Disclaimer:

Outside of the Breadbox and www.outsideofthebreadbox.com is in no way affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by Outside the Breadbox, Inc., a Colorado corporation, or its federally-registered trademark, Outside the Breadbox®. If, however, you would like to try the best gluten-free baked goods in the world, visit www.outsidethebreadbox.com.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Culinary School - Session 111: Dietary Restrictions and Coffee


Culinary School: Session 111 (05.15.15)

Dietary Restrictions and Coffee



I don't eat anything with a face... 

Well, I've never seen a hamburger smile, so you should be okay!

Dietary restrictions: whether they are personal choices or medically necessary, an increasing number of restaurant diners will flag some ingredients that they do not want in their food. 

Gluten-free certainly stands as the restriction du jour. Yes, the bread basket contains gluten. No, the water does not. Fortunately, the anti-Gluten trend appears to be on the wane. While it once seemed as though a solid 50% of orders included a note stating "No Gluten", the numbers are declining - perhaps to the <5% of the population that my have a genuine Gluten sensitivity.

But there is nothing fleeting about other restrictions: vegetarian, vegan, and low-sugar, to name a few.

As with Gluten, some confusion exists as to what these terms mean. Will a vegetarian eat fish? What about eggs and cheese? Does the vegan at table 106 eat honey, because that technically came from an animal? Does Jane Doe's low-sugar diet just exclude refined white sugar, or is she diabetic, in which case using natural sugar substitutes for sweetness can be just as dangerous. Regardless of the request, it's up to a restaurant be as accommodating as possible.

What follows are several recipes for reduced/no-sugar and vegan requests. They say a picture speaks a thousands words, and in this case, that word is "sad" written over and over again. There just were not many successful dishes in the line-up. For instance, these "No Added Sugar Apple Muffins" tasted like the desiccated contents of a vacuum bag -- not a dish I'd want to serve anytime soon.

Apple Muffins (no added sugar)

But for those who will eat anything...

Balancing out this session were a couple of hours dedicated to preparing for the May 27th "Restaurant Day", in which the class will be serving a student-designed menu of original desserts. It was the perfect opportunity to test the Pate a Choux Waffle Sundae's final component: the Chocolate Coated Banana Ice Cream Squares. 

Rather than plop a couple of scoops of Ice Cream on a Waffle, we decided to cut perfectly square portions and then, using an industrial spray gun loaded with expensive Valrhona Chocolate, coat them in a fine cocoa shell. 

It worked perfectly!

Chocolate Satin Sprayed Banana Ice Cream Squares for the Pate a Choux Waffle Sundae

Portioning Banana Ice Cream into 3" Squares

Paint Sprayer Used for Chocolate

Applying the First Coat of Chocolate to the Banana Ice Cream Squares

Fully Chocolate Coated Banana Ice Cream Square



- Ingredients Running Tally -




Ingredients used to date (05.15.15):
  • Flour: 26,080g
  • Eggs: 18,100g (362x)
  • Sugar: 38,715g
  • Butter: 18,575g
  • Milk/Cream: 19,870g
  • Chocolate: 9,335g (since 01.12.15)



    - The Recipes -



    Item:

    Apple Muffins (no sugar added)


    Description:

    Aside from a scant amount of Honey, these Apple Muffins do not contain any additional sugar or refined sugar substitutes (e.g. Maple Syrup). They simply rely on the natural sweetness of Apples and Raisins.

    The final product was very dry and, not surprisingly, not at all sweet. Since sugar is hydroscopic, meaning that it attracts moisture, it naturally helps keep baked goods moist. When you eliminate sugar from a recipe, you will likely have drier products.

    Apple Muffins (no sugar added)

    Apple Muffins (no sugar added)


    Item:

    Chocolate Honey Cupcakes (no sugar added)


    Description:

    Compared to the Apple Muffins, these Cupcakes were sufficiently sweet as the recipe includes a generous amount of Honey. As a result, while these Cupcakes could be marketed as containing "no refined sugar", they certainly are not "low sugar" products. Someone with diabetes would need to be just as aware of the Honey content as they would any other sugar.

    Where these Cupcakes fail is in the texture. The Honey made for a sticky cake and what could only be described as a chewy frosting. Honey also has a natural floral flavor which can be great in certain circumstances but undesirable in others. In this case, the combination of Chocolate and Honey did not work.

    Chocolate Honey Cupcakes (no sugar added)


    Item:

    Maple Custard (sugar alternative)


    Description:

    I would order this dessert. It's a simple custard made with Eggs, Cream and Maple Syrup. But just like the Chocolate Honey Cupcakes, you could never market this as a low-sugar dessert. Yes, Maple Syrup is an unprocessed alternative to Refined White Granulated Sugar. But it's still sugar.


    Maple Custard (sugar alternative)



    Item:

    Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (vegan) 


    Description:

    A strictly vegan diet excludes any product that comes from an animal. Given how important Eggs and Butter are to a good cookie, that makes for some tricky re-engineering.

    Butter provides fat, which can be replaced with vegetable oils. However, Butter also contains Milk proteins and sugars which contribute to the flavor of a good cookie. As a result, the Oil for Butter substitution is imperfect.

    Eggs provide more fat (the Yolks) and structure (from the Egg White proteins). Common Egg substitutes include Bananas, Flax Seed, Baking Soda with Vinegar and Silken Tofu (as with this Cookie). These substitutes may help bind the product together, but the final texture is not the same. The binding, leavening and emulsifying capabilities of Eggs are not perfectly replicated.

    The final Cookie was okay. You could eat it as a hearty (they are very dense) breakfast biscuit. But this is no Oatmeal Raisin Cookie!




    Oatmeal Raising Cookies (vegan)

    Pureed Tofu for Oatmeal Raising Cookies (vegan)

    Unbaked Oatmeal Raising Cookies (vegan)



    Item:

    Coconut Tapioca Pudding (vegan)


    Description:

    Intended to be a non-dairy dessert that used Coconut Milk in place of Cow's Milk, this Pudding was a sticky, gelatinous mess. But there may have been a problem in the execution. Most likely there had not been enough time to properly hydrate the Tapioca. Regardless, I'm not interested in trying this Pudding again any time soon.

    Coconut Tapioca Pudding (vegan)

    Coconut Tapioca Puddings (vegan)



    Item:

    Rice Pudding (vegan)


    Description:

    As another non-diary dessert, this Rice Pudding was worlds better than the Coconut Tapioca Pudding. This recipe also highlights a fundamental truth about desserts for dietary restrictions: it's often best to serve desserts that naturally meet particular dietary requirements rather than reinvent the wheel or desperately struggle to re-engineer desserts. You will usually come up short in a side-by-side comparison.

    A good Rice Pudding does not need Milk, Cream or Butter. Rice contains enough starch to produce a satisfyingly creamy texture on its own, as with a Risotto. 

    Rice Pudding (vegan)


    Next - Session 112: Cheese and Restaurant Day Preparation


    Previous - Session 110: Gluten Free Desserts and Tea


    Take a look at the full syllabus




    Questions? Comments? Send me an email or leave a comment.
    Stay connected with Outside of the Breadbox on Facebook, view on Instagram,
    follow on Twitter @BreadChefMark. And sign up for the email list.



    No comments:

    Post a Comment