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The Supreme eG Baking and Pastry Challenge

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#61 gfron1

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 05:28 PM

promiscuous?...exotic...fulfilling flesh... You naughty boy!

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#62 s_sevilla

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:50 PM

It sounds more like people are trying to convert pastry ideals to the savory side.  I think some of you are a little confused.  The idea is not to make a pastry thing savory, its to make a savory thing pastry. 

It's really not even that, its specifically taking something that we all have confined in our mind as a staple substance of protein from living interactive creatures that has, over time, become a necsessity to our mind and body.  Dessert is an off breed to the dinner meal, something that doesn't contain the bulk of our nutrition.  Even vegetables are a little wierd in dessert because we think of them as a need, not a desire.  Fruit is gods candy that has been given to us, so it makes sense why its is used predominately in dessert.

To accomplish this goal/challenge we have to think of the flesh of an animal not as sustinence or a provision but as an under appreciated, less-consumed entity to our bodies and minds.

If everyone can focus on finding a way to turn delicious, rewarding, and fullfilling flesh into provocative, exotic, out-of-reach attraction, then maybe we can find a way to turn this into a dessert.

Sorry if my statement seems a bit promiscuous.

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This brings up an interesting revelation I had....We oven dried some really nice, sweet early girl tomatoes until they were nice and crispy. As I was snacking on them and some strawberries, I realized, holy crap, these things taste a lot like strawberries, then I remembered seeing a pastry here somewhere where someone did make a pate de fruit out of tomatoes.......

I'm really interested in seeing what's created, it seems like the dessert has already found its course....now to just sit back and wait.

#63 gfron1

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 09:07 PM

So here's the lay of the land...

Yes, the course feels set to me as well, however, I have two days of utter madness in my life - that damn cheese bust is going to be the death of me! So, I hope you all keep sharing ideas, because two days is a long time in my mind. I've switched my brain from "what should I do?" to "can I pull off this technique?" So, I'll be rushing around until Sunday trying to figure this out - as the light bulbs turn on...please share because I may toss it all out and start from scratch.

Tonight, however, was our bubble drink party. The fact that we had a bubble drink party should tell you how rural we are. We are about 3-5 years behind the coasts. I'm going to get posting the pics in the dinner thread.

NOTE: For the record, no dirty gossip was shared with me about Ling as I alluded to previously...Ling has accrued celebrity status among eGulleters, and so she has become a target of jabs and jokes. All in good fun :)

Edited by gfron1, 05 October 2006 - 06:10 AM.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#64 gfron1

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 06:18 AM

Good morning all. Two things came up whilst sleeping...

1. I've heard that tamale masa should be bought premixed (wet) for a good tamale maker (which we have plenty of around here) because its more refined than buying the bagged powder. Anyone know anything about this? The only reason this causes concern was that I was going to rub lemon (or orange) zest into sugar, and then incorporate that into masa before mixing....if its already wet, that may not work as well.

2. I have 6 paper thin sheets of meat (cut against the grain). My plan was to take lengthwise cuts of pineapple, layer them with the meat and brown sugar, and let the acids cook them a bit. Then I was going to try three cooking methods for the meat - 1. a dehydrator, 2. in a skillet with butter, 3. in the oven between two baking sheets on a low temperature.

My goal is to have the meat be very delicate and break off as soon as its touched. I assume that when I pull the meat from whatever cooking process, that it will be soft, but as it dries in the air, it will become delicate. As a side note, we rarely have rain here, so the humidity is generally very, very low, but we have a rainstorm coming in for the next 2-3 days - that may effect the drying.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#65 jackal10

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 07:05 AM

Your plan may enounter difficulties since the bromelin in the pineapple, unless deactivated by heat, will eat the meat and you will be left with a sloppy mush. I'm not sure if this is your intention:

Steak, before and after 3 hours in contact with raw pineapple:
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#66 gfron1

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 07:27 AM

Gack!!!! Geez, thanks for the warning Jackal. OK, plan #2....

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#67 ludja

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 07:40 AM

I think someone else also mentioned pork or chicken cracklings. If you think of bacon candy or dessert combinations that can handle a salty component that may lead you to some ideas.

The proscuitto/melon redux idea was already mentioned. It may be difficult for you to find down there, but along the lines of what you were thinking of with thin slices of dried beef would be the use of thinly sliced Bundnerfleisch (German) or Bresaola (Italian). I could see these working with some fruit and/or cheese combinations.

Other savory/sweet combinations that work and that might be amenable to manipulation more towards the dessert sphere:

Chinese Spicy Orange Beef and caramelized savory Vietnamse dishes.

I have some ideas for followup on these ideas but want to leave you some creative room. :smile:

Maybe with your busy schedule you could get a dispensation for a few extra days...
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#68 gfron1

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 08:05 AM

Thanks Ludja...no dispensation needed...its all part of the challenge.

