Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Non Conventional Pastry Ingredients


cbarre02
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have seen a few post (and have made a few myself) that relate to the use of unconventional pastry incidents. The introduction of savory herbs, animal fats, vegetables, grains, legumes, etc. I am rather fascinated with these ideas and would like to explore the possibilities that are presents.

I was wondering what extremes you have seen or have thought of that pastry could possibly take advantage of. Possibly the introduction of proteins into our dessert courses (as to me desserts are a part of savory items and should not be segregated). We have foams, air, gellees, and wide array of avant-garde techniques. I understand and respect all of these ideas... but new flavors, am exciting to me too. I don't want to bend the rules with our responses, and I don't want to break any rules either. Lets play this one like there are no rules. Ideas and dreams are just that, they are not real. We don't have to put them into action unless we truly believe in them.

For me... I would like to see tubers and squash play a bigger roll in our desserts, as well as legumes. I think that smoke could play a wonderful part in desserts that are based with fruits. I think that cured meats (or derivatives of cured meats i.e. fat) could be used as well. Miso is something else that has caught my attention as of late. It has a unique flavor that could (in the background) offer an interesting perspective to desserts. I like the idea of doing things in the style of crème brulee. Such as pressing squash through a tamis seasoning and placing in a ring mould and finishing with sugar like a brulee.

Just more room for thinking. It is the most fun part of our job, at lest to me.

Cory Barrett

Pastry Chef

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me... I would like to see tubers and squash play a bigger roll in our desserts, as well as legumes.

No kidney beans, please.

Of course bean paste has long been a traditional staple of Japanese dessert; it probably wouldn't be hard to adapt to euro-style dessert.

Miso is something else that has caught my attention as of late.  It has a unique flavor that could (in the background) offer an interesting perspective to desserts. 

William Shurtleff's Big Book of Miso has a short section of miso-bearing dessert recipes. Misos vary a lot in their natural sweetness. Haven't tried any of these recipes myself yet, though lately I've been trying to find more uses for it. Actually, now that I'm thinking of it, miso might solve a problem I've been working on.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of interesting notions are out there, for sure...

I've used squashes and sweet potatoes in many desserts, and certainly a creme brulee sort of thing is a good option. Or use the cooked puree in a stirred custard with citrus.

One of the instructors at my school had a tart on the menu with sweet potato grated raw, then combined with chopped nuts and warm spices and tossed with sugar syrup. This was baked in a standard short dough, in an 11" tart pan. It was pretty good, though I wasn't quite happy with the spices. I plan to work on that one in the fall, when sweet potatoes are cheap again.

Animal fats? Edna Staebler ("Food that really Schmecks") insists that rendered chicken fat makes the best cookies...it's a texture thing. Perhaps that could be adapted to other desserts?

I've been toying with the idea of smoking half-dried pear halves for a dessert...thinking of a fresh cheese and a middlin' sweet sauce, maybe even maple or birch syrup. Still hypothetical until I borrow a smoker from the in-laws.

I've just recently added fenugreek seeds to my pantry, and I'm intrigued by the notion of using the toasted seeds (ground) in cookies or pastries. They have that interesting earthiness to them, but also a note of toasted butterscotch. I suppose I should schlep over to the Indian food forum and ask if there's a tradition of using them in sweets.

One afterthought...the Acadians, in my native Nova Scotia, had a traditional dessert involving salt pork. Fry slices of salt port until crisp. Place sliced apples and a piece of pork on a square of pie crust. Fold the corners up to surround (but NOT enclose) the filling; it is necessary that there be a bit of a lip all the way around the pastry. Bake in a hot oven. At about the halfway point, remove the sheet from the oven and drizzle hot maple syrup down the the opening in the top of the pastry. Return to the oven and finish baking. When you take the pastries from the oven, drizzle them again with maple syrup, this time allowing some to run over the outside of the pastry. Cool at least halfway before serving, if you have sufficient willpower.

There was a recipe for this on the Slow Food website, but it seems to be gone now. Pity.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of afterthoughts (or more accurately, things I'd have put in the first post if I could just master the whole notion of thinking more before I hit "Add Reply"):

First, thank you Chef Laiskonis for the link to the older thread. I'm new here, and ploughing through the archive will take me months...great discussion! Shame the event didn't come off.

