This incredible dessert combines the best of both worlds: the graceful beauty of Japanese traditional form and the satisfying richness of Western confections. These elegantly tied, cream-filled pouches could be served at the conclusion of any meal, or as part of a midafternoon tea.
The Japanese technique for flipping thin sheets of omelet is illustrated and described in detail in the sushi chapter (pp. 133–134) and the same technique is useful here for making the crepes.
Mix the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Make a well in the center of this dry mixture and dribble the milk into it. With a fork or chopsticks, whisk in the milk, incorporating a bit of the dry mixture as you go until you have a smooth paste.
Break the eggs in a separate bowl, preferably one that has a spout to make pouring easier later on, and add the two yolks. Remove any opaque squiggles of albumen (these cause unpleasant streaks later), then mix the eggs thoroughly. Let any foam settle before you finish making the batter.
Pour the flour and milk mixture into the eggs in a thin, steady stream, stirring as you go. Add the almond extract and stir to incorporate.
Lightly oil a
Whip the cream over ice until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in the powdered sugar and continue to beat until the cream stiffens. Add the almond extract and beat to distribute well.
Assembling the Golden Purses: Take a crepe, shiny side up, and fold it in half, then again into quarters. With a knife or kitchen shears, trim the rounded edge to remove any dry, crusty rim. Open the crepe and place one sixth of the flavored cream in the center. Bring the sides of the crepe up, pleating and gathering until you’re able to totally enclose the cream. Take a length of licorice and tie the package with a bow. It’s simplest to have a friend in the kitchen assisting in the tying, but if it must be a solo performance, loop the licorice over your pinky on the hand holding the gathers of crepe. Repeat to make five more cream-filled Golden Purses. Add a few fresh berries to the side, if you wish.
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.