Not Just Small Cakes Anymore

By Joe Sevier


Joe Sevier
Pastry Chef Jennifer Yee's cookie butter-stuffed Muscadine fruit leather
Pastry Chef Jennifer Yee's cookie butter-stuffed Muscadine fruit leather

“I always try to offer guests one unique last bite,” said Pastry Chef Jen Yee of Atlanta’s Resurgens Hospitality at her workshop at the 2018 StarChefs Congress, as she led attendees through the fabrication of three distinct petits fours.

To prove her point, Yee passed out squares of Muscadine fruit leather—made from grapes she sourced from her home in Georgia. She’d prepared the leather ahead of Congress since the coulis takes between six and 12 hours to become a slightly tacky, pliable sheet. “If overdry,” says Yee, “you can put the leather into a fridge and it’ll rehydrate.”

We formed the squares into tubes and pinched one end shut. To fill the pockets, attendees puréed warm ginger-turmeric shortbread and coconut oil. “You can use any cookie or cracker for this,” stressed Yee, as she made her demo version with Ritz. Leather pockets and cookie butter, both “shelf-stable for several days,” were combined and sealed into pillows that popped in the mouth with vibrant flavor.

Next, Congress-goers punched out and baked discs of sorghum pâte sucrée—straight out of an Irinox blast chiller. Set on the domes of upside-down Sasa Demarle Mini-Charlotte Air Pans, the frozen dough collapsed around the silicone mesh, transforming into fluted tart shells. We filled them with a sweet potato-bourbon-brown butter emulsion, prepped in a Vitamix aerating container, and garnished with dehydrated apple chips.

For the final petit four, Yee melted Valrhona Inspiration strawberry and almond fèves and passed around piping bags of each. Attendees dusted matcha over squares of acetate and piped a bullseye of the contrasting colors. A second dusting of matcha and a second piece of acetate went on top. We used a flat surface to press the chocolate into irregular pink and taupe “geode” slices, glowing with green flecks of matcha. Unique, indeed.

Get the recipe for Jen Yee's Cookie Butter-Stuffed Fruit Leather here.

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