This recipe is definitely from a modernist cuisine approach. With this dessert I simply took what I had on hand which was cooked beets, agar agar, and white chocolate. In a typical recipe of red velvet they either use red food coloring or beets as the color enhancement. Since I had some left over beets from the night before I thought it would be perfect for this experiment. I am very happy to say though that the experiment was a success. There aren't always good results the first time you try something especially when there isn't any recipes to go by as a guide. The actually recipe is fairly easy, first you make a sweet beet leather and then make a white chocolate mousse. Roll it up like a jelly roll and that is pretty much it. Because of the sugar with the beets you really don't taste the earthiness of the root vegetable and that I think is a plus.
2 medium sized beets, cooked, peeled, cooled and puréed with 3/4 cup of water
354 g of beet juice or liquid (left over from the puree)
4 g of agar agar
3/4 cup of sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
White chocolate mousse
125 g white chocolate
1 tbsp of amaretto
3.5 g powder gelatin
2 tbsp of water
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp of vanilla Greek yogurt
3 egg whites room temperature
1/4 cup of sugar
1/8 tsp of cream of tartar
1 tsp of vanilla
cake/muffin or sweet bread crumbs
To make the beet leather
Take the beets and water and puree in a vita mix until very smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Place the liquid into a small pot. Add sugar, agar agar, a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, and adjust the seasoning if needed. Then pour the mixture on to a sheet pan. Distribute the liquid evenly all of the pan by rolling the pan in your hands so that it covers the entire surface of the sheet pan. You have to do this quite fast because the beet leather or gel will set fast. Place the sheet pan into the refrigerator until completely chilled.
For the white chocolate mousse
Take gelatin and water and bloom for 5 minutes in a ramekin. Meanwhile take white chocolate and melt over a double boiler or in the microwave with amaretto until completely melted. Melt the gelatin by placing the ramekin in the left over water from the double boiler until the gelatin has completely melted. Then take the whip cream and pour into a mixing bowl. Whip the cream until you have reached stiff peaks. Pour the gelatin into the white chocolate. ( The white chocolate should be warm so it doesn't set but not really hot or else it will melt the cream.) Then fold yogurt and whipped cream into the white chocolate until you have a smooth consistency.
Take two thirds of the mousse and spread over the set beet leather. Add just a small layer and using an off-set spatular smooth the mousse over the beet leather. Remember not to spread the mousse around the edges to make it easier to roll and seal. Place the sheet pan back into the refrigerator to set the mousse with the leather. Take the left over mousse and place into a squeeze bottle. Don't refrigerate the squeeze bottle ( this will only be good to use the same day)
After about 30 minutes both the beet leather and the white chocolate mousse will be ready. Using a sharp knife cut individual portions, roughly about 3 inches wide by 4 inches long. Just like a cigar roll up the beet leather ending with the edge that doesn't have mousse.
For the meringue
Add room temperature egg whites to a mixing bowl along with cream of tartar. Mix on high for a minute and then gradually add sugar a tbsp at a time. Keep whipping until you have stiff glossy peaks. Place egg whites into a pastry bag until ready to plate
Add one beet "red velvet" jelly roll to the plate. Add one streak of the white chocolate mousse next to the jelly roll. On the other side add one stroke of meringue. Take a blow torch, brown the meringue lightly. To give some texture and cake feel to the "red velvet" I add some left over cake or muffin crumbs on top. Serve and enjoy this modern take on "red velvet" jelly roll.
I added a picture of the beet leather to give you an idea of texture and thickness.