The New Bakers Dozen
My dessert for competition

The The Bakers Dozen: My dessert for competition
By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Sunday, March 26, 2000 - 02:02 am: Edit

I updated the Table Wine and Dessert Pairing thread, but nobody responded to it. I'm hoping everyone just missed it, since I could really use your feedback.

I'm doing a chardonnay sabayon napped over sauteed rhubarb that has been sprinkled with fresh myers lemon juice. Garnish is the zest from the lemons tossed in some granulated sugar. The dessert tastes fabulous and pairs really well with the wine -- the simple part is done.

Now, I need to figure out a nice way to present 350 tasting portions. I was thinking of simply piping the sabayon overtop of some rhubarb in 3.25 oz portion cups.

Also, I figure that I'm going to need to produce 4-5 gallons of the sabayon. I was considering scraping sterno jelly into a pan, lighting it, and holding it under a 20 qt. hobart bowl while it whips the mixture. Hopefully, there is a simpler, easier way that doesn't require pyrotechnics or making a dozen batches.

Finally, I'm not sure if using the word rhubarb in the name of the dessert is going to stir up preconceived notions of strawberry-rhubarb pie, which this dessert is definitely not. Any advice?

Thanks, Mike

By W.DeBord on Sunday, March 26, 2000 - 09:01 am: Edit

There are details you need to explain.....

(I know they are the same thing, different language different name) FOR ME sabayon is a cooked custard with whipped cream folded into it. Zabilione (sp?) is a whipped custard serve warm. Which way are you doing it, warm or cold?

How are you presenting your judged piece, so that we know how to keep your sample on the same line?

Why don't you use the frying pan your using to saute your rhubarb in as a water bath when making your sabayon? I probably wouldn't attempt to do this in one batch, do you have to? Exactly what are the conditions of your kitchen? For instance nothing but what you bring with you to prepare this or a small tent kitchen etc...?

I don't have a preconcieved idea when I read the name rhubarb. The name/title of your dessert will set the tone.

By panini on Sunday, March 26, 2000 - 10:01 am: Edit

I would not fool around with sterno in quantity. I believ e the flames are burning a by-product when the sterno is heated. Also mixing bowls are not made to be cooked in, I would definitely not try to cook something in an aluminum bowl.
Like W.DeBord, I'm not sure of your method and proceedure on the "Zabaglione ", I think it was the French who butchered it into sabayon. I too, use a base and add cream.

I agree, rhubarb should not be a problem.
This dessert sounds wonderful!

By Panini (Panini) on Sunday, March 26, 2000 - 10:02 am: Edit

one more question. Will you poach the lemon zests or use them raw?

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Sunday, March 26, 2000 - 11:12 am: Edit

Here is what I am doing in detail:

(Yield: 6 servings)
Cold Sabayon
Mix 6 oz. chardonnay, 5 oz. sugar, and 7 yolks in a bowl. Cook over water bath until thick ribbons form. Chill over ice bath and fold in 2 oz. whipped cream when cool.

(Figuring out the exact proportions of wine, sugar, and heavy cream was the biggest challenge. Too little or too much of the heavy cream, sugar, or wine caused the sabayon to either kill the wine or too much contrast so that they fought in the mouth.)

Slice 4 stalks of rhubarb into 3/8" thick pieces on the bias. Toss in sugar, set out, and wait for sugar to liquify. Saute over medium heat. Do not allow to caramelize. Sprinkle juice of 1 myers lemon over and cook for 15 seconds.

(What is a good way to explain the cooking of the rhubarb? I want it soft with a little crunch left, kind of al dente.)

Arrange the rhubarb in a small soup bowl. Drizzle a little of the sauce in the saute pan over it. Nap with the sabayon and sprinkle with lemon zest that has been tossed in sugar.

(I decided not to poach the zest since I liked the texture contrast that the granulated sugar gives.)

Competition Site
There are no prep facilities onsite. We get 2 tables (probably 4x6 or 4x8), one in front for presentation and service and one in the back as a workspace. I'll make the sabayon and cook the rhubarb in advance, chill them, and plate them on site. I spent Friday zesting and juicing 15# of lemons because of a concern that the lemons are nearing the end of their season, and the competition isn't until the 16th. Service and judging will take place over an approximately 4 hour timespan.

