Tag: spring

Spring Remodel

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Black Bottom Brazilian Cheesecake, Violet Meringue, Rhubarb

 

Forging for spring ingredients,

Feeling frantic for bright flavors,

Inspired by natural colors

Enrobed with the love of chocolate

Somehow we find a way to wait patiently for the spring produce to pop.

 

 

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Today’s Thematics are Circular

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The discovery of Purple Rain in the dried violet meringue

Fortuitous because of the remembrance, appropriately whimsical in the spirit

Craving to capture something fanciful and radical

I find something surprisingly magical

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Microscopic Starts

The tiniest empire has been planted.  The seeds of a new regime have been sowed in lush soil, the dried out dreams have been given a new hope with a soft touch of water, the legacy of generations lives on again in a new home- a temporary home until summer is here to stay.  The babies will be coddled in the warmth of the house, to grow strong under strict supervision, until it is time to be transplanted into the great outdoors- to battle wind, rats, children, cats, at times dogs and draught, all the perils of the small life.  Soon though, after sun and water, this tiny empire will feed a household and its lucky guests, it will be the star of many dinner parties, its life will give nutrition and satisfaction to many.  For now, I am proud and excited for the tiniest empire to take root and seek out the sun.

 

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.

 

 

Spring Taste

Crème Fraiche Coffee Cake with blueberries and lemon glaze
Crème Fraiche Coffee Cake with blueberries and lemon glaze

The spring is not set so tight this year, it’s gotten loose and rusty from years of abuse and over anticipation.  It’s a slow start, still getting cold at a moments notice, bone chilling when the sun hides.  Scarves are still in full effect, slippers are a house standard, the bed is still weighed down with blankets.  Despite the rusty snap that has yet to scar away old man winter, I cannot contain my excitement to throw off my puffy winter jacket, sacrifice it to the fire pit, watch it burn in jubilation of light clothes treading.

Strawberry Shortcake, poppy seeds and whipped coconut cream
Strawberry Shortcake, poppy seeds and whipped coconut cream

Maybe it is too soon to think about berries and juicy fruit, airy mousses and food as light as the clouds, bright tastes and sunshine colors, but frankly that does not bother me.  I don’t want winter foods. Squash time is past time, pomegranates are winter’s whore. Pears are a long way off, let’s forget about the apple for the time being.  Maple is for later, and so it the brussel sprout.  So to begin the new growing season, the season of fun, outdoors, and social interaction, I made these things:

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Pistachio cake, tiramisu semifreddo, fresh raspberries
Coconut panna cotta, rhubarb compote, strawberry-rum granite, candied cocoa nibs
Coconut panna cotta, rhubarb compote, strawberry-rum granite, candied cocoa nibs
Cookie Plate, with honey caramel and peanut butter frosting
Cookie Plate, with honey caramel and peanut butter frosting