Monday, June 23, 2014

Rhubarb Tinted Glass Candy

I still can't get enough rhubarb. I've been tasting it practically every day for the past couple of weeks and brainstorming ideas. How do I maintain the brightness and punch? What acidic ingredient can it replace? Don't overlook the crunch. So much potential and I'm sad the season is practically over.

In the past, I've used the microwave to make instant lollipops driven by citrus and vinegar. It only made sense to bridge this application with the tart stems.

Transparent Rhubarb Candy
The first run of rhubarb candy yielded a lovely fruit leather, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. I attempted to remove more juice from the thin slices.

Rhubarb Candy Dome
I patterned the sweetened rhubarb on a cooking sprayed bowl to form a sweet and sour shell.

Carbonated Rum Cake on Rhubarb Leather
The liquid content was still too high so it didn't maintain shape. Regardless, it went well with carbonated rum cake, red bean malted milk foam and fresh rhubarb.

Rhubarb Leather

Note: Microwaves vary so you may need to alter durations and power settings
  • Slice rhubarb as thin as possible on a mandoline if you have one
  • Dry the rhubarb by compressing a single layer between paper towels
  • Cut out pieces of parchment paper the size of a dinner plate
  • Lay out slices rhubarb on parchment 1/2" apart
  • Microwave in 20 second increments until most of the juice is driven out
  • Dredge the rhubarb in granulated sugar
  • Lay out the slices on a new piece of parchment 
  • Microwave in 20 second increments until the sugar caramelizes
  • Allow it to cool to room temperature 

As always, keep the ideas bouncing so we can all benefit.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Rhubarb Jam, Sweet Savory Sensation

Last year I made a killer rhubarb chive flower IPA jam. Every flavor element harmonized and I probably ate a pint throughout the cooking process. It danced on the sweet savory line and was amazingly versatile. I put it on everything...

Stuck on gin, I decided to swap out the IPA this year. I was blown away once again.

Rhubarb Chive Flower Gin Jam Started

Things to consider:
  • Use sugar sparingly so you can taste all the elements
  • Put it on and in everything sweet or savory
  • Serve it at any temperature
  • If you're making a big batch, separate portions out at different cook times
  • Mix uncooked elements of the jam back in at the point of use

I hope this inspires you to jam with rhubarb. Please share what you come up with so we can keep the ideas bouncing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vinegar Reduction Gone Right

I'm working on a vinegar chewing gum. The difficulty with using straight vinegar is that the flavor and acidity concentration is not enough to shine through the base. Inspired by @r8cheljane, I decided to go with a vinegar gel center. I felt that a simple reduction would be a good start.

Spoon Suspended by Reduced Vinegar
On the heat, it was where I wanted it. Cooled down, not so much.

Pulled Concord Vinegar
It was like taffy so I stretched and twisted it for fun.

Vinegar Gum with Vinegar Reduction Center
The reduction spreads well and worked wonderfully between two layers of ice wine vinegar chewing gum.

There's lots of potential here. I plan on trying a "spun sugar" vinaigrette. What are you thinking?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Marrying Maple with Refreshing Rhubarb

Rhubarb deserves better treatment than just pie or jam. Nothing beats the tart crunch of a freshly cut stalk from the garden. Granulated sugar dipping is great for a quick fix but has limitations. Infusing syrup into rhubarb is the way to go.

Maple Infused Rhubarb
This yields both maple infused rhubarb and rhubarb infused maple. 

Rhubarb Infused Maple Infused Rhubarb
Continue to reuse the infused syrup to play with concentration.

The Process
  • Fill a cream whipper to recommended capacity with thinly sliced rhubarb
  • Cover the rhubarb with any syrup
  • Double charge the canister with whatever you have
  • Refrigerate overnight

As always, I hope this idea inspires you to create. Please share what you come up with.