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StarChefs
chefs AMBER RENBERG

Moscato Frozen Yogurt, Chilled Melon Zupetta, Lavender Scented Meringue and Cantaloupe Granita
Amber Renberg of blu - Boston
Adapted by StarChefs
Rising Pastry Chef Amber Renberg

AMBER RENBERG
blu — Boston

July 2003

Philosophy on cooking:
When it comes to cooking and creating pastry, my thought process usually starts with the guest in mind. I love thinking through what their dining experience is going to be and creating a dessert that will then match their sweet tooth needs. Whether it’s a light and icy cold fruit soup or a rich and elegant crème caramel, I want to give them whatever they crave. It’s from this frame of mind that I then think about ingredients and am able to seek out and put together the best and most appropriate components.

Formerly of:
Che Bella Bakery and Michael’s at the Citadel in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona respectively.

Culinary School:
Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona

Tools you can't live without:
- offset spatula
- ring molds and cake pans of all sizes
- ice cream machine
- sheet pans
- silpats
- rubber spatulas
- balloon whisks

Favorite ingredients:
Chocolate, nuts, liquor, vanilla, coffee, citrus, cream

Three tips for dessert success:
1. To quote one of my favorite pastry doyennes, Maida Heatter, “Happiness is baking cookies.” Do something because you love it and it brings joy to your life. If you’re happy where you’re at and what you’re doing, it’s going to shine through in your product.

2. Make what you love to eat. Because if you love it, you are more than likely going to make the best possible version of it, whether it’s a cookie or a show piece dessert.

3. Be diligent and thoughtful, but don’t panic over the small things. This isn’t brain surgery, it’s brownies.

Short Bio:
Born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, Amber describes her childhood amidst a food-oriented family as somewhat of a “Norman Rockwell experience.” Amber’s love of food flourished into adulthood, and in 1999, Amber attended Scottsdale Culinary Institute for formal training.

During her schooling, Amber traveled to France to work at the American Pavillion at the Cannes Film Festival, where she prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner for over a thousand people a day. Amber returned from France, finished her culinary training and took a job at Che Bella, where she eventually became the pastry chef. As head of operations, Amber managed a team of 18 people and baked five thousand pastries a day.

Since joining blu in 2001, Amber has worked closely with Chef Dante deMagistris to develop decadent desserts for blu’s dining room. She also bakes healthier items, such as low-fat muffins and cakes for blu’s café. Looking for a guilty or guilt-free pleasure, Amber’s array of sweet creations are sure to satisfy.





Ingredients:
    MELON ZUPETTA
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 each cantaloupe melon, scrubbed, peeled, seeded and cubed

  • MOSCATO FROZEN YOGURT
  • 1 bottle moscato
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1 each vanilla bean
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp corn syrup
  • 5 each egg whites

  • LAVENDER MERINGUES
  • ¼ cup fresh lavender, rough chop
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ¼ cup egg whites
  • ½ cup sugar

  • MELON GRANITA
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 each cantaloupe melon, scrubbed, peeled, seeded and cubed

Method:

For MELON ZUPETTA:
Combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan and stir just enough to moisten sugar. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and then immediately remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine melon and sugar syrup in blender and puree until completely smooth.

Strain liquid through a fine mesh sieve and chill.

For MOSCATO FROZEN YOGURT:
Pour moscato into a small sauce pan and simmer until half the liquid is gone, about ten minutes. It should be thick and syrupy. Set aside to cool.

Combine cream and yogurt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the inside of each half. Add this to the cream and yogurt. With the whisk attachment, whip on medium high until mixture has reached soft peak stage. Transfer to another bowl and wash the mixer bowl and whisk.

Place the egg whites in the clean bowl of the mixer. Whip the egg whites with the clean whisk attachment until they form soft peaks and turn off mixer.

Combine sugar and corn syrup in a small sauce pan and add just enough water to cover sugar, about ½ a cup, stir just enough to moisten the sugar. Bring to a boil over a high heat and cook until sugar reaches 240° on a candy thermometer.

Turn the mixer back on to medium low speed and slowly add the sugar syrup to the egg whites in a steady stream. Once all the sugar has been added, turn mixer back to high and whip until cool.

Gently fold the cool egg whites into the whipped cream in three batches. Transfer to a plastic container with a lid and store in the freezer.

For LAVENDER MERINGUES:
Combine cold water and lavender in pan and bring to boil. When the water comes to a boil, immediately remove from heat and steep for 10 minutes. Strain lavender from water and set aside to cool.

Add egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on high with the whisk attachment until frothy. Add sugar and continue to whip until the meringue holds medium peaks.

Add 2 tablespoons of the lavender scented water and whip again to medium stiff peaks.

Spread the meringue an 1/8 of an inch thick over a template* onto a wax paper lined sheet pan. Lift the template to leave the meringue in desired shape. Repeat until all of the meringue has been used.

Place sheet pan in a 150° still oven and bake until dry 1 ½ - 2 hours.

Once dry, lift wax paper off the sheet pan and gently peel off the back of each meringue.

Place meringues in an air tight plastic container with a piece of wax paper between each layer.

*To make a template: You will need to sacrifice the lid to one of your plastic containers. With a permanent marker, draw or trace the desired shape for you template. Using a razor blade, VERY CAREFULLY cut out the shape by tracing on the lines you have drawn. Then, VERY CAREFULLY cut away any excess on the sides of your template leaving an inch on every side of the shape.

For MELON GRANITA:
Combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan and stir just enough to moisten sugar. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and then immediately remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine melon and syrup in blender and puree until completely smooth.

Pour into a shallow metal pan (like a cake pan) and place in the freezer. Every 30 minutes, stir with a fork, scraping through the ice crystals on top and mixing them into the remaining liquid. Once mixture has completely frozen, remove from freezer and crush any remaining chunks with a fork so entire batch resembles crushed ice. Transfer to a plastic container with a lid and store in freezer.

To assemble:
With an ice cream scoop, scoop some of the frozen yogurt into the bottom of a very cold bowl. Using the back of a spoon, press down on the top of the scoop to create a flat surface.

Pour the soup into the bowl until it reaches just past the half-way point of the yogurt.

Place a meringue on top of the yogurt.

With a smaller ice cream scoop, scoop some of the granita on to the center of the meringue.

Garnish with a sprig of lavender on the side of the granita and serve immediately.



  

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