Needless to say, supermarket strawberries and their fresh-picked counterparts are of entirely different material: the first, a watery ectoplasm, the second, a thick honey. In the fields, strawberries grow close to the ground, buried under their own leaves and hay. Hence the German word Erdbeeren, or earth-berries. Yet, strawberries taste more celestial than chthonic; they are a blood spatter of sunlight cast into fleshy gems. Warmed by the sun, a fresh strawberry looks translucent and tastes like a heady breath of perfume. In St. Louis, we pick fist-sized berries, not fragile fraises des bois. Whereas the biggest supermarket berries often taste the weakest, the most mature specimens on the farm contain the most concentrated flavor: size does not signify dilution. We worked for an hour and harvested 15 pounds; thus far, we have canned eight jars of jam, baked two pies, and churned a few quarts of ice cream. With berries so sweet, I decided to add Greek yogurt to the recipe, retaining a few egg yolks for richness. I love the harsh scrape of strong yogurt against an almost cloying mouthful of fruit. The following recipe only works with the best, freshest berries, so be satisfied with pictures if you lack a local strawberry patch. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Dessert
by The Baker
Mango Chutney Truffle
120 grams cream
25 grams glucose
120 grams milk chocolate, chopped
150 grams dark chocolate, chopped
25 grams butter, room temperature
100 grams mango chutney, chopped
1. Heat cream and glucose in a small saucepan over medium heat. Put both chocolates into a small bowl. When steam begins to rise from the cream, pour mixture over the chopped chocolate.
2. Let mixture sit for 30 seconds, then stir with a rubber spatula (do not use a whisk–you do not want to incorporate air into the ganache).
3. Add the butter, stir to combine, then fold in the chutney. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight.
4. Form the ganache into balls (easiest method is to use a small ice cream scoop) and roll in confectioner’s sugar.
by Melissa von Mayrhauser, Columbia University
Everyday during our first break from German classes, my friends and I would escape grammatical structures in favor of a sweet haven, following the scent of strudel and Schnecken to the corner Bäckerei. Lounging on its apple red booths until our 20 minutes had passed, we snacked on sugary treats from all corners of Deutschland and held a pastry marathon to see if we could indulge in each delicacy before the final day of our course. We found that there’s more to German pastries than the average Bretzel. Continue reading
by Helen Wang, Yale University
Obscure spices, foreign flavors, and unconventional edibles have found their way into desserts over time, especially in Berkeley, but few do it with Ici’s flair—the three storefront-long line and twenty minute wait attest to their success. (And yes, it’s worth it.) From their Maple Bacon to their sweet Basil, Ici offers a diverse bunch of flavors waiting to please the palate. Here’s something that kicks more than their Curry: it’s all ice cream. Continue reading
Zach Bell, Yale University
I made a butterscotch pie using the standard egg custard as the base and adding brown sugar and butter, the base ingredients of butterscotch flavor. The egg custard flavor was immediately evident, so I did not get the “Hershey’s” style butterscotch, the cloying, saccharine, sticky butterscotch. Instead, the butterscotch flavor emerged from the background, more of a rich aftertaste than an anvil of flavor falling from the sky.
Caleb P., New England Conservatory
In previous posts, this blog has mentioned many excellent restaurants that deliver satisfying food while still keeping prices low. In today’s economy, students should be prudent and save money wherever they can—except, that is, when a certain restaurant serves food so exceptional, so well-presented, and so mind-engaging that to not experience it once would be a truly poor use of funds. L.A. Burdick, a chocolate boutique in Harvard Square, is such an example. Continue reading
Michael Symon cooks with soul. Or so Michael Ruhlman famously proposes in his book The Soul of a Chef, and so Food Network has carefully engineered his “brand” over the past years. Supposedly Symon, a Food & Wine Best New Chef 1998 and member of the Iron Chef America cast, inflects his food with boisterous energy that leaves little room for subtlety. He is a gentle giant, shaven head, booming smile that shows too much tooth. He is, to employ the cliché, larger than life. While no longer in the kitchen at Lola every night, his presence looms over the menu and casts a shadow across the dimly lit dining room. Lola belongs to Symon, he possesses her, and thus his celebrity chefhood never feels phony. Although the restaurant, much like Symon’s television personality, feels overly tweaked, an admirable layer of authenticity persists. If Symon himself appears absent, his soul remains present, lending the food itself a similar degree of depth.