Foodiva's Kitchen: Cupid's Cobbler: Plums with Rose-Basil Seed Cream

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cupid's Cobbler: Plums with Rose-Basil Seed Cream

“Your heart is my piñata.”
  Chuck Palahniuk

I'll be the first to tell you that I'm no romantic. Not that I'm opposed to being wined, dined, pampered and adored by people whom I adore in return. No, in fact I've had more than my fair share of being spoiled rotten, so why the heck do I find it hard to return the favor? Maybe it's because I'm way too practical and analytical for my own good that I uhh... never really initiate anything special for Valentine's Day. Well, not wholeheartedly, anyway. :-)

But Valentine's next week, and I feel like I have to at least show the people around me how much they're loved and appreciated, and since I don't say that often enough, I'm hoping that this heart-pumping cobbler would speak volumes. There's an abundance of plums right now, so I've used both Black Amber Plums (purple) and Fortune Plums (red) and topped them with heart-shaped sweet cream biscuits to make this non-traditional cobbler. Try presenting this dish to someone and see if it doesn't make their heart melt. (If it doesn't, then may I suggest that perhaps that person doesn't have any business being inside your emotional space, hmm?).


I have this family of heart cookie-cutters that were still in their packaging, even though it's been a year since I'd bought them. I'm not sure why I'd even gotten them actually... to use in case of emergencies, I suppose. Or for Diva D for when she makes her lovely cookies. Or maybe I was hoping to get soppier with increasing age. In any case, I reckoned all passionate bakers should have at least one heart-shaped cookie cutter in their arsenal of baking tools.


So no, I haven't suddenly gotten all mushy in the run-up for Valentine's when I baked this. What I have become with age (and a big dose of hindsight) though, is appreciative. So you could say that I wanted to show my appreciation to my loved ones by presenting them with my very own version of Cupid's Plum Cobbler.

Now, plum is not the first fruit you would normally think of when you're hoping for some sweet loving. Neither would you think of a cobbler being the food of romance, it just dawned upon me. Grapes or strawberries dipped in chocolate would be what I imagine you'd order from room service to get you through an evening of passion. But wait, you don't know this cobbler like I know it!

Apart from the creamy biscuit topping, the plums are flavored with orange, and served with rose-scented cream that contains....wait for it... soaked basil seeds! Seeds of several basil varieties become gelatinous when soaked in water, and here in Asia, we frequently use them in drinks and desserts. In my home, a favourite use of basil seeds is to add them to pink rose syrup, called air bandung. It gives the drink a bit of a crunch and basil seeds also help the body cool down  on a hot day. On their own, they don't actually taste of anything.

I think of frog spawn whenever I see this... but don't let that statement put you off! 

Audacious? Yes, quietly so. Hopeful? Oh yes, definitely so! Now..... where is that honey of mine?


Clandestine basil seeds

Plum Cobbler with Rose-Basil Seed Cream
Serves 6
Ingredients:
Filling
10 ripe plums, pitted and sliced into wedges
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
Pinch of salt

Cream Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
125g cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup thickened cream
1/2 cup milk
Extra milk, for brushing
2 teaspoons caster sugar

Rose-Basil Seed Cream
300ml thickened cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons rosewater
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon basil seeds, soaked for 5 minutes

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Prepare filling by combining plums, sugar, flour, orange juice and zest, and salt. Pour the mixture into a 22cm round baking dish and bake for 15 minutes until the fruit is softened.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the cream biscuits topping. Mix the flour, baking powder in a bowl with a fork. Add the butter and rub the flour into the butter with your fingertips. Work quickly until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and radually add the cream and milk. Stir briefly until the dough just comes together (it'll still be a bit soft and sticky).
3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead quickly 8-10 times until smooth, but don't overwork the mixture. Gently flatten to with a rolling pin to about 1.5 cm thick. Flour a heart cookie cutter and cut enough shaped doughs to cover the top of the cobbler.
4. Remove the dish from the oven and reduce the heat to 180C. Top the fruit with the biscuits, brush with extra milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30-40 minutes until biscuits are golden and the fruit is bubbling.
5. For the rose cream, combine cream, vanilla, rosewater and sugar. Whisk to soft peaks before stirring in the drained basil seeds. Cover and chill until needed. Serve the cobbler warm with rose cream.

37 comments:

Sandra said...

Looks beautiful and delicious!!! Lovely photos!

Isabelle said...

I thought slapping a heart shape on anything makes it automatically romantic. :) (Besides, I'd take an old fashioned cobbler over chocolate-dipped fruit anytime.)
BTW, thanks for the intro to basil seeds. I've never seen them used as an ingredient before, and I'm very intrigued... will have to check an Asian grocery to see if I can find them!

Roxan said...

Maya, you're always so inventive with your dishes! I wish I was more like that. Where do you live? Please say LA! Then I can come over and sample all your delicious creations.

Steph said...

This is such a great idea! Why did I not think to spruce up cobbler this way? Gonna try it out!

Joy said...

That looks lovely. I love that you made little hearts.

Jennifurla said...

I would feel alot of love with this in front of me, what fantastic flavors and the hearts take the cake...umm I mean cobbler.

