Category: menu planning

3 Leche Spring

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Because the concept of the 3 leche cake- a Latin American iconic confection, a cake soaked with 3 types of milk until soggy, is limited to white cake and milk soak.  I love this concept and I want to build upon this classic dessert with a curious twist, with fanciful flavors, and whimsical undertones.

In this rendition, I made a cajeta sweetened cake (cajeta is goat’s milk and sugar cooked down to a caramel flavor and consistency- when it is cooking it fills the entire restaurant with the scent of snickerdoodle cookies.  This is a heavenly smell and produces an equally heavenly end product) that is then soaked with the traditional 3 leches, but with goat’s milk replacing the cream, and further fortified with chocolate to make a unique chocolate milk soak.  This lightly sweet, slightly chocolaty and caramel cake is served with Brazil nut streusel (for crunch and a nice nut flavor that resembles the Macadamia nut), acai purée (a small dark purple berry valued for its high nutritional content and subtle blueberry flavor), candied cocoa nibs (a pure form of chocolate) to enhance the chocolate notes in the dish, and cajeta chantilly (whip cream sweetened with cajeta) to balanced out the heavy liquid with a cloud like aura.

This dish is reflective of the season.  This is a spring dish in the ingredients used, the textures represented, and the earthy presentation.  This dish is modeled after the soggy spring, with lush, muddy ground waiting to sprout new growth.  The chocolate soak mimics the wet and fertile ground.  The streusel mimics broken up, freshly tilled soil in appearance and texture.  Because of limited local seasonal availability,  I used the hard to source acai berry to add a fruity flavor that interacts very well with the established flavors of the cake.  Early spring, right off winter, is the season to focus on frozen and preserved foods, and highlight them in the menu when you have the chance to search to globe for ingredients.  If you are going to use a frozen product, you mind as well use one that invokes curiosity and is not readily available to the average person.

Finally the whipped cream adds such a soft touch, light as the spring’s warmth, to round of the overall mouth feel.  The flavors are not too bold, except for the tiny explosion of flavor in the cocoa nibs- as a final lasting impression.

 

 

Wait For It…

I have perhaps the best idea ever for a dessert.  I am going to say a word that I never thought I would ever say pertaining to a dessert, especially when the word “great” or “best” or “anticipation-worthy” is involved.

So here it is: s’more.

There, I said it.  If you immediately lose interest, I understand.  I certainly would not listen past this word when someone is trying to describe an innovative product, a salivary-induced dessert, and new idea that will spark imagination and delight.

Also, I will not say “deconstructed” because the dish is not deconstructed, it is reconstructed.  But that word will not appear in the name or even in the description based on principal- the principal that deconstructed is an overdone and a cliché concept.  Anything resembling that terribly passé word will be lumped into that same, shameful category.

I am thinking about calling it “Fireside” or perhaps “The Rebirth of S’more.”

I don’t want dull childhood memories of this store-bought mélange of ingredients to come across as misleadingly simple or contrived.  This ‘new best idea ever dish’ amplifies the best part of the s’more while also improving upon the aspects that are underwhelming.

I can’t say too many details about this idea without giving away too much.  You have to wait for it.  The intended restaurant where this is to début is not open for business yet.  The doors are not open, the fires are not lit, the tables are not yet set.  Until then menus are printed, until the water glasses filled, until your cocktail shaken, until the music spinning, full disclosure on “Fireside” is clandestine.

The best part of this over used childhood treat is in the applying of heart to transform the ordinary into the somewhat extravagant.  The parts themselves are simple, but together they transform into a classic.  Since the best part about the s’more concept is the interactive involvement of everyone, a active role will play a part in the enjoyment of this dessert.

The underwhelming part of the this treat is the reason why I don’t even think that the s’more is good.  It is this gooey glob with a single note sweetness.  Let’s be honest, it’s boring.  Outside of the bonfire, it’s bland.  The novelty trumps taste, the overall impression being lack luster.  There are only two flavor profiles, being chocolate and graham.  I think I can do better.

Unfortunately this is call I can tell you until El Che opens its doors, until there is wood for the hearth, until someone can slide your credit card.  Until then, keep your tongues anxious and your minds curious.