By Panini (Panini) on Sunday, March 26, 2000 - 12:52 pm: Edit

Your there. I'm sure it was a task to proportion the sabayon, but will it take the multiplying without changing the flavor? are you figuring 1 1/2 oz. sab per port.?
I know its late, but if I had to do volume sab. I would reduce the Chard and sugar, add this to my beating egg yolks. and proceed with the cream.Just a thought.I have always found that this toned down the sab. so that it complimented a pairing of the same wine.

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Monday, March 27, 2000 - 08:18 am: Edit

I make volume zabaglione all the time. I do it in a 20 qt hobart, stainless bowl and stainless whip. I warm the wine, sugar and yolks in a waterbath (our handy dandy always hot pasta cooker) and then get them whipping in the bowl. Then I scrounge up a partially used sterno and light it under the bowl and let it whip til it's done. If you use a new sterno, it tends to brown a small spot in the bottom of the bowl. I can't remember my proportions off the top of my head, but I know my normal batch end up filling the bowl at least 3/4 full.

This recipe is what I call Zabaglione. When I fold in cream to freeze it or to make it last longer, I change the name to Zabaglione Mousse. I was taught that zabaglione/sabayon were made with only eggs, wine and sugar, but I have found the cream really helps hold it. I make it in the early afternoon for evening service and it lasts very well - sometimes into the next day.

Panini's idea of reducing the wine and sugar is a good one, I think. It would make a more stable foam, right?

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Monday, March 27, 2000 - 09:38 am: Edit

How hot do you get the mixture over the waterbath before putting it on the mixer? 140degF?

I too was taught that Sabayon is eggs/wine/sugar, and initially I folded in some cream simply because I needed to stabilize it for the afternoon. However, I'm lucky because after doing a bunch of variations I found that a little cream is necessary to cut the acidity in the wine.

I'm very happy to hear that you can successfully hold it for service. What happens if you freeze it? Do you serve it as a frozen dessert or does it thaw without compromising quality?

Any idea how much I should reduce the wine and sugar?

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Monday, March 27, 2000 - 04:42 pm: Edit

I get the mixture just warm to the touch, maybe 110F. I believe you need to start getting air into it before it gets that close to cooking temp.

Hmmmm, it's funny, my hubby the chef just volunteered zabaglione with honey/balsamic strawberries for the dessert at our next wine fest. I never even mentioned your dessert or this thread...we must be more telepathic than I thought :-)I think I will try the reducing thing this time and see how it works.

When I freeze it I use quite a bit of cream, probably 1-1/2 qts liquid to my mixer full. It freezes to a semifreddo consistency. I usually use it layered with sponge cake (last time I used almond sponge) and topped with choc. ganache. It comes out of the freezer at a pretty good serving consistency - no need to temper. I did individuals of these last week for a feature. I also made a 10" version which looks good. Served it with fresh strawberries and strawberry/balsamic/brandy sauce. It taste even better than it sounds.... thins out when it thaws, I've never attempted to use it after it thaws.

As for reducing the wine and sugar, I can't tell you how much exactly cuz I've not done it yet, but when I do I will probably do it til the flavor intensifies but it's not too syrupy yet. How's that sound, Panini?

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, March 27, 2000 - 05:22 pm: Edit

I don't don't have a formula per say. The acids vary from wine to wine,I usually use the same recipe as reg. reduce it 1/4.I really look for almost a syrupy state. I transfer this to something more pourable and add it boiling to the whipping yolks, slowly as not to cook the eggs. This will usually more than double in the bowl before its finished.
I than retard untill service, it will take whipped cream or I usually like to thin it with straight cream to adjust to any pairing. If I were to do this over fruit I would usually torch the top

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Tuesday, March 28, 2000 - 01:42 am: Edit

I've seen classic presentations of hot sabayon caramelized with a torch. Do you think this would work with cold sabayon as well?

