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Whats new with Spanish Pastry Chefs


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Speaking with Michael, I emailed him a link I found with Spanish Pastry chefs and some examples of their work.

It happens to be in all in spanish, so if someone could translate some of the key words and phrases I think it would be more helpful.

Ofcourse Albert Adria is there, so is Oriol Balaguer and Frederic Bau

Take a look

http://www.vilbo.com/secciones_saberysabor...es/postres.html

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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Excellent! Thanks so much for finding this site.

For some rudimentary translation you can try Google's Language Tools here. Just paste the URL into the field labeled "Translate web page" and choose "Spanish to English". It will also translate any pages you click to from the originally translated page. It won't get every word, but it will at least give you some idea of what their talking about.

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I've finally had a chance to take a closer look Brian, and it is a great resource. Though I've seen some of these dishes elsewhere, the recipes and presentations seem to have gone through some evolution.

Most of the translation engines I've seen are pretty lame. What I've been doing is keeping a notebook of new Spanish pastry terms, especially the verbs, as I have the most difficulty getting the methods down. And with this new wave of pastry, we can't take too much for granted. I'd like to think we can teach each other!

I have many sites relating to Spanish pastry bookmarked. I'll slip a few in as we go along. I would love to see this thread evolve into a discussion of the techniques, flavors, and presentations that turn us on. Brian, Night, Tan, etc., are you in?

Here's a teaser... Perhaps my favorite Spanish website, it is run in connection to both Montagud Editores (who gaves us books by Hermé, Bau, and Balaguer) and the Spanish pastry magazine, La Confiteria Española. I believe new material is added to the site monthly. Surf around, there is alot in here...

Apicius

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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My god!

Michael I clicked on apicus and was astounded. I have reading through Oriol's book and now this, I'm almost on overload. I am going to begin working closely with a friend of mine (an Exec Chef at a country club, all the tools, no food cost, etc..) He has spent some time with the Adrias and at the Fat Duck in the UK. He has a great working knowledge of the science of pastry and its new direction. He will simplify things to me as we go over the recipes he has compiled. I will keep you all informed.

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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I have to tell you something cool.

I was using free tranlation.com this evening when I saw the web feature.

I used it to translate the site, i think I did the oriol recipe.

It worked like a charm!

Only weirdness was the usual "leave to be the same temperature as enviorment" type stuff.

2317/5000

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How do you go about translating the whole site?

Or must you do each recipe separately?

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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BPG : when I translate the site, I have 2 windows open. One w/ freetranslation.com, one w/ the site.

I click on the recipe I want to translate, cut and paste the http of that page into the web address window of the translator (web page translator window) and voila!

Hope it helps.

2317/5000

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Re: Translation. I am now the owner of Balaguer's English edition. Like Steve I'm looking forward to using it alongside the Spanish edition. I can't believe how much I missed in the opening chapters alone. Having all of this information in one place will be invaluable for many pastry chefs.

Moving on though, to those of us who have tried some of these techniques or recipes, and those who are now inspired to do so, some thoughts to keep the discussion going....

In what ways are you rethinking texture and temperature contrast within a plated dessert? What techniques are you utilizing?

What flavor combinations have you discovered that are new and exciting? Which examples might still be too 'out there'?

Are you looking at 'old' concepts in a new way, deconstructing them, and giving them a new spin? New uses for 'old' equipment?

Moving in new directions and exploring new ideas... what has and hasn't been well received by guests/clients?

With the obvious language barriers, what concepts/techniques/recipes are you finding hard to decipher or fully understand?

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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Personnally, even if their books impressed me a lot, I cannot say that I've change my ''style'' of doing desserts after reading them.

But, some of their basic recipes, ideas or technics have made their way into my desserts.

I like to surprise the people who are eating my desserts. New textures (very light foams), unexpected temperature ( hot gelée), ''trompe l'oeil'' (one recipe in their last book come to my mind: Foie gras terrine, in the shape of a candy wrapped with a very thin sheet of clear gelée) are different ways of introducing some surprises in desserts.

On a more practical level, some techniques, are now part of my everyday pastry tools:

I use croquant a lot ( caramel powder mixed with something else: nut powder, gingerbread powder...). I find that their texture, taste and look better than all the other caramel tuile recipes I ever tested.

