Thursday, August 11, 2011

"le macarons"

Although predominantly a French confection, there has been much debate about its origins. Larousse Gastronomique cites the macaron as being created in 1791 in a convent near Cormery. Some have traced its French debut back to the arrival of Catherine de' Medici's Italian pastry chefs whom she brought with her in 1533 upon marrying Henry II of France.
In the 1830s, macarons were served two-by-two with the addition of jams, liqueurs, and spices. The macaron as it is known today was called the "Gerbet" or the "Paris macaron" and is the creation of Pierre Desfontaines of the French pâtisserie Laduree, composed of two almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling.

The city of Montmorillon is well known for its macarons and has a museum dedicated to it. The Maison Rannou-Métivier is the oldest macaron bakery in Montmorillon, dating back to 1920. The traditional recipe for Montmorillon macarons remains unchanged for over 150 years.
The town of Nancy in the Lorraine region has a storied history with the macaron. It is said that the abbess of Remiremont founded an order of nuns called the "Dames du Saint-Sacrement" with strict dietary rules prohibiting the consumption of meat. Two nuns, Sisters Marguerite and Marie-Elisabeth are credited with creating the Nancy macaron to fit their dietary requirements. They became known as the 'Macaron Sisters' (Les Soeurs Macarons). In 1952, the city of Nancy honored them by giving their name to the Rue de la Hache, where the macaron was invented.

Macarons can be so delicious, when done right of course. To me a macaron needs to have a very thin crispy outer shell with a soft chewy center. It also needs to have flavor inside of it, not just in the filling. Thus the filling is as equally important, as it can increase or take away flavor and execution of the macaroon. A macaron is one of the most easiest and difficult things to master by a pastry chef, but mastered need be if you want to consider yourself a well rounded pastry chef. I by far do not consider myself a master in macaron making in any way. I just have the hunger and determination in achieving a great macaron every single time I make it. One thing is to know how to do it, but to know how to do it flawlessly in every batch is the answer I am still seeking.

I wanted to try new ways of infusing flavors into the soul and pours of the french macaron...

peanut butter macarons
I incorporated freeze dried dark roasted peanut butter flour into the mix then topped them of with roasted peanut pieces.

peanut butter macarons filled with berry pate de fruit and peanut butter cream. Served with horchata milk. You have to be crazy not to love a "pbj" with milk.

yogurt-coconut macarons
I folded in yogurt powder and coconut flour. They look like they will be flat, but below you will see how much of a pop they get.

baked yogurt-coconut macarons

smoked chocolate macarons with maple bacon bits
I cold smoked the dry mix then made the macaron mix, pipped out and topped off with maple bacon that was previously cooked to a crisp and all the fat drained off. I then sandwiched them with a bacon-caramel ganache.

chocolate-cocoa nib macaron
Simple and straight forward. The filling is a Valrhona Araguani Creamux.

pistachio macarons
I incorporated sicilian pistachio flour along with a small percentage of almond flour in this mix. I then sandwiched the macaron with a sicilian pistachio ganache.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cochon 555 All Stars

This past weekend we hosted the Cochon All Star event here at the Cosmopolitan. It was a night of swine, sweets & drinks. Everyone who attended had a great time and after the event all of the chefs, wine makers and a few lucky guests got a chance to party it up at the pool deck for the afterparty.
butterscotch pudding shake with maple-bacon bombolinis

 captain crunch shake with chocolate-peanut butter-bacon macaron slider

nitro raspberry chicharron
We served this with a grape-hibiscuss soda float

Joining us for this event, Chefs Stephen Hopcraft from STK and David Myers from Comme Ca

Our G.M. Hugo Moreno and friend Henry Weinacker

Here are a few links for you to see, some of the best dishes that were served.

Friday, July 22, 2011

summer desserts

Below are some of the new summer desserts I am working on for Holsteins Las Vegas. Let me know what you think by commenting below. I will be posting more in the next few days....


drumstick: mini waffle cone, pistachio gelato, raspberry sorbet, chocolate shell
push pop: valrhona caramelia chocolate mousse, peanut butter crisp, caramelized banana creamux
bubble gum nitro meringues
polenta-huckleberry cake
maple-bacon doughnut
guava pate de fruit
strawberry-lemon float
"PBJ" with infused milk: peanut macaron, berry jelly, peanut butter cream


blackforest cake
manjari creamux, "micro" chocolate cake, kirsch cherry tapioca,
mascarpone cream, micro basil
yuzu cream, yogurt panna cotta, lemon-thyme blueberries, blueberry paper
strawberry-rhubarb crumble
brown butter crumble, olive oil gelato, tarragon air
vanilla chantilly, pine nut cookie

This Sunday we have the COCHON ALL STAR event, here at the Cosmo. Along with all the great chefs coming to our place, ALL the restaurants from the Cosmo will be serving it up at this event. Since Holsteins is a burger and shake kinda place, I will be serving the following:
purple cow with nitro grape meringues
captain crunch shake with bacon-smoked chocolate-peanut butter dessert slider
buddino shake with a maple-bacon bombolini

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Top Chef Just Desserts Season 2

 Check it out...the next season of top chef just desserts just got released.

