Le Digestif #6: April 30, 2021

Bananingtons, Coconut Mochi Cake, and Top Chef Reviews

When we’re not working, Kenny and I are constantly talking about food: from what we’re hoping to make, to what food books to buy, and everything in between. As we build out product and platform (ahem, more on that here), we are also excited to share content related to all things food.

Every week, we will be presenting interviews, listicles, and curated pieces from members of our growing community and things in the food world that excite us.

Welcome to edition #6 of Le Digestif, the blog for Food Supply!

Excited to have 61 new members join our growing dinner table of 389 guests. SO excited to have you!

If this sparks joy, pull up a chair and join our “dinner party” (our way of saying subscriber list) by subscribing below or share with a friend!

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OUR FIRST BITE: EAT THE INTERNET

Some personal news: we launched Eat the Internet, our first "bite" encouraging you to share and make the recipes that have taken over the world wide web. Also the first 500 peeps to sign up will get a special edition e-cookbooks with recipes from three rising culinary stars! Experience Eat the Internet here.

SPARKS JOY// TO BAKE: Bananingtons from Beatrix Bakes.

Every once in awhile, I (Kenny) manage to drum up the confidence (or ignorance? not sure) to take on a larger baking project. On the spectrum of eating raw cookie dough and calling at day to a life-size Croquembouche, I would give these Banana Lamingtons (aka Bananingtons) from Beatrix a 6.5 – nothing is particularly difficult, but there are multiple components that need to come together: banana schmutz, a simple sponge, cocoa glaze, and toasted (read: not burnt) coconut. The final product is a delightfully packaged caramelized banana sponge sandwich, enveloped by a thin chocolate glaze, and sealed with toasted coconut.

If you don't already, definitely follow @beatrixbakes on the 'gram – their bakery looks amazing – and check out the book here. Every recipe that Natalie writes comes with Adaptrix (adaptations of the original recipe) and notes for how to recover if/when you make mistakes.

Snag Beatrix Bakes wherever books are sold. Bonus points if its from an indie bookstore!

TO DONATE: Diaspora Co. donating to India COVID-19 efforts

[CW: COVID-19]

A post shared by @diasporaco

The situation is India is incredibly dire with a scary surge in COVID-19 cases. Fortunately, the global community is stepping up to offer donations and time to support the relief effort.

Women-led spice company Diaspora Co has partnered with 16 brands to curate a raffle prize valued at $1000. Check out this insta post for instructions on how to donate and what prizes you could win.

Kitchen Projects: Sweet & Salty Coconut Butter Mochi by Stephanie Loo

This week, we have a special kitchen project, from our friend Stephanie Loo. Steph is a student at the Institute of Culinary Education where she is majoring in Pastry and Baking Arts. Take it away Steph:

Though I’m studying pastry in culinary school , I’m still always trying to squeeze in time for personal baking projects. Dairy has been on my mind lately, and I’ve been experimenting with how different types of dairy affect baked goods.

I’ve also been inspired by Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour, which is commonly used to make Japanese sweets like mochi. As part of the team at With Warm Welcome, we debuted our inaugural Bakers Box in March, where I noticed that Mochiko was used in a handful of our bakers’ desserts, but an ingredient that I hadn’t used in years.

Part I: Dairy

MVP of the Dairy World: Heavy Cream

Lesson 6 in pastry school is Introduction to Dairy, where you whip heavy cream to the point where it becomes butter. What happens is that the fat separates from the liquid, forming butter and buttermilk. I think heavy cream is the ingredient that every baker needs to have in their fridge at all times.

In moments of desperation, I’ve used it as a substitute for many things: butter (as mentioned above, whip it in a stand mixer until it becomes butter); milk (skim, 2%, whole—just add some water to thin it out); and as buttermilk (add a little bit of acid, either lemon juice or white vinegar, and some water). Whipped cream is also a magic ingredient in thickening custard pie fillings and giving them some "body," a tip I learned from watching Erin McDowell’s Bake It Up A Notch video on cold set pies (you can see the magic happen around 26:00).

Part II: Mochi

Back to mochi—I often get fixated on an idea that I’ll keep working on until I get it right. For whatever reason, I couldn't get coconut mochi out of my mind. I love working with Mochiko because you can’t overwork the batter since it’s naturally gluten-free.

After a few initial tries, I was still struggling to get the texture and flavor of the mochi right. Enter: heavy cream and Coco Lopez (aka cream of coconut).

The combination of these two ingredients finally gave me the richness and plush, chewy texture that I couldn’t quite achieve with just milk or coconut milk. And Coco Lopez, a new-to-me ingredient, provided the subtle yet discernable coconut flavor I wanted. It’s commonly used in piña coladas, but is, in my opinion, underutilized in baking.

Since cream of coconut has sugar added to it, in the final version of my recipe, I decreased the sugar in the recipe, so as to not make it too sweet. I definitely plan to experiment more with Coco Lopez in other coconut desserts—I think it would make the perfect dairy-free ice cream base this summer.