Foams are also incredible. You can mousse anything without loosing any flavour.

The way they combine flavor hasn't had a big influence on me. Flavor combinations are very personnal for me. I work with more ''classic'' flavor. It's possilbe to find ''surprising'' combination of flavors on my menus: Milk chocolate, truffle, pecans and bananas. Avocado, coconut milk, lime and vanilla. But, these combination are part of a very personnal process...

Most of the time, a like to work with classic flavors and then, I use some ''new'' techniques.

Patrice Demers

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Re: Translation: Los Postres, etc...

I'm concentrating on the recipes now. Or rather, the intros to the techniques involved. I had never worked with pulled sugar before, which is what the caramelo nuetro is, I suppose. It seemed like it when I experimented. BTW, do you think that Alberts book is covered in the new El Bulli book and CD rom?

I REALLY want the Oriol Balaguer book, english edition. Too bad it's on the expensive side, not that that will stop me:-) Just have to wait a bit.

In what ways are you rethinking texture and temperature contrast within a plated dessert? What techniques are you utilizing?

I am doing the desserts in two restaurants here and in both I have to stay aware of how much plating I can handle, or rather, the restaurant crew can. I don't do service @ the moment. There are only so many hours in my day...

I am trying to think outside the box more. Using foams rather then coulis. Flavouring caramels for sauces, mounting them with a bit of gelatine for body. Ditto syrups.

Gelees are being accepted with open arms. I've been doing them ever since I read the article in Pastry Art & Design about Adria and one of the recipes was for the campari gelee. I was inspired to do a Chambord gelee for a p-nut butter and banana chocolate cake type thing a chef of mine had designed and that led to a grand marnier gelee /spiced panna cotta and now to an orange juice based gelee for a 'catalan' styled one. Also a raspberry one for a heavily creamed and vanilla infused PC.

I want to experiment with the croquant liquido type cookie strings and pulled sugar things.

Are you looking at 'old' concepts in a new way, deconstructing them, and giving them a new spin?

They're giving me some ideas on tiramisu, that's for sure,LOL!

Anything to make that type of thing more interesting. To me and to chefs who run the restaurants. Because people ALWAYS want to eat them!

Moving in new directions and exploring new ideas... what has and hasn't been well received by guests/clients?

I don't think soups are ever that well received, here or even in NYC, where I used to be.

Cheese in desserts are usually turn offs as far as I can see

Rhubarb, unless in a crisp or Betty type thing, doesn't usually sell. I worked with a chef who worked and worked on a frangipane based /strawberry/rhubarb gelee tart that just wouldn't sell!

And this was in a pretty well heeled, world recognized destination spot.

I think figs are the kind of things that chefs love but most diners don't want to know about, unless it's a fig newton. Really! But, I would love to try that confited type of fig dessert that is in AA's book.

I also try new stuff out as specials, just to see what servers think and of course how customers react.

I think things like beets, eggplants,etc., would probably be pretty hard to get people to try in desserts but I want to try them for myself. That's how these guys get to me.

With the obvious language barriers, what concepts/techniques/recipes are you finding hard to decipher or fully understand?

It seems like most of these techniques are based on fundamentals. I'm still trying hard to understand how to boil sugar "without hardly movement" @ 158c but I'll get there. One thing that stumped me was the phrase "Vaso Americano". Thought and thought and then one day i looked at a picture and realized I was looking at an industrial type of blender!!! Other phrases that have stumped me HAVE been documented on these very pages, :_)

Another thing is the croquant liquidos. Would you put the pulverized cake or other product in the blender and add the simple syrup, then the glucose? Or heat the SS and the glucose up and add? My first run I did the latter and I thought it was too runny. It didn't bake amazing so the next time I'll try the former. Maybe some of the recipes weren't tested real well, like a lot of cookbooks?

The sabor site is so cool but a lot of those types of desserts are going to be outside my realm of reality, due to plating, mise en place involved and sheer labor involved.

But, they have me constantly thinking and getting excited about new possibilities!!!

