Japanese Pickled Radish Praline
Nara-zuke are a kind of Japanese pickled daikon radish, usually having a sharp tang, of which the mirin-zuke type originating in Kyoto has a smoother, more rounded flavor. To this wonderful food, arising from processes of fermentation and maturation, I applied the Japanese cutting-edge technique of “instantaneous high-temperature, high-pressure pressing,” in which ingredients are pressed for one to three seconds at temperatures of over 200 degrees Celsius, transforming them into flake form. The main ingredients are homemade praline made with Piedmont hazelnuts, retaining their original crunchy texture, and Costa Rican single-origin 40% cacao au lait, which are given hidden, exotic taste dimensions by mixing with freeze-dried mango, made especially for the occasion, and a thin layer under the coating on the top and bottom of chocolate made by mixing fermented cacao with passion-fruit puree and then fermenting a second time. The tartness gives delicacy to the full, three-dimensional flavor balance.
The décor conveys an image of a daikon radish plucked from the earth and melting into chocolate.