I’ve lengthy sought a grown-up sweet bar, and suppose I’ve lastly discovered it. The Lübeck Marzipan on the dessert menu at Koloman, a French restaurant in Flatiron, has the scent of an almond cake, the crunch of brittle, the chewiness of an awesome macaroon, and the waves of chocolate that say sweet bar.
I requested Emiko Chisholm, the pastry chef on the restaurant, to come back by our take a look at kitchen to indicate me tips on how to make this magical confection.
Fortunately for us non-pastry-chefs, her recipe requires little gear, just a few mixing, shaping, baking, and topping. Marzipan, sugar, honey, and egg whites are blended to a stiff paste, rolled into logs, dipped in finely chopped almonds, and baked. At this level, your kitchen will tackle an intoxicating almond scent.
If there’s a problem with this recipe, it’s sourcing the smoked salt and the perfect marzipan or almond paste you could find. Emiko makes use of Lübeck marzipan, which incorporates 52 p.c almonds. I couldn’t discover a supply for it on-line, so I attempted three totally different almond pastes, whose almond content material hovered near 50 p.c; this was my favourite. Maldon Smoked Salt is on the market right here.
As I realized after testing Emiko’s recipe by myself, the outcomes are binary. If you happen to’re exact and affected person, as Emiko is, your marzipan bars will appear to be neat bricks. If you happen to’re unfastened across the edges, like I’m, your bars will look rustic and homespun.
Emiko’s been baking professionally since she was 17, first at a small place close to the place she grew up in Upstate New York. Mark Tasker, the Head Baker at Balthazar in Soho, was an everyday buyer, and in the future he requested her if she’d like to come back work for him within the metropolis.
“I labored my manner up from a child, who didn’t know something about pastry, to pastry sous chef,” Emiko mentioned of her ascent, first at Balthazar, then at Augustine and now Koloman. All through that path, she’s had mentors with experience in conventional European pastry. Mark’s work was influenced by a German baker. Her present boss, Marcus Glocker, leans towards Austrian and Jap European pastry. One other dessert on the Koloman menu is an Esterházy Torte, a Hungarian cake with 13 layers of almond and hazelnut sponge cake.
A marzipan dessert presents some dangers on a menu. “Everybody is aware of marzipan fruits they usually’re type of nasty,” Emiko mentioned. “So marzipan doesn’t at all times have the perfect repute.” (Do brush up on the SNL spoof when you’ve received time!) However she is aware of its powers as a background taste and texture. She makes use of marzipan as a basis for muffins, creaming it with the sugar and butter. She additionally places it into ice cream bases. And naturally, it goes into her stollen.
After baking her Marzipan Bars, Emiko makes use of a bench scraper to wash up any uneven edges on the bars in order that they’re completely straight. She brushes the tops with apricot jam, diluted with somewhat water and warmed to a syrup. The ultimate touches are thread-thin diagonal stripes of melted chocolate, piped exactingly, and a sprinkling of smoked Maldon sea salt.
As she piped the chocolate, I attempted to think about myself doing that at dwelling.
“Might you simply use a spoon to dip into the melted chocolate and swirl it excessive?” I requested. Emiko paused, uncomfortably. “Yeah, you might,” she mentioned with a shrug. So you are able to do it my short-cutting dwelling prepare dinner’s manner, simply know that once you do, a small a part of a hard-working pastry chef’s soul will die alongside together with your sloppy swirls.
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