Then: At 5:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, I was rattled from my sleep with an idea. The sit-up-straight-out-of-bed kind of idea. Instead of setting up shop at one French cooking school, what if I hopped around the European continent and sampled from a variety of courses in different cities and countries? That's how Culinary Hopscotch was born. Follow me on an epicurean tour of cooking schools in countries around Europe and beyond. I'll be traveling and cooking for about three months, so if you're curious about where I'm headed, just ask. Otherwise, I'll be updating my whereabouts in the Twitter section on the right. The culinary crusade starts on January 29, 2010, and I'll be doing it all in a carry-on.

Now: We live in Portland, a culinary capital in its own right. I man the stove chez nous and plan our meals weekly on a colorful pad from Anthropologie. Things have changed a bit from the old school days of Culinary Hopscotch, but it makes sense (to me) to keep it alive. Look for posts on restaurants we visit, culinary happenings in the news, what's on the menu in our kitchen, and more!

Been There, Cooked That

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brownie Sundaes with Burrata and Balsamic Glaze

This dessert came from a picture in my head, and sadly, I'm without photos of its fruition this past weekend. I apologize for that and the stock photos below, but I felt inclined to give you something to look at. It sounds weird, but brownie sundaes with burrata and balsamic glaze were the perfect end to a fantastic dinner with friends. 

Tasked with the dessert portion of the menu, I wanted to come up with something new and different. I started thinking about what to make, and easy and traditional just didn't seem right given the guest list. If you took attendance, you'd find that 2/3's of the table were foodies, worked in the food industry, or some combination thereof. In fact, in thinking back to the previous dinner party at our hosts' house, the burrata cheese appetizer she made came to mind. 

Much discussion had centered around that burrata we'd had a few weeks prior, so I wanted to incorporate it into my dessert. But how? Burrata is a traditionally savory ingredient, and I was to be making dessert. I mulled it over, and then over again, and thought, 'why couldn't this silky-in-the-center mozzarella from the water buffalo take the place of ice cream?' Made with milk and cream, it seemed like a perfectly suitable stand-in.

And it was. I was pleased that the dessert came together as I had imagined because I didn't have time for a trial run prior to arriving. Fortunately, it was perfect: a layer of the burrata over the sweet chocolate brownie base was topped with a touch of fleur de sel and a balsamic glaze I had reduced earlier in the day. The dessert touched three of the five basic tastes, sweet, salty and sour, and in my opinion, seemed like something you would find on a high-end restaurant's menu. Molto bene!

1 comment:

  1. Loved it. Although born without a sweet tooth, the savory and sweet worked perfectly and the tart pop from the balsamic glaze was heaven. Burrata in all forms and all pairings = heaven.