Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We Must Go Deeper 8/22/10

Summer is winding down here on-campus as internships and jobs come to an end. Our group had one last potluck and decided to go for perhaps the best idea, originated by George, I believe: the Yo Dawg/Burrito/Inception/Hamlet potluck. In other words, all food needed to be food inside of food.

I thought long and hard on what to do and was constantly dissatisfied with what I was coming up with. I know many people talk about strokes of insights, and I think that's perhaps the best description of my idea. When I woke up Sunday morning, I immediately thought of stuffing strawberries, and the rest of it fell into place.

First, I wanted to stuff the strawberries with some sort of custard or pudding. I decided to do flan since it seemed relatively easy and exotic. The syrup and filling both went just fine.

No new recipe goes untarnished, however, as I was juggling a few tasks and forgot to put the foil on top of the flan in the oven.

Had this been my only contribution, this would've been disastrous. Since it was only stuffing, however, and would be cut into pieces anyways, presentation was less important.

The next step would be to stuff and dip the strawberries. Trader Joe's had some gargantuan strawberries (maybe 2-3 inches at the largest), so I hulled them and stuffed them with flan. I tried to cut out cone-shaped pieces to fit into the strawberries, but I ended up just stuffing it in. It lost some of the consistency, but that was suspect anyways.

Dark chocolate from Trader Joe's. Given everything I was planning, I decided to go dark since I figured there would be enough to make it sweet. The steamer was a blessing as it made melting the chocolate a breeze. You can see the shortening on top to make the chocolate easier to work with.

My sisters cautioned me about stuffing with flan in case it melted or fell apart while in the strawberry covered in molten chocolate, but the flan held together quite well, and I never had to worry about it. Into the refrigerator they go.

In good fashion, however, 3 layers wasn't enough. We must go deeper. Particularly, foods inside of themselves is even better, so the last layer (a tip from Ben) was strawberry mousse, a combination of something custard/pudding-y and using parts of the inside of the strawberries cleaned out earlier.

I had just bought about half of the strawberries, so they weren't extremely sweet, and the amount of sugar in the recipe was pretty low. Unfortunately, after mixed, it's too late. I should've tasted the strawberry puree before mixing it in. Oh well.

Overall, I was pleased with how it turned out. They got more hubbub than I was intending and thus were perhaps a little underwhelming, but I picked up a few techniques along the way and was satisfied that I wasn't just passing along loads of sugar.

As I said, things are wrapping up here, so there might not be a lot of action for awhile now. We'll update as things come up, though, so keep tuning in. 

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