The New Bakers Dozen

The The Bakers Dozen: SALT?????
By Panini (Panini) on Thursday, August 31, 2000 - 06:03 pm: Edit

Anyone read NYTimes 8-30 Living? Dessert traditions go over the shoulder. I would like to get some feedback on the salting issue. I do use it is some desserts, but not as much as Flemming, Conticini,Herme...
I, myself use this technic to enhance my own desserts but I don't know if the customer would notice.
ps. I don't think I would have to carry around a little box of salt when I go out to eat as Pierre herme though.

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Thursday, August 31, 2000 - 09:06 pm: Edit

Panini - I don't have time to obtain or read this article ;-) Can you summarize?


By Yankee on Friday, September 01, 2000 - 02:54 pm: Edit

Panini, I tried to find that piece at the NYT web site, but I could not find "The Living Arts" section.

Are people salting up desserts at the table, or in the kitchen? I use sea salt to finish off my caramels and caramel ice cream, but except for normal baking applications, that's it.

Please post a link if you have the time, or just summarize for us. Thanks.

By Panini (Panini) on Saturday, September 02, 2000 - 06:18 pm: Edit

Fleming, roasted pineapple w/salt placed on top of salty nut brittle.
Conticini, showered a molten chocolate cake when it comes out of the oven.
Another sauteed cantalope sprinkled with fleur de sel served with sorbet.

The article suggests these chefs are taking a new look at how salt is used in desserts.Approaching it more like a main course, using salt to enhance flavor and even using it to give a dish a surprising crunch!
Conticini sprinkles it on hazelnut and chocolate cakes. He says the crystals sparkle and it does not emerge in every bite, but now and then.Salt then sweet.
Another chef made a salt roasted pistachio paste to fill a pithivier.
Another sauteed cantalope sprinkled with s&p and served it with gazpacho sorbet. Appit.?

FOR EMERGENCIES Pierre Herme takes his own box of fleur de sel to restaurants for his desserts.

By W.DeBord on Sunday, September 03, 2000 - 12:01 pm: Edit

I love the contrast between sweet and salty that's a given. If I'm making an item with nuts often I'll deep fry and salt them before using them in a recipe. Or use them as garnish with a sweet dessert.

I'm not sure I want my customers to be too aware of it is people think dessert is so bad for them...adding salt where they can really notice it...only in a really fine dining situation where I'd call it to their attention in the description.

It's like alot of the trends....crazy combinations, peppering desserts... I find them interesting but couldn't sell that to an the vast majority of clients.

By Panini (Panini) on Sunday, September 03, 2000 - 01:39 pm: Edit

I agree. If you are at a trendy restaurant you kind of expect the unexpected. I agree that drawing attention to it would concern the customer.Blocked arteries from the cream follo0wed by high blood pressure and dehydration from the salt.

By Yankee on Sunday, September 03, 2000 - 04:24 pm: Edit

Thanks for the link.

I saw a piece on Herme a while back where he put black pepper on pineapple. I'm sure it was quite good, but very few people would order it where I am at if they knew what was going on.

When people stress about fat and salt, I just remind them it would have no taste otherwise. Pass the foi gras, please.

We are also reading Kitchen Confidential at home these days. Anyone else reading it?

By Chefrick (Chefrick) on Sunday, September 03, 2000 - 09:27 pm: Edit

How about a balsalmic reduction on ice cream or other sweets.My ex-boss(italian)said it was common in Italy where he was from.

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Monday, September 04, 2000 - 07:38 am: Edit

Chefrick - balsamic and its reduction are great with sweet flavors because it's sweet itself. In the case of balsamic, it's the sourness that contrasts with the sweet. Excellent, aged balsamic over real, fresh picked local strawberries is the classic dish and it is fabulous. (Common balsamic over out of season berries in February - yuck)

I've also done fresh strawberries with frozen zabaglione and a light reduction of balsamic and honey. Yummmy, but I think it would have sold better if I had kept the word balsamic out of the name and description.

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, September 06, 2000 - 09:04 am: Edit

In the newest issue of Pastry Art & Design (state of the industry, style issue) they list "What's in" and "what's not". They asked what dessert you wish would have sold in one question. Even though we have discussed these issues at this forum I still get mixed signals from many publications show casing wild taste mixes etc...

I was very supprised to read restaurants that "rate" much higher in "sheekness" or stars (then my current job)are doing items as simple as fruit crisps, molton cakes or creme brulees.

Did their salary and wages look accurate to everyone? I thought the numbers all looked on the high side (like a slight exageration), as well as the average dessert prices?

I was also really supprised to read how often people are changing jobs...I understand younger people who are learning making moves but it looked like once a year was the norm to change jobs?????

By vbean on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 04:05 am: Edit

There are many questions here. About salt, I always use it. It makes you taste your ingredients. I always use it in fresh fruit sauces or sorbets.
If you read more about chemistry, there is a need for salt in custards. Salt helps the proteins bind (plus bring out the treasured vanilla that you have infused in the custard).
I always use salt. I was a savory cook for many years before pastry. I think that I am a better Pastry Chef beacause of that.

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