It’s not a Sundae

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This is the realization of an ice cream dream flavor.   Presented above is yerba mate ice cream, fernet spiked fudge, fresh mint candy, candied cocoa nibs, and creme chantilly.

The vanilla ice cream base is infused with mate tea before it is spun.  A rich, thick, gooey dark chocolate fudge is finished with a moderate hand of fernet- a minty herbaceous digestif that is a staple in the Argentinian liquor palette.  Here I combine two flavors that demonstrate a large culinary influence in Argentinian culture.

The ice cream is complimented with two crunchy textural items- a crumbly mint candy and the harder cocoa nib.  The mint candy is a simple ingredient that I am very proud of.  It is a method that I contrived by trial and a small dash of non-intention, or coincidence perhaps.  I wanted to make a candy cane concept that was crushed.  The main issue is that when you crush sugar candies they leave sharp shards that can impale the tongue.  I figured that candy canes must be made from pulled sugar, and from there I intentionally created sugar crystals.  Normally the crystallization of sugar in an end product is a mistake- it changes the entire texture to that of a sandy nature.  I took that effect and manipulated  it into a desirable form.  These large crumbles have a strong flavor of fresh mint leaves, that quickly dissipate after a few rounds with the teeth.

I am pretty much obsessed with candied cocoa nibs- they are just divine.  This very rich and bitter little nugget of raw cocoa responses alarmingly well to a dose of sugar-coating.

The final touch to the dish is a dollop of whip cream, a refreshing cloud of creaminess to lift the dish up, to add some air to the web of flavors and textures.

 

Brain Freeze

I love ice cream, and I really love finding new flavors to make and sell.  I like to do things that nobody else is doing, to push people’s curiosity.  I want to be inspiringly interesting.

Food can made you think, food can give you a different perspective.  It’s not going to change anyone’s life, but like art, it can open up a part of the brain that has become dormant from working too much and watching too much terrible TV, defense mechanisms used to cope with this strange, flawed adventure called life.

I recently made a yerba mate meringue and it’s deliciousness surpassed my expectations.  This got me thinking about other ways to use this Latin American tea as a flavor.  I was reading about this ingredient, and discovered that adding mint to mate is a traditional pairing.  As the holidays approach, this made my mind race.

Mate and mint,  this is a good base for ice cream flavor.  I would use spearmint because I prefer it to peppermint.  But it has to be fresh mint- I don’t like to use extracts or artificial colors.  Plus fresh mint create the most glorious natural green color.  Nothing can beat it in flavor and visual appeal.

Holidays make me think of peppermint bark, candy canes, and brittle candies.  I want to use yerba mate as an ice cream base, and serve it with house made crushed up candy cane.  And chocolate.  The people are going to love it- a perfect Latin American fusion.

I am looking forward to creating this great ice cream flavor… stay tuned for further updates.

As Argentinian As American Pie

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As take on the classic American Lemon Meringue Pie, but made with an Argentinian twist.  Quince is large in the country’s palate, and quince pie is traditionally made with quince paste, a jam like filling.

Here, the quince is made into a tangy curd.  Quince is an autumnal fruit in the same family as apples and pears, although this fruit must be cooked before it can be consumed.  When it is cooked, it changes from a dull yellow to a rosy peach color- a lovely transformation to witness.

The crust of this pie is swapped out with almond shortbread, cut into an L shaped, and stacked to form a diamond that cradles the curd.

The meringue is flavored with Yerba Mate, a South American tea that has a large cultural impact, traditionally drank out of gourds.   Sharing mate is ritualistic, a way to bond with friends and family.  The meringue is toasted as all meringue should be.

The pie is dressed up with a cachaca glaze- a booze similar to clear rum, and crunchy phyllo strings because texture is everything.

Uncut Pie

A list of Pie Concepts that did not make the grade, the B list of verbal pie specials offered at both restaurants.

