I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

October 31, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name, Ispahan

I love the scent and flavour of Rose.

The rich, velvety, warm taste is unmistakable. But this time it's combined with lychee and raspberries! I have heard of this magic sounding combination in the past, but it somehow failed to sink in to my consciousness until this weekend when I saw a post about it on Darjeeling Dreams, a lovely blog with some yummy recipes.

The flavour, called Ispahan, was originally discovered by the great Pierre Herme who created a macaroon in it's honour. I have decided to sponge off his genius and turn it into something a bit different.....

Enter my creation- Ispahan Parfait: layered Rose and Lychee Gelee with Raspberry Mousse.

Every now and then I feel the need to make a fancy-pancy dinner party type dessert that is elegant and grown up and of course, delicious. A bit like a culinary posh frock; always handy to have lurking in the back of the wardrobe as you never know when you might need to use it for something special. It does happen, sometimes, well, it might.....

When I was at the Good Food and Wine show in Sydney earlier this year, there was a little stall selling Rose flavoured drinks. Of course I just had to try them! The company is called 'Sence' and had a rose nectar, rose wine and rose liquor. I got some of the nectar and definitely had to buy some of the liquor too. The labelling states " Made from the essential nectar of the Kazaniak Rose from central Bulgaria, harvested at the peak of aroma and flavour." Now I'm not telling you to rush off and buy some, this is just what I've got on hand. I think you could probably make quite a nice substitute with a sugar syrup and rose water, tinted with a couple of tiny drops of pink colouring for the slightest touch of rosiness.

I decided to layer rose and lychee gelee as I want the lychee and rose to be the star of this dish, as they are lovely and subtle. The trick will be to get the raspberry to play second fiddle. Gelee- or just plain jelly or gello- has a nice clean taste that I don't to lose, just highlight.

I got the gelee recipe from Martha Stewart, a very simple combination of juice/nectar and gelatin. Easy peasy.

1 cup of juice- from a drained tin of lychees, keep the fruit aside you'll need it for later

1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatin

1 tablespoon cold water

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water and stand until softened, a couple of minutes.

Heat the juice in a small pan until just starting to simmer.

Stir the gelatin mix into the hot juice until dissolved.

Allow to cool a little.

Follow the same directions using the nectar.

Choose a pretty bowl, glass, dish or something that will show your gelee off to it's best advantage

Place a layer of gelee in the base and let it set well enough to hold a lychee without sinking.

Told you you'd need them. Let's have a think about these lychees for a minute. If you look carefully, you will notice there is a convenient hole in the middle.This is where the raspberry comes into it. Carefully stuff a frozen raspberry into the middle of the lychee. Fresh ones are too squishy, frozen ones are much easier to use.This is now a neat and tidy litte surprise!
Place a layer of filled lychees on top of the jelly and gently fill with the other liquid gellee flavour.

Place in the fridge until nice and set.

Originally I made a raspberry mousse and placed a layer of this on top of the glass, but it was overpowering the subtley of the dessert. This is a simple but elegant way to finish a meal on a lovely light note when you don't want something too rich or sweet. It would also be nice after an asian style dinner. Perfect for those hot summer nights around Christmas!

So tell me Readers, what is your favourite light way to end a meal?



  1. This recipe sounds very intriguing. You come up with the most inspired stuff! I've never been able to eat a lychee though. The eyeball-ish look and texture freaks me out! ;P

  2. Wow, this really is a fancy dessert! :) And what a name - Ispahan - so exotic! Fascinating recipe, thank you, so different to anything I've ever made..

  3. Very interesting combination... good to serve on hot summer nights...

  4. Woow, this is an exciting post and am lving all the gorgeous flavors!

  5. Oh my - how delightful! And not to mention the hidden raspberry!

  6. Fancy dessert!

    My favorite light way to end a meal is an espresso, I think. :)

  7. I love this combination so much! :D And I'm so glad that Herme put them together! My favourite way to end a meal is with a fruit dessert. I often can't eat chocolate desserts at the end of a meal unless it's a very light meal.

  8. Oh İ wish İ could, do you do mail orders?

  9. U love lychee! looks like a great after-dinner dessert :)

  10. Hello Readers!
    I really love these flavours together and think I might play around with them a bit more.
    An esspresso is always a grown up way to finish a meal Kath, and Lorraine I agree that a chocolate dessert is often too much to finish on.
    Hi Lisa and Sugarplum fairy, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
    Ha ha Simcha, I don't think it would pass customs, do you?
    Keep the ideas coming Lovelies!

  11. Great idea!! Always love lychees - can't wait for the season to start so I can buy them for less than $40 a kg

  12. this looks very pretty:) and i love lychess and rose flavored desserts! thank you for sharing this.

  13. My fav way to end my meal? Dark chocolate! :)

  14. Bookmarked! This is gorgeous! A perfect Summertime dessert that you can make in advance. Just perfect.

  15. This looks so delicious! I've also bookmarked it for summer time :) Lychee is a newfound love of mine, and the rose is a lovely idea. I usually like to end a meal lightly with some fruit gelato (lemon is my favourite).
    Heidi xo

  16. What a neat idea! I love this flavor combo! This sounds so light and refreshing! Yum!

  17. This is such a lovely elegant dish, oh so feminine and your right, just the thing on one of those hot summer night dinner parties. I hardly ever order dessert because its hard to fit in, I'm much more likely to order dessert & a coffee as a meal, but fruit desserts are pretty cool for dinner parties. Did I say how much I love this Chef..., think I did..., but I need to say it again..., I love this :)
    Keep with the inventing new dishes girlfriend..., we're all sitting on the edge of our seats with these creations of yours. Seriously good stuff.