If you have an H-Mart or any Asian supermarket near you, you can pick up Mochiko there (that’s where I get mine!). It’s also available online for shipping.

Thanks to Steph for walking through this recipe development process. If you're feeling inspired, make Steph's recipe and be sure to tag her on Instagram @stephanieloobakes.

POP-UP PIAZZA

Sweet tooth friends, you're in luck because we’ve discovered a pop-up on each coast. If you attend, be sure to tag us @foodsupplyxyz on Insta and Twitter!

Brooklyn, New York City: Friend of the newsletter Abi Balingit (@theduskykitchen) is hosting a popup at the Brooklyn Museum from 2-6pm ET this Saturday (May 1st). Fill your tote with some delicious bin bin rice cracker treats, maja blanca cupcakes, and snag a copy of Abi's latest zine, Matamis. More info in her Instagram post below!

Oakland, California: Bake Love, Not Hate will be hosting a bake sale fundraiser event in support of the Asian American Pacific Islander community. Head over to The Athletic Club from 12:00pm- 6:00PM PT for some tasty treats, drinks, and more. Be sure to check out our friend Lana Yarkin’s (@lana_bakes) stand where she will be selling brown sugar cheesecake cookies and salted dulce de leche bars. More info can be found in the post below!

TO WATCH: TOP CHEF SEASON 18 UPDATE

You are what you eat and what you watch. This is our section on what food-themed shows we have on the telly. This week, Kenny is giving us a Top Chef recap.

Quick note before we dig in: I haven't even watched episode 5 from yesterday yet (was too busy building Eat the Internet, a very cool website), so no spoilers here. Also recommend reading even if you don't watch Top Chef, but you do you!

I'll start this by saying that I do not claim to be an expert on Top Chef, and while I've seen most seasons, there is inevitably some context on the history of the show that I am missing.

With that being said, this season feels different. Yes, there are the COVID-related changes that are more obvious: the chefs work in an oversized kitchen that turns every quick fire challenge into a cardio workout, and there are fewer visits around the host city than we would normally see. What I'm interested in is how everything else has changed: gone are the days of perfectly executed French classics and molecular gastronomy science projects. We are now in the era of bringing "your whole self" to the table.

Here's what I mean: in episode 3 of this season, the show took chefs to various local restaurants highlighting food of the African diaspora, guided by new judges Kwame Onwuachi (season 13) and Gregory Gourdet (season 12 & 17). For one, I can't imagine the show taking a squad of Richard Blaise-esque chefs from season 4 doing this, period. The visit to these restaurants alone brought multiple contestants to tears. Portland-based contestant Gabriel Pascuzzi, said he was "kind of embarrassed that I haven’t been here yet", referring to Akadi, a West African spot 3 miles away from his own restaurant.

Fast forward to the challenge, and Kiki Louya (a personal fave), nearly gets voted off for a misstep making fufu, a doughy staple dish with origins in Ghana but a staple in other African cuisines. There's something uninteresting about messing up another French mother sauce, yet completely compelling (and heart-wrenching) about Kiki making a mistake on a dish inspired by her father’s recipes.

Ultimately, Brittany Anderson ended up on the bottom, parting the judges’ table by saying she "doesn’t know who I am as a chef".

In many ways, Top Chef over the years has been a mirror of American society: what we value, who we praise, and what greatness looks like. It's clear that Top Chef as a franchise is going through the same journey of questioning these ideals as many of its viewers have over the past year, and I think the show (and we as viewers) are better off for that.

Quick hits:

  • Current front-runner: Sarah Hauman, she gives off the "haha I'm not that good, jk I'm incredible but don't want to talk about it" vibe. Shota Nakajima is my runner-up.

  • Awkward ad placement: The Talenti gelato challenge made no sense, but I did want ice cream after watching so I guess it worked? (editor’s note:#sponcon)

  • Favorite judge: Melissa King can do no wrong in my book. She should be a permanent judge.

FOODIE FRIEND OF THE WEEK: Becca Jacobs

We all have that one friend that we call our "dining pal". The person that we can strategize a potluck situation with, order Taco Bell Cantina on a whim, or call when that bucket list restaurant has a last minute reservation. That friend for Team Supply is Becca Jacobs!

When she is not talking that marketing strategy jargon at her day job, she's slinging meals from her humble O Street apartment in Washington, D.C. Every time Becca posts some meal in the group chat, we can't stop smiling, crying happy tears, or longing for our first potluck together.

Becca is immensely chill but girl is SERIOUS when it comes to her food. For instance, her creamy spring pasta is absolutely divine, and don't get me started on this sausage sando...SHEESH!

In a tradition as old as time, show Becca some love by following her on Insta, check out her website, and subscribe to her newsletter for weekly food recaps. Your belly will thank you :)


Thanks for reading along! If you have any food recs that would spark joy or tickle our fancy, send them over to ledigestif@foodsupply.xyz. We always respond. If you wanna spread the good word, share below.

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