Bienmesabe is a Spanish phrase that essentially means “tastes good to me.” You’ll discover this for yourself if you have the dessert at Nao Restaurant, 312 Pearl Parkway, which is celebrating the cuisine of Venezuela through July 7.
Or you can make it for yourself at home.
Essentially, the dish is a simple cake soaked in marsala or madeira, layered with coconut pastry and then topped with meringue, which you can finish with a blowtorch or under the broiler. Watch it closely, so it doesn’t burn.
75 grams sugar (about 1/3 cup)
75 grams flour (about 2/3 cup)
Blanch the eggs and the sugar (whisk until pale yellow) until risen and soft (about 5 minutes). Fold in the flour slowly and pour in a sheet pan lined with a Silpat. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and reserve.
Coconut pastry cream:
1 cup milk
½ cup sugar
1 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons coconut flakes
2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of salt
¼ cup cornstarch
In a sauce pan heat the milk, the sugar, the coconut milk, the coconut flakes and the butter, season with a pinch of salt. When it comes to a boil, add the cornstarch (diluted in a bit of water). Reduce the heat to low and stir vigorously until the texture thickens. Transfer to a plastic container and continue stirring until the mixture has cooled down. Reserve.
To set up Bienmesabe: Cut out a piece of bizcocho using a PVC mold or fill in a ramekin. Pour sweet marsala or madeira wine over the bizcocho until it is moist. Fill with coconut pastry cream and top with another piece of wine-soaked bizcocho. Place in the freezer.
100 grams sugar (about 1/2 cup)
2 egg whites, whipped
Cook the sugar into a caramel and bring the temperature up to 250 degrees. Pour over the whipped egg whites and continue to whip until the meringue is ready and cool down.
To plate the dessert: Unmold the bienmesabe. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Before serving, use a piping bag and form a crest of meringue (like spikes) all over the “cake.” Use a blowtorch to “brûlée” the meringue and decorate with dehydrated coconut shavings.
Serve with a scoop of mango sorbet, if desired.
From Nao Restaurant