Day 2 of the practice weekend has a lot going on, but I’ve got time on my hands. Today I’ll be working on my Brioche dough, starting my chicken velouté, making some potato ice cream, and starting my springy dessert.
After a quick change of the sweetbreads water, which was kind of taking on a red tint, I’m going to start the brioche dough. Like any bread, this takes some time. What I like about breads is that you get positive reinforcement along the way. It may take all day for the dough to proof, but you can physically see it changing size giving you reassurance that all that time is not for naught. Here’s what the dough looks like after spending a bunch of time in the stand mixer on the hook attachment.
So this dessert that I’m making is full of spring flavors (lemon, strawberry, basil) and should look beautiful on the plate. But I’ve been having trouble finding a good cylindrical silicone mold to use. I finally bought this popsicle maker and am hoping that works.
This is a layered dessert of lemon cream and basil cream that uses egg whites to create a semifreddo like consistency. It’s a pseudo ice cream without the ice cream maker. It’s simple enough in principle, just steeping the basil and lemon flavors in cream then folding in some stiffly beaten sugared egg white. Pipe, freeze, repeat.
Also with the parfait is a lovely strawberry sorbet. Since it’s the middle of January I’ll be making mine with under ripe grocery store strawberries, but assuming I get the recipe right, come summer, I’ll be using luscious fresh berries from nearby. This recipe only has room to improve. It’s a really simple recipe of strawberries, sugar, and citric acid.
So I’m generally not a big fan of funny tasting ice creams. While I can appreciate the flavors and ingenuity that went into them, I often times find myself just wanting it to taste sweet and like something familiar. But today I’ve decided to branch out and try a truly funny sounding flavored ice cream…potato. I figure if I’m going to do it I might as well go full throttle and try something I have absolutely no idea what I’ll even do with should it turn out. There’s a lot of cooking and roasting of potatoes and cream, followed by a quick turn in the ice cream maker and a rest in the deep freeze. I’ll actually eat this one tonight, so jump to the bottom to see the final outcome.
Initial proofing of dough is complete. Now into the refrigerator for an extended rest.
Also as part of the dessert dish are some syrups and gels; lemon, strawberry, and basil. The lemon and basil use the parfait mixtures mixed with a little bit of agar to help them set. The strawberry gel needs a syrup first so I need to cook down a bunch of strawberries in a double boiler. A makeshift double boiler is really easy to create; just place a metal bowl on top of a simmering pot of water (ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). I’ll cook these down for two hours until there’s a lot of syrup and very little color left in the berries.
Next I’m making truffle cream and a truffle butter. Both of these are using black truffles which are very rich and fragrant, but also pretty expensive. You can substitute with a little white truffle oil for the black truffles and get a very nice result. The truffle cream will find its way into velouté and the butter will go with the brioche.
Finally we start the velouté which uses the chicken stock from last night, but reduced and infused with more chicken flavor as well as some vegetables and herbs. I’ll finish the soup tomorrow right before dinner.
So today’s tasks are done and now it’s time to finish off and enjoy the potato ice cream. I’m serving this with a little bit of creme fraiche mixed with lime juice and a touch of salt, and some caviar.
The result is a surprisingly good pallet cleanser. The cool ice cream is refreshing and has a nice roasted buttered potato taste that isn’t too strong or overwhelming. The creme fraiche and caviar add a nice touch of acidity and salt that fully pulls this dish into savory territory. I think this will be a great in between courses dish.