Tag: streusel

All Together Now

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Apple allspice strudel with oatmeal streusel, bay leaf Bavarian cream, candied marcona almonds, rum cider glaze.

Apple strudel with streusel, just because it’s hard to tell the two things apart.  I thought, let’s put them both on to save confusion.  The streusel compliments the strudel in this German themed dessert.

The apples are cooked lightly in sugar, butter, and rum, tie together with 3 layers of phyllo dough brushed with allspice infused butter, a lot of butter.  The rum is represented again in the glaze, because traditionally apple strudel is made with rum soaked raisins on the inside.  I skipped the raisins and doubled up on the rum to compensate for missing dried fruit bit.  The strudel is crisp, flaky, buttery, tender, and softly sweet on the inside.

The candied almonds add texture and provide light caramel flavor for added depth.  The oatmeal streusel adds another layer of crunch, because I am texturally obsessed when it comes to composing a plate.  That, and because who can remember which is the German dessert wrapped in layers of flaky dough, and which is like a cookie without the egg?

I love bay leaf with apples in the winter, the flavors go well together like two lovers holding hands.  Bavarian cream has a mousse like texture: fluffy, creamy, and smooth.  There is just the subtlest amount of cinnamon, just to warm it up a touch.  This dish is a rare example without any added vanilla, aka the flavor of the gods.  I skipped it because it can become commonplace, an ever represented ingredient that can sometimes get lost in the medley of flavors.  I wanted the bay leaf and the apples to shine on there own, taking center stage in the mouth.

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.