12.07.2008

Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game

Whole-Berry Cranberry Simple Syrup

In my quest to unveil new seasonal French Toast Specials on a weekly basis, I ran in to some issues with last week's compote: It contained cranberries. Little did I know that cranberries have the tendency to turn some people waaaaaay off. Personally, I couldn't think of anything that sounded nicer than Challah French Toast with an spiced Apple-Cranberry compote. I loved the tanginess of the berries, the sweetness from the apples, all stewed together with cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, and a little brandy. I guess others had another idea as it was the least popular the French Toast has ever been. WTF?

Hum...this got me thinking. Perhaps it wasn't the Toast or the apple compote, we've served up both before with success; been there done that, so it must've been the cranberries. Cranberries get a bad rap. With their meager representation being limited to canned vessels and somewhat hokey commercials from Ocean Spray, who can say they're surprised by this fact? I reckon very few people have actually been exposed to the actual deliciousness encountered when cranberries don't come from a jar in juice form or in gelatinous loaf from the can. Sure, people are used to smothering it on their turkey sandwiches but really, there are so many more ways to enjoy cranberries!!! So a new quest ensued as I had a week to rack my brain for another way to incorporate cranberries into a French toast special that wouldn't make people freak. And as such, an idea for a new Sunday Special was born:

Gingerbread Challah French Toast
served with whipped cranberry mascarpone, sweet-cream butter, and real maple syrup

The whipped cranberry mascarpone came together in a cinch. I began with making a cranberry simple syrup, incorporating water, sugar, orange peel, fresh ginger and fresh whole cranberries. Once boiled down I slowly added the syrup, almond extract, powdered sugar, and lemon zest to my whipped mascarpone in the food processor and "pulsed" until a beautiful pink hue emerged. Next, I folded in some reserved berries left from the syrup mixture, and voilĂ , a star was born. Even Evan, who usually turns his nose up at cranberries, was eating this lovely shaded dessert-cheese by the spoonful.

P.S. I also like to keep this syrup around for holiday-inspired champagne and vodka cocktails. Please enjoy!

3 comments:

msaims said...

c'mon people where's the Christmas spirit??

Acai Berry said...

well this syrup is really good for your health.

Anonymous said...

I loved every last bit of it. Mmmm mmm good!