If you were asked to make a dessert called Isadora Duncan's Doughnut...

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by beachbaby, May 11, 2011.

  1. beachbaby

    beachbaby

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    ...what would it be?    That's my task, and I'm a cook, not a baker.  It's a sweet course in a series of small plates I'm serving for 30 guests each of two nights this weekend at a pop-up supper club and dance performance.   All the other dishes will have playful, dance-related names too (pork pirouettes with rosemary tutus, for instance), but honestly the dishes themselves don't need to have more than a passing relationship to their name.  

    So Isadora Duncan's Doughnut does not need to be, and in fact should not be a doughnut (I don't have a deep fryer, and because of time and space constraints I really need to make something on Saturday that I can serve both Sat and Sun).   It can be anything, probably round, and I only have one must per the choreographer:   that it be something that can support a long chard of chocolate, representing the scarf that strangled her to death.   Anything loosely involving dough and possibly nuts will work.  

    But like I said, I'm not by nature a baker.   I don't even have a sweet tooth, so I only bake when I have to though like most avid cooks I have a goodly collection of cupcake tins and springform pans.   I've been hoping all week to get some kind of inspiration, but nothing's come to me.   

    Any suggestions?   Easy to make and easy to keep fresh are big pluses!
     
  2. siduri

    siduri

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    What comes to mind is a desert named after another dancer, the pavlova (a disk of slightly chewy meringue, covered with sweetened whipped cream with strawberries folded in and strawberries that have macerated in sugar over the top.

    so, since isadora duncan didn;t wear a tutu, the ring shape doesn't really lend itself to the idea, but the veils of whipped cream do, since her dance and clothing were flowing.  Meringue and whipped cream do indeed seem to be suitable for representing dance. 

    how about a swirled doughnut shape (not sure how you;d pull it off, like make a ring of meringue, leaving it somewhat gooey and twist it into a figure 8?  structurally probably won't work.  Or you could make it into an s shape - a doughnut opened and twisted.  Or even leave it as a ring.  maybe put the ring on TOP of the cream, maybe put the strawberries on the bottom. 

    Or maek a ring of meringue, then with a pastry bag and huge nozzle, make a nicely sweeping S shape on top of it, indicating the flow and spin of a dance, and scatter strawberries.  Maybe put the berries macerated and cut up, under it all and lay the ring on top and the cream on top of that. 
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    NAMED DESSERTS

    Peach Melba  A dessert created  on the spot by A. Escoffier.  Named after a famous opera singer Madame Melba when she came in to dine at The Ritz Hotel in Paros after an evening performance. It consisted of a Fresh Poached Peach Topped with Custard Grade Ice Cream, Chantilly and Sweetened Raspberry Puree. It was rolled into the room and served from between the wings of an Ice Carved Swan for her and her guest party.
     
  4. siduri

    siduri

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    Yes, Melba and Tetrazzini were two of the most amazing opera singers ever - the lightness and delicateness of their voices - no one sings like that today.  Certainly worth naming something after!.  If you can listen to Melba's "sweet bird" on youtube, wow. 
     
  5. resqdoc

    resqdoc

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    A molded (quenelle?) gelato that has bits of cut up purchased doughnuts perhaps? Sweetened with a little maple?

    Freeze the doughnut pieces before spinning them into the gelato mix?

    You could go with a signature DD flavor..toasted coconut?

    It would support the shard and you could roll it in bits of the coconut or nuts, as you mentioned?
     
  6. chefedb

    chefedb

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    According to Mssr. Escoffier .,the purpose of serving the dessert in the swan  was to signafy'' Sweet Bird.''
     
  7. beachbaby

    beachbaby

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    Great ideas, ResQ.    You must have posted this right after I checked for new messages, because the 12th was the day I finally got some inspiration and solved my problem--I just couldn't get anywhere with 'doughnut', not in a way I could satisfy under the spare circumstances of what I had to work with, anyway, both in terms of physical space as well as budget.   What finally clicked was a rethink of the dish's title:    from Isadora Duncan's Doughnut to Isadora's Dunkin' Donut made all the difference.   What I did, then, was serve short plastic cocktail cups with two dipping sauces:   a layer of a dark chocolate sauce on the bottom and a bitter orange marmalade spiked with cayenne above that.   Into each cup went a chocolate crepe (now representing Isadora's scarf) folded around a spoonful of whipped cream, topped with almonds.   All the pieces were made offsite earlier in the day and assembled at the venue just prior to service (I had approximately 15 minutes between performances to assemble 40 servings of each course).   I don't think I could have done anything easier for me or more popular for the guests.