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Hot Rootbeer Dessert

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#1 gfron1

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 05:53 PM

I've been thinking about this for a while...I want to make a hot rootbeer float. I've been thinking about making a thick rootbeer sauce, foaming it, adding the ice cream, and it feels like it should be on a cakey type thing. I haven't gone too far with the idea so I thought I'd throw it out to you all.

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#2 GTO

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 06:13 PM

I love root beer. Yeah, I'm seeing something cakey involved...Something along the lines of a dense gingerbread
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#3 cdh

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 07:09 PM

That's a tough sell. If it isn't coming as part of a tasting menu, even I (a root beer and birch beer lover) would be unlikely to taste it.
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#4 aguynamedrobert

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 07:23 PM

The question is....what kind of Root Beer? are we talking Henry Weinhard's? lol....what kind are you gonna use?

Just thought I'd ask,
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#5 JeanneCake

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 07:35 PM

I wonder if you can rework that chocolate (guiness) stout cake to use the root beer instead of the stout; I don't know the recipe so I'm just thinking out loud. I know a lot of people here have had great luck with it and think it is wonderful. You don't taste the Guiness per se, it just gives a full flavor to the cake.

#6 gfron1

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 08:36 AM

I'm totally just playing with ideas right now so I can't answer the questions, but I wanted to make sure I didn't use extract, and I wanted to not just heat (and reduce) existing rootbeer. My thought is still a thick rootbeer sauce made from scratch, on top of some cake (I like the modified stout cake idea) and again the ice cream.

Also, I wonder why CDH thinks it would be a hard sell. I like the idea of a hot, thick sauced dessert this time of year.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#7 dividend

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 03:41 PM

A couple of years ago I made root beer jelly for my christmas baskets, and ended up with some extra. It's actually really good warmed slightly and poured over ice cream. So you could take a slice of a dense cake base with flavors that complement the root beer, warm it up, and top it with cold ice cream and warm root beer sauce. I would definately order it.
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#8 Mr. Delicious

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 04:41 PM

I have done a root beer cheesecake, I used some root beer concentrate (spice barn). Turned out quite nice, maybe over the top, but it sold alright.

#9 gfron1

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 05:43 PM

I don't know much about rootbeer, but this is what their flavoring contains: Caramel Color, Water, Alcohol (1%-10%), Modified Food Starch, Natural and Artificial Flavors approved by the FDA. Is this was rootbeer is? I imagined boiling down some roots.

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#10 highchef

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 06:12 PM

You can buy rootbeer concentrate here, I believe it's Zatarain's. We use to make homemade rootbeer all the time with it. It would be a breeze to make a hot sauce with it. That said, I'm thinking along the lines of a sticky toffee pudding? the sticky toffee part would be the rootbeer sauce of course. sounds outragously good. If you don't turn up the concentrate on a google search, let me know and I'll double check the bottle label. I think there's only one company. If I'm not mistaken, root beer is made from sasafrass root??? I don't think it's chicory, that's for coffee. I'm sure it's easy enough to find out.

edit: spelling

Edited by highchef, 17 December 2006 - 11:00 AM.


#11 plk

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 10:00 PM

I looked into making my own rootbeer this last summer and found that this wiki article is a good source for narrowing down where the flavors in root beer come from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_beer

The article says that these are typically the main ingredients in natural root beer: honey, sarsaparilla, sassafras, hops, coriander, and wintergreen extract. Then there's another brand mentioned that contains slightly different ingredients: sweet birch, licorice root, sarsaparilla, cinnamon, clove, anise, wintergreen, and vanilla.

I would think that the spices used in root beer would make a really nice spice cake, maybe glazed with a syrup using the same flavor profile or frosted with a vanilla buttercream for a root beer float kind of taste.

I do think the foam would work too, and would probably nicely simulate the foam that forms on the top of a root beer float. I'm not that crazy for foams generally, but this application makes sense to me.

Edited by plk, 16 December 2006 - 10:01 PM.


#12 gfron1

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 10:15 PM

Great info guys...I feel like we're on to something here!

Having just done a quick search, I found this message repeatedly:

The original true flavor of root beer comes from sassafras root. Because sassafras root contains safrole, it cannot be sold in the US for human consumption. Sassafras root bark may be sold, although it too contains safrole, but it is not very good at providing flavor to the beverage.

Hmmm...so can I not go to the origin. Am I going to have to use an extract or pre-made syrup. I'll survive, but its just not as much fun for me.

