Wednesday, June 01, 2011

On Rhubarb, Rhubarbe, and Rhubarb Socials, or l'Eighties Night meets Kaffeeklatsch

jean-talon rhubarb fig. a: this is now

Wow, the notion of a culinary Eighties Night seems to have really struck a nerve (including our first mention in The New York Times!).

Sadly, I was too busy having a good time with my tablemates and getting regaled by the multi-course spectacle that unfolded that night to concern myself with being a shutterbug. So the photographic documentation is lacking, but the memories are vivid. And one of the clear highlights of the night was Michelle's Rhubarb and White Chocolate Éclair. I'm not enough of a historian of pâtisserie to weigh in on how '80s that combination of rhubarb and white chocolate was, but I can tell you that the very sight of the éclairs made perfect thematic sense, and that their "pretty in pink" color scheme didn't hurt either.

If you're curious as to how Michelle made her éclairs, well, I managed to coax the recipe out of her. (Membership has its privileges.) This way, if you didn't have the opportunity to actually attend l'Eighties Night, you might at least be able to recreate some of the magic at home (with your very own soundtrack!).

Rhubarb éclairs with white chocolate

for the pâte à choux:

160 g water
200 g milk
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
150 g butter
200 g flour
6 eggs

Mix water, milk, salt, sugar and butter together in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, add flour, take off the heat and stir like mad until there are no lumps. Put back on the heat to dry out the mixture a bit, stirring all the while.

Place mixture in a standing mixture with the paddle attachment, mix 1 min on low. Add eggs one at a time, making sure the mixture is homogenous before adding another.

Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a round or star tip. Pipe strips of dough about ½ inch wide and 3 inches long on a baking sheet lined with paper. Brush dough with a bit of egg wash (1 egg, dash of milk, pinch of salt). Bake at 400º F for 8 minutes, then 375º F for 12 min. Make a small hole with a knife in each and let cool.

for the rhubarb compote:

500 g rhubarb, cut into small dice
150 g sugar
125 ml syrup

3 g NH pectin
3 g sugar

Mix rhubarb with sugar and let macerate for 1 hour. Cook briefly until the rhubarb is tender, strain, reserving the syrup. For every 125ml of syrup add 3 NH pectin and 3 sugar, boil a few minutes. Pour over the rhubarb and let cool in the fridge.

for the white chocolate ganache:    

300 g cream
480 g white chocolate
430 g yogurt
2 gelatin sheets

Soften gelatin sheets in cold water. Bring the cream to a boil, add gelatin, pour over the chocolate, let stand 1 min. Whisk the chocolate mixture gently until emulsified. Add the yogurt and mix until homogenous. Let cool in fridge.

to finish:

Cut the éclairs in half lengthwise. Dip the tops in a white chocolate ganache. Pipe one layer of white chocolate cream inside the bottom half. Add a layer of rhubarb compote. Finish with the dipped top half and serve.

All of which brings me to Part 2...

You see, the other reason I chose to focus on this particular recipe is because it's the perfect lead-in to the next Kaffeeklatsch event: Kaffeeklatsch presents Rhubarb Social.

You got it, Kaffeeklatsch is back (version 3.0), and this time the theme is "Rhubarb." This means two things:

First of all, this time around, Michelle will be collaborating with her good friend Stéphanie Labelle, chef-pâtissière of the justly lauded Pâtisserie Rhubarbe.

And secondly, while the menu will feature some of your favorites from Kaffeeklatsch #1 and #2 (apple strudel! sachertorte!), it will also feature a selection of rhubarb desserts by Stéphanie (rhubarb tart! rhubarb religieuse!), featuring the loveliest pink Quebec rhubarb available.

And, yes, once again, coffees will be provided by our good, good friends at Myriade (yes!), who were all too happy to take up the challenge of a coffee that pairs well with rhubarb.

rhubarb fig. b: that was then

Kaffeeklatsch presents Rhubarb Social

Sunday, June 5, 2011
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Restaurant Laloux
250 ave des pins est
$12 = pastry, petit four, & coffee

for more information: 287-9127

See you on Sunday!



michelle said...

And I will do my best to re-create this sweater one day...

aj kinik said...

you mean, "this sweater/perennial combo," right?

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, talking about rhubarb, I found a nice new spot on St-Denis corner of Roy. It's a homemade ice cream place, with amazing new things, like real soft ice creams (natural) and the nicest, real soft sorbet. They sell a lot of different hard ice cream too and sorbets, and rhubarb is one of the sorbet flavors they have. Tastes amazing, but you got to love rhubarb...The name is Les Givrés here is the website : . I think they just opened. If you like rhubarb, you guys should go!

Whygee said...

I'm going out on a limb but do you think I can use yellow pectin instead of NH?


michelle said...

Hi Whygee, livin' on the edge, I like it! It will possibly set differently, but I don't see why you couldn't try. It might work exactly the same way!

Whygee said...

I tried it since I only had yellow pectin and it seemed to work (the texture was nice but I don't know how it compared to the original!). The only thing was that I had trouble dissolving the pectin in the syrup.

I also botched my éclairs, but that's another story... the other components ended up between two sheets of cake with strawberries on top. The ganache makes a great icing.