Evelina Knodel & Derek Krouch
Initial ideas from brainstorming sessions from first class session and out of class:
Set something on fire and let it drop into a cup to heat a soup
Dropping something onto a stretchy material
Pressing a gel through a thing with holes
Hanging something from the ceiling and have people eat it
Croquette is flung into a bowl/cup of sauce
Lollipop dipping station with series of sauces (with diff. colors?)
Ball or pastry with outer shell that is thin and breaks open like an egg
Meatballs filled with spicy cheese
Play on loaded baked potato
Squish baked potato through a ricer
Sauce/puree in a bowl with a cracker layer on top and a ball of cheese is dropped through to break the cracker
White soup and use eye dropper to drop in something red (cranberry, beet juice)
Volcano mechanism--press down on a liquid which overflows
Large yogurt gel ball that breaks before eating
Ball on stick with different layers of flavors. As you eat, you get diff. flavors
We had two main ideas in class. These were:
1. Pancake sandwich. People would use the pancake as a canvas to decorate using a variety of different colored sauces. They would then put the other layer on and eat after potentially warming it up.
2. Fondue bar. People would be given a lollipop of bread or dough of some sort that they could dip in different flavored fondues (cheese, chocolates, other flavors, etc).
In the end, we decided to go with a combination of the two. Instead of a pancake, we want to make gougeres, or cheese puffs, which people can fill with different flavored sauces, each with a different color. Here are the gougeres:
Some issues we had were that they didn't puff up as much as we had wanted. Also, they're a bit hard to fill with sauce. We are going to try adding some extra egg to hopefully give them height and puff after speaking with Diane. She had stated that it was due to the dry air of the winter was the reason they were not puffing up as much. We are also going to add a tad of sugar.
For the sauces, we want to make the following five:
"Orange Oasis": squash, carrots, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, *balsamic vinegar
"Blissful Beige": cauliflower, salt, pepper, sour cream, *mushrooms
"Green Goodness": basil, spinach, green onions, olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice, pine nuts, salt, garlic, *avocado
"Red Rendezvous": tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, basil, oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne, chili powder, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, honey *cocoa powder
"Pink Paradise": beets, vanilla, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, half and half, sour cream, *nutella
*: secret ingredient
Here are some process photos:
We put all the sauces in squeeze bottles thinking people could just punch a hole in the gougeres and fill them, but in the end, we decided it's easier if we just cut off the tops and allow them to fill the cavity that way. We tried it out in class, and it worked pretty well. We need to puree our sauces more so they are smoother and thicken the red sauce. We also want to tweak the flavors a bit so they are stronger.
Originally, we wanted to allow people to just choose however many and whichever flavors they wanted, but we weren't going to show them what was in each one. However, we decided that to make it more of an experience, we are going to have them roll two dice to decide which two flavors they get to try. If they roll a six, they get to choose anything to their liking. Also, we are going to have them guess what the "secret ingredient" in the flavors they chose was once they have eaten it to force them to concentrate on the flavors. If they guessed right, they win a prize. They will get to look at a card with all the ingredients except the secret one so it is easier to determine. Not sure what the prize will be yet.
To tweak the flavors of the sauces, we decided to add nutella to the beet sauce, balsamic vinegar to the orange sauce, and cocoa powder to the red sauce. We also elevated each of the flavors as well as blending them well in the Vitamix to make them smoother and creamier. They taste a lot better now!
We are going to name our event: "A Little Piece of Heaven: the Ultimate Flavor Pairing Experience" (The first time we ate one, we thought we was in heaven, so...). We are planning to splatter paint the table cloth because we're going for a playful and exploratory atmosphere. That evening, we got a black tablecloth and painted the cloth with various bright colors and shapes.
For the event, we ended up not using the paint splattered table cloth. It just looked to young, but we did have colorful lights and music! The gougeres turned out great with the addition of an extra egg white, some sugar, and a little tweaking of the temperature settings on the oven. We baked them at 425 for 15 minutes and then at 375 for about 20 more minutes, and that worked perfect! After baking them, we individually cut a slit into each of the gougeres so that it was easy to fill for the audience. They puffed up and were hollow on the inside so people could fill them with sauce.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience. It was fun getting to guess the flavors (but difficult). The gougeres were warmed up throughout the event with a microwave oven.
All in all, a fantastic experience for them and for us!
1 cup water
7 tbsp. butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
4 eggs + 1 egg white
3/4 cup gruyere cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Bring the water, butter, salt, and sugar to a simmer over med. high heat and cook until the butter has melted. Add the flour all at once, reduce the heat to med. low and continue to stir over heat until mass has formed a clump and pulled away from the sides of the sauce pan. Continue to stir for another minute, then remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
Once cooled, add in the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is incorporated before adding the next. Add the egg white last. Dough should be smooth and form soft peaks. Add the cheese and mix until incorporated.
Either using two spoons or a piping bag, form the dough into little balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. They should be about 2 inches wide and a few inches apart. Pat them down with wet fingers to make them smooth and brush them with some egg wash (1 egg yolk+water). Bake them for 15 minutes at 425, reduce the temp to 375 and bake for another 20 minutes until puffed and golden.
For the sauces, see above.