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chiantiglace

eGulleters' Plated Desserts

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Lets start this thread off with a "standard" or "simplest form" dessert. From here on out I say no posted dessert should get any simpler than this. Since this isn't really difficult I don't think it will be hard beating it be either.

This is an individual pastry(s) I made for my sister and friends for valentines day and decided it would serve as a great jumping off point for this thread if I turned it into a plated dessert.

Right now I am in the process of of turning the components of this dessert into and elaborate formation (seperated) to show the differences in appereance and shock quality on a plate.

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To start this is a Almond biscuit, chocolate creme brulee, and Kahlua Caramel mousse covered in a mirror chocolate glaze

It's plated with Coffee Anglaise and Chocolate sauce and sugar caramelized onto the plate

Garnished with sugar shards (I made a really nice sugar cone to tilt on the side but right before plated I dropped it and shattered it. Luckily I made a couple shards for the hell of it and used those instead) and dusted with cocoa.

Also I wanted to add, lets try to see everyones own ideas rather than trying to copy things we see out of the books. That will actually help us all out a little more because we all can buy the books but we all can't just jump into each others brains.

P.S. I apologize for the inability to see the brulle because I kind of smeared the mousse over top of it, but its there.


Edited by chiantiglace (log)

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Fabulous topic!!!!!!! I hope others find it as interesting as I do. I'd love to explore this visual topic online.

If you all don't horribly object........I think it's going to be best if we keep this thread very strictly on topic and omit posts just consisting of praise or wow's. I know we all love praise and enjoy giving it.......this thread could serve as a very serious study that would be very educational and a great resource to all.

If you must ooh and aah you can definately pm the member, besides.... theres nothing like a personal message to boost someones ego.

Thanks for your co-operation in advance!

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I'll throw one out there.

Here's my Mocha Pot de Creme with fresh doughnuts:

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Sorry, it's not the best pic in the world.

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Aidensnd

Tell us what the stick thingy is! :raz:

I'll add a suggestion here......when y'all post pics, describe your components! :laugh:

I plan on adding something here soon. I've had a cool idea for a plated dessert and this is

the perfect excuse to do it.

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looks to me like a gold colored chocolate ciggarette. I need to start some combinations like that, various plates and additions.

I also just picked up a bunch of single plates to play with in pictures. Should bring another element to the scene.

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This is a Roasted Pear on a nest of phyllo, inside is a scoop of rosemary ice cream and the drizzles are a red wine reduction.

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I've done a similar dessert but instead of rosemary ice cream I made ginger grape sorbet.

I often thought of how fried cellophane noodles would do in replace of phyllo dough.

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In a similar vein:

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Again, another terrible picture. New camera, flash was killing me...

Citrus poached pear filled with pear brandy pastry cream wrapped in katifi (shredded filo) and baked. Served warm on a pool of chocolate pear sauce and dusted with powdered sugar.

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Chefpeon-

Yup it's a chocolate cigarette coated with gold luster dust.

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We don't get to see the finished plated desserts we make at work since we do the individual components in the morning and they get assembled and plated in the restaurants at night. Here is one from school, though. We had to do a mystery basket dessert using bananas, passion fruit and nuts of some kind (coconut was OK).

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This is caramelized pineapple with banana fritters (slices of banana dipped in batter, coated with dried coconut and deep fried), and passion fruit sherbet. I thought it came out well and really liked the combination of flavors, textures and temperatures.

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I like that Neil. What kind of batter did you use for the bananas?

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I like that Neil. What kind of batter did you use for the bananas?

Just a very simple batter:

2-1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 TBs baking powder

2 cups water

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Everyone, I cannot appologize enough for the picture. This is the only picture that came out well enough to see. For some reason everything that could foul up on my camera did right before shooting this one and its never happened to me before. The camera is 18 years old so I guess I should give it some credit.

This is a Banana Bread Pudding with a milk chocolate-hazelnut ice cream and hazelnut florentine. The ice cream and florentine stand ontop of a sugar cone which is surprisingly sturdy. It is plated with coffee chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and a praline anglaise (which is difficult to see, in the corners).

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I will post recipes later. I need to compose them so they come close to portions with each other.

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Well, I can tell it's spectacular! Great job!

Oh, I used to work at a job that had those exact plates.........

