Assignment #2: Amuse Bouche: Granny Kick
After visiting Cooks of Crocus Hill, tasting and comparing apples, we decided to go forward with Granny Smith! We thought a less sweet apple would be a good choice, due to the large number of sweet ingredients we already considered to use. Of the tart apples, Granny Smith was consistently crisp. We also preferred the vibrant green color! (Green is our favorite color.)
Next we generated ideas incorporating Granny Smith!
Our first prototypes utilized a fritter/fried batter, parmesan crisp, and chocolate cake as bases to feature the apple.
Our apple fritter was inspired by crepes. Originally, we rolled sliced apple and gouda cheese in a crepe. It tasted okay, but we decided it might taste better if the apple was cooked. This led to the idea of thinly slicing the apple and battering it with the crepe mix. The battered apple slices were rolled with gouda cheese inside, fried, then tossed in cinnamon sugar.
We wanted to experiment with a salty flavor, crunchy texture, and alternate cheese! We baked the parmesan to turn it into a crackery crisp. We tried different apple textures, including baking thin slices on top of the cheese. This however, prevented the cheese from crisping, leaving it gooey. Alternately, we layered a fresh apple slice on top of the crisp and seasoned it with rosemary. Andrew really liked the crunchiness and juiciness of the apple with the texture of the parmesan crisp. Christina thought the textures were a little too different; apple would have to be modified in some way for it to work, perhaps sauteed separately, then added on.
This creation was very similar to our final product. With our third prototype, we wanted to try to recapture the green color, that initially drew us to the Granny Smith, but was mostly lost in the first two creations. We also thought chocolate cake and apples sounded good together. Andrew often enjoys an apple with his morning coffee, sparking the idea behind making coffee syrup to top the cake with. Then we realized all three of these ingredients had the capability of waking individuals up, either through caffeine or vitamins and sugar. To top it off, Christina had matcha, a vibrant green tea powder, to naturally recover the lost color. We made a chocolate cake in the base, topped it with whipped cream mixed with matcha, and drizzled a coffee syrup on top. We really liked this as a start. From here, we continued to iterate on how we could incorporate apple in different ways.
Chocolate Cake Iterations
The first alteration we made was adding apple juice and diced apples into the cake batter. Because the cupcake has such a short baking time, the apples didn’t get as soft as we wanted. The apple juice made the cake a bit spongy. On its own, we liked the spongy texture, but paired with a soft creme, we felt a denser cake would create more contrast.
The second alteration we made was juicing an apple and adding that to the matcha whipped cream. This was difficult to play with, because matcha can be an overpowering flavor. After taste comparing this version to the version without apple juice, there was no significant difference.
In our third alteration we played with different apple slices and garnishes.
Cake Ingredient List
*2 cups white sugar
*1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
*¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
*1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
*1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 cup milk
*½ cup vegetable oil
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*1 cup boiling water
*1 Granny Smith apple
*Heat oven to 350 degrees
*Grease and flour a mini cupcake pan
*Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt
*Add eggs, milk oil, and vanilla
*Mix the above ingredients together and add boiling water
*Use a spoon and ladle a small amount of batter into the bottom of each cup
*Slice the apple thin using a knife or mandolin
*Layer a piece of apple then add more batter
*Set in oven for 15 minutes
*Take out and cool for 10 minutes
Matcha Whipped Cream Ingredient List
*1 tablespoon powdered sugar
*1 teaspoon matcha
*1 cup heavy whipping cream
Matcha Whipped Cream Recipe
*Place sugar and matcha in bowl then add cream
*Whisk just until cream reaches stiff peaks
Coffee Syrup Ingredient List
*1 cup brown sugar
*¾ cup brewed coffee
*¼ teaspoon vanilla
Coffee Syrup Recipe
*In pan, add brown sugar and water and bring to a boil
*Stir constantly for about 3 minutes and reduce heat to low
*Stir until all sugar has dissolved
*Remove from heat and stir in flavoring
Putting Everything Together
*Allow cake and syrup to cool
*Put a dollop of whipped cream on top of the cake bite
*Cut a slice of Granny Smith apple and garnish on top
*Drizzle coffee syrup on top