This afternoon I just felt like baking something simple and comforting. Looking for ideas through a series of cookbooks on my shelves, I fell upon the recipe of this fava bean pound cake in one of Hidemi Sugino's books The "Dessert" Book (2003). Some of you may be familiar with his name since this great pastry chef is often referred to in different blogs and especially in Keiko's gorgeous blog. After working in France and Switzerland (Jean Millet, Peltier, Mauduit...), he was the first Japanese to win the World Pastry Cup in 1991 and really contributed to recreating and innovating a sophisticated "new style" of Japanese French pastry. In 1992, he first opened a pastry shop in Kobe and then moved later to Tokyo where he opened his shop called Hidemi Sugino. He is a member of the Relais Dessert. As one can see by looking at his first book,Le Goût authentique retrouvé( 1998), or by reading about him in one of Christophe Michalak 's articles on the blog "Passions Gourmandes". Hidemi Sugino makes very traditional pastries and is really interested in the aesthetic aspect of the cakes : they are complex, very meticulously decorated ( to my taste, at times, a bit over-decorated), but everything is done with a superb maestria and with incredible talent. However, in his second book The "Dessert" Book, which is about plated deserts, he focusses less on the decoration of the cakes and more on the innovation in tastes and taste combinations (he uses balsamic and all sorts of vegetable such as pumkins green peas and avocado).
I have tried many of the recipes from The "Dessert" Book; the fava bean cake recipe is one that I really like ; it is not as "wild" a s some others in the book, it is both simple and subtle in taste (moist and unusual) and makes a great impression. One makes it almost like a regular pound cake except that one uses "mashed" fava bean (as its name suggests), almond powder for tenderness , and that one dips it into the vanilla syrup with which one has cooked the fava beans.
PS: You can find Sugino's books at La librairie Gourmande in the foreign chefs section.
La Librairie Gourmande (bookstore) 90 rue Montmartre Paris 75002 tel: 0143543727