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#13 plk

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 10:34 PM

Actually, I think you should be fine using real sassafras. Here's a quote: "Sassafras Root Bark naturally contains safrole, a suspected carcinogen, but since 1976, commercially available Sassafras Root Bark has been treated to remove safrole."

From: http://www.viable-he.../herbs/s938.htm

#14 highchef

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 10:58 AM

ok, found an old bottle of rootbeer extract. contents: water, caramel color, alcohol, IMITATION sassafras flavor, menthyl salicyate u.s.p.., imitation vanilla, oil of spruce, oil of swet birch. U.S.P.
so, if you get the 'commercially available sassafras root bark' and add vanilla, oil of spruce and sweet birch (available as food grade essential oils) you should come up with the flavor components, or pretty close to it. If you were going to start with regular root beer anyway though, I'd play with the extract first.
which leads to another question. Is a sasprilla the same as a root beer drink? or does it lead off the sassafras but into another direction, like ginger? I just keep thinking of all those old westerns ...

#15 Pam R

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 11:24 AM

I've been enjoying some Boylan's Root Beer lately - which has more of a sarsaparilla flavour to me then ... say... Mugg's or A&W. Excellent stuff.

I love this idea - root beer floats are one of the best things going. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

#16 Lindacakes

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 11:03 AM

Mmmmmm . . . I would order this, I love all things root beer and root beer floats. However, personally, the cake is a downer. What I like about root beer is the soft creaminess, best accented by vanilla ice cream. So I would prefer a root beer creme brulee, a root beer pudding, a root beer ice cream (there's a twist), a root beer cheesecake, etc.

When I think of root beer, I think of the thick glass mugs that A&W serves it in. Accentuation of the general thickness of the beverage . . .

A cake version of this might be more like a brownie . . .
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#17 cdh

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 07:21 AM

I see upthread you wondered why this idea doesn't appeal to me-

To me, root beer is a cold thing, not a hot thing. This is like proposing a hot guacamole.

Furthermore, to get it to the point of a thick sauce, you're going to have to boil it down and caramelize it a bunch, which I think will really change the flavors and drive off the aromatics.

Furthermore, I see a similarity between this and molasses pudding type cakes, and never liked them very much for either their flavor or texture.

Those are my thoughts...
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#18 Pam R

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 10:08 AM

To me, root beer is a cold thing, not a hot thing.  This is like proposing a hot guacamole.


When I was a kid I was in a diner late one evening and the server asked me if I'd ever tried hot Dr. Pepper. I'm not a fan of Dr. Pepper to begin with, so why would I ever want to try it hot?! :huh: For some reason, that is still unknown to me to this day, I did try it - and it was great! Who knew? I say it's worth trying at least once! :wink: Now, if gfron1 can just tell us what to do...

#19 Patrick S

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 12:58 PM

Furthermore, to get it to the point of a thick sauce, you're going to have to boil it down and caramelize it a bunch, which I think will really change the flavors and drive off the aromatics.

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Caramelizing would probably destroy the flavor, you're right, but nowadays there are ways to thicken sauces with little or no heating, such as guar and xanthan gums, or modified starches, like the kind in instant pudding. I've seen the gums available in retail quantities, but not the modified starches.

ETA: I looked for it, and I was wrong -- no-cook thickeners consisting of a modified corn starch/maltodextrin appear to be pretty widely available.

Edited by Patrick S, 21 December 2006 - 01:12 PM.

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#20 gfron1

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 04:10 PM

This whole project is on hold until I finish my croquemboche (SP?) for Sunday, but I am going to do my best to stay away from boiling down rootbeer - I want something that tastes fresher. But I think I will try both techniques (whatever they are) once I am ready just so I can add to the "You know you're an EGulleter when..." Thread.

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#21 gfron1

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 11:27 AM

I'm back on this project finally and hope to have it finished this weekend. I have a question for anyone who's made rootbeer from scratch. I have all of the ingredients, but it also calls for yeast cake. What is the purpose of the yeast? My assumption is that it has more to do with carbonation than flavor...is this true?

The dessert is no longer hot. Since I've been playing with sodium alginate, the dessert is SA rootbeer inside of a tuile orb with vanilla foam. It make sense in my head...now will it make sense on a plate!

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#22 ludja

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 11:41 AM

"SA" rootbeer? (sorry if I'm being dense... :smile:)

The new idea sounds interesting as well. Not that it matters, but in just reading this thread for the first time, I would have gone with a vanilla cake base in combination with the root beer flavors. I think the root beer brings enough unique flavors to the table, so to speak.

