Friday, February 20, 2009

Breakfast for Dessert

Every meal can be breakfast on "Foodie Friday."

There it is, my friends: the French Laundry cinnamon-sugar doughnuts with cappuccino semifreddo. It's one of the signature desserts at Thomas Keller's Napa temple of gastronomy (read a wonderful blog review of the restaurant here). And it's also, according to this NY Times piece, the original inspiration for the culinary trend of breakfast-themed desserts.

The Times profiles several of the more interesting breakfast-inspired dessert options, including several of the offerings at David Chang's Momofuko Empire in NYC. Momofuku's pastry chef is Christina Tosi is known for her panna cotta made from cereal milk (you know, what's left in the bowl!). She also has some other tricks up her sleeves:

She is also developing a pancake cake, stacked pancake layers separated by cinnamon-bacon, maple syrup and brown butter fillings. At Momofuku Ko, she serves a sphere of guava sorbet with a cream-cheese skin: the flavors mirror classic Latin breakfast sweets.
As you may recall, Fosco used to belong to a pancake club... which means that "pancake cake" has now become his obsession.

And then there is molecular gastronomy. The craziest food science in the country is going on at Chicago's Moto and the desserts are no exception:
“Breakfast flavors are so familiar, and that makes them a great way to bring in unfamiliar textures and temperatures,” said Ben Roche, the pastry chef at Moto in Chicago, where he uses an ice-cold “cooking” surface and a syringe full of “batter” (a purée of pancakes, milk and maple syrup) to make a dessert called frozen flapjacks (the taste is like ice cream with concentrated essence of pancake.) Mr. Roche’s twist on coffee and doughnuts is a cup of hot doughnut soup (made from chopped glazed doughnuts steeped in milk) with a circle of coffee-flavored whipped cream. The whipped cream is sucked through a vacuum sealer to make it tall, puffy and firm enough to cut.
You can actually see these frozen pancakes being prepared in this clip:

And yes, you heard correctly: Moto executive chef Homaro Cantu works with NASA. This is truly an exciting time in the history of food!

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