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Here's a link to one of my menus with a picture of a simple dessert we call "Cafe de Olla"

http://www.oyamel.com/pages/dessert.html

The dessert pictured rotates, so you might get the round mole caliente instead. That bowl is relatively cheap and sturdy which is good for a high volume place, it doesn't chip too readily in the dishwasher and it is multi-functional: in this case we pour a thin layer of the milk chocolate-espresso flan into it to set up, then wrap each plate in plastic, date them and keep them 6-to-a-sheetpan in an enclosed rolling rack. We keep 72 of these on hand at any given time. For service, peel off the plastic, sprinkle a little crunchy chocolate-piloncillo crumble on the surface, two little cubes of Kahlua gelee, a spritz of caramelized cinnamon-syrup and finally some anise ice cream. Stuff is arranged and sprinkled precisely, in a quick circular motion, with an organic rather than formal quality to it.

We also use that bowl for fruit soups--and for a few dishes in the salad station. This dessert is representative of how we do many desserts--it can be done in volume, it's simple, designed to be shared, eaten with a spoon from any angle scooping up all of the components. The prep demands aren't that great--the only thing done in advance requiring a little dexterity and finesse is pouring the flan perfectly flat into the bowl--all the individual components can be prepared in bulk--and plating demands are really no different than any salad or other item on the line.

It's similar in presentation concept, I think, to Neil's dessert from school--there's nothing extraneous there--it could just as easily be a savory dish--though in Neil's picture, unless that caramelized pineapple disc was soft enough for some of it to be scooped up easily with a spoon along with other ingredients as you dug down into them, how I'd have to re-work that to meet my chef's eye (Jose Andres) is to dice up that pineapple instead so each scoop through the fritter and sorbet would get some pineapple, effortlessly. And I'd probably try to do that in a shallow bowl so you'd have a lip to help you scoop it all up as it all melts--it can be tough to eat a la minute desserts on flat plates. The plate that devinf used (above) is an example, I think, of a very good one to use, lots of options with that plate.

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Steve, I may be crazy or maybe my computer is just messed up byt I don't see the picture.

I saw a picture that looked like a molten chocolate cake until I closed the window several times to look back at the description, then a picture of the described dessert appeared where the chocolate cake one had been, weird!

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I'll play!

My first couple of images are desserts that are based on one type of ingredient but presented in a number of ways (much like a chocolate sampler, etc.).

First up is pears:

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Pear bavarian with a liquid raspberry couli core topped with poached pears set in a spiced jelly. Quenelle of pear sorbet with a dried pear chip garnish. Port reduction sauce.

Sorry about the slightly blurred image, I later realised that there was a dirty great fingerprint on the camera lense!

Next we have apples (even worse image, sorry :sad: )

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A dome of poached red apple slices encasing a green apple mousse with a core of diced sauteed yellow apples. Topped with a puff pastry 'halo' and caramel apple sauce. I would usually further garnish this with a couple of hazelnuts dipped in caramel but I had a bit too much to drink before serving it and decided that dipping into hot sugar may not be the best idea!

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in this case we pour a thin layer of the milk chocolate-espresso flan into it to set up, then wrap each plate in plastic, date them and keep them 6-to-a-sheetpan in an enclosed rolling rack. 

The prep demands aren't that great--the only thing done in advance requiring a little dexterity and finesse is pouring the flan perfectly flat into the bowl--

Steve, what lengths must you go through to pour the liquid flan in, and keep it LEVEL, and not bumped, before it firms up? Do you set the plates/sheetpans up all ready in the w/i, and then pour carefully, going bottom to top, adding the next empty sheetpan and filling, one at a time? That's the only way I can figure.

I tried doing something just like that at my last job (although I didn't have nearly the cold storage you are obviously given). With the crappy warped sheetpans, people bumping the speedrack, unlevel floors, etc. it ended up being a lot of trouble... because you don't want the still liquid flan to wash up the sides too much, and therefore making it look uneven. I could never get a 'clean' enough result, so I had to abandon my idea. Granted, I worked with subpar equipt, and morons to boot, and instead, I imagine you have pretty nice stuff working at the new Oyamel, and with Jose as well. Is what I suggested your method, or just what exactly is the secret?