So much simpler than the ambitious dessert you are designing, but this thread made me think that I might really like a parfait with alternating layers of root beer granita and vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream... I haven't really thought of using root beer in a dessert before.

edited to add: Is "SA", Samuel Adams?

Edited by ludja, 02 March 2007 - 11:45 AM.

"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."

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#23 gfron1

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 12:55 PM

SA = sodium alginate - little rootbeer caviars ;)

I had thought about the cake at one point - super infusing vanilla into the cake, but have shifted away to a more moist dessert.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#24 ludja

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 02:48 PM

SA = sodium alginate - little rootbeer caviars ;)

I had thought about the cake at one point - super infusing vanilla into the cake, but have shifted away to a more moist dessert.

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Thanks, I realize now I read your post too quickly since you did mention the sodium alginate! The combination of the vanilla foam and rootbeer "caviar" sounds really fun.
"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"


#25 chocklateer

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 04:24 PM

the rootbeer caviar does sound fun!
A thought I had when I first read the beginnings of this thread was "what about a rootbeer sabayon?" Emily Luchetti does a gingerale sabayon in one of her books. I don't see why you couldn't sub rootbeer for the gingerale.
Just thought I'd toss that out there...maybe for next time.
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#26 KKLL00b

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 04:35 PM

What a coincidence that a root beer dessert came up. I'm in the 'early design' stages of a root beer truffle made with white chocolate. I think if I add a little vanilla extract to the white chocolate couverture I could call it a root beer float truffle. The ganache will be made with white chocolate, 'root beer flavoring', honey, heavy cream, and butter. I'm planning to use Zatarain's root beer extract and maybe root beer flavor oil used for lollipops to see which gives the best result.
I also have a mixed case of 12 different root beer sodas in bottles. A root beer soda reduction could be another flavor possibility.

Any other suggestions?

#27 McAuliflower

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 08:24 PM

Rootbeer orbs sound like fun gfron1. Pictures?

Isn't there a thread around here with rootbeer creme brulee? However, I believe that one used boiled down soda syrup.

Another source for rootbeer extract would be to visit your local brew shop. They sell bottled extracts for home bottled rootbeer.
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#28 highchef

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 09:32 PM

OK, now I'm thinking of a reverse rootbeer float. rootbeer in the whipped cream, vanilla (cherry?) soda and ? icecream??? This could go on forever...
This thread is why I bought rootbeer this week.

#29 gfron1

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 09:43 PM

What a coincidence that a root beer dessert came up.  I'm in the 'early design' stages of a root beer truffle made with white chocolate.  I think if I add a little vanilla extract to the white chocolate couverture I could call it a root beer float truffle.  The ganache will be made with white chocolate, 'root beer flavoring', honey, heavy cream, and butter.  I'm planning to use Zatarain's root beer extract and maybe root beer flavor oil used for lollipops to see which gives the best result.
I also have a mixed case of 12 different root beer sodas in bottles.  A root beer soda reduction could be another flavor possibility.

Any other suggestions?

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I was wondering about the combination of white chocolate and rootbeer as well...I thought it might be too sweet. Let us know. And yes, I'll definitely post pics.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#30 gfron1

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:17 PM

In December of 06 I started this dessert...and I'm finally finishing it! It sure has evolved. I'll wrap it up in the next day or two, but yesterday I made rootbeer and then boiled it down into a thick syrup. I drank some tonight in club soda and it was very good. Here's the recipe I used:

1 oz Sassafras root
.5 oz Dandelion root
1 oz Wintergreen
.5 oz Hops
1 oz Juniper berries

16 oz Sugar
8 oz Brown sugar
4 oz Palm sugar
4 oz Honey

2 gallons, water

Rinse sassafras and dandelion in cold water. Crush juniper berries and add along with hops and wintergreen. Boil water and pour half over the herbs. Simmer for a half hour. Strain to get out everything you can. [I had to use sassafras powder since root is not easily accessible due to FDA warnings, so the powder is hard to get out. I tried paper coffee filters, gold tone filters, chinois and ultimately did a gelatin filtration. You may not need to be as picky as I was.] Add the sweeteners and the rest of the water. Let stand until just warm. Strain again.

Lot's of boiling
Posted Image
And lots of straining...lots!
Posted Image

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM






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