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Play with your food: Ode To (Late) Summer

By Nick Wuest,
ICC Pastry Arts student
(read more about Nick)

Did you miss me? To say I’ve been busy would be an understatement.

Two weeks ago I did this:

Pirate Ship Chocolate Showpiece

Then a few days later I did this:

James Beard Foundation International Culinary CenterJames Beard House Dinner

And a few days after that I did this:

World Wrestling Entertainment cake

I’m more than halfway through my pastry program at ICC and find myself pushing even harder to find a ceiling I’m beginning to think does not exist. Projects have gotten very ambitious and thus more time-consuming. So whether you missed me or not, I missed you and writing for this blog.

With Labor Day coming up along with the one-year anniversary of my Frozen S’mores I decided to reinvent them as a plated dessert. It’s early apple season, and Union Square is packed with beautiful apples just hours off the tree.

Union Square Market Apples

Combining those, some bourbon, and the S’more, I think of this plate as a farewell to summer on the last BBQ holiday of the season and a welcome to the dawning fall. And in the spirit of summer we get to blow stuff up one more time.

Special Equipment:

  • Stand mixer with whisk and paddle
  • Ice cream maker
  • Food processor
  • Cedar sheets, soaked for 20m before use
  • Propane torch

The recipes for the graham crumble and the ice cream can be found in the original Frozen S’more post so I won’t waste space retyping it here.

BOUCHON BROWNIE

This formula is from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery. I simply scaled it up 25% and baked it in a different mold than the “bouchon” created by the bakery.

  • 178g unsalted butter, divided 100g/78g
  • 63g all-purpose flour
  • 63g Dutch unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8t salt
  • 95g whole egg
  • 203g sugar
  • 1/2tsp vanilla paste
  • 141g semi-sweet chocolate chips

Sift the flour and cocoa powder, set aside.

Melt 100g butter, place the rest in a heat proof bowl. Pour the hot butter into the bowl and allow it all to mostly melt with a few small pieces remaining.

In the stand mixer whisk egg, sugar, and vanilla to combine well. Alternate adding the butter and dry ingredients until all are fully combined, scarping the bowl as needed to ensure proper mixing. Fold in the chocolate chips. Cover the batter and let it rest for 90 min in a cool spot (don’t chill it). At this point the batter can be chilled for up to 2 days but must be brought back to room temperature before baking.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Lightly grease the molds/pans with melted butter and pipe the batter in. Bake the brownies 20-30 min until a tester comes out clean (test more than one spot in case you touch a melted chip). Cool the brownies for 10 min in the mold, then unmold and cool completely on a rack.

Keep the brownies wrapped airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.

BROWN BUTTER-BOURBON APPLES

  • 3 apples, firm for cooking, peeled, ½” thick rings with the core removed
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 40g sugar
  • 25g bourbon

Heat the butter in a pan (preferably over an open flame). Add the apples in an even layer and cook, turning once for about 4 min until the butter starts to brown. Add the sugar to each side and cook for another 2 min. Remove the pan from the heat, add the bourbon all at once. Tip the pan over the flame to ignite the steam and flambé the apples until the flames recede. (If you don’t have access to an open flame use a long lighter to ignite the bourbon).

Remove the apples from the pan to another plate and use as soon as possible.

ASSEMBLY

Wrap the brownie in a cedar sheet, and while holding it with a pair of tongs hit it with the torch to warm it slightly and impart some smoke flavor. Unwrap the brownie and place it on the plate. Fill the trench with crumble. Arrange a warm apple slice next to it and spoon a quenelle of ice cream on top of the apple slice.

Smore plated dessert

I have to say it’s good to be back. Those two weeks away from writing felt like an eternity. Thanks for reading.

Stay hungry.

Nick