I'll be spending some time with Johnny and his lovely girlfriend, Chef Claire Robinson, Robert Irvine, Amanda Frietag along with a host of other 'celeb' chefs in July at The Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration at the Chefs Garden in Ohio. In the mean time to get you warmed up, Johnny graciously agreed to provide me with a couple of recipes, including one with rhubarb, from his cookbook Dessert Fourplay for your enjoyment. The recipes can be found in Johnny's cookbook Dessert Fourplay and you can find out more about Johnny and the recipes at his website: www.johnnyiuzzini.com. *Both recipes are for the more advanced chef.
From the Chef: “Cheesecake is a quintessential American dessert and New York City staple. I knew I could update a classic cheesecake recipe and turn it into something fun, over-the- top and delicious. Not sure you can get more decadent than deep fried cheesecake but with the use of some modern ingredients and techniques this desserts is not too heavy or rich. But over-the-top? Of course!” - Johnny
330 grams rhubarb, chopped
100 grams elderflower cordial
peel of 1 blood orange
peel of 1 Meyer lemon zest
1 vanilla beans, split and scraped
Combine all ingredients in a medium pot and cook slowly until rhubarb begins to soften and break down. Remove from heat and cool. Discard citrus peels and vanilla bean pods and gently blend remaining mixture.
Store in refrigerator.
100 grams sugar
50 grams Vitpris™
500 grams raspberry puree
100 grams 8 Brix Red Verjus
Whisk together the sugar and Vitpris™. Heat the puree to 45°C and whisk in sugar. Bring to a boil. Continue to whisk and boil for 4 minutes. Take off the heat and whisk in 8 Brix. Pour out in to a shallow pan. Cool until completely set. Blend into a paste using a high powered blender. Store in refrigerator.
60 grams sugar
5.6 grams Iota carageean
2.8 grams Kappa carageenan
1.8 grams agar
150 grams water
300 grams cream cheese, softened
300 grams Rhubarb compote
Whisk together the sugar and gums. Combine the water and cream cheese in a Thermomix. Begin mixing with heat. Slowly pour in the sugar. Continue to mix and heat to 190° F. Add Rhubarb compote. Bring to a boil. Quickly fill 1-inch small sphere molds with cheesecake batter and refrigerate until cooled and completely set.
All purpose flour, sifted
Pasteurized liquid egg yolks
Panko crumbs, coarsely ground
Method & Plating
Unmold the cheesecake spheres. Roll in flour. Next roll in egg yolk, then in flour again, then in egg yolk again. Finally roll them in the panko crumbs. Leave to dry and set in the refrigerator over night. When ready to Serve: Heat a deep fryer to 375°F. Fry until golden brown. Blot off excess oil with paper towel and pipe a dot of Raspberry Condiment directly on top. Stick a lollipop stick to the center and serve immediately.
Chocolate Chipotle Soup ~ Milk Chocolate Coconut Foam
Serves 4 to 6 on its own or 8 as part of a fourplay
From the Chef: Working in a restaurant affords me the opportunity to learn the food cultures of many of my colleagues, who often bring home cooking to share for lunch. When that home cooking is Mexican, the dishes are sometimes flavored with chipotles or another chile, and I’ve come to crave that little kiss of heat, even in dessert. The gentle kick in the chocolate soup is tamed by the soothing chocolate-coconut foam.-Johnny
For the Milk Chocolate–Coconut Foam
Ingredients5 ounces (150 g) whole milk chocolate (preferably Valrhona Jivara 40% cacoa), chopped
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
MethodPut the chocolate in a glass bowl and melt in the microwave, using 30-second bursts and stirring after each burst, or melt in a double boiler. Bring the coconut milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Add the chocolate and emulsify with an immersion blender. Refrigerate until cool, then emulsify again with an immersion blender. Pour into a whipped cream maker and charge with a cream whipper charger (N2O). Shake vigorously. Refrigerate until needed or for up to 2 days.
For the Soup
Ingredients(Makes about 3 1 2 cups)
Scant 1 4 ounce (6 g) chipotle chiles
About 3 1 4 cups (780 g) milk
5 ounces (150 g) milk chocolate (preferably Valrhona Jivara 40% cacao), chopped
Chocolate brioche croutons
Shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
MethodHeat a small skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the chiles, and toast them for about 90 seconds, turning them once. Let the chiles cool, then remove the seeds and chop. Put the chiles in a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups of the milk. Bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat and infuse for 20 minutes. Mix with an immersion blender to pulverize the chiles. Strain through a fine strainer into a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 3 cups. Pour the milk into a clean saucepan and bring to a boil. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour about one-third of the milk into the center and stir from the inside of the bowl out. Continue adding milk gradually as the chocolate melts. Mix with an immersion blender.
To ServeFill a small glass or a cup about two-thirds full with the soup and top with the foam. Garnish with some croutons and toasted coconut. Repeat for each serving. For the photograph, I held the glass on its side while I added the foam.
Look for my interview with Chef Iuzzini soon.
As always, Bon Appetit,
Reprinted from the book Dessert Fourplay by Johnny Iuzzini and Roy Finamore. Copyright © 2008 by Johnny Iuzzini and Roy Finamore. Photographs Copyright © 2008 by Gregor Halenda. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.