A lovely cake for an even lovelier couple!
I’ve been wanting to do a dessert with sesame and strawberries for a couple of years but for some reason or another every year strawberry season passes without it happening. This year we started testing well before local strawberries were available so we were ready to go at Birch and Barley!
Cheesecake laced with fresh grated ginger and crusted in homemade graham cracker crust is the main component on the dessert. I was worried people might be hesitant to get something with sesame and miso so I wanted to throw a familiar word in there to make it more “orderable”… Cheesecake usually does the trick
Ginger-Caradamom pound cake pieces are placed around the plate for a dense, bready quality to cut through the richness of the cheesecake
Strawberries are represented in several ways on this plate. There are lightly marinated fresh berries, strawberry sorbet, pureed and dehydrated “fruit roll up”, a reduction of strawberry juice and fresh extracted ginger juice and strawberry dust. Lots of textures
Sesame is a strong flavor but I wanted to use both black and white. The black were toasted and pureed into an ice cream base infused lightly with orange zest. The white seeds were baked into a tuile with a brittle like quality but so thin you can see through it.
Salty-Sweet Miso caramel garnishes the plate as does torn pieces of shiso leaf.
We’ve got a new dessert at Birch and Barley starting tonight! So many of my favorite things on one plate….
Passion Fruit Creme Brulee is made from cream egg yolks, sugar and white chocolate to help stabalize it so it can be served free form. A strong reduction of passion fruit juice is added to give it a kick. The brulee sits on top of a light but flavorful coconut meringue cake
Rhubarb Sorbet is made by pressure juicing rhubarb to yield a tart pink juice. It’s then mixed with orange simple syrup to balance with sweetness
Rhubarb cubes are poached in sugar, water, white wine, orange and lemon zest, star anise and vanilla bean. I like to cook them until they start to get tender but stop far before the turn to mush
Basil is incorporated through micro basil, which really packs a punch, and basil chantilly. We blanch basil in boiling water then shock it in ice water to stop the cooking. It’s then blended with simple syrup to make a strong basil syrup and folded into whipped cream
Last but not least is the coconut tapioca. We soak tapioca pearls in ice water for 2 days then simmer in coconut milk, milk, sugar, vanilla bean and kaffir lime leaf… One of my faovrites!
Bluejacket is well under way. Greg and Megan are people that Kyle and I love working with. They are as passionate about beer as we are about food. They take the long way home, no shortcuts.
We knew this was going to be epic. That was always the plan. But as things start to really fall into place I am really realizing how huge this is going to be.
When Nate, chef of Red Apron, and Michael, owner of NRG, told me they wanted soft serve machines in al of his shops I was excited… Then worried.
I was excited for a bunch of reasons… Think of all the wacky flavors I could make. I couldn’t wait to get my sweets next to Nate’s products. It was something I’d never made before. But that part was exciting AND one of the things that worried me…
I’ve made ice cream a million times. I know it like the back of my hand. But soft serve is different. You don’t use cream or eggs, which is what makes ice cream rich. It needs to have a different fat content. It has to be the PERFECT consistency to drip through the machine into the freezing chamber at just the right speed. So complicated. So many new things to learn. What if I couldn’t pull it off?
But after uttering a few curse words I dove in, face first, and got to testing. A month and several (dozens) of test batches later I’m nearly ready to debut a few fun flavors at Nate’s shops. Yellow Cake Batter. Fruit Loops. Black Tea.
Nate and Michael were right… This is going to be great!
Kyle and I are burger junkies. In the great “In-N-Out vs 5 Guys” debate we are 5 Guys fans for sure. Ya, I know, you need to order In-N-Out “double double animal style.” Been there, ordered that and the verdict… Meh.
But 5 Guys should watch out, there’s a new burger in town. I know I work with Red Apron but i promise I’m not being bias. If I didn’t ABSOLUTELY LOVE this burger I’d say nothing. But it is unreal. Of course i love the fresh baked brioche bun, toasted with butter, house made thousand island dressing, house pickles, onions and iceberg lettuce but they are supporting characters… The real magic is in the meat. Flavorful and cooked perfectly medium rare then coated with melty cheddar. In my experience, especially for an $8 burger, the meat isn’t usually a highlight. It comes well done and doesn’t taste like much. But at Red Apron its all about the patty. Its juicy, cooked to the temp you like and soooo full of flavor.
Don’t get me wrong, 5 Guys is a wonderful, juicy, satisfying grease bomb. If I’m hung over it really hits the spot. But it leaves you in an absolute food comma and must be consumed in moderation. The Red Apron Classic, however, is a burger I could eat everyday.