James Briscione’s Berries Under Pressure

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…as featured in Dessert Professional magazine.

Strawberry Gelee Filled Doughnut, Buttermilk Ice Cream and Compressed Strawberries


Courtesy of Chef James Briscione, The Institute for Culinary Education.

Serves 10

For the Buttermilk Ice Cream:

  • 8 ounces (230 g) granulated sugar
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 ounce (15 g) vanilla paste
  • 18 ounces (500 g) heavy cream
  • 18 ounces (500 g) buttermilk
  • 1.6 ounces (45 g) lemon juice
  • Pinch fine sea salt

Prepare the ice cream base:

  1. Fill and preheat the sous vide water bath to 185F/85C.
  2. 1. Combine the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla paste in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Stir in the heavy cream.
  4. Pour into a zip closure or chamber vacuum sealer cooking pouch. If using a chamber sealer, de-aerate the mixture in an open container loosely covered in plastic wrap, then transfer to the cooking pouch and seal. If using a zip closure cooking pouch, use the displacement method (Archimedes’ Principle) to evacuate the air and zip the seal closed.
  5. Submerge the sealed base in the water bath and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer the pouch to an ice water bath (half ice, half water) and massage the pouch as it cools to prevent lumps.
  7. Open the pouch and strain the base into a blender jar.
  8. Add the buttermilk, lemon juice, and salt to the base and blend on high for 30 seconds.
  9. Spin the mixture in an ice cream machine, according to its manufacturer’s instructions.

For the Berry Syrup:

  • 8 ounces (250 g) raspberries
  • 8 ounces (250 g) blackberries
  • 8 ounces (250 g) strawberries, hulled
  • 5 ounces (150 g) ruby port
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) granulated sugar
  1. Fill and preheat the water bath to 167F/75C.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a cooking pouch and vacuum seal.
  3. Submerge the pouch and cook the berries 30 minutes.
  4. Transfer pouch to an ice water bath and chill completely.
  5. Open the pouch and press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer once and then a second time, this time without pressing.
  6. Transfer the strained liquid to a small saucepot, over low heat, and reduce to a light syrup.
  7. Cool and store refrigerated.

For the Crisp Berry Meringue:

  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) egg whites
  • 3 1/2 ounces (185 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 ounce (50 g) berry syrup
  1. Put egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip them until well foamed. 2. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
  2. Fold in the berry syrup.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag, fitted with a small plain tip.
  4. Pipe dots of the meringue (about the size of a Hershey Kiss) onto a Silpat (or parchment lined baking sheet) and put into a low oven (200F/93C) to dry, about 30 minutes.
  5. Store the crisp meringues at room temperature in an airtight container with a desiccant pack.

For the Strawberry Gelee Filling:

  • 12 1/2 ounces (350 g) strawberry puree
  • 0.02 ounce (0.7 g) gellan, high-acyl (0.2%)
  • 0.02 ounce (0.7 g) gellan, low-acyl (0.2%)
  1. Fill and preheat the water oven to 194F/90C.
  2. Put the strawberry puree in a blender and mix on medium speed. Carefully add the gellan to the puree with the blender still running. Replace the top and turn the blender to high for 5 seconds.
  3. Pour the mixture into a zip-closure or chamber vacuum cooking pouch. If using a chamber sealer, de-aerate the mixture in an open container loosely covered with plastic wrap, then transfer to a cooking pouch and vacuum seal. If using a zip-closure pouch, use the displacement method (Archimedes Principle) to evacuate the air and zip the seal.
  4. Submerge the sealed pouch in the bath and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the pouch, lay it flat on sheet pan and place in the refrigerator to set. The puree should 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-inch (1.5 to 2 cm) thick at the center.

For the Strawberry Filled Donut:

  • 8 1/2 tablespoons (120 g) butter
  • 6 1/2 ounces (190 g) milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) instant yeast
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 16 ounces (450 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 ounces (50 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) fine sea salt
  • Oil for frying
  • Confectioners’ (10x) sugar, as needed
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepot over medium heat and when it’s melted, stir in the milk.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat, sprinkle the yeast over milk, and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar and salt and on slow speed, begin mixing the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the milk and butter mixture and the egg and continue mixing until a tight dough forms.
  5. 5. Divide the dough into two roughly equal balls.
  6. Roll out one ball of dough to 1⁄4-inch (1.25 cm) thickness and cut into 4 x 6-inch (10×15 cm) rectangles.
  7. Cut the strawberry gelee filling into 3-inch (7.5 cm) batons.
  8. Place a baton in the center of each piece of dough; wrap the dough around, pinch tightly to seal, and roll on a clean work surface to shape.
  9. Transfer the filled doughnuts to a clean pan and cover with a damp towel to proof. (Doughnuts may be held in the refrigerator or at room temperature.)
  10. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
  11. To fry, heat oil in a large pan or deep fryer to 350F/177C and drop donuts in one at a time. Fry until golden brown and the pieces begin to float.
  12. Remove the cooked donuts to a rack and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

For the Compressed Strawberries:

  • 24 ripe strawberries, hulled and cut in half
  • 7 ounces (200 g) water
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) coriander seeds, toasted
  • scant 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 g) fine sea salt
  1. Put the strawberries into chamber-vacuum cooking pouch. (Pressure is what you are after here, so a zip-closure pouch and displacement method won’t work.)
  2. Combine the water, lemon zest, coriander, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir until dissolved.
  3. Pour the liquid, zest and coriander into the pouch and vacuum seal.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Chocolate Port Sauce:

  • 8 ounces (250 g) 72% chocolate pieces
  • 8 ounces (250 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 ounces (100 g) light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 ounces (50 g) berry syrup
  1. Put the chocolate pieces into a stainless steel bowl.
  2.  In a small saucepot, combine the cream and berry syrup and bring to a boil.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Hold warm.

For the Berry Powder

  • 8 ounces (250 g) raspberries*
  • 8 ounces (250 g) black berries*
  • 8 ounces (250 g) strawberries*, hulled
  • *use damaged or imperfect berries
  1. Preheat traditional oven to 150F/65.5C.
  2. On a parchment-lined baking pan, arrange the berries in a single layer and put into the warm oven to dry over night.
  3. Transfer the dried berries to a spice grinder and process into a fine powder.
  4. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

To assemble the plate:

  1. Using a stencil, dust the plate with berry powder.
  2. Spoon some of the chocolate sauce onto the base of a plate.
  3. Trim the ends of the donut to show the filling and place in the center of the sauce.
  4. Place a quenelle of the buttermilk ice cream next to the doughnut.
  5. Arrange a few of the berry meringues and compressed strawberries around the plate.
  6. Garnish with micro mint or cilantro.
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