Tag: oatmeal

Convenient Conconction

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It all started with meringue.  I had a test batch of honey meringue and I did not want to simply throw it away after I assessed its success (or not).  So here I am, left with a the smallest batch possible of meringue (which is 1 quart- no less can be made while using a kitchen aid, trust me), not wanting to simply wash it away as it was still perfectly delicious. The only answer was use it to make a dessert for staff lunch. Contemplating the deli of fluffy pale yellow foam, I thought to myself, what goes great with honey meringue?

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My first thought was cream pie, and my mind went right to coconut.  So coconut cream pie and honey meringue it is.  Pie is typically made with pie dough ( you have to make it, let it rest, roll it out, let it rest, bake it- all of which was too much work) or a graham cracker push crust (super easy and fast, my method of choice for this extra credit project).  We do not have graham crackers or the store-bought crumb lying around the kitchen, so I decided to improvise: we have some extra streusel, why not grind it up and add butter just like the graham cracker crust concept?  So  I ground it up, added butter, and made a push crust.

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Next was the coconut cream- a standard pastry cream made with half milk and half coconut milk, with toasted coconut flake added it.  Pour this into the crust, and set in the refrigerator for 3 hours, top with that infamous meringue, and then, of course, torch the meringue with a flame gun (because of course, because of brulee).

Coconut Cream Pie with Oatmeal Streusel Crust and Honey Meringue

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Toasted Love

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Finding flavors alive in the dead of winter is not the same as the flourishing spring, but we can still get that feeling of excitement and jubilee in this frozen wonderland.

For this dish I focus on the flavor of the amazing Maillard reaction, or more widely know as toasted.  The Maillard reaction is similar to caramelization , but the flavor is not as strong.  This is the magic spot that occurs before caramel, it is a browning process when the sugar reacts with amino acids, around 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  It is what happens when you put bread in the toaster, it is what happens when you start to smell the cookies baking in the oven.  The Maillard is amazing, and I love it.  That is why I chose to focus on this beautiful reaction for Valentine’s  day brunch: I did it for love.  I did it because Milliard represents that toasty warm feeling of butterflies in your stomach, stars in your eyes, a smirk on your lips, a giggle under your breath.  The feelings of love, the feeling a coziness, the feeling of comfort, content, and closeness.

I want to represent various flavors of the browning process, to create a subtle yet complex taste.  There is caramelized white chocolate ganache – toasty, sweet, creamy, and downright heavenly, brown butter milk solids- nutty, rich, and aromatic, oatmeal streusel- for texture and to add comfort, a touch of cinnamon for warmth, and finally a coffee cake sweetened with unrefined sugar- to add depth, to add a unique sweetness, to add character.  This is topped with a light sherry vinegar and unrefined sugar glaze, to add pop to the sugar, to give definition to the toasty and sweet flavor profiles.

The taste of love, the feeling of comfort, the joy of winter.