The 5 spice idea is interesting since I just made a mango 5 spice dome a week or so ago, but that would shift the southwest concept a bit.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#69 Shalmanese

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 11:00 AM

Here's something I've been working over for the last few months:

Bone Marrow Ice-Cream. Roast a whole bunch of bone marrow bones a la Fergus Henderson and then just churn like a normal ice-cream except with less cream to even out the fat content and less sugar. drizzle a little parsley "coulis" and garnish with a caramel glazed chicken skin for the crunch. Maybe serve with a mincemeat pie.
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#70 FistFullaRoux

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 11:07 AM

Candied Carnitas?
Screw it. It's a Butterball.

#71 Kouign Aman

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 04:34 PM

Jackal10 beat me to it with the dissolving meat problem. (that's one hell of a 100-words picture!)

Why not sub another acid fruit? Lemon / orange / kumquat wont have the same discomforting effect as raw pineapple. The only two fruits that dissolve meat are pineapple and papaya (to the best of my knowledge).
Citrus is used to "cook" ceviche.
Or you might have some wicked sour local berries that would do the trick.

Or, cook the pineapple long enough to inactivate the enzyme.

Edited by Kouign Aman, 05 October 2006 - 04:36 PM.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

#72 gfron1

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 06:39 PM

I can't tell you how much I appreciated the pineapple warning - you learn something new everyday don't ya :)

Today I was knocked out by a cold...the good news is that I can skip work tomorrow and focus on the cheese bust. I also struck it rich with a friend who lived in Mexico for 15 years and helped me tweak the masa recipe.

Hang in there everyone - and keep the ideas (and warnings) coming. Its almost time.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#73 gfron1

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 07:07 AM

I could use some assistance from our sugar people...

I want to create a sugar thread that is shaped like a spring. When i do threaded sugar I can't seem to get a continuous thread beyond a few inches. How are those made?

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#74 cjsadler

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 07:36 AM

The proscuitto/melon redux idea was already mentioned. 

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Yikes-- I'm scared of some of the ideas here. However, reworking prosciutto/melon sounds like it has possibilities. What if you infused the proscuitto flavor into a bavarian/mousse (easy on the sugar)? Perhaps this would create a pleasing foie gras like richness. Then layer it with a melon gelée?
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#75 chiantiglace

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 09:54 AM

I could use some assistance from our sugar people...

I want to create a sugar thread that is shaped like a spring.  When i do threaded sugar I can't seem to get a continuous thread beyond a few inches.  How are those made?

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You need to get a small piece of pulled sugar nice and hot. Pinch off a small piece and carefully drag it away from the sugar using your first two fingers from your other hand to gentle rub underneath the "thread" or "ribbon" helping to release more from the block.

Once you sucsessfully made a long enough thread, take the thread and wave it infront of a hot oven or surface to make it malleable. Once the sugar starts to drupe andsoften start to corkscrew it with your fingers. You can also wrap it around a dowel or similar cylinder and let it harden like that.
Dean Anthony Anderson
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#76 gfron1

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 10:12 AM

Thanks Anthony. I was afraid that someone would say its pulled sugar instead of spun. I've been wanting to play with pulled, but not at this point in the game. I'll rely on something a bit more comfortable with - chocolate.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#77 Ling

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 12:47 PM

Hmm...you could do a pork rind chocolate bar. You could flavour the dark chocolate with cinnamon, cayenne, anything to give it a bit of Mexican heat. You could crisp up pieces of pork rind and use it as the "crispies" in the chocolate bar...maybe do some kind of flavoured nougat layer as well.

Or you could do a tasting set of three childhood favourite candies/treats. One pork rind chocolate bar, maybe a chicken skin lollipop (seasoned, on a stick, covered in caramelized sugar), and one other...perhaps a fruit-flavoured treat. Maybe a orange/Grand Marnier cream tart with duck fat pastry (duck a l'orange?)

Edited by Ling, 06 October 2006 - 12:50 PM.


#78 gfron1

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 04:01 PM

One distraction is over. Here is the almost complete cheese bust...step by step:
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Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#79 MichelleGL

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 05:18 PM

What a great challenge! It would be SO easy to do bacon (I have tons of ideas for bacon-- what can I say, bacon inspires), but Ling nixed that option from the get-go to up the level of difficulty.

I really like the bone marrow and pork rind suggestions. I've heard of bone marrow flan at Chez Panisse; I imagine it could easily lend itself to creme brulee as well. It could also just be diced up while cold, sauteed, and then spooned/drizzled around a plate.

I had killer maple syrup-candied pork rinds at MiniBar in Washington, DC (a restaurant I HIGHLY recommend, by the way). I think the current issue of Gourmet magazine has the recipe. There was a slight spice to it, too (I think cayenne?). I've also coated cut up pork rind bits in tempered chocolate and then rolled in cocoa powder before-- something I had in Spain. Salty, sweet, smoky, crunchy, YUM!

Can't wait to see yours results! Have fun.

