Monday, April 28, 2008
With the USBC fast approaching and my competition slot racing towards me, I guess it's time to start thinking about a signature drink. For the Mid-Atlantic regional, I used a drink called "Breakfast In Bed." For the USBC I'll probably end up using the same drink but with some potential variations.
We've been experimenting with a variety of stuff over the past couple of months, some with a focus on the signature drink, others just for our own use. Lately, we've been playing around with making consomme.
With the right technique, you can make consomme out of just about anything. The sky really is the limit. Dr. Pepper consomme is what Alex and Aki have been playing with at Ideas In Food. For our purposes, we've got four consommes running at the moment: a parmesan cheese, two different types of french toast and the piece de la resistance, the Krispy Kreme Konsomme.
So just what is this foolishness with donuts? Simple. Take two dozen Krispy Kreme donuts, puree them in water, add some gelatin, freeze and then thaw. What you're left with is a clear consomme that's richly flavored with the taste of donuts. Nice.
Unfortunately, this method isn't fast. It's excruciatingly slow. 24 hours to freeze and then at least 36 hours to thaw. It's starting to drive me batty. But I'm bolstered with the belief that the results will be spectacular.
To be quite honest, I don't know what we're going to do with the parmesan or Krispy Kreme consommes. Maybe heat the parmesan and float some gnocchi? Or take the Krispy Kreme Konsomme, pour it in a bowl and drop a couple of milk spheres to eat as a soup. But who knows at this point - the finished product is still 36 hours away.
For the french toast consomme, I'm thinking that we'll keep it room temp and make americanos with the liquid. Float a shot of espresso on top and serve with a bacon stirrer. But who knows how that's going to taste. Guess we'll find out in about twelve hours...
You'll just have to come down to the USBC on Saturday afternoon to find out which version I decide to use.
For the past several weeks, Isaiah has been after me for some Egg Custard flavoring. For those of you unfamiliar with Egg Custard, it's the number one shave ice / snowball syrup in Baltimore. It's so popular, it outsells the next most popular flavor (cherry) three to one.
I've still got some of the Egg Custard flavoring lying around so I brought him a bottle. When it comes to flavorings, a little goes a long way and after working up a sorbet formulation, it was time to give it a whirl. The notion of adults tasting a sorbet from their childhood, now that's the kind of stuff we're interested in.
The results were decent. Sweet, rich and with that comforting flavor of vanilla and caramel, but with the slightly disconcerting bright orange color. The flavor was correct but it lay a bit flat on the tongue. It needed something. It needed just a bit of citric acid to make it pop.
But the problem with this iteration of the Egg Custard Sorbet isn't the lack of acidity, it was its' origins: It's completely artificial. This fact alone makes it ineligible for the dessert menu at Woodberry Kitchen and The Spro. But I think we'll revisit the formulation of the sorbet with natural ingredients in the near future because, afterall, summer is just around the corner.