Upside-Down Root Beer Float
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Credit: Casey Shiller, CEPC, program coordinator of baking and pastry arts at St. Louis Community College–Forest Park, St. Louis, and director of pastry and baking, Jilly’s Cupcake Bar and Café, St. Louis
Sizzle, Summer 2012
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup light brown sugar
1 vanilla bean
½ t. salt
1 quart cold water
5 gelatin sheets
½ oz. vanilla extract
24 oz. locally brewed root beer
1 oz. sugar
3 oz. water
Whipped cream rosettes, white chocolate plaquettes, tuile cookie nests and raspberries, for garnish
1. Create the panna cotta: In small saucepan, heat milk, cream, brown sugar, vanilla bean and salt. Fill large bowl with cold water. Submerge individual gelatin sheets; allow to blo om for 3 minutes. When milk mixture simmers, remove from heat; strain through fine mesh sieve.
2. Squeeze excess water from bloomed gelatin; stir into warm milk mixture. Add vanilla extract.
3. Pour milk mixture into martini glasses until half filled. Chill until set (overnight, if possible).
4. Create the granité: Combine root beer, sugar and water. Whisk until sugar completely dissolves.
5. Pour thin layer of root beer mixture in hotel pan; freeze. Gently stir every 15-20 minutes until slush-like consistency is reached. Break up large chunks of ice crystals to ensure shaved-ice texture.
6. Once shaved-ice texture is achieved, add to martini glasses. Garnish as desired, such as with a whipped cream rosette, white chocolate plaquette, tuile cookie nest and raspberry, as pictured here.
Notes: To plump beans and make vanilla seeds easy to release without scraping, soak whole vanilla pods
in neutral clear alcohol, such as vodka, for several weeks. To release vanilla bean seeds and reduce fibrous stands that result from scraping beans with a knife, cut vanilla bean in half and simmer with liquid. Change the flavor of the granite with any soda or beverage— cola, orange or apple cider. For additional flavor combinations, infuse herbs, spices or fruit zest. (Apple Cider Granité with Maple Syrup Panna Cotta is one of my favorites.)
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