 24 '12 at 5:31

I don't do much with chocolate, so I don't know if you can mold in it, but I think a mold made of crumpled and flattened tin foil would give a pretty convincing texture.

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That's a killer idea! Definitely going to try that. –  yossarian Jul 22 '10 at 13:59

How about using a fondant instead of chocolate? Roll it thin enough then wrap with a sushi mat to get the bamboo texture onto it.

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That may very well work, but I'm not a fan of fondant. –  yossarian Jul 22 '10 at 13:59

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