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Sim, no, we're pretty bare bones at Oyamel, but only good people grateful for the job and the opportunity last there. Jose Andres, the chef-partner overseeing all of these restaurants, is one of the most special talents in the country, incredibly demanding yet at the same time motivational; he manages to inspire loyalty and retains good people rather than churning through them. I don't have a PacoJet there like I do in other restaurants, not a lot of "toys" or techniques on display like at Cafe/minibar, I'm not even doing a single espuma or anything technically complex. At Zaytinya I use the same china plates used at El Bulli--here, our plates are very utilitarian. What I do have are great ingredients, though, anything I want.

The dessert prep and plating station is 3 feet away and runs parallel to two deck ovens and two huge metal steam kettle things--they're not round but flat rectangles with big metal lids and all day long they're tipping them over and pouring out stock, etc. And yes, you've surmised exactly how I have my cold station girls handle setting the flan: gently re-warm as much flan as you need, they clear out say 14 sheet tray spaces in the rolling rack in the walkin, then slide in and set up 6 empty plates on what will be the bottom-most sheetpan--reach in and pour into the bowls--then repeat with successive sheets and bowls working their way up. That way no one has to move anything, they're wrapped in plastic and dated later. The walkin is so tight for space that all the rolling racks are wedged in place and won't move, so there's no chance of someone banging into it and ruining the whole batch. I have a little zippy plastic sheath over the rack, too, to keep odors out.

In the beginning I had them weigh every bowl as they poured the flan in--to get used to the right amounts and time--it took maybe 2 very slow days for them to be able to do it right without the scale within 10 grams most every time. I also pour the base of another dessert into a different, smaller, bowl--my version of a caramel goat milk cajeta (which is also a kind of "flan" in that I pour the reduced cajeta over yolks and then heat to 185.) That goes a little faster and takes up less space, say 16 bowls to a sheetpan. Like the flan, gallons of the stuff can be made ahead, held for x days, then portioned out daily and bowls filled as needed. It's an elegant presentation and I usually do some version of this in every season at most of the restaurants: right now at Cafe we pour a panela-spice infused gelee in a bowl which serves as the base for a warm Latin baba, at Zaytinya it's a saffron cream in a bowl as the base of an apple/caramelized cinnamon dessert.

The sheetpans in that rack stay in that rack, dedicated to dessert only, and are still perfectly flat after 6 months. Yes, it takes the cooperation of the chef (and I'm lucky Jose hires really talented chefs in their own right.) At Oyamel it's a young just-promoted-to-exec chef named Saul Herrera handling day to day who opened Zaytinya with me (as the sous of cold station--which in Jose's system plates all salads and dessert) and who helped us get a national Beard best new restaurant nomination, then moved over to Cafe Atlantico when I revamped the dessert program there, and then opened Oyamel with me. So he's seen three of my programs and helped implement each one. He "gets" the value of dessert.

At Oyamel I only have that one rolling rack and a single shelf (6 foot wide 18" high) in the walkin, two normal half sheet pan width lowboy reach-in fridges at the dessert plating station, and 25% of one tall typical reachin freezer for longer term storage of dessert-related stuff: ice creams, nuts, frozen purees. There's also a small service freezer near the line dedicated to the ice creams, sorbets, granites. That's it, but that's also all we need for the system and menu there--I developed it to fit that space.

Back of the house space is tight, but as you also guessed, it helps that the space was built up new--the floors are flat, the tiles smooth, the outlets work, dry storage is actually dry, etc.

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Far less advance than what everybody has shared so far....but here's what I served last month:

Coconut Banana Napoleon

Puff pastry, pastry cream made with coconut milk and lightened with whipped cream, banana macerated in spiced Malibou caramel syrup, caramel sauce

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This one gave me a lot of trouble. I messed up two shoots of picture one from film exposure. Also my computer fried from conitnuous power surges one day while I was at work. But finally I got it done real quick with a disposable camera.

Here it is:

Coconut creme brulee sided with a a marbled orange and spiced grape sorbet place inside a fried cellophane basket dusted with sugar. On the plate is brushed with a grape reduction (jam could replace) and orange buttercream (soft and piped)

The brulee has a subtle coconut flavor and aroma consisting of a creamier flavor over sweet because I made the orange sorbet sweet. Carefull with the grape though it has a kick with ingredients of star anise, vanilla, cayenne and pink peppercorns steeped for about 45 minutes together.

I have the recipe's somewhere so I promise I'll post them shortly.

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