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, March 28, 2000 - 03:18 pm: Edit

oh yes, it's like brulee.I wouldn't thin the sab as much.

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Tuesday, March 28, 2000 - 05:36 pm: Edit

Panini - You have browned it after adding whipped or liquid cream?!? I have tried this with my version above, but it doesn't work - it just melts the cream. Maybe that's cuz I have a higher proportion of cream. Whadaya think?

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, March 28, 2000 - 06:45 pm: Edit

No acually I add very little cream, I almost use straight base. Kind of glacage consistancy.

By Markus on Friday, March 31, 2000 - 07:18 pm: Edit

I always cheat with sabayon ...

eggs in machine with whisk attachment - mucho fast speed.

boil sugar to 110oC or thereabouts

by the time the sugar is up to temp the eggs are very pale and fluffy, pour the boiling sugar over the eggs and continue whisking til mixing bowl is cold.

this is called Pate A Bombe (?) I think and works very well.

Once it's finshed you can flavour it with anything you like.. Though I don't add cream to it - it's lighter I think without it.

I certainly wouldn't reduce wine in with the sugar ...

a)you're cooking the wine which changes the flavour of it.
b)it's becomes too hard to judge quantites.

{Add cream to this and freeze it and you have icecream.}

By Panini (Panini) on Saturday, April 01, 2000 - 11:27 am: Edit

Many recipes in cooking and baking involve reducing wine or the similar to concentrate flavor. I believ e this is common practice.
When paring a wine with a dessert it does not necessarily have to have the same characteristics but the same flavor. One should enhance or compliment the other.
The wine will eventually be mixed with sugar.If your formula calls for 1 liter to add to your base or it calls for 1 liter to reduce, how is it hard to judge quintities?
I have had great success with this method.Have you tried it? Infusing flavors this way into bases will help also in the freezing process. I have had bad luck when trying to freeze things that have straight alcohol products mixed in them.
Just my 2 cents.

By Markus on Saturday, April 01, 2000 - 05:07 pm: Edit

fairy nuff.. :)

there is oficially more than one way to skin a cat...

I do realise that many recipes around call for reducing a wine etc. (see also red wine sauce!)

but I still don't like cooking wine. I'm not a wine officianado by any means but I hate the thought of boiling a good wine into oblivion *shudder*

My take is that wine is lots of subtle flavours plus a main background flavour - when it's cooked you've blown the subtlety out the window and are left with the background bits only...

I'm quite happy cooking spirits cos IMHO theys be different.

Anyways try everything at least once though. If it works for you go for it..

Its the alkyhol in the wine or whatever thats throwing the feezing thing off - hence when it's cooked the alcohol has gone, I usually take out about an ounce of sugar (25g) for each unit of alcohol in a recipe IIRC 1 unit = 1 glass of wine or 1 shot of spirits.


By Panini (Panini) on Saturday, April 01, 2000 - 06:01 pm: Edit

Yes your right, to each his own. I'm not usually fortune enough to use subtle full bodied good wine. Actually its probably a good suggestion to the customer to drink it instead of eating it.
The alcohol is throwing of my freezing. If you don't burn it off you use the formula you posted?

By jeee2 on Sunday, April 02, 2000 - 07:42 pm: Edit

If you don't cook the wine it will make the dessert very poor tasting, I would get rid of the alcohol and retain the flavor.
I have a different take on these theme things.
I prefer to make the best dessert I can and ignore the theme, the wine that goes into the main course isn't a great basis for dessert.
I'd look to compliment the entremet itself.
The sabayon is a good idea though.!

Cheers, Gerard

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Sunday, April 02, 2000 - 09:26 pm: Edit

The alcohol in the wine easily boils off in the process of coagulating the yolks. I can't imagine add straight wine into a prepared sabayon.

You're not the first person to suggest making a killer dessert and forget about the pairing part. However, I wanted to use this as an opportunity to learn about pairing, and I think I've come up with a dessert that tastes really good and pairs wonderfully.

My only problem is a lack of flashy nouvelle cuisine garnishes that shouldn't be on the dessert because it supposed to be homemaker level difficulty, but the judges just my go for them anyway.

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