Monday, October 29, 2007

Chocolate Rosebud: Wisdom from Elizabeth Falkner

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to share a kitchen--and then a meal--with Bay Area chef and pastry rebel Elizabeth Falkner. I was absolutely mesmerized, and I've been holding out for another moment to catch Falkner's attention ever since. Things were looking up when when I found a blog connected to Citizen Cake, Falkner's original San Francisco restaurant (she has since opened Citizen Cupcake and is working on Orson). I wrote to the flour-dusted heroine and asked, "How does being a blogger compare to being a baker?" I admit to being crestfallen when her answer came back, "I don't have a blog and we have someone investigating the use of my name on their blog." But Falkner agreed to answer several more questions, about her new book Demolition Desserts: Recipes from Citizen Cake.

Emily: Chocolate is a temperamental ingredient, and you've come to rely on particular brands when crafting your sculptural desserts. Why did you decide to include each one in your pantry?

Elizabeth: I really like trying all different chocolates and understanding the bean origins and how the cacao has been roasted and conched. The whole process is interesting. I love Scharffen Berger for it's intense flavor. El Rey makes great milk and white chocolate. I like the Guittard and Ghirardelli brands also and use the chips.

Have the new American-made artisan chocolates Theo and Amano caught your interest?

I think these are both interesting retail brands.

What kinds of chocolate desserts will be on the menu at Orson?

We are working on chocolate in desserts juxtaposing different textures and temperatures and with some unexpected ingredients. We are also experimenting with a dessert which will be like a board game. There will always be a few chocolate options on the dessert menu.

Filling cupcakes with a squirt bottle--how'd you figure that one out?

For something like caramel sauce injected into a cupcake, a squirt bottle makes it much easier than a pastry tip and bag.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are interested the recipe for Lemania Cupcakes from Demolition Desserts is available here.

6:03 PM GMT-5  

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