Torviewtoronto said...

beautiful and delicious cobbler

Kate @ Diethood.com said...

Oh goodness, what an amazing cobbler... That filling is incredible! The romantic in you came out a bit with this wonderful treat. :)

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

This is the best looking cobbler i have ever seen ! The hearts with different sizes is just a hit! Spectacular to say the least and super delicious as your photos clearly say and more! Bravissima I say again!

penny aka jeroxie said...

This is the best idea so far because I love cobbler!!

Foodiva said...

Isabelle, I'm just wondering whether you'd need to go to an Asian store to get basil seeds? You may be able to get them from a gardening store too, I mean, they are seeds to plant basil, after all! Don't forget the water test to see if they turn into frog spawn...haha.

Foodiva said...

Roxan, if I lived in LA, you'd easily gain 20 pounds just walking into my kitchen! Luckily for you, I'm 7,000 miles away!

Foodiva said...

Sandra, Joy, Jennifer, Akheela and Steph, thanks for 'heart'-ing my simple cobbler!

Foodiva said...

Kate, you caught me out! I may be in denial.... ;-)

Foodiva said...

Arthur, making hearts in the same size is just boring, don't you agree? Variety I'd the spice of life, my friend!

Foodiva said...

Penny, I'm pretty sure Mister's heart will melt if you presented this cobbler to him!

briarrose said...

Wonderful job on this. The hearts are just beautiful.

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

I like the plum idea and the hearts are TTTTTTTOOOOO CUTE. I discovered basil seeds 6 months ago, they are cool hehe

Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon said...

This is absolutely adorable! I LOVE the use of all the little heart-shaped biscuits on top. Very sweet :) And basil cream sauce gives it such a sophisticated vibe. Perhaps you're more of a romantic than you thought!

Victoria said...

Very unusual use of basil seeds, I've never seen that done before. I think the heart-shaped biscuits on top are a lovely touch too! I'm not much of a Valentine's person, but I wouldn't mind being served this cobbler next Monday ;-)

Foodiva said...

Evelyne, I totally agree...the basil seeds are cool, aren't they? Plus they have multi-health benefits too! I'm so glad you've used them yourself :-).

Foodiva said...

Kylie, sophisticated and romantic, eh? Well, at least my theory about this recipe worked!

Foodiva said...

Victoria, no person, romantic or otherwise, should refuse a delicious dessert, topped with hearts or otherwise! Hope someone will serve you something gorgeous on Monday, even if it's a sandwich a la Thomas Keller's :-).

Ms.Chief loves wigwams! said...

Hellooooo there,
Love this dessert .. mmmm a weekly romance, daily dose needed :) I could easily eat (& adapt to cook) that dessert anytime & often .. Great flavours, which can be so versatile too. Love to try the basil seeds must go a hunting not sure I've seen them for sale here will check out the gardening shops :) Mmmmmm certainly looks very tasty

Boulder Locavore said...

This dish is so visually stunning but then when you read what it is made of, it's extraordinary. The beautiful two colors of plums, the basil seeds (new to me). It sounds delicious and your photos are beautiful.

Sandra said...

Congrats on top 9!!!You deserve it!!!

kelsey {itsybitsyfoodies} said...

Congrats on Foodbuzz Top 9! What a cute idea for heart-shaped cobbler!

Kimberly said...

That looks dangerously delicious! I think I could sit and eat the whole thing myself! yum! Congratulations on making the Top 9!

Tiffany said...

This is super pretty and I bet the basil seed cream is just DIVINE!

Foodiva said...

Thanks all for the comments and Buzzes, making this dish shoot up to the Top 9. I was truly pleasantly surprised!

Kimberly, for your info, I DID end up eating this whole thing by myself! Felt guilty as hell but resolved to share it with my loved ones (or neighbors) next time :-). No more desserts for me next week!

Trix said...

You are so creative it's crazy - and I think it's totally romantic. Haha I just saw your last comment - well, one needs to appreciate oneself on V-Day too, so why not eat the whole thing? lol!

Foodiva said...

Creative AND crazy... that really is the ultimate compliment, Trix! What would the world be like without people like us? Haha..

Spicie Foodie said...

You are so creative and talented Maya! There is a romantic in you, well definitely a very loving person. All that love is so obvious to me with your amazing recipes. Your cupid's cobbler looks delicious. I had no idea about the basil seeds, yet again you taught me something. Happy Valentine's Day!

Magic of Spice said...

So beautiful! I am so intrigued by the use of basil seeds...so creative and such flavor, love it :)

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

OMG! You continue to truly inspire me Maya. I feel like I learn something new every time I pop over. Basil seeds? I'm beyond intrigued. That dessert looks ravishing. XO

Spicie Foodie said...

Hi Maya, I hope you are feeling better:) Thanks for participating in the YBR and sorry it took me so long to stop by.

Cooking Rookie said...

Love this recipe. I am saving it for the next time I get stuck with too much cream. It happened to me last week and I made chocolate coated scone balls :-) http://cookingrookie.blogspot.com/2011/04/chocolate-scone-balls.html

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