**Oh, sidenote-- you all would get a kick out of this... you know those cheesy chocolate fountains that people go crazy for? I'm buying one for a party I'm having in a couple weeks (they sell small ones at Costco for $40!) and instead of serving it with the cliche strawberries and store-bought angel food cake, I'm serving it with deep fried bacon and pork rinds! It's gonna RULE. I'm also making cinnamon marshmallows, graham crackers and peanut butter cookies for the less adventurous. :rolleyes:

#80 Pat Churchill

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 05:47 PM

Why not sub another acid fruit? Lemon / orange / kumquat wont have the same discomforting effect as raw pineapple. The only two fruits that dissolve meat are pineapple and papaya (to the best of my knowledge).

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Umm. I am thinking tamarind paste...
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#81 LittleIsland

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 08:03 PM

gfron1... a baker AND a sculptor???!!! :blink:

My hat's off to you!! :biggrin: How long did that cheese bust take?

#82 Kouign Aman

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 08:27 PM

oh .... candied buffalo carpaccio, spread with tamarind paste, and served with a thin crisp of caramelized sugar....
served rolled or in a cone shape.
"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

#83 gfron1

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 08:43 PM

gfron1... a baker AND a sculptor???!!!  :blink:

My hat's off to you!!  :biggrin:  How long did that cheese bust take?

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Its the first time I've carved anything like that - it was very fun - velveeta is a surprisingly good sculpture media. It took me about 3 hours. I want to carve a hole in the top of his head and put chips in it.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#84 Ling

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 09:19 PM

gfron1... a baker AND a sculptor???!!!   :blink:

My hat's off to you!!   :biggrin:   How long did that cheese bust take?

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Its the first time I've carved anything like that - it was very fun - velveeta is a surprisingly good sculpture media. It took me about 3 hours. I want to carve a hole in the top of his head and put chips in it.

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DO IT!!! :laugh:

#85 chiantiglace

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 10:04 PM

Wheres my ANIMAL DESSERT?


:biggrin:
Dean Anthony Anderson
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Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

#86 gfron1

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 06:54 AM

Since Anthony is getting impatient :raz: I'll get everyone up to date. First, let's go through my excuse list...

1. Being sick...CHECK
2. Having to carve a head out of cheese...CHECK
3. Throwing a cheese party for 125...TONIGHT

But, I have made good progress. Last night I had the most ethereal moment. You know that point when food moves beyond sustinence over to life energy. I was making my tamales using the method taught me by a friend last week who lived in Mexico. She had me use frozen posole, rub the skins, process with fresh corn, etc., and for anyone who knows how great fresh homemade tamales smell, imagine digging past the processing, the tiredeness, the packaging of powdered masa, and inhaling the most pure, intense masa smell ever. Then add in the orange zest that I added, and you'll understand why it was ethereal. I'm sure the moment was enahnced by watching Farenelli (a movie about a castrati opera singer) and drinking our favorite Spanish trilogy, but its an aroma I hope I don't soon forget.

This morning I'm going to make my ice cream liquid so it will be ready for tomorrow, then tomorrow all I have to do is the main animal component and plating.

The idea of having to prepare a dessert basically for a photoshoot is unusual. I'm used to doing multi-day, multi-component desserts, but this is a bit different since all of you will only see the pictures (unless you try the recipes). It adds importance to the picture which I typically would sacrifice for taste. Just a bit odd...

BTW, I believe I have targeted our next challengee...and I knew long ago what their challenge will be. :wink:

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#87 lexy

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 07:26 AM

gfron1... a baker AND a sculptor???!!!   :blink:

My hat's off to you!!   :biggrin:   How long did that cheese bust take?

View Post

Its the first time I've carved anything like that - it was very fun - velveeta is a surprisingly good sculpture media. It took me about 3 hours. I want to carve a hole in the top of his head and put chips in it.

View Post


DO IT!!! :laugh:

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Best. Idea. Ever.

Are people going to eat the head - i.e. go up and carve off an ear or something?

Seriously though, eG ought to have Medals of Culinary Devotion for efforts like that :smile:
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#88 chiantiglace

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 09:55 AM

The idea of having to prepare a dessert basically for a photoshoot is unusual. I'm used to doing multi-day, multi-component desserts, but this is a bit different since all of you will only see the pictures (unless you try the recipes). It adds importance to the picture which I typically would sacrifice for taste. Just a bit odd...


I totally know what you mean. Its hard to to explain it to friends too when you try to ask them over to eat it. The give you the 21 questions as if you are trying to get something from them.

"All this dessert, that took you four days to make, and all you want me to do is drive over and eat it".
Dean Anthony Anderson
"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This
Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

#89 chefpeon

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 09:02 PM

Tonight on Iron Chef America.....Morimoto does Iced Squid Candy.

That is all.

#90 gfron1

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 09:38 PM

We're in the home stretch. Now that all distractions are aside, I've hunkered down to finish the dessert. Today I made the ice cream liquid - sage, sweetened with agave nectar:
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Yesterday I made the mincemeat first:
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Then I filled the homemade masa (absolutely stunning aroma):
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And finally tonight I prepared the buffalo sheets by coating them in brown sugar for the night:
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Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM






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