2317/5000

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I think that you can sell people on relatively unusual flavor combinations if you have an innate 'good sense' of how to combine them in an accessible manner.My two best selling desserts for the past month use goat cheese,figs,and olive oil gelato,but they are presented in a down to earth way-I don't torture the food to death into something unrecognizable,and people find it approchable,and are willing to try it.I found the new combinations of textures in the Spanish books intriguing,but try to transfer them into something more simple...some of the things that I tried,for the hell of it,like croquant made from cake,ultimately seemed like conceptual exercises that weren't worth the effort.

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Excellent.

To echo what Patrice wrote, and also the point raised by wingding, I tend to identify with the 'spirit' of what is coming out of Spain; it will always be up to us to filter what we see and taste through ourselves, to make our own style. With the emergence of any sort of vanguard, there will surely be those who merely imitate, who hop on the 'trends' without much thought behind it. Precisely why I think this discussion is important, to explore whatever impact this subject has on a personal level, and where we take these ideas on our own.

Patrice, you posted recently on your ideas for the menu at Les Chèvres. Vegetables will apparently play a significant role in some your desserts. In the context of this discussion, are you able to describe a general approach, or even a specific example, to how you think about vegetables in dessert, both in terms of flavor and methods?

Tan, a great contribution. The great thing about the caramelos and croquants... whereas pulled sugar is sometimes nice to look at, these are actually meant to be eaten, to supply textural contrasts and flavor! As for the liquid croquant, the glucose and syrup are simply warmed (60ºC/140ºF), then blended. After straining, the mixture should rest, refrigerated for several hours. If your attempt wasn't chilled and rested, I can see how it might have been too loose.

I guess it's my turn...

I'm working on breaking down the common flavor combinations, trying to get deeper than the product itself, if that makes any sense. Taking familiar components and ingredients and concentrating on the base perceptions, then working my way back up, with the possibility of discovering something I had not tried before. That, is in part, one of the interpretations I get from someone like Adria (and Pierre Gagnaire and others); in a sense ridding ourselves of the preconceptions we have with say, vegetables (Note: they do often play on those preconceptions and even exagerrate them in many cases, the flipside of the idea I'm trying to get across). But if we look at corn, carrots, or a sweet potato, we can basically reduce their base flavor to one level of sweetness. As wingding wrote, however, an "innate 'good sense'" is imperative. These exercises sometimes fail, and the 'classics' are just that, and for good reason. One must always ask the question, "Is it interesting or delicious?" But training myself to think via this process requires tasting, and really helps me focus on the flavor, rather than simply knowing that 'x always goes with y.'

Balance and restraint is also something I'm striving for. If we go to the link that Brian provided in the first post of this thread, and clicking on the set of Adria desserts, the very first dish, Royal de Fruta de la Pasión, Espuma de Coco y Granizado de Menta , demonstrates this wonderfully for me. The idea of a dairyless custard is by no means new, but one that is under-used, I think. Perhaps simply lemon curd refined? But it is so perfect for this; no cream or butter to muddy things up, and the eggs thickening, and softening the passionfruit's acidity just enough. The texture is no doubt amazing when gently warmed. Top that with the cool, clean coconut foam. The strong herbal flavor and texture of the granité cuts right through the foam and royale, contrasting with flavor, texture, and temperature. There is so much going on with just three components; each one plays a role and there is nothing extraneous. This is the kind of stuff that speaks to me the most- approaching a dish with certain intentions, and using good judgment and restraint in realizing it. Finesse.

We have become aware of some of the 'deconstructed' classics like tiramisu, crema catalana, black forest, etc. But I find the deeper issue of how we are rethinking dessert to be more intriguing. Adria, Butron, and Balaguer, and their French counterparts, Conticini and maybe even Bau, are placing dessert in a whole new context. A dessert 'cuisine'. In addition to techniques, there is a certain shift in the organization of the pastry kitchen and how the desserts are executed. More à la minute cooking, an emphasis on immediacy... The use of stocks, juices, syrups, reductions, caramels- more as building blocks rather than 'garnishes'. The classic bases- sablée, puff, sponge, pastry cream, anglaise- are still there, but being produced and utilized in a different way. We are rethinking components either through science (pâte a bombe, Hervé This' chocolate chantilly) or through new technology and equipment (Pacojet, foam siphon, cryovac machine, steamer). It's all pretty exciting, if not a little overwhelming, too!

