Remember when you were little and mom used to make you pandan mousse to comfort you after school? Good times. Okay so perhaps not, but after a recent dinner at OON, wherein a pandan-white chocolate mousse capped off the meal, I was left wishing I could do my childhood over to infuse more of this into my life. The dinner was a special multi-course prix fixe collaboration between OON's executive chef Matt Eversman and Slurping Turtle's Aaron Cuschieri, longtime friends teaming up and taking turns preparing dishes throughout the eclectic meal. I know I'm a sweets junkie, but there was a lot more to that dessert that made it truly special, and the real show-stopper of the dinner.
(Pandan-white chocolate mousse at OON)
I like a dessert with a variety of textures, colors, and flavors that bat my taste buds around like a ping pong ball. Each bite has the possibility to be entirely new, with different combinations of ingredients on each fork tine. OON's finale had it all, laden with stone fruits, white chocolate, herbs, and pistachios. It's like I was raiding the candy aisle and couldn't decide what I wanted so I just got everything. In this case, more is indeed merrier. The pandan-white chocolate mousse lays the framework, a silky dome of meringue-like fluff perfectly balanced between rich and buttery white chocolate and herbaceous refreshment via the pandan, a staple in Thai kitchens. From here, the mousse is surrounded by a miscellany of accoutrements, from crispy pear slivers to juicy slices of plums and peaches. A pistachio genoise offsets the mousse, providing a shortcake-like structure on which to build each bite. A spear of pistachio brittle was the perfect in-between of savory-meets-sweet, and there was a lot of it.