*Peanut Butter Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust, Oatmeal Whip Cream, Milk Chocolate Ganache

This is a dreamy pie full of everyone’s favorite flavors.  The peanut butter filling is a mousse for light texture that pairs well with the heavy taste.  Chocolate chip cookie dough replaces the typical pie dough, served with oatmeal whip cream and milk chocolate ganache

*Brazil Nut Pie, bourbon whip cream, banana ice cream

A take on the pecan pie, but way better.  The brazil nuts are baked with dulce de leche in place of the classic gooey corn syrup filling, served a la mode with banana ice cream

*Cranberry curd, pistachio crust, ginger meringue
A winter pie with tart cranberries that are complimented with sweet ginger meringue.  The pistachio crust add texture, and an orange glaze rounds out the flavors.

Pie Game

Pie specials for the restaurants

A reconstructed plated pie dessert, using typical flavors but served in  atypical and whimsical way.  To make it memorable, curious, and beyond delicious.  The goal is to make the pie as delicious as extravagant, to move beyond the convenience of a simple slice of pie and the simplicity of a one dish dessert.

Going to shift outside of the latin influence for this one, because of where we physically are, because its a holiday, because of global influence.  Pie is one of America’s best desserts, so let’s spread the word.

Why use a tart dough when you can use a cookie crust?

Fillings:

Cranberry curd

Quince curd

Bourbon pumpkin mousse

Hot butter rum apples

5 spice pears

french silk but somehow better- vegan with coconut

Pecan pie with caramel

Banana, banana coffee

 

Crust:

Chestnut

Almond flour

snickerdoodle

chocolate chip cookie

oatmeal-prune

brown butter brazil nut

rye

royaltine push crust

Additions:

Flavored marshmallow/ meringue

Bourbon caramel/ Rum

Pie crust in adorable shapes

Hand pies

bailey’s irish cream

 

Ideas:

Cranberry curd, pistachio crust, sweetened condensed cranberry, ginger meringue

Maple pumpkin mousse, cinnamon marshmallow, oatmeal or almond or snickerdoodle crust, horachata beer glaze, candied almonds.  T

French silk, pretzel push crust, toasted milk chocolate mousse

Banoffee- bananas and dulce de leche on top of push crust, topped with whipped cream

Cranberry curd, snickerdoodle crust

Argentinean pie- Quince curd or cooked quince, coconut pie dough latticed, quince pie with goat cheese, almonds.  Typically jam filled, maybe pair with cream cheese/ cheesecake

 

Caramel (dulce de leche) brazil nut, oat-maple whip, banana ice cream, oatmeal cookie crust, caramelized white chocolate ganache/ fudge

Chocolate chip cookie, peanut butter mousse, whip cream, fudge/ ganache

Pastry cream filling: chestnut,

Apple neopoleon cake, bay leaf pastry cream

Missing pie dough- coconut pie dough

 

 

Late Night Craving

Maillard and Salt might be the best possible of all that is possible flavor combinations.

Think salted sweet caramel

Think golden brown french fries and salt

Think crusty sourdough bread and salted butter

Maillard (the lighty browning of sugars aka how bread becomes toast)  being my favorite flavor in dessert as well as dinner, has been throughly thought about considered just about all the time.

Salt, though, has not had its properly placed ponder in the daily life.  I mean, I use kosher and occasionally I use Maldon.  That is where the story ends.  I mean there is smoked salt, but I am sick of that.  There are flavored salts, but I want something more.

Toasted salt?

Caramelized salt?

Soy sauce is so good, so how else to add umami to salt? Shitake powder?  Dried Fish sauce? Nurtional yeast, yeast extracts aka marmite, beefy broths?

 

Golden Rule

If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.  Coined by Albert Einstein, reassessed, tested, and ultimately unquestioned on a daily basis.  Some days, this mantra is called into action on an hourly basis.  Maybe even minute to minute, absurdity leads to goals.