Specific things that I would like to play with....

Adria's 'falso bizcocho' or 'fake sponge', 'powdered chocolate ice cream', and further exploration into the use of salt (bacon, brines) and vinegars in dessert.

From Balaguer, the 'bizcocho al vapor' or sponge 'baked' in the steamer.

Jordi Butron's concept of the dessert degustation at Espai Sucre and his ideas of soups and salads that mimic the progression and harmony of savory menus.

I don't want to veer too wildly off the topic of Spanish pastry, but three interesting threads, two old and one currently active, discuss some issues that might have some relevance to this discussion...

Molecular Gastronomy

Heston Blumenthal on Dessert

Trio

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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Great stuff to read, Michael.

One thing I would like to make clear.

I'm a fan of food, and of the people who create food that interests me. Just as I'm a fan of music and the people who help create it (producers, who are much like chefs or even movie directors)

Since my love of cooking and eating is what led me to get into this line of work, I have to try tastes, concepts, and recipes, for my own pleasure. And hopefully I hit things that will lead me to something that I think the public must try!. And the great thing about being a chef is that I'm in places where ingredients are rarely obstacles.

Michael, I rested my croquant mix for around 18 hours,8 of that non-chilled to

"absorb the humidity" as described. Thanks for the tip!

2317/5000

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Vegetables in my desserts can act in 2 different ways:

-Because of their natural sweetness, some of them ( carrot, corn, butternutsquash, sweet potato...) can play a main part in a dessert.

The first example that come to my mind is the dessert I did last year in NY:

Almost a Carrot Cake...: Cream cheese Panna cotta, carrot and orange gelée, cinnamon crumble and a carrot and pineapple salad. You can easily see that this dessert is a ''deconstruction'' of a classic carrot cake. But, the main idea behind this dessert was to be able to really get the taste of carrots in a dessert, more than in a classic carrot cake. The carrot gelée, made with carrot juice and a little bit of orange juice was a very simple way of introducing a very clean carrot taste. The carrot salad topping, made of a julienne of carrot cooked in orange juice with some pineapple dices, added texture to the dessert and reintroduced carrot taste.

-Vegetables can also play a supporting role in a dessert. Some vegies, like fennel and celery, have a very complementary flavor to other fruits.

Fennel, with his anis flavor is the pecfect match with any citrus. I used it last year in a clementine juice ''soup'' with a yogourt and lemon sorbet. The fennel was very thinly sliced a we poured on them a hot syrup to confit them slightly. The syrup, now infused with an anis flavor, was then drizzle on the soup.

I'm quite prudent with the use of vegetables in desserts. I use them only when I REALLY thnik that it will be able to push my dessert into another level. And, when I used them, I really want that the people who are eating my desserts to able to taste it clearly. I wont put a beet coulis on a plate for the sake of doing it. But, if I really think that it could bring something interesting to my dessert, I will use it ( I haven't still find a good application for beets in my desserts... :hmmm: )

Patrice Demers

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Is 'impulsor' in recipes ... baking powder?

Yes.

Apparently derived from the verb impulsar, to impel, to drive, or act as a catalyst.

'Baking powder' can also translate into levadura quimica, not to be confused with just plain levadura, which means 'yeast'.

Tan, out of curiosity, which recipe are you working with?

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

In case some of you missed it, there is a current thread discussing Jordi Butron (chef of Espai Sucre, the 'dessert-only' restaurant in Barcelona) and the special event he attended in Montreal.

No veggies if you don't finish dessert...

And some background... apologies... both are in Spanish....

From the Apicius Site

O doce sabor do Espai Sucre

Edited to add additional links...

Edited by Michael Laiskonis (log)

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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Here is a link to a translation of the Apicius article...

Edit: Due to the standards set forth by the User Agreement, it is advisable not to post at length material under copyright. I've edited tan319's posted translation to provide a link to where the site can be viewed translated into English! ML

Edited by Michael Laiskonis (log)

2317/5000

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