And Cbarre, there is a strong tradition in the Middle East and India of using rice and legume flours in sweet dishes. I recently made shortbread-ish cookies using rice flour and chickpea flour (two kinds, not combined in the one) for a course in International Cuisine. Both were from Najmieh Batmanlij's Iranian cookbooks.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

okay, i'm letting the cat outta the bag here... i've kept this one secret for a while.

AVOCADOS. slice them and dip them in chocolate, make a mouse outta them, they are super creamy and impart no discernable flavor (the color can be weird)

try this:

cube avocados and mount on toothpicks. freeze.

melt, temper, and melt some good dark chocolate

dip avocados in chocolate, set on parchment.

spritz with lime juice.

right before the chocolate fully hardens, use a simply piece of the skin to add avocado-like indentations to the chocolate.

they are fantastic.

oh and Robert Pickarski invented a cheesecake crust which uses couscous as its base. it is really good.

"The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom."

---John Stewart

my blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am aware of the use of lentils in Indian desserts. I recently made a brittle from chickpea flour, and I found it quite interesting. I have done a bit of research on Indian cuisine (and actually the Hindu religion) as of late, and find it quite interesting. I believe that the pastry world could discover some new things if we were to delve deeper, instead of just skimming the surface.

I think that screw pine essence is a fascinating additive to foods, as well as the other perfumes used in Indian cuisine. Jaggery is a wonderful sugar alternative, and has much of the same characteristics as Colombian panela (which is intriguing when paired with anise flavors). Thanks for the input.

Cory Barrett

Pastry Chef

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 years later...

olives in green olive macarons!

They were so good. I've still got some of the buttercream left - going to take it to the class I'm teaching tomorrow and see if we can make a chocolate filling with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah Kerry, most of the shockers from the time this thread was started are commonplace or old-school now. One of Michael Laiskonis most recent posts was discussing chorizo in the pastry kitchen. Carrot, celery, peas, miso, bacon, beets, avocado, edamame, chanterelle, chiles, bell peppers, parsnip, prosciutto, olives, corn, potato, almost any herb you can think of and much more have been/are being used in desserts and confections. I think it would be extremely difficult for an ingredient to be considered unconventional in pastry at this time without it tasting like it shouldn't be there at all.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't see bacon in here - and I'm sure there a lot of other non conventional ingredients in use. Anything come to mind?

I've done a few bacon things, and always end up concluding that they needed more bacon. I made a batch of bacon truffles recently that I thought had potential, but I am curious how adding cooked meat to a confection affects the shelf life. Would bacon bits in a cream or butter ganache be a problem? What about other animal fats? How could you use foie gras fat in a bonbon?

I've also made foie gras and salmon ice creams, smoked tea creme brulee, curry caramel, pepper meringue, pear-shiso sorbet, tarragon granita, rosemary bonbons, and basil coulis for a strawberry and rhubarb dessert.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't see bacon in here - and I'm sure there a lot of other non conventional ingredients in use. Anything come to mind?

I've done a few bacon things, and always end up concluding that they needed more bacon. I made a batch of bacon truffles recently that I thought had potential, but I am curious how adding cooked meat to a confection affects the shelf life. Would bacon bits in a cream or butter ganache be a problem? What about other animal fats? How could you use foie gras fat in a bonbon?

I've also made foie gras and salmon ice creams, smoked tea creme brulee, curry caramel, pepper meringue, pear-shiso sorbet, tarragon granita, rosemary bonbons, and basil coulis for a strawberry and rhubarb dessert.

I made the foie gras caramels - used it to replace the butter. Tasty!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like uni ice cream a lot. Did a really traditional chocolate fondant with that and a white chocolate ponzu sauce.

Always looking for alternative fats to use, since I have a bad dairy allergy myself. I'll usually take something neutral with body, like rice milk and emulsify in the alternative fat (bacon, foie, uni, whatever) to have a liquid substitution w the exact same fat %. Presence of solids in the milk protein is harder to understand and replicate but I don't think many people would detect anything texturally "off". Dehydrated coconut milk is helpful in adjusting these alt fat recipes too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...