And yours truly was part of the amazing experience......

Below are links to previews and media......

summer fruits

Summer is in full bloom and so are our new desserts, we are now using various melons, berries, stone fruits, and herbs. Over the course of the next few days I will be posting how we take a simple ingredient and manipulate it into different forms.

"Strawberries & Rhubarb"
Strawberries are at their peak, they are super red in color and super sweet with their high sugar levels.
We are making a strawberry consomme out of them and using the consomme in different formats.

  Our strawberry consomme is combined with jerez vinegar and is used to poach rhubarb. The resulting flavor is sweet & tart, almost like "pickled" rhubarb.

 Using a blender we puree strawberries, citric acid and a little simple syrup and then spread it out thin on a silpad to dry in a 175 F low fan convection oven for about 2 hours. What we get is a very thin, chip like texture. The flavor is very strong, sweet and tart.

This is the poached rhubarb combined with 1% agar and gellan. Dried out the same way as the "strawberry chip" but for only half the time. The end result is a texture between leather and a roll up. Very shinny, not sticky and bites really nice.

Here we diluted the consomme with flat mineral water and added a few pieces of strawberry. Then we charged it with Co2. The end result...A freaking great ALL natural strawberry soda!
I experimented using soda water, mineral water and other liquids combined with the consomme and the end results were sodas weak in flavor. The flat mineral water along with a simple carbonation system works the best. This way you control ALL your flavors, sweet, sour, tart, etc


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hello Everyone

Hello Everyone,
My name is Carlos Enriquez, I have been cooking for 15 years now, strictly pastry. The most fundamental thing I learned about cooking was the hard work that goes into it. Drilled into me by my mother and aunt, they taught me the meaning of working hard, that in life nothing comes easy and you have to work hard to achieve your goals. I work hard everyday toward obtaining my goals and thanks to my mom and aunt I now know what it takes to achieve these goals..

Early in my career I had the opportunity to work with whom I consider some of the greatest chefs and mentors in my career. Here is the path I have thus traveled...

I first learned artisan breads, viennosserie and bread showpieces from Stephane Morabit. He was the Assistant Pastry Chef at Paris Las Vegas under MOF Jean Claude Canestrier. He showed me how to start, feed, kill and mature mother leavening. How to properly laminate croissant, brioche and danish. How to create showpieces out of salt, wheat and dead doughs that looked like chocolate work. But most of all, he showed me how to be responsible, how to earn the respect of my team by example and how to take meaning by our actions. He was a true professional in every sense of the word.

In 2002 I met Sky Goble. We worked together at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver Colorado & later in Yosemite National Park, California. I credit him for showing me wedding cakes. At the Brown Palace we where making 300 cakes a year which gave me a lot of practice. Sky was a great teacher, very patient and forgiven in all that we did. He also taught me how to run a multi unit operation. We where responsible for all 5 restaurants, tea service, banquets and room service for the hotel.

In 2006 I had the opportunity to work along side Frederic Larre at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Freddy has had the opportunity to work for some of the greatest chefs in the culinary industry such as Francoise Payard, MOF Jean Phillip Maury, MOF Jean Claude Canistrier, Alain Ducasse, Frederic Robert and many more. He embedded in me that whatever it is you make, you make it absolutely perfect, regardless of the volume. He would also say to me that if you wanted to make a great product, you have to have the best ingredients and tools. "If you start with shit, you end up with shit". I still to this day take those words seriously.

Since then I have worked mostly in the restaurants industry. I enjoy working in a restaurant setting more than a hotel setting because restaurants operate under a faster pace, from production to service. I am also able to work with seasonal ingredients, choosing the freshest products possible on a daily basis and where they come from which enables me to create what I would like at my discretion. I also enjoy working with a small group of people which the restaurant industry usually condones. Working together with them day in and day out you are able to assemble a "family" team. The family works together with the same goals in mind, to create/make the best most satisfying desserts possible for people to enjoy.

What I have learned over the years is that the culinary world is an evolving, ever so changing metamorphosis. The only way for us to keep evolving is to share the knowledge and teach others the skills of hard work and perfection in all that we do, so that the next generation of Pastry Chefs do not solely focus on foams, spherifications, fluid gels, compressions, etc...

I look forward to sharing with you in my blogs my ideas, mistakes, recipes and everyday life in my kitchen. So lets get started....

 "black forest cake"
microwave chocolate cake, nitro brownie powder, compressed cherries, cocoa nib nougatine, mascarpone gelato, white currants.

cantaloupe, honeydew & yellow watermelon sorbet terrine, spicy red watermelon soup,
cassava "caviar", lime "pop rocks" 

compressed exotic fruit salad, passion fruit chiboust, coconut sorbet "cigarette", freeze dried mango.

"creme brulee"
vanilla brulee, pickled raspberries, lychee ice, rose water meringue, prickly pear pudding,
 raspberry paper
A quote I heard from Chef Thomas Keller in 2010 at the ICC in NYC,
"It takes a great deal of time to become a great craftsman before becoming a true artist".