Browsing Tag

texture in dessert



May 13, 2010

An Exploration Through Rhubarb
by Ryan Butler (Pastry Chef, Double Crown, NYC)

Photo courtesy of Double Crown

In the realm of contemporary pastry, employing a multitude of textures in plated desserts allows the chef to access seemingly endless creative approaches, thereby transforming even the simplest ingredients.

One Ingredient Exponentially
Through a focus on textures, the pastry chef can offer guests a variety of taste experiences created from the various interplays of frozen, cool and warm temperatures with crisp, soft, and chewy elements; all developed from one core ingredient or flavor. Concentration on a single ingredient, complemented with one or two additional minor elements, prevents overcrowding the dish and presents a visually impressive and wonderfully flavored result.

The Oft-Neglected Rhubarb
An excellent example of this method features a one of my favorite ingredients, the often misunderstood and always underestimated rhubarb. The tart, crimson-colored vegetable may scare some but always has my fellow devotees yearning for rhubarb on the dessert plate.

The first tip for to the rhubarb non-believer is to learn about its versatility. A great basic recipe to start with is rhubarb jam, made by simply chopping the rhubarb, adding sugar and lemon and cooking down. Simple but elegant. For a great variation, swirl the jam into a batch of vanilla bean ice cream and you have two very basic components creating a delicious, balanced combination with great texture and visual appeal; the rhubarb ripple. Basic but very satisfying.

Tacking On More Texture
The building of textures in our pastry kitchen is a constant pursuit remembered by every member of my team. In the case of our rhubarb desserts that process often begins with a basic rhubarb stock acting as the foundation of many of the dishes. Ours is simply prepared with water, sugar and a selection of Southeast Asian aromatics, all combined with the rhubarb then brought to a simmer and strained.

Starting with this fundamental component we are able to create numerous dishes with diverse and unique textures on the plate. The stock is frozen into a sorbet or Continue Reading…